Mr. Gryce at once led the way into the street.
The hour was late, and only certain portions of the city showed any real activity. Into one of these
thoroughfares they presently came, and before the darkened window of one of the lesser shops paused, while
Jake pointed out the two stuffed frogs engaged with miniature swords in mortal combat at which he had been
looking when the lady came up and spoke to him.
Mr. Gryce eyed the boy rather than the frogs, though probably the former would have sworn that his attention
had never left that miniature conflict.
“Was she a pretty lady?” he asked.
The boy scratched his head in some perplexity.
“She made me a good deal afraid of her,” he said. “She had very splendid clothes; oh, gorgeous!” he cried, as
if on this question there could be no doubt.
“And she was young, and carried a bunch of flowers, and seemed troubled? What! not young, and carried no
flowers–and wasn’t even anxious and trembling?”
The boy, who had been shaking his head, looked nonplussed.
“I think as she was what you might call troubled. But she wasn’t crying, and when she spoke to me, she put
more feeling into her grip than into her voice. She just dragged me to the drug-store, sir. If she hadn’t given
me money first, I should have wriggled away in spite of her. But I likes money, sir; I don’t get too much of it.”
Mr. Gryce by this time was moving on. “Not young,” he repeated to himself. “Some old flame, then, of Mr.
Adams; they’re apt to be dangerous, very dangerous, more dangerous than the young ones.”
In front of the drug-store he paused. “Show me where she stood while you went in.”
The boy pointed out the identical spot. He seemed as eager as the detective.
“And was she standing there when you came out?”
“Oh, no, sir; she went away while I was inside.”
“Did you see her go? Can you tell me whether she went up street or down?”
“I had one eye on her, sir; I was afraid she was coming into the shop after me, and my arm was too sore for
me to want her to clinch hold on it again. So when she started to go, I took a step nearer, and saw her move
toward the curbstone and hold up her hand. But it wasn’t a car she was after, for none came by for several
The fold between Mr. Gryce’s eyes perceptibly smoothed out.
“Then it was some cabman or hack-driver she hailed. Were there any empty coaches about that you saw?”