Not a member?     Existing members login below:

Constance Dunlap

12.
The Fugitives
"Newspaper pictures seldom look like the person they represent," asserted
Lawrence Macey nonchalantly.
Constance Dunlap looked squarely at the man opposite her at the table,
oblivious to the surroundings. It was a brilliant sight in the great after-theater
rendezvous, the beautiful faces and gowns, the exquisite music, the bright
lights and the gayety. She had chosen this time and place for a reason. She
had hoped that the contrast with what she had to say would be most marked
in its influence on the man.
"Nevertheless," she replied keenly, "I recognize the picture--as though you
were Bertillon's new 'spoken portrait' of this Graeme Mackenzie."
She deliberately folded up a newspaper clipping and shoved it into her hand-
bag on a chair beside the table.
Lawrence Macey met her eye unflinchingly.
"Suppose," he drawled, "just for the sake of argument, that you are right.
What would you do?"
Constance looked at the unruffled exterior of the man. With her keen
perception she knew that it covered just as calm an interior. He would have
said the same thing if she had been a real detective, had walked up behind
him suddenly in the subway crush, had tapped his shoulder, and whispered,
"You're wanted."
"We are dealing with facts, not suppositions," she replied evasively.
Momentarily, a strange look passed over Macey's face. What was she driving
at--blackmail? He could not think so, even though he had only just come to
know Constance. He rejected the thought before it was half formed.
"Put it as you please," he persisted. "I am, then, this Graeme Mackenzie who
has decamped from Omaha with half a million--it is half a million in the article,
is it not?--of cash and unregistered stocks and bonds. Now what would you
do?"
Constance felt unconsciously the shift which he had skilfully made in their
positions. Instead of being the pursuer, she was now the pursued, at least in
their conversation. He had admitted nothing of what her quick intuition told
her.
Yet she felt an admiration for the sang-froid of Macey. She felt a spell thrown
over her by; the magnetic eyes that seemed to search her own. They were
large eyes, the eyes of a dreamer, rather than of a practical man, eyes of a
man who goes far and travels long with the woman on whom he fixes them
solely.
"You haven't answered my hypothetical question," he reminded her.
She brought herself back with a start. "I was only thinking," she murmured.
"Then there is doubt in your mind what you would do?"
"N--no," she hesitated.
 
Remove