14. The Escape
He had dropped the telephone receiver without waiting to replace it on the hook
and was now dashing madly out of the empty apartment and down the street.
The hall-boy at Warrington's had done exactly as I had ordered him. There was
the elevator waiting as Garrick gave the five short rings at the nightbell and the
outside door was unlocked. No one had yet discovered the fire which we knew
was now raging on the top floor of the apartment.
We were whirled up there swiftly, just as we heard echoing through the hall and
the elevator shaft from someone who had an apartment on the same floor the
shrill cry of, "Fire, fire!"
Tenants all the way up were now beginning to throw open their doors and run
breathlessly about in various states of undress. The elevator bell was jangling
In the face of the crisis the elevator boy looked at Garrick appealingly.
"Run your car up and down until all are out who want to go," ordered Garrick.
"Only tell them all that an alarm has already been turned in and that there is no
danger except to the suite that is on fire. You may leave us here."
We had reached the top floor and stepped out. I realised fully now what had
happened. Either the robbers had found out only too quickly that they had been
duped or else they had reasoned that the letter they sought had been hidden in a
place in the apartment for which they had no time to hunt.
It had probably been the latter idea which they had had and, instead of hunting
further, they had taken a quicker and more unscrupulous method than Garrick