16. The Poisoned Needle
Over a still untasted grapefruit Garrick was considering what his next move
should be. As for me, even this temporary return to a normal life caused me to
view things in a different light.
There had been, as the Chief and the Boss had hinted at in their conversation, a
wave of hysteria which had swept over the city only a short time before regarding
what had come to be called the "poisoned needle" cases. Personally I had
doubted them and I had known many doctors and scientists as well as vice and
graft investigators who had scouted them, too.
"Garrick," I said at length, "do you really think that we have to deal with anything
in this case but just plain attempted kidnapping of the old style?"
He shook his head doubtfully. I knew him to be anything but an alarmist and
waited impatiently for him to speak.
"I wouldn't think so," he said at length slowly, "except for one thing."
"What's that?" I asked eagerly.
"His mention of the 'sleepmakers' and Paris," he replied briefly.
Garrick had risen and walked over to a cabinet in the corner of his room. When
he returned it was with something gleaming in the morning sunshine as he rolled
it back and forth on a piece of paper, just a shining particle. He picked it up
I bent over to look at it more closely and there, in Garrick's hand, was a tiny bit of
steel, scarcely three-eighths of an inch long, a mere speck. It was like nothing of
which I had ever heard or read. Yet Garrick himself seemed to regard the minute