The Adventures of Jimmie Dale
I.4. The Counterfeit Five
It was still early in the evening, but a little after nine o'clock. The Fifth Avenue bus
wended its way, jouncing its patrons, particularly those on the top seats, across
town, and turned into Riverside Drive. A short distance behind the bus, a
limousine rolled down the cross street leisurely, silently.
As the lights of passing craft on the Hudson and a myriad scintillating, luminous
points dotting the west shore came into view, Jimmie Dale rose impulsively from
his seat on the top of the bus, descended the little circular iron ladder at the rear,
and dropped off into the street. It was only a few blocks farther to his residence
on the Drive, and the night was well worth the walk; besides, restless, disturbed,
and perplexed in mind, the walk appealed to him.
He stepped across to the sidewalk and proceeded slowly along. A month had
gone by and he had not heard a word from--HER. The break on West Broadway,
the murder of Metzer in Moriarty's gambling hell, the theft of Markel's diamond
necklace had followed each other in quick succession--and then this month of
utter silence, with no sign of her, as though indeed she had never existed.
But it was not this temporary silence on her part that troubled Jimmie Dale now.
In the years that he had worked with this unknown, mysterious accomplice of his
whom he had never seen, there had been longer intervals than a bare month in
which he had heard nothing from her--it was not that. It was the failure, total,
absolute, and complete, that was the only result for the month of ceaseless,
unremitting, doggedly-expended effort, even as it had been the result many times
before, in an attempt to solve the enigma that was so intimate and vital a factor in
his own life.
If he might lay any claims to cleverness, his resourcefulness, at least, he was
forced to admit, was no match for hers. She came, she went without being seen--
and behind her remained, instead of clews to her identity, only an amazing,
intangible mystery, that left him at times appalled and dismayed. How did she