The Breaking Point
Bassett lounged outside the neat privet hedge which it was Harrison Miller's
custom to clip with his own bachelor hands, and waited. And as he waited he
tried to imagine what was going on inside, behind the neatly curtained windows
of the old brick house.
He was tempted to ring the bell again, pretend to have forgotten something, and
perhaps happen in on what might be drama of a rather high order; what,
supposing the man was Clark after all, was fairly sure to be drama. He discarded
the idea, however, and began again his interested survey of the premises.
Whoever conceived this sort of haven for Clark, if it were Clark, had shown
considerable shrewdness. The town fairly smelt of respectability; the tree-shaded
streets, the children in socks and small crisp-laundered garments, the houses set
back, each in its square of shaved lawn, all peaceful, middle class and
unexciting. The last town in the world for Judson Clark, the last profession, the
last house, this shabby old brick before him.
He smiled rather grimly as he reflected that if Gregory had been right in his
identification, be was, beyond those windows at that moment, very possibly
warning Clark against himself. Gregory would know his type, that he never let go.
He drew himself up a little.
The house door opened, and Gregory came out, turning toward the station.
Bassett caught up with him and put a hand on his arm.
"Well?" he said cheerfully. "It was, wasn't it?"
Gregory stopped dead and stared at him. Then:
"Old dog Tray!" he said sneeringly. "If your brain was as good as your nose,
Bassett, you'd be a whale of a newspaper man."
"Don't bother about my brain. It's working fine to-day, anyhow. Well, what had he
to say for himself?"
Gregory's mind was busy, and he had had a moment to pull himself together.
"We both get off together," he said, more amiably. "That fellow isn't Jud Clark and
never was. He's a doctor, and the nephew of the old doctor there. They're in
"Did you see them both?"