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The Ear in the Wall

14. The Beauty Parlour
"It seems strange," remarked Kennedy the following morning when we had met in his
laboratory for our daily conference to plan our campaign, "that although we seem to be
on the right trail we have not a word yet about Betty Blackwell herself. Carton has just
telephoned that her mother, poor woman, is worrying her heart out and is a mere shadow
of her former self."
"We must get some word," asserted Miss Kendall. "This silence is almost like the silence
of death."
"I'm afraid I shall have to impose on you that task," said Kennedy thoughtfully to her.
"There seems to be no course open to us but to transfer our watch from Dr. Harris to this
Marie. Of course it is too early to hear from our search by means of the portrait parle. But
we have both seen Dr. Harris and Marie enter the beauty parlour of Madame Margot.
Now, I don't mean to cast aspersions on your own good looks, Miss Kendall. They are of
the sort with which no beauty parlour except Nature can compete."
A girl of another type than Clare would probably have read a half dozen meanings into
his sincere compliment. But then, I reflected that a man of another type than Craig could
not have made the remark without expecting her to do so. There was a frankness between
them which, I must confess, considerably relieved me. I was not prepared to lose
Kennedy, even to Miss Kendall.
She smiled. "You want me to try a course in artificial beautification, don't you?"
"Yes. Walter doesn't need it, and as for me, nothing could make me a modern Adonis.
Seriously, though, a man couldn't get in there, I suppose. At least that is one of the many
things I want you to find out. Under the circumstances, you are the only person in whom
I have confidence enough to believe that she can get at the facts there. Find out all you
can about the character of the place and the people who frequent it. And if you can learn
anything about that Madame Margot who runs the place, so much the better."
"I'll try," she said simply.
Kennedy resumed his tests of the powder in the packets which Dr. Harris had been
distributing, and I endeavoured to make myself as little in the way as possible. It was not
until the close of the afternoon that a taxicab drove up and deposited Miss Kendall at the
door.
"What luck?" greeted Kennedy eagerly, as she entered. "Do you feel thoroughly
beautified?"
 
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