The Ear in the Wall
19. The Escape
At last the telephone rang and Carton answered it eagerly. As he did so, he quickly
motioned to us to go to the outside office where we, too, could listen on extensions.
"Yes, this is Mr. Carton," we heard him say.
"This is the editor of the Wall Street Record," came back the reply in a tone that showed
no hesitation or compunction if it was lying. "I suppose you have heard the rumours that
are current downtown that Hartley Langhorne and the people associated with him have
gone broke in the pool they formed to get control of the public utilities that would put
them in a position to capture the city betterment contracts?"
"No--I hadn't heard it," answered Carton, with difficulty restraining himself from
quizzing the informant about himself. Kennedy was motioning to him that that was
enough. "I'm sure I can't express any opinion at all for publication on the subject," he
concluded brusquely, jamming down the receiver on the hook before his interlocutor had
a chance to ask another question.
The bell continued to ring, but Craig seized the receiver off its hook again and called
back, "Mr. Carton has gone for the day," hanging it up again with a bang.
"Call up the Record now," advised Craig, disconnecting the recording instrument he had
brought. "See what the editor has to say."
"This is the District Attorney's office," said Carton a moment later when he got the
number. "You just called me."
"I called you?" asked the editor, non-plussed.
"About a rumour current in Wall Street."
"Rumour? No, sir. It must be some mistake."
"I guess so. Sorry to have troubled you. Good-bye."
Carton looked from one to the other of us. "You see," he said in disgust, "there it is again.
That's the sort of thing that has been going on all day. How do I know what that fellow is
doing now--perhaps using my name?"
I had no answer to his implied query as to who was the "wolf" and what he might be up
to. As for Kennedy, while he showed plainly that he had his suspicions which he
expected to confirm absolutely, he did not care to say anything about them yet.