The Ear in the Wall
26. The White Slave
Carton had sprung to his feet at the direct charge and was facing Ogleby.
"Is that true--about the Montmartre?" he demanded.
Ogleby fairly sputtered. "She lies," he almost hissed.
"Just a moment," interrupted Dorgan. "What has that to do with Miss Blackwell,
Sybil Seymour did not pause.
"It is true," she reiterated. "This is what it has to do with Betty Blackwell. Listen. He is
the man who led me on, who would have done the same to Betty Blackwell. I yielded, but
she fought. They could not conquer her--neither by drugs nor drink, nor by clothes, nor a
good time, nor force. I saw it all in the Montmartre and the beauty parlour--all."
"Lies--all lies," hissed Ogleby, beside himself with anger.
"No, no," cried Sybil. "I do not lie. Mr. Carton and this good woman, Miss Kendall, who
is working for him, are the first people I have seen since you, Martin Ogleby, brought me
to the Montmartre, who have ever given me a chance to become again what I was before
you and your friends got me."
"Have a care, young woman," interrupted Dorgan, recovering himself as she proceeded.
"There are laws and--"
"I don't care a rap about laws such as yours. As for gangs--that was what you were going
to say--I'd snap my fingers in the face of Ike the Dropper himself if he were here. You
could kill me, but I would tell the truth.
"Let me tell you my case," she continued, turning in appeal to the rest of us, "the case of a
poor girl in a small city near New York, who liked a good time, liked pretty clothes, a
ride in an automobile, theatres, excitement, bright lights, night life. I liked them. He knew
that. He led me on, made me like him. And when I began to show the strain of the pace--
we all show it more than the men--he cast me aside, like a squeezed-out lemon."
Sybil Seymour was talking rapidly, but she was not hysterical.
"Already you know Betty Blackwell's story--part of it," she hurried on. "Miss Kendall has
told me--how she was bribed to disappear. But beyond that--what?"
For a moment she paused. No one said a word. Here at last was the one person who held
the key to the mystery.