The Exploits of Elaine
8. The Hidden Voice
The strain of the Dodge case was beginning to tell on me, for it was keeping us at work at
all kinds of hours to circumvent the Clutching Hand, by far the cleverest criminal with
whom Kennedy had ever had anything to do.
I had slept later than usual that morning and, in a half doze, I heard a voice calling me,
strangely like Kennedy's and yet unlike it.
I leaped out of bed, still in my pajamas, and stood for a moment staring about. Then I ran
into the living room. I looked about, rubbing my eyes, startled. No one was there.
It was spooky.
I ran back into Craig's room. He was gone. There was no one in any of our rooms. The
surprise had now thoroughly awakened me.
"Where--the deuce--are you?" I demanded.
Suddenly I heard the voice again--no doubt about it, either.
"Here I am--over on the couch!"
I scratched my head, puzzled. There was certainly no one on that couch.
A laugh greeted me. Plainly, though, it came from the couch. I went over to it and,
ridiculous as it seemed, began to throw aside the pillows.
There lay nothing but a little oblong oaken box, perhaps eight or ten inches long and
three or four inches square at the ends. In the face were two peculiar square holes and
from the top projected a black disc, about the size of a watch, fastened on a swinging
metal arm. In the face of the disc were several perforated holes.
I picked up the strange looking thing in wonder and from that magic oak box actually
came a burst of laughter.
"Come over to the laboratory, right away," pealed forth a merry voice. "I've something to
"Well," I gasped, "what do you know about that?"