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The Gold of the Gods

16. The Ear In The Wall
Perhaps an hour later our laboratory door was flung open suddenly, and both Kennedy
and I leaped to our feet.
There was Inez Mendoza, alone, pale and agitated.
"Tell me, Professor Kennedy," she cried, her hands clasped before her in frantic appeal,
"tell me--it isn't true--is it? He wasn't there--no--no--no!"
She would have fainted if Craig had not sprung forward and caught her in time to place
her in our only easy-chair.
"Walter," he said, "quick--that bottle of aromatic spirits of ammonia over there--the
second from the left."
I handed it to him, and threw open the window to allow the fresh air to blow in. As I did
so one of the papers Kennedy had been studying blew off the table, and, as luck would
have it, fell almost before her. She saw it, and in her hypersensitive condition recognized
it instantly.
"Oh--that anonymous letter!" she cried. "Tell me--you do not think that--the friend of my
father's that it warned me to beware of-- was--"
She did not finish the sentence. She did not need to do so.
"Please, Senorita," pleaded and soothed Kennedy, "try to be calm. What has happened?
Tell me. What is it?"
The ammonia and the fresh air seemed to have done their work, for she managed to brace
herself, gripping the arms of the chair tightly and looking up searchingly into Craig's
face.
"It's about Chester," she managed to gasp; then seemed unable to go on.
It was the first time I had ever heard her use Lockwood's first name, and I knew that
something had stirred her emotions more deeply than at any time since the death of her
father.
"Yes," prompted Kennedy. "Go on."
"I have heard that you found foot-prints, shoe-prints, in the dust in the Museum after the
dagger was stolen," she said, speaking rapidly, suppressing her feelings heroically. "Since
then you have been collecting prints of shoes--and I've heard that the shoe- prints that
 
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