The Golden Slipper
Problem 1. The Golden Slipper
"She's here! I thought she would be. She's one of the three young ladies you see in the
right-hand box near the proscenium."
The gentleman thus addressed--a man of middle age and a member of the most exclusive
clubs--turned his opera glass toward the spot designated, and in some astonishment
"She? Why those are the Misses Pratt and--"
"Miss Violet Strange; no other."
"And do you mean to say--"
"That yon silly little chit, whose father I know, whose fortune I know, who is seen
everywhere, and who is called one of the season's belles is an agent of yours; a--a--"
"No names here, please. You want a mystery solved. It is not a matter for the police--that
is, as yet,--and so you come to me, and when I ask for the facts, I find that women and
only women are involved, and that these women are not only young but one and all of the
highest society. Is it a man's work to go to the bottom of a combination like this? No. Sex
against sex, and, if possible, youth against youth. Happily, I know such a person--a girl of
gifts and extraordinarily well placed for the purpose. Why she uses her talents in this
direction--why, with means enough to play the part natural to her as a successful
debutante, she consents to occupy herself with social and other mysteries, you must ask
her, not me. Enough that I promise you her aid if you want it. That is, if you can interest
her. She will not work otherwise."
Mr. Driscoll again raised his opera glass.
"But it's a comedy face," he commented. "It's hard to associate intellectuality with such
quaintness of expression. Are you sure of her discretion?"
"Whom is she with?"
"Abner Pratt, his wife, and daughters."
"Is he a man to entrust his affairs unadvisedly?"
"Abner Pratt! Do you mean to say that she is anything more to him than his daughters'