The White Moll
The Door Across The Hall
It was many blocks away before calmness came again to Rhoda Gray, and before it
seemed, even, that her brain would resume its normal functions; but with the numbed
horror once gone, there came in its place, like some surging tide, a fierce virility that
would not be denied. The money! The old couple on that doorstep, stripped of their all!
Wasn't that one reason why she had gone on with Pinkie Bonn and the Pug? Hadn't she
seen a way, or at least a chance, to get that money back?
Rhoda Gray looked quickly about her. On the corner ahead she saw a drug store, and
started briskly in that direction. Yes, there was a way! The idea had first come to her
from the Pug's remark to Shluker that, after they had secured the money, Pinkie would
return with it to the Pug's room, while the Pug would go and square things with Danglar.
And also, at the same time, that same remark of the Pug's had given rise to a hope that
she might yet trace Danglar to night through the Pug - but the circumstances and
happenings of the last few minutes had shattered that hope utterly. And so there remained
the money. And, as she had walked with Pinkie and the Pug a little while ago, knowing
that Pinkie would, if they were successful, carry the money back to the Pug's room, just
as was being done now precisely in accordance with the Pug's original intentions, she had
thought of the Adventurer. It had seemed the only way then; it seemed the only way now
- despite the fact that she would be hard put to it to answer the Adventurer if he thought
to ask her how, or by what means, she was in possession of the information that enabled
her to communicate with him. But she must risk that - put him off, if necessary, through
the plea of haste, and on the ground that there was not time to-night for an unnecessary
word. He had given her, believing her to be Gypsy Nan, his telephone number, which
she, in turn, was to transmit to the White Moll - in other words, herself! But the White
Moll, so he believed, had never received that message - and it must of necessity be as the
White Moll that she must communicate with him to-night! It would be hard to explain -
she meant to evade it. The one vital point was that she remembered the telephone number
he had given her that night when he and Danglar had met in the garret. She was not likely
to have forgotten it!
Rhoda Gray, alias Gypsy Nan, scuffled along. Was she inconsistent? The Adventurer
would be in his element in going to the Pug's room, and in relieving Pinkie Bonn of that
money; but the Adventurer, too, was a thief-wasn't he? Why, then, did she propose, for
her mind was now certainly made up as to her course of action, to trust a thief to recover
that money for her?
She smiled a little wearily as she reached the drug store, stepped into the telephone booth,
and gave central her call. Trust a thief! No, it wasn't because her heart prompted her to
believe in him; it was because her head assured her she was safe in doing so. She could
trust him in an instance such as this because - well, because once before, for her sake he
had foregone the opportunity of appropriating a certain diamond necklace worth a
hundred times the sum that she would ask him - yes, if necessary, for her sake - to
recover to-night. There was no...