A Poor Wise Man HTML version
Doyle was inside the door, trying to close it. This was difficult, however, because
Anthony had quietly put his foot over the sill.
"I am going to see my daughter, Paul," said Anthony Cardew. "Can you open the
"Open it!" Paul observed truculently. "Watch me!"
He threw himself against the door, but it gave suddenly, and sent him sprawling
inside at Doyle's feet. He was up in an instant, squared to fight, but he only met
Jim Doyle's mocking smile. Doyle stood, arms folded, and watched Anthony
Cardew enter his house. Whatever he feared he covered with the cynical mask
that was his face.
He made no move, offered no speech.
"Is she upstairs?"
"She is asleep. Do you intend to disturb her?"
"I do," said old Anthony grimly. "I'll go first, Paul. You follow me, but I'd advise
you to come up backwards."
Suddenly Doyle laughed.
"What!" he said, "Mr. Anthony Cardew paying his first visit to my humble home,
and anticipating violence! You underestimate the honor you are doing me."
He stood like a mocking devil at the foot of the staircase until the two men had
reached the top. Then he followed them. The mask had dropped from his face,
and anger and watchfulness showed in it. If she talked, he would kill her. But she
knew that. She was not a fool.
Elinor lay in the bed, listening. She had recognized her father's voice, and her
first impulse was one of almost unbearable relief. They had found her. They had
come to take her away. For she knew now that she was a prisoner; even without
the broken leg she would have been a prisoner. The girl downstairs was one of
them, and her jailer. A jailer who fed her, and gave her grudgingly the attention
she required, but that was all.
Just when Doyle had begun to suspect her she did not know, but on the night
after her injury he had taken pains to verify his suspicions. He had found first her
little store of money, and that had angered him. In the end he had broken open a
locked trinket box and found a notebook in which for months she had kept her
careful records. Here and there, scattered among house accounts, were the
names of the radical members of The Central Labor Council, and other names,