The Adventures of Jimmie Dale HTML version

II.5. On Guard
Was he in the city? In a suburban town? On a country road? It seemed childishly
absurd that he could not at least differentiate to that extent; and yet, from the
moment he had been placed in the automobile in which he now found himself, he
was forced to admit that he could not tell. He had started out with the belief that,
knowing New York and its surroundings as minutely as he knew them, it would
be impossible, do what they would to prevent it, that at the end of the journey he
should be without a clew, and a very good clew at that, to the location of what he
now called, appropriately enough it seemed, the Crime Club.
But he had never ridden blindfolded in a car before! He could see absolutely
nothing. And if that increased or accentuated his sense of hearing, it helped little-
-the roar of the racing car beat upon his eardrums the more heavily, that was all.
He could tell, of course, the nature of the roadbed. They were running on an
asphalt road, that was obvious enough; but city streets and suburban streets and
hundreds of miles of country road around New York were of asphalt!
Traffic? He was quite sure, for he had strained his ears in an effort to detect it,
that there was little or no traffic; but then, it must be one or two o'clock in the
morning, and at that hour the city streets, certainly those that would be chosen by
these men, would be quite as deserted as any country road! And as for a sense
of direction, he had none whatever--even if the car had not been persistently
swerving and changing its course every little while. If he had been able to form
even an approximate idea of the compass direction in which they had started, he
might possibly have been able in a general way to counteract this further effort of
theirs to confuse him; but without the initial direction he was essentially
With these conclusions finally thrust home upon him, Jimmie Dale philosophically
subordinated the matter in his mind, and, leaning back, composed himself as
comfortably as he could upon his seat. There was a man beside him, and he