The Ear in the Wall HTML version

2. The Black Book
I had scarcely finished pouring out my suspicions to Kennedy when the telephone rang.
It was Carton on the wire, in a state of unsuppressed excitement. Kennedy answered the
call himself, but the conversation was brief and, to me, unenlightening, until he hung up
the receiver.
"Dorgan--the Boss," he exclaimed, "has just found a detectaphone in his private dining-
room at Gastron's."
At once I saw the importance of the news and for the moment it obscured even the case
of Betty Blackwell.
Dorgan was the political boss of the city at that time, apparently entrenched, with an
organization that seemed impregnable. I knew him as a big, bullnecked fellow, taciturn to
the point of surliness, owing his influence to his ability to "deliver the goods" in the
shape of graft of all sorts, the archenemy of Carton, a type of politician who now is
rapidly passing.
"Carton wants to see us immediately at his office," added Craig, jamming his hat on his
head. "Come on."
Without waiting for further comment or answer from me, Kennedy, caught by the
infectious excitement of Carton's message, dashed from our apartment and a few minutes
later we were whirling downtown on the subway.
"You know, I suppose," he whispered rather hoarsely above the rumble and roar of the
train, but so as not to be overheard, "that Dorgan always has kept a suite of rooms at
Gastron's, on Fifth Avenue, for dinners and conferences."
I nodded. Some of the things that must have gone on in the secret suite in the fashionable
restaurant I knew would make interesting reading, if the walls had ears.
"Apparently he must have found out about the eavesdropping in time and nipped it,"
pursued Kennedy.
"What do you mean?" I asked, for I had not been able to gather much from the one-sided
conversation over the telephone, and the lightning change from the case of Betty
Blackwell to this had left me somewhat bewildered. "What has he done?"
"Smashed the transmitter of the machine," replied Kennedy tersely. "Cut the wires."
"Where did it lead?" I asked. "How do you know?"