The Ear in the Wall HTML version
16. The Sanitarium
"It seems as if the forces of Dorgan are demoralized," I remarked the afternoon after the
raid on Margot's.
"We have them on the run--that's true," agreed Kennedy, "but there's plenty of fight in
them, yet. We're not through, by any means."
Still, the lightning swiftness of Carton's attack had taken their breath away, temporarily,
at least. Already he had started proceedings to disbar Kahn, as well as to prosecute him in
the courts. According to the reports that came to us Murtha himself seemed dazed at the
blow that had fallen. Some of our informants asserted that he was drinking heavily;
others denied it. Whatever it was, however, Murtha was changed.
As for Dorgan, he was never much in the limelight anyhow and was less so now than
ever. He preferred to work through others, while he himself kept in the background. He
had never held any but a minor office, and that in the beginning of his career. Interviews
and photographs he eschewed as if forbidden by his political religion. Since the discovery
of the detectaphone in his suite at Gastron's he had had his rooms thoroughly overhauled,
lest by any chance there might be another of the magic little instruments concealed in the
very walls, and having satisfied himself that there was not, he instituted a watch of
private detectives to prevent a repetition of the unfortunate incident.
Whoever it was who had obtained the Black Book was keeping very quiet about it, and I
imagined that it was being held up as a sort of sword of Damocles, dangling over his
head, until such time as its possessor chose to strike the final blow. Of course, we did not
and could not know what was going on behind the scenes with the Silent Boss, what
drama was being enacted between Dorgan and the Wall Street group, headed by
Langhorne. Langhorne himself was inscrutable. I had heard that Dorgan had once in an
unguarded moment expressed a derogatory opinion of the social leanings of Langhorne.
But that was in the days before Dorgan had acquired a country place on Long Island and
a taste for golf and expensive motors. Now, in his way, Dorgan was quite as fastidious as
any of those he had once affected to despise. It amused Langhorne. But it had not
furthered his ambitions of being taken into the inner circle of Dorgan's confidence.
Hence, I inferred, this bitter internecine strife within the organization itself.
Whatever was brewing inside the organization, I felt that we should soon know, for this
was the day on which Justice Pomeroy had announced he would sentence Dopey Jack.
It was a very different sort of crowd that overflowed the courtroom that morning from
that which had so boldly flocked to the trial as if it were to make a Roman holiday of