The Ear in the Wall HTML version

11. The Typewriter Clue
Ike was nowhere to be seen when we reached the street, but down the block we caught
sight of Dr. Harris on the next corner. Kennedy hastened our pace until we were safely in
his wake, then managed to keep just a few paces behind him.
Instead of turning into the street where the Futurist was, Harris kept on up Broadway. It
was easy enough to follow him in the crowd now without being perceived.
He turned into the street where the Little Montmartre was preparing for a long evening of
entertainment. We turned, and to cover ourselves got into a conversation with a hack
driver who seemed suddenly to have sprung from nowhere with the cryptic whisper,
"Drive you to the Ladies' Club, gents?"
Out of the tail of his eye Kennedy watched Harris. Instead of turning into the Montmartre
and his office, he went past to a high-stooped brownstone house, two doors away,
climbed the steps and entered.
We sauntered down the street and looked quickly at the house. A brass sign on the wall
beside the door read, "Mme. Margot's Beauty Shop."
"I see," commented Kennedy. "You know women of the type who frequent the Futurist
and the Montmartre are always running to the hairdressing and manicure parlours. They
make themselves 'beautiful' under the expert care of the various specialists and beauty
doctors. Then, too, they keep in touch that way with what is going on in the demi-monde.
That is their club, so to speak. It is part of the beauty shop's trade to impart such
information--at least of a beauty shop in this neighbourhood."
I regarded the place curiously.
"Come, Walter, don't stare," nudged Kennedy. "Let's take a turn down to the Prince
Henry and wait. We can get a bite to eat, too."
I had hardly expected that the pickpocket would play fair, but evidently the lure of the
remaining twenty dollars was too strong. We had scarcely finished our dinner when he
came in.
"Here it is," he whispered. "The house man here at the Prince Henry knows me. Slip me
the twenty."
Kennedy leisurely tore the wrappings from the packet.
"I suppose you have already looked at this first and found that it isn't worth anything to
you compared to twenty dollars. Anyhow, you kept your word. Hello--what is it?"