The Exploits of Elaine
11. The Hour Of Three
With the ominous forefinger of his Clutching Hand extended, the master criminal
emphasized his instructions to his minions.
"Perry Bennett, her lawyer, is in favor again with Elaine Dodge," he was saying. "She
and Kennedy are on the outs even yet. But they may become reconciled. Then she'll have
that fellow on our trail again. Before that happens, we must 'get' her--see?"
It was in the latest headquarters to which Craig had chased the criminal, in one of the
toughest parts of the old Greenwich village, on the west side of New York, not far from
the river front.
They were all seated in a fairly large but dingy old room, in which were several chairs, a
rickety table and, against the wall, a roll-top desk on the top of which was a telephone.
Several crooks of the gang were sitting about, smoking.
"Now," went on Clutching Hand, "I want you, Spike, to follow them. See what they do--
where they go. It's her birthday. Something's bound to occur that will give you a lead. All
you've got to do is to use your head. Get me?"
Spike rose, nodded, picked up his hat and coat and squirmed out on his mission, like the
snake that he was.
. . . . . . . .
It was, as Clutching Hand had said, Elaine's birthday. She had received many callers and
congratulations, innumerable costly and beautiful tokens of remembrance from her
countless friends and admirers. In the conservatory of the Dodge house Elaine, Aunt
Josephine, and Susie Martin were sitting discussing not only the happy occasion, but,
more, the many strange events of the past few weeks.
"Well," cried a familiar voice behind them. "What would a certain blonde young lady
accept as a birthday present from her family lawyer?"
All three turned in surprise.
"Oh, Mr. Bennett," cried Elaine. "How you startled us!"
He laughed and repeated his question, adopting the tone that he had once used in the days
when he had been more in favor with the pretty heiress, before the advent of Kennedy.