The Filigree Ball HTML version

7. Sly Work
The next morning my duty led me directly in the way of that little friend of mine whom I
have already mentioned. It is strange how often my duty did lead me in her way.
She is a demure little creature, with wits as bright 1s her eyes, which is saying a great
deal; and while, in the course of our long friendship, I had admired without making use of
the special abilities I saw in her, I felt that the time had now come when they might prove
of inestimable value to me.
Greeting her with pardonable abruptness, I expressed my wishes in these possibly
alarming words:
"Jinny, you can do something for me. Find out - I know you can, and that, too, without
arousing suspicion or compromising either of us - where Mr. Moore, of Waverley
Avenue, buys his groceries, and when you have done that, whether or not he has lately
resupplied himself with candles."
The surprise which she showed had a touch of naivete in it which was very encouraging.
"Mr. Moore?" she cried, "the uncle of her who - who -"
"The very same," I responded, and waited for her questions without adding a single word
in way of explanation.
She gave me a look - oh, what a look! It was as encouraging to the detective as it was
welcome to the lover; after which she nodded, once in doubt, once in question and once
in frank and laughing consent, and darted off.
I thanked Providence for such a self-contained little aide-decamp and proceeded on my
way, in a state of great self-satisfaction.
An hour later I came upon her again. It is really extraordinary how frequently the paths of
some people cross.
"Well?" I asked.
"Mr. Moore deals with Simpkins, just two blocks away from his house; and only a week
ago he bought some candles there."
I rewarded her with a smile which summoned into view the most exasperating of