The Gold of the Gods HTML version

22. The Vanisher
It was Juanita, Inez Mendoza's maid, frantic and almost speechless.
"Why, Juanita," encouraged Kennedy, "what's the matter?"
"The Senorita!" she gasped, breaking down now and sobbing over and over again. "The
"Yes, yes," repeated Kennedy, "but what about her? Is there anything wrong?"
"Oh, Mr. Kennedy," sobbed the poor girl, "I don't know. She is gone. I have had no word
from her since this afternoon."
"Gone!" we exclaimed together. "Where was Burke--that man that the police sent up to
protect her?"
"He is gone, too--now," replied Juanita in her best English, sadly broken by the
Kennedy and I looked at each other aghast. This was the hardest blow of all. We had
thought that, at least, Inez would be safe with a man like Burke, whom we could trust,
detailed to watch her.
"Tell me," urged Kennedy, "how did it happen? Did they carry her off--as they tried to do
the other time?"
"No, no," sobbed Juanita. "I do not know. I do not know even whether she is gone. She
went out this afternoon for a little walk. But she did not come back. After it grew dark, I
was frightened. I remembered that you were here and called up, but you were out. Then I
saw that policeman. I told him. He has others working with him now. But I could not find
you--until now I saw a light here. Oh, my poor, little girl, what has become of her?
Where have they taken her? Oh, MADRE DE DIOS, it is terrible!"
Had that been the purpose for which we had been sent on wild-goose chases? Was Inez
really kidnapped this time? I knew not what to think. It seemed hardly possible that all of
them could have joined in it.
If she were kidnapped, it must have been on the street in broad daylight. Such things had
happened. It would not be the first disappearance of the kind.
Quickly Kennedy called up Deputy O'Connor. It was only too true. Burke had reported
that she had disappeared and the police, especially those at the stations and ferries and in
the suburbs had been notified to look for her. All this seemed to have taken place in those
hours when the mysterious telephone calls had sent us on the wrong trail.