The Gold of the Gods HTML version

25. The Gold Of The Gods
"What are you doing here?" demanded Craig, astonished.
"I couldn't wait for you to get back. I thought I'd do a little detective work on my own
account. I kept getting further and further away, knew you'd find me, anyhow. But I
didn't think you'd have a brute like that," he added, binding up his hand ruefully. "Is there
any trace of Inez?"
"Not yet. Why did you pick out this house?" asked Kennedy, still suspicious.
"I saw a light here, I thought," answered Lockwood frankly. "But as I approached, it went
out. Maybe I imagined it."
"Let us see."
Kennedy spoke a few words to the man with the dog. He slipped the leash, with a word
that we did not catch, and the dog bounded off, around the house, as she was accustomed
to do when out on duty with an officer in the city suburbs, circling about the backs of
houses as the man on the beat walked the street. She made noise enough about it, too,
tumbling over a tin pail that had been standing on the back porch steps.
Some one was in the house and was armed. In the darkness he had not been able to tell
whether an attack was being made or not, but had taken no chances. At any rate, now we
knew that he was desperate.
I thought of all the methods Kennedy had adopted to get into houses in which the inmates
were desperate. But always they had been about the city where he could call upon the
seemingly exhaustless store of apparatus in his laboratory. Here we were faced by the
proposition with nothing to rely on but our native wit and a couple of guns.
Besides, I did not know whether to count on Lockwood as an ally or not. My estimation
of him had been rising and falling like the barometer in a summer shower. I had been
convinced that he was against us. But his manner and plausibility now equally convinced
me that I had been mistaken. I felt that it would take some supreme action on his part to
settle the question. That crisis was coming now.
I think all of us would willingly have pushed Alfonso forward. But the relations of the de
Moches with Whitney had been so close that I no more trusted him than I did Lockwood.
And if I could not make out Lockwood, a man at least of our own race and education,
how could I expect to fathom Alfonso?