The White Moll HTML version

The Lame Man
Another night - another day! And the night again had been without rest, lest Danglar's
dreaded footstep come upon her unawares; and the day again had been one of restless,
abortive activity, now prowling the streets as Gypsy Nan, now returning to the garret to
fling herself upon the cot in the hope that in daylight, when she might risk it, sleep would
come, but it had been without avail, for, in spite of physical weariness, it seemed to
Rhoda Gray as though her tortured mind would never let her sleep again. Danglar's wife!
That was the horror that was in her brain, yes, and in her soul, and that would not leave
And now night was coming upon her once more. It had even begun to grow dark here on
the lower stairway that led up to that wretched, haunted garret above where in the
shadows stark terror lurked. Strange! Most strange! She feared the night - and yet she
welcomed it. In a little while, when it grew a little darker, she would steal out again and
take up her work once more. It was only during the night, under the veil of darkness, that
she could hope to make any progress in reaching to the heart and core of this criminal
clique which surrounded her, whose members accepted her as Gypsy Nan, and, therefore,
as one of themselves, and who would accord to her, if they but even suspected her to be
the White Mall, less mercy than would be shown to a mad dog.
She climbed the stairs. Fear was upon her now, because fear was always there, and with it
was abhorrence and loathing at the frightful existence fate had thrust upon her; but,
somehow, to-night she was not so depressed, not so hopeless, as she had been the night
before. There had been a little success; she had come a little farther along the way; she
knew a little more than she had known before of the inner workings of the gang who
were at the bottom of the crime of which she herself was accused. She knew now the
Adventurer's secret, that the Pug and the Adventurer were one; and she knew where the
Adventurer lived, now in one character, now in the other, in those two rooms almost
opposite each other across that tenement hall.
And so it seemed that she had the right to hope, even though there were still so many
things she did not know, that if she allowed her mind to dwell upon that phase of it, it
staggered her - where those code messages came from, and how; why Rough Rorke of
headquarters had never made a sign since that first night; why the original Gypsy Nan,
who was dead now, had been forced into hiding with the death penalty of the law hanging
over her; why Danglar, though Gypsy Nan's husband, was comparatively free. These, and
a myriad other things! But she counted now upon her knowledge of the Adventurer's
secret to force from him everything he knew; and, with that to work on, a confession
from some of the gang in corroboration that would prove the authorship of the crime of
which she had seemingly been caught in the act of committing.
Yes, she was beginning to see the way at last - through the Adventurer. It seemed a sure
and certain way. If she presented herself before him as Gypsy Nan, whom he believed to
be not only one of the gang, but actually Danglar's wife, and let him know that she was
aware of the dual role he was playing, and that the information he thus acquired as the