The White Moll HTML version

The Rendezvous
Rhoda Gray's movements were a little unsteady as she stepped out on the sidewalk.
Gypsy Nan's accepted inebriety was not without its compensation. It enabled her, as she
swayed for a moment, to scrutinize the street in all directions. Were any of Rough
Rorke's men watching the house? She did not know; she only knew that as far as she had
been able to discover, she had not been followed when she had gone out that afternoon.
Up the street, to her right, there were a few pedestrians; to her left, as far as the corner,
the block was clear. She turned in the latter direction. She had noticed that afternoon that
there was a lane between Gypsy Nan's house and the corner; she gained this and slipped
into it unobserved.
And now, in the comparative darkness, she hurried her steps. Somewhere here in the lane
she would make the transformation from Gypsy Nan to the White Moll complete; it
required only some place in which she could with safety leave the garments that she
discarded, and - Yes, this would do! A tumble-down old shed, its battered door half open,
ample proof that the place was in disuse, intersected the line of high board fence on her
She stole inside. It was utterly dark, but she had no need for light. It was a matter of
perhaps three minutes; and then, the revolver transferred to the pocket of her jacket, the
stains removed from her face by the aid of the damp cloth, her hands neatly gloved in
black kid, the skirt, boots, stockings, shawl, spectacles and wig of Gypsy Nan carefully
piled together and hidden in a hole under the rotting boards of the floor, behind the door,
she emerged as the White Moll, and went on again.
But at the end of the lane, where it met a cross street, and the street lamp flung out an
ominous challenge, and, dim though it was, seemed to glare with the brightness of
daylight, she faltered for a moment and drew back. She knew where Shluker's place was,
because she knew, as few knew it, every nook and cranny in the East Side, and it was a
long way to that old junk shop, almost over to the East River, and - and there would be
lights like this one here that barred her exit from the lane, thousands of them, lights all
the way, and - and out there they were searching everywhere, pitilessly, for the White
And then, with her lips tightened, the straight little shoulders thrown resolutely back, she
slipped from the lane to the sidewalk, and, hugging the shadows of the buildings, started
She was alert now in mind and body, every faculty strained and in tension. It was a long
way, and it would take a great while - by wide detours, by lanes and alleyways, for only
on those streets that were relatively deserted and poorly lighted would she dare trust
herself to the open. And as she went along, now skirting the side of a street, now through
some black courtyard, now forced to take a fence, and taking it with the agility born of
the open, athletic life she had led with her father in the mining camps of South America,
now hiding at the mouth of a lane waiting her chance to cross an intersecting street when