The Woman in the Alcove HTML version
Moonlight--And A Clue
"Are you satisfied? Have you got what you wanted?" asked Sweetwater, when they were
well away from the shore and the voice they had heard calling at intervals from the chasm
they had left.
"Yes. You're a good fellow. It could not have been better managed." Then, after a pause
too prolonged and thoughtful to please Sweetwater, who was burning with curiosity if not
with some deeper feeling: "What was that light you burned? A match?"
Sweetwater did not answer. He dared not. How speak of the electric torch he as a
detective carried in his pocket? That would be to give himself away. He therefore let this
question slip by and put in one of his own.
"Are you ready to go back now, sir? Are we all done here?" This with his ear turned and
his eye bent forward; for the adventure they had interrupted was not at an end, whether
their part in it was or not.
Mr. Grey hesitated, his glances following those of Sweetwater.
"Let us wait," said he, in a tone which surprised Sweetwater. "If he is meditating an
escape, I must speak to him before he reaches the launch. At all hazards," he added after
another moment's thought.
"All right, sir--How do you propose--"
His words were interrupted by a shrill whistle from the direction of the bank. Promptly,
and as if awaiting this signal, the two men in the rowboat before them dipped their oars
and pulled for the shore, taking the direction of the manufactory.
Sweetwater said nothing, but held himself in readiness.
Mr. Grey was equally silent, but the lines of his face seemed to deepen in the moonlight
as the boat, gliding rapidly through the water, passed them within a dozen boat-lengths
and slipped into the opening under the manufactory building.
"Now row!" he cried. "Make for the launch. We'll intercept them on their return."
Sweetwater, glowing with anticipation, bent to his work. The boat beneath them gave a
bound and in a few minutes they were far out on the waters of the bay.
"They're coming!" he whispered eagerly, as he saw Mr. Grey looking anxiously back.
"How much farther shall I go?"
"Just within hailing distance of the launch," was Mr. Grey's reply.
Sweetwater, gaging the distance with a glance, stopped at the proper point and rested on
his oars. But his thoughts did not rest. He realized that he was about to witness an
interview whose importance he easily recognized. How much of it would he hear? What