“Oh, dear! Do you suppose
that can be possible?” Nancy demanded, finally.
“You know I’m right,” Jennie returned,
“It it might be another man.”
“Two big men, who look important, and who both
dress so peculiarly?”
“It’s he, all right,”
declared Jennie, vigorously. “And he knows
as much about you as Gordon does.”
“Do you think so?”
“But he isn’t as kindly-intentioned
toward you as even Old Gordon. I know by the
look he gave you as he went away.”
“But Grace Montgomery’s father!”
“Maybe you’re related
to Grace,” ventured Jennie, with a sudden chuckle.
“And after all the stuff she’s said about
you ’round Pinewood, too!”
“Oh, I hope not!” exclaimed Nancy.
“Don’t want Grace for a relation eh?”
“Dear, me! No!” cried Nancy, quite
This amused Jennie immensely; but
soon she became more serious and the two girls discussed
the possibilities of the matter most of the way to
Mr. Montgomery did not come back to
them. They were free, therefore, to wonder what
he would do when they reached the city.
“Perhaps he won’t want you to see Mr.
Gordon,” suggested Jennie.
“Why is he so much interested in your affairs?”
“Do we know that he is?” demanded
“Well! Scorch heard him
“If it really was the same man.”
“Dear me!” said Jennie, wearily.
“You are such a Doubting Tomaso
“I don’t believe that’s the feminine
form of ‘Thomas,’” chuckled Nancy.
“I don’t care. It’s as plain
as the nose on your face
“Now, don’t get too personal,”
begged Nancy, rubbing her nasal organ. “Let’s
wait and see.”
“But he may try to stop us, I tell you.”
“Not likely. And why?”
“Oh! you’ve asked that before,”
cried Jennie, petulantly.
But all they could do was to wait
and see. Mr. Montgomery might not even notice
them again, although he had intimated that he would
speak to them when they arrived at the station.
However, the two girls got off the
train at their journey’s end without at once
seeing the Senator. It was very early in the morning
and the big train-shed seemed all but deserted.
Nancy knew, however, that there was
a cab stand just outside, and she and her chum hurried
out to it. Before they could find a cabman or
speak to the officer on duty in front of the building,
Mr. Montgomery came bustling up.
“Are you girls going immediately to Mr. Gordon’s
hotel?” he asked.
“Yes, sir,” replied Nancy.
“Come right along with me, then. I have
a taxi waiting.”
Jennie held back a little; yet even
she did not see how they could refuse the offer.
They followed him around the nearest corner, and so
did not see a figure that shot panting across the square
to the entrance of the station they had just left.
This was a youth whose hair, even
in the early morning light, displayed all the fiery
hue of sunrise. It was Scorch but for
once Scorch was just too late.
Nancy and Jennie were out of sight
with the “man in gray” before the boy
reached the railway station in answer to Nancy’s
Mr. Montgomery escorted the two girls
to a cab standing in a dark street. It seemed
to have been waiting some time, for its engine was
not running and the chauffeur was pacing the walk.
Possibly Mr. Montgomery had done some
telegraphing ahead, too.
“Get right in here, girls,”
he said. “Lucky I was coming on the same
train with you. Your folks will certainly be worried
“Now, wasn’t that a funny
thing for him to say?” asked Jennie, as she
stepped in after Nancy.
There was no chance for Nancy to reply,
however, for Mr. Montgomery was close upon their heels.
The chauffeur jumped to his seat, the door slammed,
and the cab was off.
“How far is it to Garvan’s Hotel?”
“It’s some distance,”
replied Mr. Montgomery. “I only hope Gordon
is not hurt as badly as the paper says. Of course,
if he is in the hands of doctors and nurses they may
refuse to let any of us see him.”
“Oh! I hope not!” exclaimed Nancy.
“We can wait till he’s
better, then,” Jennie suggested. “John
will be in town this morning and we’ll go to
his office and then go home with him and wait until
you can see Mr. Gordon.”
Mr. Montgomery snorted, but said nothing.
Indeed, he seemed very glum after they were in the
What a distance it did seem to Garvan’s
Hotel! The cab traveled at high speed, for there
was not much traffic at this hour and the few policemen
paid no attention.
“This isn’t at all the
part of the city I thought Mr. Gordon lived in,”
observed Nancy, once.
Mr. Montgomery made no comment.
Jennie squeezed her chum’s hand and sat closer
to her. To tell the truth, Jennie was getting
a little frightened.
The cab passed through a web of narrow
streets. The girls, although they knew something
about the city, were soon at sea as far as the locality
“Where are we?” cried Nancy, at
“We have arrived,” spoke
the Senator, harshly. “Jump out. I’ll
take you right indoors. I have been here to see
“But but this doesn’t
look like a hotel,” murmured Nancy, first to
reach the sidewalk.
The houses were rows of mean-looking,
three-story brick edifices. They were in a narrow
street near the corner of a wider thoroughfare.
“This is the side entrance,”
said the Senator, and taking the girls firmly by the
arm, ushered them up the steps of the nearest house.
He did not even have to knock.
Somebody must have been on watch, for the door swung
Neither Nancy nor Jennie saw the person
who opened the door. It was very dark in the
“How is our patient?”
asked Mr. Montgomery, rather loudly, as they stepped
“Not very well not
very well,” said a wheezy voice. “You
can go right up to that room, sir the sitting
room. Ahem! You’ll have to see the
doctor before you can speak with Mr. Mr.
“Mr. Gordon,” said the
Senator, briskly. “All right, girls.
Nancy and Jennie were quite confused.
They did just as they were urged to do by Senator
Montgomery. At the top of the flight he pushed
open a door and the chums went into the room.
The curtains were drawn. One feeble gas jet was
burning. It was a fusty-smelling, cluttered room,
furnished with odds and ends of old furniture and hangings.
“I’ll be with you directly,”
said Mr. Montgomery, and closed the door.
“Oh!” squealed Jennie.
“Did you hear it?” whispered Nancy, seizing
The key had been turned in the lock.
They tried the knob first one shook it
and then the other. The door could not be opened
and there did not seem to be another door leading
out of the room.
“He’s locked us in!” said Nancy,
“I knew he was a villain!”
declared Jennie, with a vicious snap of her teeth.
“Isn’t he just like Grace?”
“But but how dares he do such
a thing?” gasped Nancy.
“He’s a rich man he
can do anything. Or, he thinks he can,”
returned Jennie. “But you wait till my
father gets hold of him!”
“Do do you suppose
he’ll dare do us any bodily harm?” queried
Nancy, anxiously. “Oh! I wish I hadn’t
got you into it, Jennie.”
“Stuff and nonsense!”
exclaimed the more reckless Jennie. “He
only wants to keep you from seeing Gordon.”
“But what for?”
“He’s afraid Mr. Gordon
will weaken and tell you all about yourself,”
responded her practical chum. “That’s
“Oh, dear, me! do you think
so? And suppose poor Mr. Gordon dies?”
“Then you’ll never know
who you really are, Nance. At least, you can be
sure Grace’s father will never tell you.”
“If he knows.”
“If he doesn’t know, and
isn’t afraid of your finding out, what does he
bother with us this way for?” demanded Jennie,
“Maybe we can get out of the window?”
“It’s at the back of the house. We
couldn’t get out of the yard.”
“Who’d hear us here? Might as well
save our breath,” said Jennie.
“I I wish Scorch was here,”
“So do I with all
my heart. Bless his red head! He’d
get us out of this in short order.”
As she spoke there came a tapping
on one of the window-panes. Jennie and Nancy
both ran to the window, drew aside the heavy curtain
and raised the shade.
Only a little light filtered in.
But it was sufficient to show them a pale face flattened
against the glass.
The face suddenly grinned widely.
Then a hand waved. They saw his red hair under
his cap, and the two girls clung together with a cry
Scorch O’Brien was “on the job.”