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0105_001E II As Seen By Detective Sweetwater Anna Katharine Green

XVI Opposed

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But his was the absorption of watchfulness; that of the other of introspection. Mr. Brotherson - (we will no longer call him Dunn even here where he is known by no other name) - had entered the room clad in his heavy overcoat and, not having taken it off before lighting his lamp, still stood with it on, gazing eagerly down at the model occupying the place of honour on the large centre table. He was not touching it,- not at this moment - but that his thoughts were with it, that his whole mind was concentrated on it, was evident to the watcher across the court; and, as this watcher took in this fact and noticed the loving care with which the enthusiastic inventor finally put out his finger to re-arrange a thread or twirl a wheel, his disappointment found utterance in a sigh which echoed sadly through the dull and cheerless room. Had he expected this stern and self-contained man to show an open indifference to work and the hopes of a lifetime? If so, this was the first of the many surprises awaiting him.

He was gifted, however, with the patience of an automaton and continued to watch his fellow tenant as long as the latter's shade remained up. When it fell, he rose and took a few steps up and down, but not with the celerity and precision which usually accompanied his movements. Doubt disturbed his mind and impeded his activity. He had caught a fair glimpse of Brotherson's face as he approached the window, and though it continued to show abstraction, it equally displayed serenity and a complete satisfaction with the present if not with the future. Had he mistaken his man after all? Was his instinct, for the first time in his active career, wholly at fault?

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He had succeeded in getting a glimpse of his quarry in the privacy of his own room, at home with his thoughts and unconscious of any espionage, and how had he found him? Cheerful, and natural in all his movements.

But the evening was young. Retrospect comes with later and more lonely hours. There will be opportunities yet for studying this impassive countenance under much more telling and productive circumstances than these. He would await these opportunities with cheerful anticipation. Meanwhile, he would keep up the routine watch he had planned for this night. Something might yet occur. At all events he would have exhausted the situation from this standpoint.

And so it came to pass that at an hour when all the other hard-working people in the building were asleep, or at least striving to sleep, these two men still sat at their work, one in the light, the other in the darkness, facing each other, consciously to the one, unconsciously to the other, across the hollow well of the now silent court. Eleven o'clock! Twelve! No change on Brotherson's part or in Brotherson's room; but a decided one in the place where Sweetwater sat. Objects which had been totally indistinguishable even to his penetrating eye could now be seen in ever brightening outline. The moon had reached the open space above the court, and he was getting the full benefit of it. But it was a benefit he would have been glad to dispense with. Darkness was like a shield to him. He did not feel quite sure that he wanted this shield removed. With no curtain to the window and no shade, and all this brilliance pouring into the room, he feared the disclosure of his presence there, or, if not that, some effect on his own mind of those memories he was more anxious to see mirrored in another's discomfiture than in his own.

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