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I As Seen By Two Strangers Anna Katharine Green

IX The Incident Of The Partly Lifted Shade

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"You're not sure?" he now heard, oddly interpolated in the stream of half-whispered talk with which the other endeavoured to carry off the situation.

George shook his head. He could not rid himself of the old impression he had formed of the man in the snow.

"Mr. Dunn, a word with you," suddenly spoke up Sweetwater, to the man who had just passed them. "That's your name, isn't it?"

"Yes, that is my name," was the quiet response, in a voice which was at once rich and resonant; a voice which George knew - the voice of the impassioned speaker he had heard resounding through the sleet as he cowered within hearing in the shed behind the Avenue A tenement. "Who are you who wish to speak to me at so late an hour?"

He was returning to them from the door he had unlocked and left slightly ajar.

"Well, we are - You know what," smiled the ready detective, advancing half-way to greet him. "We're not members of the Associated Brotherhood, but possibly have hopes of being so. At all events, we should like to talk the matter over, if, as you say, it's not too late."

"I have nothing to do with the club -"

"But you spoke before it."


"Then you can give us some sort of an idea how we are to apply for membership."

Mr. Dunn met the concentrated gaze of his two evidently unwelcome visitors with a frankness which dashed George's confidence in himself, but made little visible impression upon his daring companion.

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"I should rather see you at another time," said he. "But -" his hesitation was inappreciable save to the nicest ear -" if you will allow me to be brief, I will tell you what I know - which is very little."

Sweetwater was greatly taken aback. All he had looked for, as he was careful to tell my husband later, was a sufficiently prolonged conversation to enable George to mark and study the workings of the face he was not yet sure of. Nor did the detective feel quite easy at the readiness of his reception; nor any too well pleased to accept the invitation which this man now gave them to enter his room.

But he suffered no betrayal of his misgivings to escape him, though he was careful to intimate to George, as they waited in the doorway for the other to light up, that he should not be displeased at his refusal to accompany him further in this adventure, and even advised him to remain in the hall till he received his summons to enter.

But George had not come as far as this to back out now, and as soon as he saw Sweetwater advance into the now well-lighted interior, he advanced too and began to look around him.

The room, like many others in these old-fashioned tenements, had a jog just where the door was, so that on entering they had to take several steps before they could get a full glimpse of its four walls. When they did, both showed surprise. Comfort, if not elegance, confronted them, which impression, however, was immediately lost in the evidences of work, manual, as well as intellectual, which were everywhere scattered about.

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