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The Dope Fiends
by [?]

“I have a terrible headache,” remarked Constance Dunlap to her friend, Adele Gordon, the petite cabaret singer and dancer of the Mayfair, who had dropped in to see her one afternoon.

“You poor, dear creature,” soothed Adele. “Why don’t you go to see Dr. Price? He has cured me. He’s splendid–splendid.”

Constance hesitated. Dr. Moreland Price was a well-known physician. All day and even at night, she knew, automobiles and cabs rolled up to his door and their occupants were, for the most part, stylishly gowned women.

“Oh, come on,” urged Adele. “He doesn’t charge as highly as people seem to think. Besides, I’ll go with you and introduce you, and he’ll charge only as he does the rest of us in the profession.”

Constance’s head throbbed frantically. She felt that she must have some relief soon. “All right,” she agreed, “I’ll go with you, and thank you, Adele.”

Dr. Price’s office was on the first floor of the fashionable Recherche Apartments, and, as she expected, Constance noted a line of motor cars before it.

They entered and were admitted to a richly furnished room, in mahogany and expensive Persian rugs, where a number of patients waited. One after another an attendant summoned them noiselessly and politely to see the doctor, until at last the turn of Constance and Adele came.

Dr. Price was a youngish, middle-aged man, tall, with a sallow countenance and a self-confident, polished manner which went a long way in reassuring the patients, most of whom were ladies.

As they entered the doctor’s sanctum behind the folding doors, Adele seemed to be on very good terms indeed with him.

They seated themselves in the deep leather chairs beside Dr. Price’s desk, and he inclined his head to listen to the story of their ailments.

“Doctor,” began Constance’s introducer, “I’ve brought my friend, Mrs. Dunlap, who is suffering from one of those awful headaches. I thought perhaps you could give her some of that medicine that has done me so much good.”

The doctor bowed without saying anything and shifted his eyes from Adele to Constance. “Just what seems to be the difficulty?” he inquired.

Constance told him how she felt, of her general lassitude and the big, throbbing veins in her temples.

“Ah–a woman’s headaches!” he smiled, adding, “Nothing serious, however, in this case, as far as I can see. We can fix this one all right, I think.”

He wrote out a prescription quickly and handed it to Constance.

“Of course,” he added, as he pocketed his fee, “it makes no difference to me personally, but I would advise that you have it filled at Muller’s–Miss Gordon knows the place. I think Muller’s drugs are perhaps fresher than those of most druggists, and that makes a great deal of difference.”

He had risen and was politely and suavely bowing them out of another door, at the same time by pressing a button signifying to his attendant to admit the next patient.

Constance had preceded Adele, and, as she passed through the other door, she overheard the doctor whisper to her friend, “I’m going to stop for you to-night to take a ride. I have something important I want to say to you.”

She did not catch Adele’s answer, but as they left the marble and onyx, brass-grilled entrance, Adele remarked: “That’s his car–over there. Oh, but he is a reckless driver–dashes along pell-mell–but always seems to have his eye out for everything–never seems to be arrested, never in an accident.”

Constance turned in the direction of the car and was startled to see the familiar face of Drummond across the street dodging behind it. What was it now, she wondered–a divorce case, a scandal–what?

The medicine was made up into little powders, to be taken until they gave relief, and Constance folded the paper of one, poured it on the back of her tongue and swallowed a glass of water afterward.

Her head continued to throb, but she felt a sense of well-being that she had not before. Adele urged her to take another, and Constance did so.