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The Dope Fiends
by [?]

The second powder increased the effect of the first marvelously. But Constance noticed that she now began to feel queer. She was not used to taking medicine. For a moment she felt that she was above, beyond the reach of ordinary rules and laws. She could have done any sort of physical task, she felt, no matter how difficult. She was amazed at herself, as compared to what she had been only a few moments before.

“Another one?” asked Adele finally.

Constance was by this time genuinely alarmed at the sudden unwonted effect on herself. “N-no,” she replied dubiously, “I don’t think I want to take any more, just yet.”

“Not another?” asked Adele in surprise. “I wish they would affect me that way. Sometimes I have to take the whole dozen before they have any effect.”

They chatted for a few minutes, and finally Adele rose.

“Well,” she remarked with a nervous twitching of her body, as if she were eager to be doing something, “I really must be going. I can’t say I feel any too well myself.”

“I think I’ll take a walk with you,” answered Constance, who did not like the continued effect of the two powders. “I feel the need of exercise–and air.”

Adele hesitated, but Constance already had her hat on. She had seen Drummond watching Dr. Price’s door, and it interested her to know whether he could possibly have been following Adele or some one else.

As they walked along Adele quickened her pace, until they came again to the drug store.

“I believe I’ll go in and get something,” she remarked, pausing.

For the first time in several minutes Constance looked at the face of her friend. She was amazed to discover that Adele looked as if she had had a spell of sickness. Her eyes were large and glassy, her skin cold and sweaty, and she looked positively pallid and thin.

As they entered the store Muller, the druggist, bowed again and looked at Adele a moment as she leaned over the counter and whispered something to him. Without a word he went into the arcana behind the partition that cuts off the mysteries of the prescription room in every drug store from the front of the store.

When Muller returned he handed her a packet, for which she paid and which she dropped quickly into her pocketbook, hugging the pocketbook close to herself.

Adele turned and was about to hurry from the store with Constance. “Oh, excuse me,” she said suddenly as if she had just recollected something, “I promised a friend of mine I’d telephone this afternoon, and I have forgotten to do it. I see a pay station here.” Constance waited.

Adele returned much quicker than one would have expected she could call up a number, but Constance thought nothing of it at the time. She did notice, however, that as her friend emerged from the booth a most marvelous change had taken place in her. Her step was firm, her eye clear, her hand steady. Whatever it was, reasoned Constance, it could not have been serious to have disappeared so quickly.

It was with some curiosity as to just what she might expect that Constance went around to the famous cabaret that night. The Mayfair occupied two floors of what had been a wide brownstone house before business and pleasure had crowded the residence district further and further uptown. It was a very well-known bohemian rendezvous, where under-, demi-and upper-world rubbed elbows without friction and seemed to enjoy the novelty and be willing to pay for it.

Adele, who was one of the performers, had not arrived yet, but Constance, who had come with her mind still full of the two unexpected encounters with Drummond, was startled to see him here again. Fortunately he did not see her, and she slipped unobserved into an angle near the window overlooking the street.

Drummond had been engrossed in watching some one already there, and Constance made the best use she could of her eyes to determine who it was. The outdoor walk and a good dinner had checked her headache, and now the excitement of the chase of something, she knew not what, completed the cure.