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The "Dope Trust"
by [?]

A door opened and there stood a Chinaman, stoical, secretive, indifferent, with all the Oriental cunning and cruelty hall-marked on his face. Yet there was a fascination and air of Eastern culture about him in spite of that strange and typical Oriental depth of intrigue and cunning that shone through, great characteristics of the East.

No one said a word as Kennedy continued to ransack the place. At last under a rubbish heap he found a revolver wrapped up loosely in an old sweater. Quickly, under the bright light, Craig drew Clendenin’s pistol, fitted a cartridge into it and fired at the wall. Again into the second gun he fitted another and a second shot rang out.

Out of his pocket came next the small magnifying glass and two unmounted microphotographs. He bent down over the exploded shells.

“There it is,” cried Craig scarcely able to restrain himself with the keenness of his chase, “there it is–the mark like an ‘L.’ This cartridge bears the one mark, distinct, not possible to have been made by any other pistol in the world. None of the Hep Sings, all with the same make of weapons, none of the gunmen in their employ, could duplicate that mark.”

“Some bullets,” reported a policeman who had been rummaging further in the rubbish.

“Be careful, man,” cautioned Craig. “They are doped. Lay them down. Yes, this is the same gun that fired the shot at Bertha Curtis and Nichi Moto–fired narcotic bullets in order to stop any one who interfered with the opium smuggling, without killing the victim.”

“What’s the matter?” asked O’Connor, arriving breathless from the gambling room after hearing the shots. The Chinaman stood, still silent, impassive. At sight of him O’Connor gasped out, “Chin Jung!”

“Real tong leader,” added Craig, “and the murderer of the white girl to whom he was engaged. This is the goggled chauffeur of the red car that met the smuggling boat, and in which Bertha Curtis rode, unsuspecting, to her death.”

“And Clendenin?” asked Walker Curtis, not comprehending.

“A tool–poor wretch. So keen had the hunt for him become that he had to hide in the only safe place, with the coolies of his employer. He must have been in such abject terror that he has almost smoked himself to death.”

“But why should the Chinaman shoot my sister?” asked Walker Curtis amazed at the turn of events.

“Your sister,” replied Craig, almost reverently, “wrecked though she was by the drug, was at last conscience stricken when she saw the vast plot to debauch thousands of others. It was from her that the Japanese detective in the revenue service got his information- -and both of them have paid the price. But they have smashed the new opium ring–we have captured the ring-leaders of the gang.”

Out of the maze of streets, on Chatham Square again, we lost no time in mounting to the safety of the elevated station before some murderous tong member might seek revenge on us.

The celebration in Chinatown was stilled. It was as though the nerves of the place had been paralysed by our sudden, sharp blow.

A downtown train took me to the office to write a “beat,” for the Star always made a special feature of the picturesque in Chinatown news. Kennedy went uptown.

Except for a few moments in the morning, I did not see Kennedy again until the following afternoon, for the tong war proved to be such an interesting feature that I had to help lay out and direct the assignments covering its various details.

I managed to get away again as soon as possible, however, for I knew that it would not be long before some one else in trouble would commandeer Kennedy to untangle a mystery, and I wanted to be on the spot when it started.

Sure enough, it turned out that I was right. Seated with him in our living room, when I came in from my hasty journey uptown in the subway, was a man, tall, thick-set, with a crop of closely curling dark hair, a sharp, pointed nose, ferret eyes, and a reddish moustache, curled at the ends. I had no difficulty in deciding what he was, if not who he was. He was the typical detective who, for the very reason that he looked the part, destroyed much of his own usefulness.