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The Dream Doctor
by [?]

“Jameson, I want you to get the real story about that friend of yours, Professor Kennedy,” announced the managing editor of the Star, early one afternoon when I had been summoned into the sanctum.

From a batch of letters that had accumulated in the litter on the top of his desk, he selected one and glanced over it hurriedly.

“For instance,” he went on reflectively, “here’s a letter from a Constant Reader who asks, ‘Is this Professor Craig Kennedy really all that you say he is, and, if so, how can I find out about his new scientific detective method?'”

He paused and tipped back his chair.

“Now, I don’t want to file these letters in the waste basket. When people write letters to a newspaper, it means something. I might reply, in this case, that he is as real as science, as real as the fight of society against the criminal. But I want to do more than that.”

The editor had risen, as if shaking himself momentarily loose from the ordinary routine of the office.

“You get me?” he went on, enthusiastically, “In other words, your assignment, Jameson, for the next month is to do nothing except follow your friend Kennedy. Start in right now, on the first, and cross-section out of his life just one month, an average month. Take things just as they come, set them down just as they happen, and when you get through give me an intimate picture of the man and his work.”

He picked up the schedule for the day and I knew that the interview was at an end. I was to “get” Kennedy.

Often I had written snatches of Craig’s adventures, but never before anything as ambitious as this assignment, for a whole month. At first it staggered me. But the more I thought about it, the better I liked it.

I hastened uptown to the apartment on the Heights which Kennedy and I had occupied for some time. I say we occupied it. We did so during those hours when he was not at his laboratory at the Chemistry Building on the University campus, or working on one of those cases which fascinated him. Fortunately, he happened to be there as I burst in upon him.

“Well?” he queried absently, looking up from a book, one of the latest untranslated treatises on the new psychology from the pen of the eminent scientist, Dr. Freud of Vienna, “what brings you uptown so early?”

Briefly as I could, I explained to him what it was that I proposed to do. He listened without comment and I rattled on, determined not to allow him to negative it.

“And,” I added, warming up to the subject, “I think I owe a debt of gratitude to the managing editor. He has crystallised in my mind an idea that has long been latent. Why, Craig,” I went on, “that is exactly what you want–to show people how they can never hope to beat the modern scientific detective, to show that the crime-hunters have gone ahead faster even than–“

The telephone tinkled insistently.

Without a word, Kennedy motioned to me to “listen in” on the extension on my desk, which he had placed there as a precaution so that I could corroborate any conversation that took place over our wire.

His action was quite enough to indicate to me that, at least, he had no objection to the plan.

“This is Dr. Leslie–the coroner. Can you come to the Municipal Hospital–right away?”

“Right away, Doctor,” answered Craig, hanging up the receiver. “Walter, you’ll come, too?”

A quarter of an hour later we were in the courtyard of the city’s largest hospital. In the balmy sunshine the convalescing patients were sitting on benches or slowly trying their strength, walking over the grass, clad in faded hospital bathrobes.

We entered the office and quickly were conducted by an orderly to a little laboratory in a distant wing.