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The Mummy Case
by [?]

The horrible thought occurred to me that perhaps he was not alone. I had seen Spencer’s infatuation with his attractive librarian. The janitor of the studio-building was positive that a woman answering her description had been a visitor at the studio. Would she be used to get at the millionaire and his treasures? Was she herself part of the plot to victimise, perhaps kill, him? The woman had been much of an enigma to me at first. She was more so now. It was barely possible that she, too, was an absintheur, who had shaken off the curse for a time only to relapse into it again.

If there were any thoughts like these passing through Kennedy’s mind he did not show it, at least not in the shape of hesitating in the course he had evidently mapped out to follow. He said little, but hurried off from the studio in a cab up-town again to the laboratory. A few minutes later we were speeding down to the museum.

There was not much time for Craig to work if he hoped to be ready for anything that might happen that night. He began by winding coil after coil of copper wire about the storeroom in the basement of the museum. It was not a very difficult matter to conceal it, so crowded was the room, or to lead the ends out through a window at the opposite side from that where the window had been broken open.

Up-stairs in the art-gallery he next installed several boxes such as those which I had seen him experimenting with during his tests of selenium on the afternoon when Mr. Spencer had first called on us. They were camera-like boxes, about ten inches long, three inches or so wide, and four inches deep.

One end was open, or at least looked as though the end had been shoved several inches into the interior of the box. I looked into one of the boxes and saw a slit in the wall that had been shoved in. Kennedy was busy adjusting the apparatus, and paused only to remark that the boxes contained two sensitive selenium surfaces balanced against two carbon resistances. There was also in the box a clockwork mechanism which Craig wound up and set ticking ever so softly. Then he moved a rod that seemed to cover the slit, until the apparatus was adjusted to his satisfaction, a delicate operation, judging by the care he took. Several of these boxes were installed, and by that time it was quite late.

Wires from the apparatus in the art-gallery also led outside, and these as well as the wires from the coils down in the basement he led across the bit of garden back of the Spencer house and up to a room on the top floor. In the upper room he attached the wires from the storeroom to what looked like a piece of crystal and a telephone receiver. Those from the art-gallery terminated in something very much like the apparatus which a wireless operator wears over his head.

Among other things which Craig had brought down from the laboratory was a package which he had not yet unwrapped. He placed it near the window, still wrapped. It was quite large, and must have weighed fifteen or twenty pounds. That done, he produced a tape-measure and began, as if he were a surveyor, to measure various distances and apparently to calculate the angles and distances from the window-sill of the Spencer house to the skylight, which was the exact centre of the museum. The straight distance, if I recall correctly, was in the neighborhood of four hundred feet.

These preparations completed, there was nothing left to do but to wait for something to happen. Spencer had declined to get alarmed about our fears for his own safety, and only with difficulty had we been able to dissuade him from moving heaven and earth to find Miss White, a proceeding which must certainly have disarranged Kennedy’s carefully laid plans. So interested was he that he postponed one of the most important business conferences of the year, growing out of the anti-trust suits, in order to be present with Dr. Lith and ourselves in the little upper back room.