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The Secret Agents
by [?]

Dr. Leslie looked at Haynes searchingly. “Who was it?” he asked. “Madame Dupres?”

Haynes did not hesitate. “Yes,” he nodded. “I had an appointment with her and told her that if I was late it would probably be that I had stopped here.”

The answer came so readily that I must confess that I was suspicious of it.

“Did Madame Dupres know the Baroness Von Dorf?” asked Craig quickly.

“Yes, indeed,” returned Haynes, then stopped suddenly.

“But they didn’t travel in the same circle, did they?” asked Dr. Leslie, with the air of the cross-examiner who wished to place on record a fact that might later prove damaging.

“Not exactly,” answered Haynes, with some hesitation.

“You knew her, of course?” added Craig.

Haynes nodded.

“I wonder if you could locate the Baroness,” pursued Kennedy.

Haynes seemed to express no surprise at the obvious implication that she was missing. “I have no objection to trying,” he answered simply; then, with a glance at his watch, he reached for his hat and stick and excused himself. “I’m afraid I must go. If I can be of any assistance,” he added, “don’t hesitate to call on me. Delaney and I were pretty closely associated in this deal and I feel that nothing is too much to ask of me if it is possible to clear up the mystery of his death, if there is any.”

He departed as quickly as he had come.

“I wonder what he dropped in for?” I remarked.

“Whatever it was, he didn’t get it,” returned Leslie.

“I’m not so sure of that,” I said, remembering the brief telephone conversation with Madame Dupres.

Kennedy did not appear to be bothering much about the question one way or the other. He had let his cigar go out during Haynes’ visit, but now that we were alone again he continued his minute search of the premises.

He opened a closet which evidently contained nothing but household utensils and was about to shut the door when an idea occurred to him. A moment later he pulled from the mystic depths an electric vacuum cleaner and dragged it over to the sun-parlor.

Without a word we watched him as he ran it over the floor and walls, even over the wicker stands on which the plants stood, and then over the floor coverings and furniture of the other rooms that opened into the conservatory. What he was after I could not imagine, but I knew it was useless to ask him until he had found it or had some reason for telling it.

Carefully he removed the dust and dirt from the machine and wrapped it up tightly in a package.

We parted from Dr. Leslie at the door of the apartment, promising to keep in touch with him and let him know the moment anything happened.

At the first telegraph office Kennedy entered and sent off a long message to our friend Burke of the Secret Service in Washington, asking him to locate the Baroness, if possible, in that city, and to give any information he might have about either Haynes or Madame Dupres.

“It’s still early in the evening,” remarked Kennedy as we left the telegraph office. “Suppose we drop around to the St. Quentin. Perhaps we may run into our friends there.”

The St. Quentin was a favorite resort of foreigners in New York, and I, at least, entered prepared to suspect everyone.

“Not all these mysterious-looking men and women,” laughed Kennedy, noticing me as we walked through the lobby, “are secret agents of foreign governments.”

“Still they look as if they might give you the ‘high sign,'” I replied, “particularly if you flashed a bankroll.”

“I don’t doubt it,” he agreed, his eye roving over the throng. “I suspect that Scotland Yard and the Palais de Justice might be quite pleased to see some faces here rather than on the other side of the Atlantic.”

He drew me into an angle and for some moments we studied the passing crowd of diplomats and near-diplomats.