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The Toxin Of Fatigue
by [?]

When I arrived at the laboratory, I found Kennedy engrossed in his tests.

“Have you found anything definite?” I asked anxiously.

He nodded, but would say nothing.

“I’ve telephoned Broadhurst,” he remarked, a moment later. “You remember that the former Mrs. Murchie was at Belmore Inn. I have asked him to stop and get her on the way down here in the car with McGee, and to get Amelie Guernsey at the Idlewild, too.” He continued to work. “And, oh yes,” he added: “I have asked Inspector O’Connor to take up another line, too.”

It was a strange gathering that assembled that forenoon. Donovan arrived soon after I did, and with him, sure enough, was Cecilie Safford. A few moments later Broadhurst’s car swung up to the door, and Broadhurst entered, accompanied by Amelie Guernsey. McGee followed, with the former Mrs. Murchie.

“I don’t want another job like that,” whispered Broadhurst to Kennedy. “I’m nearly frozen. Neither of those women has spoken a word since we started.”

“You can hardly blame them,” returned Kennedy.

Mrs. Murchie was still a handsome woman. She now carried herself with an air of assumed dignity. Amelie Guernsey had regained her color in the excitement of the ride and was, if anything, more beautiful than ever. But, as Broadhurst intimated, one could almost feel the frigidity of the atmosphere as the three women who had played such dramatic parts in Murchie’s life sat there, trying to watch and, at the same time, avoid each other’s gaze.

The suspense was relieved when O’Connor came in in a department car. With him were the young man who had been seated with Cecilie at the table the night of the fight and also the gunman.

“The magistrate in the night court settled the case that night,” informed O’Connor, under his breath, laying down two slips of paper before Kennedy, “but I have their pedigrees. That fellow’s name is Ronald Mawson,” he said, pointing to Cecilie’s companion, then indicating the gunman, “That’s Frank Giani–Frank the Wop.”

I watched Mawson and Cecilie closely, but could discover nothing. They scarcely looked at each other.

McGee, however, glared at both Mawson and the gunman, though none of them said a word.

“They used to be out there as stable-boys at Broadhurst’s,” I heard O’Connor continue, in a whisper. “I think they had a run-in and were fired. Each says the other got him in wrong.”

A moment later Kennedy began:

“When you came to my laboratory the other day, Mr. Broadhurst,” he said, “you remarked that perhaps this case might be a little out of my line, but that I might find it sufficiently interesting. I can assure you that I have not only found it interesting, but astounding. I have seldom had the privilege of unraveling a mystery which was so cleverly rigged and in which there are so many cross-currents of human passion.”

“Then you think Lady Lee was doped?” asked Broadhurst.

“Doped?” interjected McGee quickly. “Why, Mr. Broadhurst, you remember what the veterinary said. He couldn’t find any signs of heroin or any other dope they use.”

“That’s the devilish ingenuity of it all,” shot out Kennedy suddenly, holding up a little beaker in which there was some colorless fluid. “I am merely going to show you now what can be done by the use of one of the latest discoveries of physiological chemistry.”

He took a syringe and, drawing back the plunger, filled it with the liquid. With a slight jab of cocaine to make the little operation absolutely painless, he injected the fluid into the livelier of our two guinea-pigs.

“While you and Murchie were absent the first day that I went out to your stable, I succeeded in drawing off some of the blood of Lady Lee,” Craig resumed, talking to Broadhurst. “Here, in my laboratory, I have studied it. Lady Lee, that day, had had no more than the ordinary amount of exercise, yet she was completely fagged.”

By this time the little guinea-pig had become more and more listless and was now curled up in a corner sound asleep.