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The dope fiends

by Arthur B. Reeve

  

"I have a terrible headache," remarked Constance Dunlap to her friend, Adele Gordon, the petite cabaret singer and dancer of the Mayfair, who had dropped in to see her one afternoon.

  "You poor, dear creature," soothed Adele. "Why don't you go to see Dr. Price! He has cured me. He's splendid--splendid."

  Constance hesitated. Dr. Moreland Price was a well-known physician. All day and even at night, she knew, automobiles and cabs rolled up to his door and their occupants were, for the most part, stylishly gowned women.

  "Oh, come on," urged Adele. "He doesn't charge as highly as people seem to think. Besides, I'll go with you and introduce you, and he'll charge only as he does the rest of us in the profession."

  Constance's head throbbed frantically. She felt that she must have some relief soon. "All right," she agreed, "I'll go with you, and thank you, Adele."

  Dr. Price's office was on the first floor of the fashionable Recherché Apartments, and, as she expected, Constance noted a line of motor cars before it.

  They entered and were admitted to a richly furnished room, in mahogany and expensive Persian rugs, where a number of patients waited. One after another an attendant summoned them noiselessly and politely to see the doctor, until at last the turn of Constance and Adele came.

  Dr. Price was a youngish middle-aged man, tall, with a sallow countenance and a self-confident, polished manner which went a long way in reassuring the patients, most of whom were ladies.

  As they entered the doctor's sanctum behind the folding doors, Adele seemed to be on very good terms indeed with him.

  They seated themselves in the deep leather chairs beside Dr. Price's desk, and he inclined his head to listen to the story of their ailments.

  "Doctor," began Constance's introducer, "I've brought my friend, Mrs. Dunlap, who is suffering from one of those awful headaches. I thought perhaps you could give her some of that medicine that has done me so much good."

  The doctor bowed without saying anything and shifted his eyes from Adele to Constance. "Just what seems to be the difficulty?" he inquired.

  Constance told him how she felt, of her general lassitude and the big, throbbing veins in her temples.

  "Ah--a woman's headaches!" he smiled, adding, "Nothing serious, however, in this case, as far as I can see. We can fix this one all right, I think."

  He wrote out a prescription quickly and handed it to Constance.

  "Of course," he added, as he pocketed his fee, "it makes no difference to me personally, but I would advise that you have it filled at Muller's--Miss Gordon knows the place. I think Muller's drugs are perhaps fresher than those of most druggists, and that makes a great deal of difference."

  He had risen and was politely and suavely bowing them out of another door, at the same time, by pressing a button, signifying to his attendant to admit the next patient.

  Constance had preceded Adele, and, as she passed through the other door, she overheard the doctor whisper to her friend. "I'm going to stop for you tonight to take a ride. I have something important I want to say to you."

  She did not catch Adele's answer, but as they left the marble and onyx, brass-grilled entrance, Adele remarked "That's his car--over there. Oh, but he is a reckless driver--dashes along pell-mell--but always seems to have his eye out for everything--never seems to be arrested, never in an accident."

  Constance turned in the direction, of the car and was startled to see the familiar face of Drummond across the street dodging behind it. What was it now, she wondered--a divorce case, a scandal--what?

 

The medicine was made up into little powders, to be taken until they gave relief, and Constance folded the paper of one, poured it on the back of her tongue, and swallowed a glass of water afterward.

  Her head continued to throb, but she felt a sense of well-being that she had not before. Adele urged her to take another, and Constance did so.

  The second powder increased the effect of the first marvelously. But Constance noticed that she now began to feel queer. She was not used to taking medicine. For a moment she felt that she was above, beyond the reach of ordinary rules and laws. She could have done any sort of physical task, she felt, no matter how difficult. She was amazed at herself, as compared to what she had been only a few moments before.

  "Another one?" asked Adele finally.

  Constance was by this time genuinely alarmed at the sudden unwonted effect on herself. "N-no" she replied dubiously, "I don't think I want to take any more, just yet."

  "Not another?" asked Adele in surprise. "I wish they would affect me that way. Sometimes I have to take the whole dozen before they have any effect."

  They chatted for a few minutes, and finally Adele rose.

  "Well," she remarked with a nervous twitching of her body, as if she were eager to be doing something, "I really must be going. I can't say I feel any too well myself."

  "I think I'll take a walk with you," answered Constance, who did not like the continued effect of the two powders. "I feel the need of exercise--and air."

  Adele hesitated, but Constance already had her hat on. She had seen Drummond watching Dr. Price's door, and it interested her to know whether he could possibly have been following Adele or someone else.

  As they walked along Adele quickened her pace, until they came again to the drug store.

  "I believe I'll go in and get something," she remarked, pausing.

  For the first time in several minutes Constance looked at the face of her friend. She was amazed to discover that Adele looked as if she had had a spell of sickness. Her eyes were large and glassy, her skin cold and sweaty, and she looked positively pallid and thin.

  As they entered the store Muller the druggist, bowed again and looked at Adele a moment as she leaned over the counter and whispered something to him. Without a word he went into the arcana behind the partition that cuts off the mysteries of the prescription room in every drug store from the front of the store.

  When Muller returned he handed her a packet, for which she paid and which she dropped quickly into her pocketbook, hugging the pocketbook close to herself.

  Adele turned and was about to hurry from the store with Constance. "Oh, excuse me," she said suddenly as if she had just recollected something, "I promised a friend of mine I'd telephone this afternoon, and I have forgotten to do it. I see a pay station here." Constance waited.

  Adele returned much quicker than one would have expected she could call up a number, but Constance thought nothing of it at the time. She did notice, however, that as her friend emerged from the booth a most marvelous change had taken place in her. Her step was firm, her eye clear, her hand steady. Whatever it was, reasoned Constance, it could not have been serious to have disappeared so quickly.

 

It was with some curiosity as to just what she might expect that Constance went around to the famous cabaret that night. The Mayfair occupied two floors of what had been a wide brownstone house before business and pleasure had crowded the residence district further and further uptown. It was a very well-known bohemian rendezvous where under-, demi-, and upper-world rubbed elbows without friction and seemed to enjoy the novelty and be willing to pay for it.

  Adele, who was one of the performers, had not arrived yet, but Constance, who had come with her mind still full of the two unexpected encounters with Drummond, was startled to see him here again. Fortunately he did not see her, and she slipped unobserved into an angle near the window overlooking the street.

  Drummond had been engrossed in watching someone already there, and Constance made the best use of her eyes to determine who it was. The outdoor walk and a good dinner had checked her headache, and now the excitement of the chase of something completed the cure.

  It was not long before she discovered that Drummond was watching intently, without seeming to do so, a nervous-looking fellow whose general washed-out appearance of face was especially unattractive for some reason or other. He was very thin, very pale, and very stary about the eyes. Then, too, it seemed as if the bone in his nose was going, due perhaps to the shrinkage of the blood vessels from some cause.

  Constance noticed a couple of girls whom she had seen Adele speak to on several other occasions approaching the young man.

  There came an opportune lull in the music, and from around the corner of her protecting angle Constance could just catch the greeting of one of the girls: "Hello, Sleighbells! Got any snow?"

  It was a remark that seemed particularly malapropos to the sultry weather, and Constance half expected a burst of laughter at the unexpected sally.

  Instead, she was surprised to hear the young reply in a very serious and matter-of-fact manner, "Sure. Got any money, May?"

  She craned her neck, carefully avoiding coming into Drummond's line of vision, and as she did so she saw two silver quarters gleam momentarily from hand to hand, and the young man passed each girl stealthily a small white paper packet.

  Others came to him, both men and women. It seemed to be an established thing, and Constance noted that Drummond watched it all covertly.

  "Who is that!" asked Constance of the waiter who had served her sometimes when she had been with Adele, and knew her.

  "Why, they call him Sleighbells Charley," he replied, "a coke fiend."

  "Which means a cocaine fiend, I suppose?" she queried.

  "Yes. He's a lobbygow(1) for the grapevine system they have now of selling the dope in spite of this new law."

  "Where does he get the stuff?" she asked.

  The waiter shrugged his shoulders. "Nobody knows I guess. I don't. But he gets it in spite of the law and peddles it. Oh, it's all adulterated--with some white stuff, I don't know what, and the price they charge is outrageous. They must make an ounce retail at five or six times the cost. Oh, you can bet that someone who is at the top is making a pile of money out of that graft, all right."

  He said it not with any air of righteous indignation, but with a certain envy.

  Constance was thinking the thing over in her mind. Where did the "coke" come from? The "grapevine system interested her.

  "Sleighbells" seemed to have disposed of all the "coke" he had brought with him. As the last packet went, he rose slowly and shuffled out. Constance, who knew that Adele would not come for some time, determined to follow him. She rose quietly and, under cover of a party going out, managed to disappear without, as far as she knew, letting Drummond catch a glimpse of her. This would not only employ her time, but it was better to avoid Drummond as far as possible at present, too, she felt.

  At a distance of about half a block she followed the curiously shuffling figure. He crossed the avenue, turned and went uptown, turned again, and, before she knew it, disappeared in a drug store. She had been so engrossed in following the lobbygow that it was with a start that she realized that he had entered Muller's.

  What did it all mean? Was the druggist, Muller, the man higher up? She recalled her own experience of the afternoon. Had Muller tried to palm off something on her? The more she thought of it the more sure she was that the powders she had taken had been doped.

  Slowly, turning the matter over in her mind, she returned to the Mayfair. As she peered in cautiously before entering she saw that Drummond had gone. Adele had not come in yet, and she went in and sat down again in her old place.

  Perhaps half an hour later, outside, she heard a car drive up with a furious rattle of gears. She looked out of the window and, as far as she could determine in the shadows, it was Dr. Price. A woman got out--Adele. For a moment she stopped to talk, then Dr. Price waved a gay goodbye and was off. All she could catch was a hasty, "No; I don't think I'd better come in tonight," from him.

  As Adele entered the Mayfair she glanced about, caught sight of Constance, and came and sat down by her.

  It would have been impossible for her to enter unobserved, so popular was she. It was not long before the two girls whom Constance had seen dealing with "Sleighbells" sauntered over.

  "Your friend was here tonight," remarked one to Adele.

  "Which one?" laughed Adele.

  "The one who admired your dancing the other night and wanted to take lessons."

  "You mean the young fellow who was selling something?" asked Constance pointedly.

  "Oh, no," returned the girl quite casually. "That was Sleighbells," and they all laughed.

  Constance thought immediately of Drummond. "The other one, then," she said, "the thickset man who was all alone?"

  "Yes; he went away afterward. Do you know him?"

  "I've seen him somewhere," evaded Constance; "but I just can't quite place him."

  She had not noticed Adele particularly until now. Under the light she had a peculiar worn look, the same as she had had before.

  The waiter came up to them. "Your turn is next," he hinted to Adele.

  "Excuse me a minute," she apologized to the rest of the party. "I must fix up a bit. No," she added to Constance, "don't come with me."

  She returned from the dressing room a different person, and plunged into the wild dance for which the limited orchestra was already tuning up. It was a veritable riot of whirl and rhythm. Never before had Constance seen Adele dance with such abandon. As she executed the wild mazes of a newly imported dance, she held even the jaded Mayfair spellbound. And when she concluded with one daring figure and sat down, flushed and excited, the diners applauded and even shouted approval. It was an event for even the dance-mad Mayfair.

  Constance did not share in the applause. At last she understood. Adele was a dope fiend, too. She felt it with a sense of pain. Always, she knew, the fiends tried to get away alone somewhere for a few minutes to snuff some of their favorite nepenthe. She had heard before of the cocaine "snuffers" who took a little of the deadly powder placed it on the back of the hand, and inhaled it up the nose with a quick intake of breath. Adele was one. It was not Adele who danced. It was the dope.

  Constance was determined to speak.

  "You remember that man the girls spoke of?" she began.

  "Yes. What of him!" asked Adele with almost a note of defiance.

  "Well, I really do know him," confessed Constance. "He is a detective."

  Constance watched her companion curiously, for at the mere word she had stopped short and faced her. "He is!" she asked quickly. "Then that was why Dr. Price--"

  She managed to suppress the remark and continued her walk home without another word.

  In Adele's little apartment Constance was quick to note that the same haggard look had returned to her friend's face.

  Adele had reached for her pocketbook with a sort of clutching eagerness and was about to leave the room.

  Constance rose. "Why don't you give up the stuff?" she asked earnestly. "Don't you want to!"

  For a moment Adele faced her angrily. Then her real nature seemed slowly to come to the surface. "Yes," she murmured frankly.

  "Then why don't you?" pleaded Constance.

  "I haven't the power. There is an indescribable excitement to do something great, to make a mark. It's soon gone, but while it lasts, I can sing, dance, do anything--and then--every part of my body begins crying for more of the stuff again.

  There was no longer any necessity of concealment from Constance. She took a pinch of the stuff, placed it on the back of her wrist, and quickly sniffed it. The change in her was magical. From a quivering, wretched girl she became a self-confident neurasthenic.

  "I don't care," she laughed hollowly now. "Yes, I know what you are going to tell me. Soon I'll be 'hunting the cocaine bug,' as they call it, imagining that in my skin, under the flesh, are worms crawling, perhaps see them, see the little animals running around and biting me."

  She said it with a half-reckless cynicism. "Oh you don't know. There are two souls in the cocainist--one tortured by the pain of not having enough of the stuff, the other laughing and mocking at the dangers of it. It stimulates. It makes your mind work--without effort, by itself. And it gives such visions of success, makes you feel able to do so much, and to forget. All the girls use it."

  "Where do they get it?" asked Constance. "I thought the new law prohibited it."

  "Get it!" repeated Adele. "Why, they get it from that fellow they call 'Sleighbells.' They call it 'snow,' you know and the girls who use it 'snowbirds.' The law does prohibit its sale, but--"

  She paused significantly.

  "Yes," agreed Constance; "but Sleighbells is only a part of the system after all. Who is the man at the top?"

  Adele shrugged her shoulders and was silent. Still Constance did not fail to note a sudden look of suspicion which Adele shot at her. Was Adele shielding someone?

 

Constance knew that someone must be getting rich from the traffic, probably selling hundreds of ounces a week and making thousands of dollars. Somehow she felt a sort of indignation at the whole thing. Who was it? Who was the man higher up?

  In the morning as she was working about her little kitchenette an idea came to her. Why not hire the vacant apartment cross the hall from Adele? An optician, who was a friend of hers, in the course of a recent conversation had mentioned an invention, a model of which he had made for the inventor. She would try it.

  Since, with Constance, the outlining of a plan was tantamount to the execution, it was not many hours later before she had both the apartment and the model of the invention.

  Her wall separated her from the drug store, and by careful calculation she determined about where came. the little prescription department. Carefully, so as to arouse no suspicion, she began to bore away at the wall with various tools, until finally she had a small, almost imperceptible opening. It was tedious work, and toward the end needed great care so as not to excite suspicion. But finally she was rewarded. Through it she could see just a trace of daylight, and by squinting could see a row of bottles on a shelf opposite.

  Then, through the hole, she pushed a long, narrow tube, like a putty blower. When at last she placed her eye at it, she gave a low exclamation of satisfaction. She could now see the whole of the little room.

  It was a detectascope, invented by Gaillard Smith, adapter of the detectaphone, an instrument built upon the principle of the cytoscope which physicians use to explore internally down the throat. Only, in the end of the tube, instead of an ordinary lens, was placed what is known as a "fish-eye" lens, which had a range something like nature has given the eyes of fishes, hence the name. Ordinarily cameras, because of the flatness of their lenses, have a range of only a few degrees, the greatest being scarcely more than ninety. But this lens was globular, and, like a drop of water, refracted light from all directions. When placed so that half of it caught the light "saw" through an angle of 180 degrees, "saw" everything in the room instead of just that little row of bottles on the shelf opposite.

  Constance set herself to watch, and it was not long before her suspicions were confirmed, and she was sure that this was nothing more than a "coke" joint. Still she wondered whether Muller was the real source of the traffic of which Sleighbells was the messenger. She was determined to find out.

  

All day she watched through her detectascope. Once she saw Adele come in and buy more dope. It was with difficulty that she kept from interfering. But, she reflected, the time was not ripe. She had though t the thing out. There was no use in trying to get at it through Adele. The only way was to stop the whole curse at its source, to dam the stream. People came and went. She soon found that he was selling them packets from a box hidden in the woodwork. That much she had learned, anyhow.

  Constance watched faithfully all day with only time enough taken out for dinner. It was after her return from this brief interval that she felt her heart give a leap of apprehension, as she looked again through the detectascope. There was Drummond in the back of the store talking to Muller and a woman who looked as if s he might be Mrs. Muller, for both seemed nervous and anxious.

  As nearly as she could make out, Drummond was alternately threatening and arguing with Muller. Finally the three seemed to agree, for Drummond walked over to a typewriter on a table, took a fresh sheet of carbon paper from a drawer, placed it between two sheets of paper, and hastily wrote something.

  Drummond read over what he had written. It seemed to be short, and the three apparently agreed on it. Then, in a trembling hand, Muller signed the two copies which Drummond had made, one of which Drummond himself kept and the other he sealed in an envelope and sent away by a boy. Drummond reached into his pocket and pulled out a huge roll of bills of large denomination. He counted out what seemed to be approximately half, handed it to the woman, and replaced the rest in his pocket. What it was all about Constance could only vaguely guess. She longed to know what was in the letter and why the money had been paid to the woman.

  Perhaps a quarter of an hour after Drummond left Adele appeared again, pleading for more dope. Muller went back of the partition and made up a fresh paper of it from a bottle also concealed.

  Constance was torn by conflicting impulses. She did not want to miss anything in the perplexing drama that was being enacted before her, yet she wished to interfere with the deadly course of Adele. Still, perhaps the girl would resent interference if she found out that Constance was spying on her. She determined to wait a little while before seeing Adele. It was only after a decided effort that she tore herself away from the detectascope and knocked on Adele's door as if she had just come in for a visit. Again she knocked, but still there was no answer. Every minute something might be happening next door. She hurried back to her post of observation.

  One of the worst aspects of the use of cocaine, she knew, was the desire of the user to share his experience with someone else. The passing on of the habit, which seemed to be one of the strongest desires of the drug fiend, made him even more dangerous to society than he would otherwise have been. That thought gave Constance an idea.

  She recalled also now having heard somewhere that it was a common characteristic of these poor creatures to have a passion for fast automobiling, to go on long rides, perhaps even without having the money to pay for them. That, too, confirmed the idea which she had.

  As the night advanced she determined to stick to her post. What could it have been that Drummond was doing? It was no good, she felt positive.

  Suddenly before her eye, glued to its eavesdropping aperture, she saw a strange sight. There was a violent commotion in the store. Blue-coated policemen seemed to swarm in from nowhere. And in the rear, directing them, appeared Drummond, holding by the arm the unfortunate Sleighbells, quaking with fear, evidently having been picked up already elsewhere by the wily detective.

  Muller put up a stout resistance, but the officers easily seized him and, after a hasty but thorough search, unearthed his cache of the contraband drug.

  As the scene unfolded, Constance was more and more bewildered after having witnessed that which preceded it, the signing of the letter and the passing of the money. Muller evidently had nothing to say about that. What did it mean?

  The police were still holding Muller, and Constance had not noted that Drummond had disappeared.

  "It's on the first floor--left, men," sounded a familiar voice outside her own door. "I know she's there. My shadow saw her buy the dope and take it home."

  Her heart was thumping wildly. It was Drummond leading his squad of raiders, and they were about to enter the apartment of Adele. They knocked, but there was no answer.

  A few moments before Constance would have felt perfectly safe in saying that Adele was out. But if Drummond's man had seen her enter, might she not have been there all the time, be there still, in a stupor? She dreaded to think of what might happen if the poor girl once fell into their hands. It would be the final impulse that would complete her ruin.

  Constance did not stop to reason it out. Her woman's intuition told her that now was the time to act--that there was no retreat.

  She opened her own door just as the raiders had forced in the flimsy affair that guarded the apartment of Adele.

  "So!" sneered Drummond, catching sight of her in the dim light of the hallway. "You are mixed up in these violations of the new drug law, too!"

  Constance said nothing. She had determined first to make Drummond display his hand.

  "Well," he ground out, "I'm going to get these people this time. I represent the Medical Society and the Board of Health. These men have been assigned to me by the Commissioner as a dope squad. We want this girl. We have others who will give evidence; but we want this one, too."

  He said it with a bluster that even exaggerated the theatrical character of the raid itself. Constance did not stop to weigh the value of his words, but through the door she brushed quickly. Adele might need her if she was indeed there.

  As she entered the little living room she saw a sight which almost transfixed her. Adele was there lying across a divan, motionless.

  Constance bent over. Adele was cold. As far as she could determine there was not a breath or a heartbeat!

  What did it mean? She did not stop to think. Instantly there flashed over her the recollection of an instrument she had read about at one of the city hospitals. It might save Adele. Before any one knew what she was doing she had darted to the telephone in the lower hall of the apartment and had called up the hospital frantically, imploring them to hurry. Adele must be saved.

  

Constance had no very clear idea of what happened next in the hurly-burly of events, until the ambulance pulled up at the door and the white-coated surgeon burst in carrying a heavy suitcase.

  With one look at the unfortunate girl he muttered, "Paralysis of the respiratory organs--too large a dose of the drug. You did perfectly right," and began unpacking the case.

  Constance, calm now in the crisis, stood by him and helped as deftly as could any nurse.

  It was a curious arrangement of tubes and valves, with a large rubber bag, and a little pump that the doctor had brought. Quickly he placed a cap, attached to it, over the nose and mouth of the poor girl, and started the machine.

  "Wh-what is it?" gasped Drummond as he saw Adele's hitherto motionless breast now rise and fall.

  "A pulmotor," replied the doctor, working quickly and carefully, "an artificial lung. Sometimes it can revive even the medically dead. It is our last chance with this girl."

  Constance had picked up the packet which had fallen beside Adele and was looking at the white powder.

  "Almost pure cocaine," remarked the young surgeon, testing it. "The hydrochloride, large crystals, highest quality. Usually it is adulterated. Was she in the habit of taking it this way?"

  Constance said nothing. She had seen Muller make up the packet--specially now, she recalled. Instead of the adulterated dope he had given Adele the purest kind. Why? Was there some secret he wished to lock in her breast forever?

  Mechanically the pulmotor pumped. Would it save her?

  Constance was living over what she had already seen through the detectascope. Suddenly she thought of the strange letter and of the money.

  She hurried into the drug store. Muller had already been taken away, but before the officer left in charge could interfere she picked up the carbon sheet on which the letter had been copied, turned it over, and held it eagerly to the light.

  She read in amazement. It was a confession. In it Muller admitted to Dr. Moreland Price that he was the head of a sort of dope trust, that he had messengers out, like Sleighbells, that he had often put dope in the prescriptions sent him by the doctor, and had repeatedly violated the law and refilled such prescriptions. On its face it was complete and convincing.

  Yet it did not satisfy Constance. She could not believe that Adele had committed suicide. Adele must possess some secret. What was it?

  "Is--is there any change?" she asked anxiously of the young surgeon now engrossed in his work.

  For answer he merely nodded to the apparently motionless form on the bed, and for a moment stopped the pulmotor.

  The mechanical movement of the body ceased. But in its place was a slight tremor about the lips and mouth.

  Adele moved--was faintly gasping for breath!

  "Adele!" cried Constance softly in her ear. "Adele!"

  Something, perhaps a faraway answer of recognition, seemed to flicker over her face. The doctor redoubled his efforts.

  "Adele--do you know me?" whispered Constance again.

  "Yes," came back faintly at last. "There--there's something--wrong with it--They--they--"

  "How? What do you mean?" urged Constance. "Tell me, Adele."

  The girl moved uneasily. The doctor administered a stimulant and she vaguely opened her eyes, began to talk hazily, dreamily. Constance bent over to catch the faint words which would have been lost to the others.

  "They--are going to--double-cross the Health Department," she murmured as if to herself, then gathering strength she went on, "Muller and Sleighbells will be arrested and take the penalty. They have been caught with the goods, anyhow. It has all been arranged so that the detective will get his case. Money--will be paid to both of them, to Muller and the detective, to swing the case and protect him. He made me do it. I saw the detective, even danced with him, and he agreed to do it. Oh, I would do anything--I am his willing tool when I have the stuff. But--this time it was--" She rambled off incoherently.

  "Who made you do it? Who told you?" prompted Constance. "For whom would you do anything?"

  Adele moaned and clutched Constance's hand convulsively. Constance did not pause to consider the ethics of questioning a half-unconscious girl. Her only idea was to get at the truth.

  "Who was it?" she reiterated.

  Adele turned weakly.

  "Dr. Price," she murmured as Constance bent her ear to catch even the faintest sound. "He told me--all about it--last night--in the car."

  Instantly Constance understood. Adele was the only one outside who held the secret, who could upset the carefully planned frame-up that was to protect the real head of the dope trust who had paid liberally to save his own wretched skin.

  She rose quickly and wheeled about suddenly on Drummond.

  "You will convict Dr. Price also," she said in a low tone. "This girl must not be dragged down, too. You will leave her alone, and both you and Mr. Muller will hand over that money to her for her cure of the habit."

  Drummond started forward angrily, but fell back as Constance added in a lower but firmer tone, "Or I'll have you all up on a charge of attempting murder."

  Drummond turned surlily to those of his "dope squad," who remained.

  "You can go, boys," he said brusquely. "There's been some mistake here."

   (1) In underworld slang, lobbygow means a hanger-on, go-between, or message runner, particularly one involved in the drug traffic--the speculation being that such persons usually hang about in lobbies.

End.

 
 
 
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