Page:Tales of the Jazz Age.djvu/291
"Why, surely, Mr. Grainger, you can't tell me that you've forgotten her, when for ten years she was the most notorious character in New York. Why, one time when she was the correspondent in the Throckmorton divorce case she attracted so much attention on Fifth Avenue that there was a traffic tie-up. Didn't you read about it in the papers."
"I never used to read the papers." His ancient brain was whirring.
"Well, you can't have forgotten the time she came in here and ruined the business. Let me tell you I came near asking Mr. Moonlight Quill for my salary, and clearing out."
"Do you mean, that—that you saw her?"
"Saw. her! How could I help, it with the racket that went on. Heaven knows Mr. Moonlight Quill didn't like it either but of course he didn't say anything. He was daffy about her and she could twist him around her little finger. The second he opposed one of her whims she'd threaten to tell his wife on him. Served him right. The idea of that man falling for a pretty adventuress! Of course he was never rich enough for her even though the shop paid well in those days."
"But when I saw her." stammered Merlin, "that is, when I thought saw her, she lived with her mother."
"Mother, trash!". said Miss McCracken indignantly. "She had a woman there she called 'Aunty', who was no more related to her than I am. Oh, she was a bad one—but clever. Right after the Throckmorton divorce case she married Thomas Allerdyce, and made herself secure for life."
"Who was she?" cried Merlin. "For God's sake what was she—a witch?"
"Why, she was Alicia Dare, the dancer, of course. In those days you couldn't pick up a paper without finding her picture."