Page:Weird Tales volume 28 number 02.djvu/43

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170
WEIRD TALES

eyes burned down at the red-clad figure of the man at his feet, who was mankind's enemy. Behind him, Madame Sin's finger found the little bar....

It was not till then that Keane felt the psychic difference caused by the entrance of another into a room that had been deserted save for himself. Another person would not have felt that difference at all, but Keane had developed his psychic perceptions as ordinary men exercise and develop their biceps.

With an inarticulate cry he whirled, and leaped far to the side.

The wall behind the spot where he had been disappeared as the gold-link bag continued to point that way. The woman, snarling like a tigress, swung her bag toward Keane in his new position. But Keane was not waiting. He sprang for her. His hand got her wrist and wrenched to get the gold-link purse away from her. It turned toward her, back again toward him, with the little bar moving as her hand was constricted over the thing in the purse.

It was a woman's body he struggled with. But there was strength in the fragile flesh beyond the strength of any woman! It took all his steely power to tear from her grasp the gold-link purse with its enclosed device. As he got it, he heard the woman's shrill cry of pain and terror, felt her sag in his arms. And then he heard many voices and stared around like a sleepwalker who has waked in a spot different from that in which he had begun his sleep—a comparison so exact that for one wild moment he thought it must be true!

He was in a familiar room.... Yes, Doctor Grays' room at the Blue Bay Hotel.

The people around him were familiar.... There was Gest. There were Kroner and Doctor Grays, and—Beatrice. There were the Blue Bay chief of police, and two men.

But the limp feminine form he held in his arms was Madame Sin, the fury he had been fighting in Chichester's library! And in his hand was still the gold link bag he had wrenched from her!

The woman in his arms stirred. She looked blankly up at him, stared around. A cry came from her lips.

"Where—am I? Who are you all? What are you doing in my room? But this isn't my room!"

Her face was different, younger-looking, less exotic. She wasn't Madame Sin; she was a frightened, puzzled girl. Keane's brain had slipped back into gear, and into comprehension of what had happened.

"Where do you think you are?" he said gently. "And what is your name?"

"I'm Sylvia Crane," she said. "And I'm in a New York hotel room. At least I was the last I knew, when I opened the door and the man in the red mask came in...."

She buried her face in her hands. "After that—I don't know what happened "

"Nor do any of us," quavered Gest, "For God's sake, Keane, give us some idea of what has happened here, if you can!"


It was over an hour later when Beatrice and Keane entered the door of his suite. It had taken that long to explain to the people in Doctor Grays' rooms. Even then the explanation had been but partial, and most of it had been frenziedly and stubbornly disbelieved even though proof was there.

Keane's shoulders were bowed a little and his face wore a bitter look. He had thwarted Doctor Satan in his attempt to extort a fortune from the resort. But