Edwy Peddie—Scientific Humanitarian
Edwy Peddie—Scientific Humanitarian
BY CLARENCE BUDINGTON KELLAND
Mname is Edwy Peddie, and by profession I am a scientific humanitarian, the first, I believe, to choose that particular line of endeavor. Until very recently I confined myself to the theory of this science, endeavoring to master its intricacies. But recently I have actively engaged in practice, with results of a gratifying nature.
Some sixty days ago I engaged an office and had my name and calling placed upon the door in gilt lettering. I t was exceedingly effective. In addition I caused to be printed business cards, also bearing my name and calling, but in addition a legend to the effect that it was my business to ameliorate the suffering of humanity at large, or of individuals, at reasonable rates.
No client appeared for upward of a month. Then there entered my office a large, pinkish gentleman, who wore low shoes, and who mopped the shining top of his head with an expensive handkerchief.
"Does that card mean what it says?" he demanded, extending one of my pasteboards.
"Absolutely," said I.
"Huh!" said he.
"Without doubt," said I.
"Without doubt what?" he roared.
"Without doubt," said I, somewhat taken aback—"why, without doubt there is suffering in your life which you desire to have ameliorated, not to say eradicated."
He snorted. Then he flourished his handkerchief at me in a belligerent manner and said, astonishingly, "How are you on dogs?"
"Dogs?" said I.
"Dogs," said he. "Canine dogs. Leg on each corner, tail behind."
"I am not a veterinary," said I. "If your pet is ill—"
"He ain't ill. They ain't ill. If only they were! If there was a dog pestilence! I'll say, Mr. Edwy Pettie, if that's your name, if I was half as healthy as the sickest one of my wife's dogs they'd have me in a medical museum and lecture about me. Those dogs have constitutions. Nothing affects them. I know; I've tried."
"Indeed," said I. "But, if I may ask, what interest have I in your dogs' constitutions?"
He shook my card in my face. "I'm a suffering human," said he, thickly; "an acutely suffering human. I want to be ameliorated. I'm agonized by dogs—not dog singular, but dogs plural. You admit men can suffer from relatives, or imaginary snakes, or mosquitoes, or microbes, or hallucinations. Then why not dogs?"
"Very well," said I. "I admit dogs without further argument. You wish to retain my services?"
"I'd retain anything to get rid of those slam-doodled pizzle-winkuses! Why, listen here. Last night, when I got home, my wife had a new one. Looked like a fountain squirtin' white hair. All you could see was hair. Couldn't tell by lookin' at it which way was behind it. And she had it in her lap feedin' it out of my mustache-cup! Said the cup was made on purpose!"
"The case interests me," said I. "It has novel aspects. I am prepared to accept your retainer."
"Good," said he; "any port in a storm." This expression I considered trite and not especially complimentary to myself. "How are you going at it?"
"My methods are unique," said I. "I shall work along lines that would not be patent to the ordinary intellect. I must have a free hand. Now, then, your name
"Lemuel P. Crabb," said he.
"First, Mr. Crabb, it will be necessary for me to study the situation. I must be invited to your home as your guest. It would not be wise, I take it, for your wife to be informed of my business."
"It would not," said Mr. Crabb, "be wise—for you."
"I presume," said I, rising, "that you wish me to undertake this matter at once. I am ready. My bag is always packed. Let us proceed."
Mr. Crabb escorted me to an automobile which stood at the entrance to the building. It contained a chauffeur, so I knew at once that my client was a person of means, and I at once made a mental note to increase my fees. We drove beyond the limits of the city for a distance of some twenty miles into the rural district. There we approached and drove between high brick gateposts from which swung wrought-iron gates. Presently we arrived at the house itself, and stopped. The house was imposing. I made a second mental note with respect to my fees.
On a bench, beside a Japanese-lily pool, sat a portly lady, with an auburn-haired dog on her lap. At her feet coiled a grayhound. A few feet to the right the white creature which Mr. Crabb had likened to a fountain disported itself with the lady's hat, which seemed to afford her quiet amusement. There were other dogs, but my attention was distracted from them by a young woman who sat beside Mrs. Crabb. Notwithstanding an expression which I took to be one of discontent, or rather sadness, she was, I do not hesitate to affirm, pleasing to the eye.
Mr. Crabb conducted me toward them.
"My dear," said he to his wife, "I have brought home with me an old friend. You have heard me speak of him often. It is Mr. —," Here he hesitated and eyed me malevolently, as though I had rendered him an ill service; then he fumbled in his pocket and brought out my card. "It is Mr. Edwy Peddie," said he. "He will stay with us as long as his business will permit."
Mrs. Crabb eyed her husband briefly, then turned and extended a plump hand. "You are welcome, Mr.— I'm afraid I failed to catch your name."
"Edwy Peddie," said I.
"Mr. Edwypeddie," said she, "my daughter, Jane."
I bowed. "Two names, please," said I. "First name, Edwy; family name, Peddie."
"It's not a bit worse than Crabb," said Miss Jane.
"What's the matter with Crabb?" her father demanded, with heat. "It used to suit you. You never saw anything wrong with it till you took it into your head you wanted to change it. Well, young woman, Crabb is your name, and Crabb it will stay for some time. Anyhow, it will never be Coppy. Coppy"—he uttered this name witheringly—" sounds like a pet name for a policeman."
I gathered that the family was not altogether in harmony. They seemed to differ on the subject of dogs, of names, and, if I were not grievously in error, on the subject of a certain young gentleman.
At that instant a small dog of the terrier type appeared, dragging the remains of a white chicken fully as large as himself. He gave evidence of pride; indeed, he seemed overweeningly vain. Mr. Crabb swore. I say this without fear of contradiction. He made use of a profane ejaculation. Also, he moved with belligerent intent toward the dog, but Mrs. Crabb intervened.
"Now, dear," she said, soothingly.
"It's another of Wilkins's," said Mr. Crabb, chokingly. "He claims they're prize chickens. Every one that confounded yapper kills is a prize-winner. If he's bound to kill chickens, why doesn't he pick out common, ordinary Plymouth Rocks or something, eh? Fifteen dollars the last one cost me."
The dog edged away from Mr. Crabb's vicinity. It showed a degree of intelligence.
"That's only one to-day," said Mrs. Crabb, "and the dear little fellow gets so much pleasure out of chasing them. I really think we ought to buy a few chickens to play with."
Mr. Crabb uttered an inarticulate sound and kicked a concrete bench. This seemed to give him comparatively little satisfaction, for he turned and walked rapidly away from us, muttering in his throat in a truly baleful manner.
Suddenly the expression of Miss Jane's face changed. She smiled. It was a joyous, winning smile, but tinged with wistfulness. With pardonable curiosity I followed her eyes and perceived a handsome young man in a large automobile, which proceeded at a rate slower than it has ever been my good fortune to see a handsome young man traveling in a large automobile. One might say veraciously that the car crawled.
The young man leaned as far toward the Crabb estate as safety permitted, and smiled most ingratiatingly at Miss Jane. It was a continuous and admiring smile. In addition he waved his hand.
Mrs. Crabb spoke sharply to her daughter, and then addressed me. "Would you believe it, Mr. Pettie," she said, pursing her lips and elevating her ample chin, "but that young person has passed our house to-day not less than twenty-four times; I have counted."
"You missed one, mamma," said Miss Jane. "There were twenty-five."
"For excellent reasons he has been forbidden the place," said Mrs. Crabb, "but he persists in obtruding his unwelcome presence at—er—at long range, so to speak. He is a person of no taste."
"I am led to believe," said I, with a bow to Miss Jane, "that in one respect his taste may not be impugned."
For the first time Miss Jane smiled at me in a manner indicating some friendliness.
"He does nothing but drive back and forth in front of this house all day," complained Mrs. Crabb. "It is a public thoroughfare and we have no redress."
"It must be a great expense to him," said I, "with the price of gasolene so high."
"His name," said Mrs. Crabb, "is Coppy."
"Indeed!" said I.
At that juncture a bell sounded in the house, which Mrs. Crabb informed me signified that dinner was ready. We were escorted to the dining-room by numerous dogs of assorted ancestry. One had to step carefully. At the door Mrs. Crabb picked up a diminutive brown puppy with a bored expression and floppy ears, and at the table held it precariously on her lap. Mr. Crabb was there. He glanced at the puppy and nodded to me with a significant scowl.
The meal began in silence, but presently Mrs. Crabb turned to address an inconsequential remark to me. Mr. Crabb interrupted vehemently.
"Hey, Maggie," he shouted, "that insect's eating off your plate!"
I looked. It was so. The puppy was partaking calmly of Mrs. Crabb's potatoes.
She was in no wise irritated. "Poor 'ittle ducksy," she said. "Him's hungry. Can eat off mother's plate if him wants." She then addressed her husband. "I want you to understand," she said, "that he's as fit to eat off my plate as anybody. He had his bath this morning, and his little mouth all washed out with listerine."
"Huh!" growled Mr. Crabb. "Did he gargle his throat, too?"
I perceived that my task was to be no simple one. When I left my office I had thought that I might persuade Mrs. Crabb to give up her dogs for her husband's sake, and that this might be brought about by presenting arguments in that logical and courteous manner which is so characteristic of myself. But events proved me to be wrong. Without doubt I should earn my retainer in this case.
Mrs. Crabb treated her husband with a haughty coldness during the remainder of the meal; on his part, he glared at the puppy and made grumbling sounds in his throat. Miss Jane appeared oblivious to the situation, and seemed to be listening constantly. Four times during dinner an automobile passed the house and honked three times sharply. This seemed to give her acute pleasure.
After dinner I found opportunity to take Mr. Crabb aside. "This case," said I, "presents baffling features. I may say," I continued, "that in all my career as a scientific humanitarian I have never been retained in one more difficult." This was, of course, true. It was not only the most difficult, but also the first, but professional men are obliged to have recourse to such innocent means to aggrandize, so to speak, their importance in the eyes of their clients. "I have collected a mass of data already," said I, "but I must observe further. Just now I must seek seclusion to arrange in coherent form and digest what I have already seen. I find my mind—which you have already perceived to be of no usual caliber—works best while my legs are in motion."
"Maybe it's nearer your legs than most folks'," said Mr. Crabb, sourly.
I made no retort. I left him and passed out into the road, assuming what the dullest intellect would have recognized as a thoughtful, studious pace. From time to time I removed my hat and clutched my head as one does during arduous brain toil. To be successful in any profession one must not neglect to impress observers.
I was so engrossed m study, my mind was so perfectly concentrated, that I did not observe the approach of an automobile. At least I gave its occupant that impression. He was obliged to stop in order not to run me down. It was none other than Mr. Coppy.
"Hey!" he shouted, "can the Aristotle stuff! Peripatetic ratiocination became perilous with the advent of the motor-car."
Though I am not familiar with American argot, I understood the word "can" to signify "eliminate."
"I am not," said I, "a philosopher of the peripatetic school. On the contrary, I am a man of action and resource. I am the sole member of a unique profession."
"The profession of putative sons-in-law?" he asked, ironically.
"I do not follow you," said I.
"You are a guest at the Crabbs', aren't you?"
"After a manner of speaking," said I.
"Hasn't Father Crabb picked you for a son-in-law? You're about my idea of what he would pick."
"No," said I, "I am there professionally—with relation to dogs, I may say without betraying professional confidence."
"Not with relation to Jane?" he asked, suspiciously.
"Dogs," said I, "are my sole mission."
"Indeed not! I am," said I, with an impressive air, "a scientific humanitarian. "My card." I handed him one with grave dignity.
"Ah," said he, " I see. Something is vexing the little doggies, and you're here to alleviate them, eh? Dogs seem despondent. Mrs. Crabb worried to the brink of collapse. Calls in expert. It's as clear as day."
"I am not," said I, "retained by Mrs. Crabb, but by her husband; nor am I here to nullify any suffering on the part of her pets, but on the part of Mr. Crabb. In short," said I, "it is my task to eradicate the dogs."
"And I'm barred out," he said, with anguish in his voice. "I can't be there to see it." Suddenly an idea seemed to illuminate his face. "Say, Mr. Edwy Peddie, does this card mean business? Are you a professional brightener of hearts and lightener of destinies?"
"I am," said I, "for a suitable retainer."
"Observe me, Mr. Edwy Peddie. My heart is torn by grief. I am a human sponge saturated with woe. Can you dry-clean me? Can you make me happy, care-free, buoyant again?"
Though I did not follow him exactly, I did scent a possible client, and assured him of my competence in such matters.
"Are you in a position to accept a retainer from me?" he asked.
I considered cautiously, for it is never well for a professional man to seem eager to obtain a client. He must grant his services as one bestowing a favor. "I think," said I , "that my engagements will permit the acceptance of one more case at this time."
"Splendid," said he. "Here's my ailment. I am heartbroken, lovelorn. I am forbidden to approach, converse with, cast fond eyes upon, or in any manner communicate with the young lady upon whom my affections are centered, and whose affections, in return, are centered upon me. There is but one cure. I must have that young lady. Do you take the case?"
"Miss Jane Crabb?" I asked.
"The same," said he.
"Very well," said I. "I will study the conditions. You may look forward without dubiety to satisfying results."
"Mr. Peddie," said he, fervently, "for this assurance I thank you. Meantime I shall continue to pass and repass the prison-house of my lady, reassuring her from time to time with merry honks upon my horn. Good evening."
I now had two clients and two plans to formulate. But I did not despair. I felt my energy and intellect to be amply able for the task.
On my return I made marked progress. I reasoned as follows: If you want an individual to do a certain thing, there are two ways to go about it. You may reason with him and persuade him, or if his mental attitude toward the action be such as to make this impossible, you may resort to what may be termed a stratagem to bring about the desired end. No common mind would have achieved this piece of ratiocination in one short walk!
Therefore, as it was manifestly impossible to reason with Mrs. Crabb and persuade her to consent to the elimination of her dogs, and as it was equally futile to attempt in that manner to bring about the happiness of Miss Jane and Mr. Coppy, I determined to invent some subtle artifice which could not fail of success. To many this would have seemed difficult.
"Well?" said Mr. Crabb, as I re-entered the gate.
"Sir," said I, "it is as good as done."
"Within the week," said I, with perfect confidence.
"Excellent, if true," said he, somewhat skeptically. "By the way, you don't walk in your sleep, do you?"
It is never wise to make an admission until you are fully informed of the reasons governing the inquiry. I was, consequently, non-committal. "Why do you ask?" said I.
"Because," said he, with a malevolent gleam in. his eye, "it ain't safe around here. You saw that man Coppy. Well, we're guarding the house against him. He's unprincipled. We fear he will attempt to take away our daughter by force. Yes, indeed. Or that the influence he seems to have acquired over er will induce her to steal out to him. She is not, as you may have observed, allowed to leave the place."
"But why should I not walk in my sleep?" I asked.
"From nine till twelve the gardener and the chauffeur patrol the grounds; from twelve till three the butler and the under-gardener are on the job; from three till six the dairyman and one of the farmer's sons keep an eye peeled. And they're there for business."
"Um!" said I, somewhat taken aback, for this complicated matters decidedly.
"Good night," said he.
I met Miss Jane in the hall. Wishing to inform her that she had, all unknowingly, a true and dependable friend at hand, I put my finger to my lips and assumed an expression denoting secrecy. Also I whispered the illuminating words, "Do not despair!"
She was much affected by the disclosure, for she uttered a cry that was almost a shriek, clutched her throat, turned and sprang through a door which I heard her lock after her. I went to bed with a feeling of warmth about my heart. It is indeed true pleasure to bring joy and relief to others.
Next morning, as I descended to breakfast, I overheard Miss Jane say to her father, "Is the man right in his mind?"
"That, " said her father, "remains to be seen."
I wondered whom they could be speaking of. I had lain awake for a considerable time, permitting my brain to dwell, with its accustomed fertility, upon my problem, and before I slept a plan presented itself. The ordinary man would have made two plans, a dog-plan and a Jane-plan. I, however, made but one to accomplish both ends. True science is economical. At breakfast I began to put my stratagem into effect.
"This weather," said I, in a courteous tone, "is the very sort to cause an outbreak of rabies—the so-called hydrophobia."
Mrs. Crabb screamed and dropped a cup of coffee.
I changed the subject. "Miss Jane," said I, "if you were going on a wedding-journey how many trunks would you carry?"
"I'm—not going—on a wedding—journey," she said, instantly tearful.
"But if you were?" said I, endeavoring to convey a hidden meaning. "I do not ask from idle curiosity."
"F-four," said she, sniffling.
"Excellent! Splendid!" said I, really delighted, for no number could have been better suited to my designs.
"Rabies!" said Mrs. Crabb, in a weak voice.
Outside, an automobile horn sounded three times, and Miss Jane brightened perceptibly. Mr. Coppy was taking up again his daily labor of passing and re-passing the house.
"I'll—I'll fill the road with broken bottles," said Mr. Crabb.
"Do you think he cares for tires?" said Miss Jane, scornfully.
"Rabies!" said Mrs. Crabb a third time. Her tone was tragic.
Miss Jane got up abruptly and went into the garden. I followed her in a moment. When she saw me coming, for some reason which was not clear to me, she seemed to meditate flight.
"Wait," said I, "I have an important disclosure to make."
She backed away from me in the queerest manner. I wondered if all were well with her mentally.
"Have you," said I, "ever worn overalls like the chauffeur?"
"What!" she gasped.
"Because if you haven't," said I, "you'd better get some and practise in your room—good greasy ones."
She retreated a few steps and seized a rake which the gardener had left there. "What—what do you mean?" she panted.
"Sh-sss-sh!" Again I put my finger to my lips. "I am a scientific humanitarian. My business is to eradicate woe and suffering. Mr. Coppy is in a condition of extreme anguish because he is deprived of you, and has retained me to cure him, so to speak. In other words, I am here as a professional man, to restore you, as it were, to Mr. Coppy's yearning arms."
I nodded. "Are you prepared to put yourself without reserve into my hands and to obey without question? Otherwise I shall retire from the case."
"Yes," she said, breathlessly.
"Then," said I, "I shall notify Mr. Coppy to provide a means of conveying four trunks away from here to-morrow night. Four was the number, was it not?"
"Remember," said I, "the overalls. Greasy ones. Practise walking like a chauffeur. I will give you other directions later."
I left her and walked down the road. When well screened from view I waited for Mr. Coppy to appear. To him I outlined my plan and directed him to arrange for the carriage of Miss Jane's trunks.
"We'll make for Europe," said he. "I'll engage passage for the day after to-morrow. There's a sailing. The trunks can go directly to the pier."
"Good," said I. "Between twelve and three. It seems more advisable to act during the watch of the butler and the under-gardener. Butlers are notably timid, and under-gardeners are seldom men of action." I paused to give impressiveness to my next request. "Bring me to-morrow a bit and brace," said I. "A bit that will bore a good-sized hole. Do not forget. Everything hinges on the bit and brace."
"You shall have it, Edwy," said he, affectionately calling me by my given name. "A whole chest of tools if you like."
"A bit and brace only," said I, with dignity, for one may not be otherwise than dignified when acting professionally. Clients must be impressed.
When I returned to the house I found Mrs. Crabb in the garden with her daughter. I simulated excitement and some fear.
"Mrs. Crabb," said I, "I have just encountered a dog which acted—to state the matter without exaggeration—queerly. He made noises which quite unnerved me. I would not want to go so far as to say—"
"Rabies!" ejaculated Mrs. Crabb, and sank into a seat. "Oh, my little darlings! My precious pets! What shall I do? Advise me, Mr. Peddie. How shall I protect them from that awful beast?"
"In your place," said I, with judicial gravity, "I should quarantine the dogs—each and every one of them; I should confine them in the kennels. Thus they will be protected from dangers which lurk without, and you and your family will be safe should it prove to be a fact that any one of them has been infected with the dread disorder."
"It shall be done at once," she said. "I shall give orders myself. Rabies!" She hurried away as rapidly as her weight and conformation permitted.
The kennels, let me make clear, adjoined a small building used as a dairy down-stairs and as a trunk-room upstairs. Perhaps it will not be clear at this time why I desired the dogs to be confined in juxtaposition, as it were, to the trunk-room, but my reasons were excellent. My plans were working splendidly.
"Have you your overalls?" I whispered to Miss Jane.
"Greasy ones," she whispered back.
"At midnight to-morrow," I said. "Be ready."
She nodded. "How will I get my things out to pack my trunks?"
"You have the balance of to-day and to-morrow," said I. "Carry out your things piecemeal, concealed under the garments you are wearing. If your parents evince an interest in your visits to the trunk-room, tell them you are thinking of devoting your life to art. You paint in water-colors, do you not? Tell them you are considering remodeling the trunk-room into a studio."
Next morning I sought out Mr. Coppy, whose car had continued to patrol the road before the house, and made my final arrangements with him. Also I received from him the important bit and brace.
As for Miss Jane, she made innumerable journeys between her wardrobe and the trunk-room, but her explanation about the turning of her heart from Mr. Coppy to art not only reassured, but delighted her parents. It was a little thing, but skilful.
Toward six o'clock a small motor-truck stopped before the house, having developed trouble with its motor. For a couple of hours the driver vainly tried to set it going again, and then entered Mr. Crabb's grounds, mopping his brow disgustedly. He accosted Mr. Crabb.
"Say, mister," said he, "the blasted thing's busted down. Can't see to tinker it to-night. Mind if we push it in on to your driveway. I hate to leave it standin' out in the road all night."
Mr. Crabb granted the permission, and the driver, with his helper and some aid from the gardener and the chauffeur, pushed the truck into the grounds and rolled it along until it stood on the drive between the garage and the building in which the trunk-room was located. "We got blankets," said the man, "and we'll just roll up and sleep in the truck."
I did not retire with the family, but as soon as they went up-stairs I entered into conversation with the chauffeur and gardener, who were on guard. I explained to them that I was troubled with insomnia and thought I would walk about in the moonlight. Presently I sauntered away, rounded the house, took my bit and brace from the bushes where I had concealed it, and cautiously mounted to the trunk-room.
Perhaps two hours were consumed by what I had to do there. When I came down I passed the truck and said to the driver, in a low voice, "Ready."
Then I returned to the front of the house where the guards kept their careful vigil. It was now eleven o'clock. I had not been there long when I heard the engine of the motor-truck.
"They must have succeeded in starting it," said I, and the three of us walked over to see. It was a fact; the truck was moving out of the yard, and the driver called to us:
"Found the trouble by accident-like. Wire busted inside the insulation. Much 'bliged."
My heart beat high with excitement and pride, for there, inside that truck, proceeded Miss Jane's four trunks.
Promptly at midnight the under-gardener and the butler appeared to take up their watch. As the change of sentinels was being made, I heard, faintly, far down the road, three honks of an automobile-horn. It was Mr. Coppy's signal that he was in readiness. I knew he would run close to the house now—with his lights off—and there wait for Jane.
I had told Miss Jane to come down to the side-entrance at midnight, and I now walked, as though aimlessly, around the corner of the house to give my aid in this last crucial moment of her delivery. As I rounded the corner of the house, I saw a figure in overalls standing carelessly in the open, and made a mental note to rebuke her tactfully when it should be safe. Of course, it was dark, but one should never take unnecessary chances. It is not scientific.
I walked up to her rapidly and took her arm. "All is ready," I whispered, stealthily. "Come," and I led her toward the gate. We passed close to the butler and the under-gardener, but they suspected nothing, taking the chauffeur with his greasy overalls for granted.
Jane and I walked slowly up the road, though the temptation to run was well-nigh overpowering. We walked some hundred yards when Jane spoke:
"Say, sport, what's the idea?"
I stopped, nonplussed. The words were not such as a young lady would use; the voice was undeniably bass.
"Well," the voice said again, "we're on our way, but where to?"
"You—you aren't Miss Jane?"
"Do these pants look like I was? Say, sport, that insominy of your'n don't affect the noodle, does it?"
"But," said I, "there's some mistake. You ought to be Miss Jane."
"Say, what's goin' on, anyhow? What's Miss Jane got to do with it? Where is Miss Jane?"
"I would give," said I, fervently, "as much as five dollars to know."
"Somethin's wrong here," the chauffeur said, grimly; "you come along with me back to the house. This needs lookin' into."
He gripped my arm in fingers of unbelievable strength, and glared at me with ferocity. "Don't cut up no capers now, or I'll drop somethin' hard on your bean. Come gentle, pal."
In this plight I re-entered the grounds of Mr. Crabb's estate. The butler and the under-gardener were doing their duty, for we did not pass them unnoticed.
"Say, Dick," said the butler to my captor, "what you flittin' around so much for. First you go off with this gentleman. Next—and I dun'no' how you done it—you come skedaddling around the house there and make off across the lawn like you was bein' chased. Then here you come back again 'fore you've had half time to git where you was goin'."
"You're seein' things," said Dick.
"I guess I got eyes," said the butler.
"I seen you, too," said the under-gardener.
At that moment the lights of a car flashed on us, a motor-horn tooted thrice derisively, and, startled, we looked up to behold Mr. Coppy, in his big roadster, speeding past, and at his side sat an individual clad like a chauffeur, but the figure was hatless, and long hair streamed out behind. I recognized Miss Jane.
The events I have described are now upward of a week old. It will not aid to describe how I effected my escape from the corn-crib in which the chauffeur and the under-gardener and butler incarcerated me, expressing emphatically their opinion that I had aided Miss Jane to escape. But escape I did, and reached my office in safety.
I have not sent Mr. Crabb an additional bill for services, regarding his initial retainer as ample remuneration. I have not desired to communicate with him at all.
As for Mr. Coppy, he has reason to be grateful to me, and I shall render him a supplementary invoice, but not until later. At the present moment, doubtless, he feels some small irritation toward me—not, as you may suppose, because I mistook the chauffeur for Miss Jane, but for another reason altogether. The reason is this: They have with them aboard the steamer bound for Liverpool, not four trunks filled with Miss Jane's clothing, but four trunks containing seventeen dogs, mildly under the influence of chloroform. I removed Miss Jane's garments from the trunks, perforated them with many holes, using the bit and brace Mr. Coppy supplied, and put four dogs in each, excepting the fourth, which contained five.
So I am successfully launched in my profession. Scientific humanitarianism has proven lucrative, and I can refer skeptical clients to Mr. Coppy and Mr. Crabb. Both will have to admit my efficiency.