“Yes,” he admitted, “you are quite right, I suppose. One of the things, for instance, is——”
“One of the things, for instance, is,” repeated the other, interrupting him, “that you left New York suddenly—disappeared totally and—you ought to know this for your own salvation—under a cloud.”
Grey started, and the colour that had returned to his face fled again. He leaned across the table, resting his arms on its marble top.
“Under a 佛山桑拿选秀 cloud!” he exclaimed, breathlessly.17 “My God, Frothingham! What do you mean?”
“I’d rather not go into details,” was the answer, given very quietly. “It’s not a pleasant position that I have chosen for myself, and I prefer that you don’t question me. What you have told me—and 佛山桑拿哪里好玩 I’m satisfied now it is the truth—has put another light on the whole business. And you really cabled to New York?”
“Not half an hour ago. I sent three.”
“It’s too late, I suppose, to stop them.”
“I fancy so.”
“I’d see, if I were you. It is important.”
“But why? For God’s sake, man, tell me why.”
“No,” said Frothingham, rising; “you’d better read about it for yourself. It will be more satisfactory. You can find a file of the New York Herald at the office of the Paris paper. It’s only a block or so away, you know. Look up last January. But I’d try to 佛山桑拿哪里有 stop those cables first. I must be off now; I’ve got an appointment.” And he joined the now much augmented throng on the promenade.
18 Grey dropped a five-franc piece on the table, and hurried into a fiacre that stood in waiting.
“Rue Taitbout, 46,” he directed.
But when he reached there it was
to learn that his messages had been dispatched and that no power on earth could recall them.
Consumed with eager concern, Grey had himself driven to the office of the Herald. He was perturbed, distraught, and nervously apprehensive.
“Under a cloud,” he repeated, thoughtfully; “under a cloud. That may mean anything—murder, arson, theft, elopement. I’m a fugitive from justice, I suppose. That much Frothingham made very clear when he urged my stopping those cables.” And then his mood changed, and he argued that he was unnecessarily agitated. It could not be so bad. In his senses or out of them he would never, he felt sure, have committed a crime—some indiscretion, possibly, but not a crime.
When at length the file of the newspaper was before him and he was turning the pages, he noted that his fingers were unsteady
and that perspiration was oozing from every pore. Carefully he scanned20 each headline, running down column after column with keen scrutiny. Ten minutes passed and he had reached nearly the middle of the month without finding so much as a line of what he sought. Much of the matter, however, was familiar, from which he argued that the date of revelation must be farther on. Each leaf of the book of days he turned now with dread expectation. He had been standing, the file on a table at arm’s length, but suddenly he sat down, stunned by the message of the types that faced him:
“Carey Grey an Embezzler—Well-known Wall Street Broker Hypothecates Firm’s Securities and Disappears—Upwards of a Hundred Thousand Dollars Gone.”
His heart was pounding very hard and his head was bursting.
“It’s a lie,” he muttered, inaudibly, “an
outrageous, despicable lie. It’s impossible. It’s preposterous. Embezzle from my own firm? It’s ridiculous.”
He leaned forward and pulled the file of papers down until one end rested in his lap, and then he read hastily, but with the scrupulous heed of absolute21 concentration, every word of the two columns that told with minute detail the story of his defalcation and flight.
“Carey Grey, of the firm of Mallory & Grey, stockbrokers, with offices in the Mills Building,” began the account, “has been missing for a week and securities to the value of $110,000, it was discovered yesterday, have disappeared from the firm’s safe deposit vault. Most of the securities, including first mortgage bonds of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, to the amount of $40,000, and Brooklyn Rapid Transit 5s, worth $40,000 more, Grey hypothecated, personally, with the Shoe and Leather Bank on the day prior to his flight.
“The news of the defalcation caused a sensation in the Street and in society as well. Carey Grey was one of the most popular members of the Stock Exchange and his character had always been regarded as beyond reproach. A member of an old New York family—his mother was a Livingstone—his social position was of the best. He occupied bachelor apartments in the Dunscombe, on Sixty-sixth street, near Madison avenue, and22 his name appears on the membership lists of the union, Knickerbocker, and other clubs.
“Mr. Mallory, his partner, said yesterday: ‘Mr. Grey was at his desk last Wednesday when I reached the office, and he was there when I went away at half-past three. There was nothing unusual in his manner. He discussed with me several matters of business and spoke of a certain directors’ meeting that he should attend the next day. I have not seen or heard from him since. When he did not appear on Thursday I feared he was ill and telephoned to his rooms, but the answer came that he was not in. The whole business is to me inexplicable. I have known Carey Grey from childhood, and I would have been willing to swear that there was not a dishonest bone in his body. But the evidence against him is simply indisputable. The loss struck us at an especially bad time, but we shall pull through all right.’
“Inspector McClusky admitted that he was all at sea concerning Grey’s whereabouts. The case was not reported to him for a week—not until the securities were missed—and so it was quite possible the absconder had left the country; nevertheless23 he was doing all in his power to locate him.
“At Grey’s apartments yesterday Franz Lutz, his valet, was preparing to seek employment elsewhere.
“‘Mr. Grey,’ he said, ‘slept here last Wednesday night. He rose about eight o’clock Thursday morning, saying he had an urgent business appointment at the Waldorf-Astoria at ten sharp. He went away in a cab, and I have not seen him since.’
“Grey’s mother, who lives with her sister, Mrs. Hermann Valkenburgh, in Washington Square, North, has been prostrated by the revelations of the past twenty-four hours, and is under the care of her physician, Dr. Elbridge Bond.
“A rumour that Grey was engaged to be married to Miss Hope Van Tuyl, daughter of Nicholas Van Tuyl, president of the Consolidated Mortgage Company, was current yesterday. Miss Van Tuyl when seen last night denied the report.”
There was more of it, much more, all of which Grey read with deep and astonished interest; but it was merely repetition and speculation. When24 he finished the two columns he turned to the paper of the day following, and found a column there. As Frothingham had told him, the newspapers had kept up the sensation for weeks, and the Herald was as energetic as any. At length came a report that a man answering his description had jumped overboard from a steamer in the Gulf of Mexico and had been drowned before 佛山桑拿会所600全套 assistance could reach him. There was nothing in his effects to give a hint as to his identity, but the world, with one accord, apparently, had accepted the suggestion that it was the missing Grey, and then the subject was dropped.
He ran through the files for another month, but other matters of more immediate interest had crowded the Grey affair out of the public thought.
He returned the papers to the clerk who had provided them, and went out onto the Avenue de l’Opéra, horrified and perplexed. He was a felon, hiding from the law. And yet never, so far as he could remember, had he harboured a dishonest impulse. He was disguised to escape detection, and the disguise when he had discovered it had been, and still was, more mystifying to himself25 than it could possibly be to others. Then he began to wonder what his cables would 佛山桑拿微信 bring forth. He would be arrested, of course, and tried, and in all probability found guilty. The evidence against him as set forth in the newspaper account was not merely strong—it was irrefutable. Against the testimony of Mallory and of the bank officials what could he offer in refutation? To fancy any court or jury would put faith in his asseveration that he was unconscious when the act was committed was to count on the impossible. Nevertheless it was clearly his duty now to return at once to America and do all in his power to make reparation. And then it occurred to him that in spite of his alleged embezzlement he was, apparently, practically without funds. If he had taken the money, as charged, it must, of course, be somewhere, but of its location he had not the faintest idea. That he had disposed of a hundred or even 佛山桑拿黄岐 eighty thousand dollars in five months was in the highest degree improbable.
At the corner of the Rue de la Paix is the office of Thomas Cook & Sons, and Grey entered and inquired as to the sailing of transatlantic liners.26 The Celtic, he learned, was to sail the next day from Liverpool, but he could make better time probably, the clerk told him, by taking the Deutschland from Boulogne, or the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse from Cherbourg, on Saturday. The tide of travel was all the other way at this season and he would have no difficulty in securing a stateroom, even at the last minute.
Resuming his stroll he had very nearly reached his hotel when a young man, pale and evidently much agitated, halted before him, and raising his hat, deferentially, said:
“A thousand pardons, Herr Arndt, but I beg you to make haste. Herr Schlippenbach—he 佛山桑拿按摩女服务 is dying.”
He spoke in German, and Grey noted that in feature and manner he was Teutonic. For an instant the American imagined the youth had addressed him by mistake, but he had sufficient presence of mind to give no sign. A second later he was reassured.
“I went to your room, Herr Arndt, as usual at four-thirty, but you were gone out, and the portier told me you left no message.”
27 Grey hesitated over a reply. He realized that he was on the verge of a discovery. It was very evident now that he was not alone in Paris—that he had acquaintances, at least; probably companions; and that one of them was dying. In order to learn more he must give no indication of the change that had been wrought in him in the last few hours.
“Dying!” he exclaimed, in a tone of surprise; “I had no idea it was so serious.”
His German was 佛山桑拿按摩会所 excellent. In his early youth he had spent two years at G?ttingen, and had lived for one winter with a German family in Vienna.