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First published in The Spider magazine, February 1935

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2019
Version date: 2019-04-21
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The Spider, February 1935, with "Death's Spotlight"

ED RACE saw the whole thing, and he knew it was no accident. He had finished his number at the Grand Theatre—his last before going on the road again in the morning—and was taking a fast constitutional across Forty- Second Street when it happened.

The woman was standing in front of the Public Library near the corner of Fifth Avenue, apparently watching for some one. The tall, thin man was coming across Forty-second, going the same way as Ed, but on the opposite side of the street. When he saw the woman at the corner, he started to cross in the middle of the block.

Then it happened. The car must have been following that man. As soon as he stepped off the curb it came shooting along from behind, straight for him.

The tall man turned, saw it coming, and tried to dodge back to the sidewalk, but he didn't have a chance. The big car swerved in his direction, smashed into him sickeningly.

Ed saw his face under the street lamp for an instant before he was hit. It was strangely splotched in spots; his mouth was opened to shriek. But before he could utter a sound, his body went hurtling a dozen feet, and landed inert and broken, huddled up close to the curb.

Ed obeyed his first instinct. In a motion so swift that it paralyzed the eyes, he had drawn the heavy forty-five from the holster under his left armpit, and had it leveled. He was going to shoot one of the tires, cripple that car so it couldn't escape. But he didn't fire. For, instead of attempting to escape, the car had pulled up short.

Both front doors opened, and two men jumped out. They both wore baggy topcoats and soft felt hats. They hastened toward the injured man and knelt beside him, bending over very close.

Ed's blood tingled. He was a vaudeville actor by profession. He juggled revolvers on the stage, and performed feats of marksmanship with his six famous forty-fives that few men could equal. He was known from coast to coast in vaudeville circuits as The Masked Marksman. But in private life he indulged a hobby that was far more thrilling to him—he held licenses in a dozen states as a private detective. And that hobby had provided him in the past with many a moment of blood-tingling excitement. This promised to be one of them.

Ed noted that the woman who had been waiting in front of the library was running across the street now. He holstered his revolver, headed in that direction too. A crowd was forming swiftly. Ed got there about the same time as the woman. His keen glance noted something strange; one of the two men from the car, shielded by his companion, was going through the injured man's pockets!

The other one was talking loudly to cover up for him. "There ought to be a law against jaywalkin'!" he said irritably. "He stepped right in front of the car. How could I help smacking him?" The one who was talking had a square sort of face, with a large, wide nose, and a chin that bulged at the tip.

The woman who had dashed across the street with Ed leaped upon them now like a whirlwind. She shoved the square-faced man with her elbow, so that he almost fell from his squatting position. Then she enfolded the victim's head in her arms and wailed, "My husband! Poor George!" She glared at the other man, who had stopped his search suddenly. "What have you done to him, you—you—!"

She was slim, under thirty, dark. But Ed couldn't tell whether she was pretty or not, because of the make-up on her face.

The injured man breathed deeply, painfully. He was unconscious, of course. Ed noted once more that his face was red and blistered, as from severe sunburn.

The woman's hands explored the victim's torso, and she shouted at the motorist who still knelt beside her, looking as if he wanted to throttle her. "You've broken all his ribs!" She sobbed then: "He won't live. He won't live, I tell you! Damn you, why didn't you look where you were going!"

The one who knelt beside her seemed to control a desire to punch her in the face. He gulped, glared, and said with a pronounced lisp, "I'm thorry lady, but it wath an accident. We'll take him to the hothpital if you want."

THE woman did not answer him. She bent over the victim, burying her head on his chest, and sobbing. Her shoulders, in fact her whole body, shook with the vehemence of her sobs.

A police patrol-car pulled up alongside; it contained a uniformed sergeant who was making the rounds with the driver. The sergeant approached the scene majestically through the ready lane that was opened for him by the crowd.

"Who's the driver that hit him?" he demanded. "Pick him up and get him to the hospital quick. You want him to die on your hands?"

The crowd was now watching the sergeant and the two men from the car. Probably the only one there who kept his eyes on the woman was Ed Race. In any event, he was the only one there who saw that, while she sobbed hysterically, her gloved right hand was in the injured man's lower left-hand vest pocket. Only a moment it lingered there, came out empty, and flew to the upper one on the same side. She withdrew it almost at once, clutching something, just as the sergeant tapped her on the shoulder.

"Let's get at him, lady. Crying won't do you any good. We got to get him out of here."

Still wracked by sobs, she stood up, her back to the sergeant, and covered her face with a handkerchief which she produced from under her glove.

The two men from the car stooped, lifted the victim, carried him to the auto, and deposited him in the rear seat. The sergeant ordered the driver of the prowl car, "Leave the bus here, Finnegan, and go with them to the hospital. Then bring them down to the house an' see if the lieutenant wants to hold them. I'll drive the bus back myself."

He turned just in time to see the woman slipping away into the crowd.

"Hey, lady," he shouted. "Wait a minute!"

Ed Race had seen the woman start to slip away, had watched her face as she brushed by him. She stopped now at the sergeant's call, almost touching Ed. Her body stiffened and she reeled a little, clutching Ed's arm. Ed caught her around the waist, supported her, getting the scent of a strong perfume.

Ed's keen sense caught something else, too; the woman, as she reeled against him, had slipped something into the outside pocket of his coat. She had done it so deftly, so expertly, that any other man would never have noticed it.

She recovered in a moment, took a half-step away, and turned to meet the sergeant. That officer exclaimed, "Well, for the luva Pete! Since when you been married, Gertie?"

Gertie dropped her eyes, sniffled into the handkerchief.

The sergeant seized her by the shoulder, shook her roughly. "What sort of game is this, Gertie? You just come off the Island last month after doin' ninety days out of a hundred an' twenty for jostlin' in the subway; you been reportin' to Probation every week—an' here you turn up claimin' to be married to a guy that just got conked!"

She raised her eyes sullenly, but before answering she inspected Ed Race carefully as if she wanted to remember him in the future. Then she swung on the sergeant.

"Damn you, Barnes!" she spat at him. "Why can't you lay off of me? How do you know I ain't married? Sure I am. I know his name, an' everything. He's George Lasker, steward on the Krondam, and he and me's been married a long time—only we kept it quiet on account he's away so much!"

Sergeant Barnes retained his grip on her shoulder. "That may be, Gertie, but just the same I'll hold on to you till we get the low-down on this business."

The patrolman on the beat had arrived on the scene by this time, and Barnes called him over. "Hold this dame," he ordered. "We'll take her in."

Gertie said, "Wait a minute, will you?" She looked at Ed Race appealingly. "Say mister, you seen the accident an' everything; how about you give me your name and address so's you can be a witness when we sue those guys in the car?"

SHE had a grip on Ed's sleeve now; she wasn't going to let him go till she learned where to get him. Ed hadn't had a chance to put a hand in his pocket yet, but whatever she had placed there must be important. He had no doubt now that the two men in the car had deliberately struck down their victim to get it.

He said, "Sorry, lady, you must be mistaken. I didn't see a thing; I just got here." He was making the seven o'clock plane for Chicago in the morning, and he did not want to be held over for questioning in police-court.

Sergeant Barnes eyed him suspiciously. "Sa-y! Whaddya mean, you just got here! I saw you here when I pulled up!" He stepped closer to Ed, stared at him gloweringly. "This has the look of a phony deal all around—maybe some kind of insurance racket frame-up. I think you're in with the dame one way or another. What's your name?"

Ed sighed. The thing was getting all tangled up. "My name is Race," he said. "I'm an actor. I never saw this woman before."

Barnes leered at him. "An actor, huh? A bad-actor, I'll bet. Let's see what you got on you." He put out his hand to spread Ed's coat, preparatory to searching him.

Ed pushed him away. "Naughty, naughty, Sergeant! Mustn't search like that. Don't you know the rules? If you want to search some one you have to arrest him and book him first."

Barnes got ugly. "A wise guy, huh? Know all the rules, don't you? Well, see how you like this one!" He aimed a clumsy, lumbering swing at Ed's jaw. Ed blocked it easily with his left. He didn't want to get into a brawl with Barnes, and he didn't want to be searched right now, either.

Even as he blocked the blow, he saw his salvation. A squad car swung into the curb, scattering some of the crowd who had spread out into the gutter. The brakes squealed, the door flung open, and Acting-Captain Bland of Homicide, recently promoted from Detective-sergeant, sprang out.

Bland and Barnes. Their names began with the same letter, but there the similarity ended. Barnes was a plodding precinct man who would never get beyond his present position. Bland was ten years younger, and he was going places in the department, because of his keenness and intelligence. He knew Ed Race well, had even made use of Ed's special abilities on occasion.

Ed called out to him, "Hey, Steve! Come here and take this gorilla off my hands before he breaks my neck!"

Acting-Captain Bland shoved through the crowd, growling, "Hello, Barnes. This guy is okay, only he's a little hotheaded. Don't take him too serious." Then he turned to Ed. "Every time I put my eyes on you, Race, there's trouble around."

Barnes said, "Well, Captain, if you say so, all right. But it don't look so good. Here's Gertie Sales, that's been working the subways for years, turning up and claiming to be married to a guy that got hurt in an auto accident—"

Bland shook his head. "Not hurt, Barnes—killed! He died at the hospital. That's why I'm here. It's a homicide—a double homicide."

"Double?" Barnes looked puzzled.

Bland nodded. "Finnegan, the cop you sent with those two men. I got the broadcast from downtown. After they left the hospital they jerked a gun on Finnegan, shot him in the head, and left the car. There's an alarm out for them!"

Ed had his eyes on the woman, Gertie. She did not seem unduly shocked by the news.

Bland followed his gaze, and barked at her, "You! Can you prove you're married to that man?"

She took the handkerchief away from her mouth, lowered her eyes. "Y-you can look it up in the records. George has our license somewhere."

Ed asked her, "If you're his wife you ought to know what all that red mess on his face was from?"

She nodded. "Sunburn. The Krondam was on a cruise, and he got two days off at Milan. He got the burn on the beach there, an' it blistered somethin' terrible. He's been treatin' it for two weeks now."

Bland looked doubtfully from Gertie to Ed. Then he said crisply to Barnes, "Hold that woman here. I want to question her some more in a minute." He took Ed Race by the arm, led him away from the others. "Look here, Race, you're a square guy. But it looks to me like you know something about this business. So, spill me what you know, or I'll have to hold you—much as I'd regret it," he added with a grin.

"Yeah," Ed exclaimed. "You'd regret it! You know damn well that this is my last night in New York. You'd laugh up your sleeve if I missed my plane for Chicago in the morning!"

HE was sure now, that whatever object it was that rested in his pocket it had some bearing—an important bearing—on the case. If he told Bland about it, he'd certainly have to stay over to testify in the morning. "Look here, Steve," he urged. "Would you take my word if I told you something?"

Bland nodded reluctantly. "I guess so," grudgingly. "You're straight, even if you are tricky."

"All right. I give you my word, Steve, that I never saw that man who was killed, or the woman, or the two men in the car, before in my life. I don't know them from Adam. Is that strong enough?"

Bland glowered at him. Then he sighed. "I guess so, Race. I hope I'm not making a mistake in letting you go; if I am, the inspector will be giving me hell."

Ed said, "Thanks, Steve. I appreciate it." He was already walking away. "I'll send you a post card from Chicago."

Bland called after him worriedly, "If I should need you, will you be at your hotel tonight?"

"Yep. Till six in the morning."

Ed walked west, crossed Sixth Avenue, and entered a glittering new cafeteria a few doors beyond the corner. He did not look back, but went up to the counter, ordered a cup of coffee and a slice of butter-crumb cake, although he had eaten only a little while ago.

As he turned away with his tray, to seek a table, he grinned to himself. For there had entered, with a self-conscious appearance of nonchalance, a broad-shouldered man whom Ed immediately recognized as one of the detectives who had come with Bland in the squad car. Bland had not believed him one hundred percent.

The detective got a cup of coffee, sat at a table across the length of the cafeteria from the spot Ed had chosen.

Ed finished his coffee, leaving most of the cake, and rose. Instead of leaving, he made his way toward the rear, and entered the men's wash-room. There was nobody else here at the moment, and he hastily brought out from his pocket the object that the woman had dropped into it.

It was a flat, brass key-check, made to fit into some sort of slot. Upon its face was the lettering:

Times Square Self-Service
Checking System
Do not lose this key.
Number 7

Ed recalled the steel lockers in the Times Square subway station. It was an ingenious checking room which did not require an attendant. One inserted a dime in the slot of whichever box he chose, and the door opened automatically. He put his parcel in, closed the door, and the key was delivered to him through a slot. When he returned for his parcel, he inserted the key in the slot, the locker opened, and he took his parcel out.

Ed slipped the brass check back in his pocket just as the wash-room door opened to admit a thin, dried-up, undersized man with shifty eyes. Ed had seen this one come into the cafeteria with two others right after the detective, but he had paid no more than cursory attention to the three of them.

The thin man was no sooner inside the door than he produced a gun from his side pocket, leveled it at Ed. His lips, which were very thin and bloodless, uttered curt, clipped words:

"Give me that brass check, bo, or get burned down!"

His cold eyes were on Ed's pocket, where his hand still held the check. Ed saw that the muzzle of the gun was pointed unwaveringly at his middle.

He shrugged, slowly withdrew his hand, holding the check. "You want it pretty bad, don't you?"

"Never mind the talk," the thin man snarled. "Give it here!"

Ed said, "Here!" and flipped it in the air toward the other man. Involuntarily, the thin man put out his hand to catch it. It's impossible for anyone to try to catch something in the air and, at the same time, hold a bead on another man. The gunman's eyes wavered toward the brass check sailing in the air.

And in that instant, Ed's hand, moving in a continuous, swift blur of action, had drawn his own forty-five from the shoulder holster.

The thin man's gun wavered a few inches. He now frantically swung it back toward Ed, letting the key-check tinkle on the floor. But the barrel of Ed's revolver connected with that chin with a nasty thud. All the thin man's muscles seemed to loosen up, and he wilted, his hand opening nervelessly to allow the gun to drop.

ED caught the gun in the air, lest it explode when it hit the floor. He let the man slump down, however, and remain inert. He placed the gun beside the unconscious man, after wiping his own prints off it. Then he picked up the check, and walked calmly out of the wash-room.

He paid his fifteen cents at the cashier's desk, stepped out into the street. He was conscious of the detective following him out, and he also noted that the two men who had come in with the thin one had, after a moment of indecision, also risen. One of them came after him, out to the street, while the other went back to the wash-room.

Ed proceeded leisurely across Forty-Second Street to Times Square, conscious of the procession behind him. He was a little thankful for the detective at his immediate rear. It reduced the danger of a bullet in the back.

Ed felt a little safer as he pushed through to the subway entrance, walked down to the lower level. He passed the lockers to one of which he held the key. They stood against a wall near the entrance. Number seven—what did it contain? Ed was sorely tempted to open it right then; but he caught a glimpse of the detective who was trailing him, and the other two men—the second had evidently caught up with the first, and they both looked mad as hornets. They were just coming down the stairs.

Ed put a nickel in the turnstile machine, and passed through, walked down to the south-bound platform. A train was just roaring in. Ed walked to the south end of the platform, and waited there. He half-turned, saw the detective and the other two a little beyond him. He turned away quickly, as if he had not noticed them, and when the train pulled in and the doors opened, he stepped in.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw his three trailers enter another car of the train, further back. He waited a moment till the doors started to close, then slipped out, back on to the platform. The doors slid to, and he had a glimpse of the detective's bewildered expression staring out at him as the train flashed past. In the next car he saw the other two, also glaring at him.

He grinned, strode upstairs, and went boldly to the automatic lockers. He inserted the key in number seven, and the door swung open. He peered inside, and uttered an involuntary gasp of amazement. The dark, shadowy interior of the locker revealed nothing. Empty!

It was hard to believe that men had committed murder to get a key to an empty locker. He lit a match, held it so that the light shone on the inside. And then he saw it.

It was just a square piece of printed cardboard, and it lay in the corner where it had been invisible at first. He reached in and picked it up, and examined it. It was a baggage-check for one piece of luggage checked at the Pennsylvania Station.

Ed wanted to laugh. This would have been funny if it hadn't been for what went before. He slammed the door of the locker shut, and went up to the street. He could see where he wouldn't get much sleep tonight if he followed the thing up. But he could no more have dropped the business there than a drug addict can rid himself of the craving for drugs.

He hailed a cab and said, "Pennsylvania Station."

At the station parcel-room Ed presented the check, and in a moment the attendant passed over the counter a small Boston bag. "Twenty cents due on it," he announced. "Two days overtime."

Ed took the bag into the waiting room, sat down, and tried it. It was locked. He produced from his vest pocket a short length of thin but strong steel. He inserted one end of this under the lock and pried with it. The cheap lock was made for show rather than protection, and it gave under the pressure, the bag springing open.

The bag contained a dirty shirt, two dirty pair of socks, three soiled handkerchiefs, a bottle of medicine and a pint jar of salve. It also contained a seaman's book. The book was made out in the name of George Lasker, and the picture was a good likeness of the man who had been run down by the car.

Inside the seaman's book there were several folded papers of a personal nature—a couple of bills for dentist work in Rotterdam, a receipt for head-tax which Lasker paid in order to be allowed to leave his boat in New York for five days, and a marriage license dated one month ago, apparently when his ship had last visited New York. The marriage license was duly made out in the name of George Lasker and Gertie Sales.

ED found nothing else. There wasn't enough to warrant murder. He half expected to find another baggage check, or something that would take him on another chase, but there was nothing.

The medicine bottle contained an amber-colored liquid, and bore the label of a Dutch pharmacist in Amsterdam. The jar of salve came from England, and read:

Marsh's Calamine Unguent—
for relief of severe sunburn.

The salve had no odor at all, and the medicine smelled strongly of vinegar. Gertie had been right on every count. But she had certainly not seemed to be telling the truth.

Ed got the bag packed again, closed it as best he could, and went out into the street. He got in a cab and ordered, "Longmont Hotel—on Forty-eighth."

At the hotel, Ed got his key at the desk, went up to the twelfth floor in the elevator, carrying Lasker's bag under his arm so as not to spill the contents.

He opened the door of his room, kicked it shut after entering, and felt for the light switch. When he snapped it on he blinked his eyes at the sight that confronted him. Tied on the bed was the broad-shouldered detective who had followed him down to the Times Square subway station. On the two chairs in the room sat two other men. They were the two motorists who had run down Lasker. There was an alarm out for them, but it didn't seem to bother them much. They both had guns, and the guns had been directed at the doorway, so that when Ed entered he was covered. They had been waiting for him in the dark.

The detective was gagged, and he was making violent noises through the towel that had been tied around his mouth.

The man with the square face rose, grinning wickedly. His eyes were on the bag under Ed's arm, and his face bore a look of greedy satisfaction.

"Hello," Ed said mildly. "How did you boys all get here?"

Square-face said nothing. But the other one piped up: "Very thimple. When our two men lotht you in the thubway, they followed thith detective, and where should he go, but up here? Tho our men came in after him and tied him. Then they thent for uth to do the dirty work. You ought to thank uth for tying him up—he wath doing thomething very wrong; he wath thearching your room."

The square-faced one growled to his companion, "Lay off the talk, Slemp." His eyes were still on Ed. He ordered curtly, "Give us that bag!"

Ed held it out to him. "It's a pleasure. Is this what all the shooting's been about?"

Square-face didn't bother to answer. Instead he directed out of the corner of his mouth, "Take it, Slemp."

Slemp took the bag out of Ed's hands, exclaimed, "He'th opened it, Mickey. The lock ith buthted!" He dumped the contents on the bed close to the detective's legs, said sadly, "Nothing in here, Mickey."

Mickey snarled at Ed, "Give us what you took out of there, boy. And give it quick!" The gun in his hand moved forward an inch toward Ed's middle.

"Everything is in the bag the way I found it," Ed told him. "I didn't take a thing out of it. Somebody must have been giving you boys a joy-ride."

Mickey continued to watch Ed. He asked Slemp, "You sure that's Lasker's bag?"

"Yeth. Here are hith papers; and here ith the medicine he uthed for hith thunburn. It'th Lathker'th, all right."

Mickey started to grin thinly, dangerously. "Trying to get away with something, huh? Well, boy, last chance—do you come across?"

Ed was becoming annoyed. He didn't like the muzzle of that gun yawning at his stomach.

"If you'll tell me what I'm supposed to have—?" he began.

"Listen," Mickey interrupted savagely, "you must be awful dumb if you think you can kid us out of those stones. There's two men dead already—another one would make no difference to us—at all. Well?"

"Nope," Slemp said cheerfully. "It would be great fun to knock you off, mithter. You better give uth thothe four diamondth while you're thtill alive."

Ed sighed. "All right, you win." They'd never be convinced that Ed didn't have the diamonds. "I've got them," Ed lied. "They're tied around my garter."

Mickey's eyes lit with triumph. "Give us!"

Ed bent over, reached toward his trouser-leg to pull it up.

"I gueth you are pretty dumb after all, mithter," Slemp remarked. "Did you figure to get away with thothe thtoneth?"

ED didn't answer. He knew two guns were trained on him. In a moment, when it was discovered that he was bluffing, one or both of these guns would vomit death at him.

As he bent over, his coat came open, the handle of the big forty-five in his shoulder holster sagged low. And Ed did now what he had often done on the stage without the same grim necessity to succeed. He appeared to slip as he bent, but instead of recovering his balance, he continued the motion, going into a complete somersault. He had done that somersault on the stage every night for six years, coming out of it with a gun in his hand, and shooting a target no larger than a silver dollar, thirty feet away. Now he had human targets.

Two guns blazed at him, the room was filled with reverberating gunfire. But his somersault had carried him just past the foot of the bed, and the slugs from those guns clanged into the brass bedstead. Ed's revolver was in his hand almost with the echo of the first shots. He fired twice—once at Slemp, once at Mickey—and got slowly to his feet.

Slemp was lying half across the bed, blood from the hole in his head staining the detective's trousers a deep red. Mickey had been pushed back against the wall by the force of the heavy slug that had caught him in the right shoulder. His face was very white, and he slid down to the floor, letting the gun drop from nerveless fingers.

Ed grinned at the detective, who looked somewhat green in the gills. He reached over and untied the gag. There was the sound of excited voices in the corridor outside—the shots had been plenty loud.

The detective gasped, when his mouth was free, "Boy! That was some shooting!" His voice was almost drowned by the jangling of the telephone. "I'm Colter, of Homicide," he explained, looking sheepish. "I called Bland when you tricked me in the subway, an' he told me to come up here an' wait for you."

Ed had left him tied, crossed over and picked up the 'phone. Acting-Captain Bland's voice came sputtering over the wire. "Hello! Colter! Why the hell did you take so long answering? Hasn't Race come in yet? I got to see him!"

Ed said into the 'phone, "This isn't Colter, Steve. This is Ed Race."

There was a moment of embarrassed silence at the other end. Then, explosively, "Listen, Race, you pulled a fast one on me. I got Gertie to talk down here. She says she slipped a brass check in your pocket. It's supposed to be for some check room in the city, she don't know where. Lasker smuggled four diamonds in somehow on the boat, working with a smuggling clique here in the city. They paid for the stones in advance, and then he was going to double-cross them. He was supposed to meet Gertie and they was going to blow with thirty thousand dollars' worth of stones! If they're recovered now, the government will pay a reward of twenty-five percent!"

Ed whistled. Some one was trying the door tentatively from the corridor. Ed covered the mouthpiece, called out, "It's all right. I'll open up in a minute." He spoke into the receiver again. "Better come up here, Steve. I think I can introduce you to that smuggling clique. But those diamonds—I think they're a fairy tale."

"I'll be over," said Bland, "in about four minutes. Say, while I think of it—here's something funny. The Medical Examiner's right here, and he says Lasker didn't have sunburn at all. Those blisters were brought about by having tincture of cantharides applied to his face."

Ed gripped the 'phone. "What? Wait a minute! Hold on, Steve!" He put the 'phone down, rushed to the bed, unceremoniously pushed the dead Slemp to the floor, and snatched up the bottle of amber colored liquid, and the jar of salve. On the way back to the 'phone he unlocked the door to admit the house-detective and a uniformed patrolman who pushed in gazing about the room in wonder.

Ed said to them, "Everything's okay. I have headquarters on the wire now. Untie him." He motioned toward the bed, then reached for the 'phone once more.

"Hey, Steve! Ask the M. E. what this tincture of cantharides smells like. Does it smelt of vinegar?"

After a moment the answer came. "Yep. It blisters you up. Why?"

"This Lasker put it on his face on purpose, so's the Customs men would think he had sunburn. Then they wouldn't suspect a nice big jar of salve, would they?"

WHILE he talked he had twisted open the lid of the jar, dug his fingers into the white substance. Colter was untied now, and he and the others crowded around while Ed pulled out, one after the other, four diamonds, each one almost the size of a dime in diameter.

He grinned into the telephone, winked at Colter. "Okay, Steve. Come on up. I'll introduce you to the diamonds, too!"


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