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Barker's eyes narrowed. "You give me your word of honor, Mr. Carroll, I ain't goin' to be pinched for blackmail?"
"Well, it was this way, sir. Bein' Mr. Warren's valet I knew he was plannin' to run off with Mrs. Lawrence. I knew that was going to raise an awful row in town--and I knew that Mr. Gresham would do a heap to keep his sister from bein' unhappy as she was going to be if Mr. Warren done as he was plannin'. So I called up Mr. Gresham that night and told him everything but the woman's name. My idea was that he'd bust up the elopement. I went to the station to make sure that Mrs. Lawrence got there--knowin' that once she' was there, if young Mr. Gresham busted things up, I'd be able to blackmail Mrs. Lawrence--her bein' a rich woman. I'm comin' clean with you, Mr. Carroll--"
"I never seen Mr. Gresham at all at the station. And when I seen Mrs.
Lawrence get into the taxi and found out the next morning that Mr.
Warren's body was found there--of course I couldn't help thinkin' like I did, could I?"
"I suppose not. You're a skunk, Barker--and I hate to let you go. But if the Chief is willing I'm going to do it--because your hide isn't worth Mrs. Lawrence's good name. Now get out!"
"I'm free?" questioned the man eagerly.
"How about it, Leverage?"
"Sure," growled Leverage. "You're the boss, David."
Immediately as Barker left the room Carroll turned to the telephone and called a number.
"Who's that?" questioned Leverage.
"Mrs. Lawrence," answered Carroll. "I want to tell her that she is safe."
Leverage smiled broadly. And as he watched Carroll's eager face he saw an expression of consternation cross it. Carroll covered the transmitter with his hand--
"Good Lord!" he groaned, "it's Evelyn Rogers!"
Leverage chuckled--then listened shamelessly to Carroll's end of the conversation--
"Yes--yes, this is David Carroll--I'm glad you think it was sweet of me to telephone--I want to speak to your sister--She isn't there?--Well, ask her to telephone me at headquarters as soon as she comes in, will you?--Uh-huh!--the Warren case has ended--and that's what I wanted to tell her--I only did my best--Yes--Oh! say--"
The receiver clicked on the hook. Carroll was grinning as he turned back to his friend--
"Guess what that young thing said when I told her I had solved the Warren case?"
"Tell me, David--I'm a poor guesser."
"She said," returned Carroll gravely--"that I am just the cutest man she has ever known!"