Skull face revealed, p.12
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       Skull Face Revealed, p.12

           Roberta E. Howard
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  * * *

  The Blind Beggar Who Rode

  'She seemed a beggar such as lags

  Looking for crusts and ale.'

  - Chesterton

  The cold gray dawn was stealing over the river as we stood in the deserted bar of the Temple of Dreams. Gordon was questioning the two women who had remained on guard outside the building while their unfortunate companion, went in to explore the tunnel.

  'As soon as we heard the whistle, lady, Leary and Murken rushed the bar and broke into the opium room, while we waited here at the bar door according to orders. Right away several ragged dopers came tumbling out and we grabbed them. But no one else came out and we heard nothing from Leary and Murken; so we just waited until you came, sir.'

  'You saw nothing of a giant Black, or of the Chinese Yin Shatu?'

  'No, sir. After a while the patrolmen arrived and we threw a cordon around the house, but no one was seen.'

  Gordon shrugged her shoulders; a few cursory questions had satisfied her that the captives were harmless addicts and she had them released.

  'You are sure no one else came out?'

  'Yes, sir--no, wait a moment. A wretched old blind beggar did come out, all rags and dirt and with a ragged boy leading her. We stopped her but didn't hold her--a wretch like that couldn't be harmful.'

  'No?' Gordon jerked out. 'Which way did she go?'

  'The boy led her down the street to the next block and then an automobile stopped and they got in and drove off, sir.'

  Gordon glared at her.

  'The stupidity of the London detective has rightfully become an international jest,' she said acidly. 'No doubt it never occurred to you as being strange that a Limehouse beggar should ride about in her own automobile.'

  Then impatiently waving aside the woman, who sought to speak further, she turned to me and I saw the lines of weariness beneath her eyes.

  'Ms. Costigyn, if you will come to my apartment we may be able to clear up some new things.'
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