The Drums of Jeopardy (Chapter 6, page 1 of 6)


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Chapter 6

The reportorial instinct in Kitty Conover, combined with her natural
feminine curiosity, impelled her to seek to the bottom of affair. Her
newspaper was as far from her as the poles; simply a paramount desire to
translate the incomprehensible into sequence and consequence. Harmless
old Gregor's disappearance and the advent of John Two-Hawks--the
absurdity of that name!--with his impeccable English accent, his Latin
gestures, and his black eye, convinced her that it was political; an
electrical cross current out of that broken world over there. Moribund
perspectives. What did that signify save that Johnny Two-Hawks had
fought somewhere that day for his life? Had Gregor been spirited away so
as to leave Two-Hawks without support, to confuse and discourage him
and break down his powers of resistance? Or had there been something of
great value in the Gregor apartment, and Johnny Two-Hawks had come too
late to save his friend?

A word slipped into her mind like a whiff of miasma off an evil swamp.
As she recognized the word she felt the same horror and repugnance one
senses upon being unexpectedly confronted by a cobra. Internationalism.
The scum of the world boiling to the top. A half-blind viper striking
venomously at everything--even itself! A destroyer who tore down but
who knew not how or what to build. Kitty knew that lower New York was
seething with this species of terrorism--thousands of noisome European
rats trying to burrow into the granary of democracy. But she had no
particular fear of the result. The reacting chemicals of American humour
and common sense would neutralize that virus. Supposing a ripple from
this indecent eddy had touched her feet? The torch of liberty in the
hands of Anarch!

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