The Apartment Next Door (Chapter 6, page 1 of 13)


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Chapter 6

After Jane left Carter at the drug-store, he did not cross immediately to the bookshop opposite. His detective work was not of that sort. He strolled leisurely around the corner long enough to give some directions to his two aides waiting there and then, moving across the street, paused in front of the window of books as if something there had attracted his attention. All the while he was keeping a sharp eye for any person who looked as if they might be connected in any way with old Hoff. Satisfied that his entrance was unobserved he strolled casually in and began looking over the volumes in the lending library. The lone clerk in the store--a young woman--at first volunteered some suggestions, but as they went unheeded she returned to her work of posting up the accounts.

As soon as her attention was occupied Carter moved at once to the end of the shelf that Miss Strong had indicated and removed the fifth book.

To his amazement he found nothing whatever concealed between the leaves.

The books on either side on the same shelf failed to yield up anything.

He tried the shelf above and the shelf below. Perhaps Miss Strong had been mistaken in the directions. He examined the books at the other end.

There was nothing there. He recalled that the girl had said that no one except two girls had entered the store between the time she had discovered and copied the cipher and the time of his arrival. If these girls had not taken the message away there could be only one other explanation--the clerk in the bookstore must have removed it and concealed it somewhere.

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