Hearts and Masks (Chapter 7, page 1 of 12)


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Chapter 7

The consummate daring of it! Why, the rascal ought to have been in
command of an army. On the Board of Strategy he would have been
incomparable!

There followed a tableau that I shall not soon forget. We all stared
at the real Haggerty much after the fashion of Medusa's victims.
Presently the tension relaxed, and we all sighed. I sighed because the
thought of jail for the night in a dress-suit dwindled in perspective;
the girl sighed for the same reason and one or two other things; the
chief of the village police and his officers sighed because darkness
had suddenly swooped down on them; and Hamilton sighed because there
were no gems. Haggerty was the one among us who didn't sigh. He
scowled blackly.

This big athlete looked like a detective, and the abrupt authority of
his tones convinced me that he was. Haggerty was celebrated in the
annals of police affairs; he had handled all sorts of criminals, from
titled impostors down to petty thieves. He was not a man to trifle
with, mentally or physically, and for this reason we were all shaking
in our boots. He owned to a keen but brutal wit; to him there was no
such thing as sex among criminals, and he had the tenacity of purpose
that has given the bulldog considerable note in the pit. But it was
quite plain that for once he had met his match.

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