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   Chapter 4 No.4

Never-Fail Blake By Arthur Stringer Characters: 31159

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:05

The unpretentious, brownstone-fronted home of Deputy Copeland was visited, late that night, by a woman. She was dressed in black, and heavily veiled. She walked with the stoop of a sorrowful and middle-aged widow.

She came in a taxicab, which she dismissed at the corner. From the house steps she looked first eastward and then westward, as though to make sure she was not being followed. Then she rang the bell.

She gave no name; yet she was at once admitted. Her visit, in fact, seemed to be expected, for without hesitation she was ushered upstairs and into the library of the First Deputy.

He was waiting for her in a room more intimate, more personal, more companionably crowded than his office, for the simple reason that it was not a room of his own fashioning. He stood in the midst of its warm hangings, in fact, as cold and neutral as the marble Diana behind him. He did not even show, as he closed the door and motioned his visitor into a chair, that he had been waiting for her.

The woman, still standing, looked carefully about the room, from side to side, saw that they were alone, made note of the two closed doors, and then with a sigh lifted her black gloved hands and began to remove the widow's cap from her head. She sighed again as she tossed the black crepe on the dark-wooded table beside her. As she sank into the chair the light from the electrolier fell on her shoulders and on the carefully coiled and banded hair, so laboriously built up into a crown that glinted nut-brown above the pale face she turned to the man watching her.

"Well?" she said. And from under her level brows she stared at Copeland, serene in her consciousness of power. It was plain that she neither liked him nor disliked him. It was equally plain that he, too, had his ends remote from her and her being.

"You saw Blake again?" he half asked, half challenged.

"No," she answered.


"I was afraid to."

"Did n't I tell you we 'd take care of your end?"

"I 've had promises like that before. They were n't always remembered."

"But our office never made you that promise before, Miss Verriner."

The woman let her eyes rest on his impassive face.

"That's true, I admit. But I must also admit I know Jim Blake. We 'd better not come together again, Blake and me, after this week."

She was pulling off her gloves as she spoke. She suddenly threw them down on the table. "There 's just one thing I want to know, and know for certain. I want to know if this is a plant to shoot Blake up?"

The First Deputy smiled. It was not altogether at the mere calmness with which she could suggest such an atrocity.

"Hardly," he said.

"Then what is it?" she demanded.

He was both patient and painstaking with her. His tone was almost paternal in its placativeness.

"It's merely a phase of departmental business," he answered her. "And we 're anxious to see Blake round up Connie Binhart."

"That's not true," she answered with neither heat nor resentment, "or you would never have started him off on this blind lead. You 'd never have had me go to him with that King Edward note and had it work out to fit a street in Montreal. You 've got a wooden decoy up there in Canada, and when Blake gets there he 'll be told his man slipped away the day before. Then another decoy will bob up, and Blake will go after that. And when you 've fooled him two or three times he 'll sail back to New York and break me for giving him a false tip."

"Did you give it to him?"

"No, he hammered it out of me. But you knew he was going to do that. That was part of the plant."

She sat studying her thin white hands for several seconds. Then she looked up at the calm-eyed Copeland.

"How are you going to protect me, if Blake comes back? How are you going to keep your promise?"

The First Deputy sat back in his chair and crossed his thin legs.

"Blake will not come back," he announced. She slewed suddenly round on him again.

"Then it is a plant!" she proclaimed.

"You misunderstand me, Miss Verriner. Blake will not come back as an official. There will be changes in the Department, I imagine; changes for the better which even he and his Tammany Hall friends can't stop, by the time he gets back with Binhart."

The woman gave a little hand gesture of impatience.

"But don't you see," she protested, "supposing he gives up Binhart? Supposing he suspects something and hurries back to hold down his place?"

"They call him Never-Fail Blake," commented the unmoved and dry-lipped official. He met her wide stare with his gently satiric smile.

"I see," she finally said, "you 're not going to shoot him up. You 're merely going to wipe him out."

"You are quite wrong there," began the man across the table from her. "Administration changes may happen, and in-"

"In other words, you 're getting Jim Blake out of the way, off on this Binhart trail, while you work him out of the Department."

"No competent officer is ever worked out of this Department," parried the First Deputy.

She sat for a silent and studious moment or two, without looking at Copeland. Then she sighed, with mock plaintiveness. Her wistfulness seemed to leave her doubly dangerous.

"Mr. Copeland, are n't you afraid some one might find it worth while to tip Blake off?" she softly inquired.

"What would you gain?" was his pointed and elliptical interrogation.

She leaned forward in the fulcrum of light, and looked at him soberly.

"What is your idea of me?" she asked.

He looked back at the thick-lashed eyes with their iris rings of deep gray. There was something alert and yet unparticipating in their steady gaze. They held no trace of abashment. They were no longer veiled. There was even something disconcerting in their lucid and level stare.

"I think you are a very intelligent woman," Copeland finally confessed.

"I think I am, too," she retorted. "Although I have n't used that intelligence in the right way. Don't smile! I 'm not going to turn mawkish. I 'm not good. I don't know whether I want to be. But I know one thing: I 've got to keep busy-I 've got to be active. I 've got to be!"

"And?" prompted the First Deputy, as she came to a stop.

"We all know, now, exactly where we 're at. We all know what we want, each one of us. We know what Blake wants. We know what you want. And I want something more than I 'm getting, just as you want something more than writing reports and rounding up push-cart peddlers. I want my end, as much as you want yours."

"And?" again prompted the First Deputy.

"I 've got to the end of my ropes; and I want to swing around. It's no reform bee, mind! It's not what other women like me think it is. But I can't go on. It doesn't lead to anything. It does n't pay. I want to be safe. I 've got to be safe!"

He looked up suddenly, as though a new truth had just struck home with him. For the first time, all that evening, his face was ingenuous.

"I know what's behind me," went on the woman. "There 's no use digging that up. And there 's no use digging up excuses for it. But there are excuses-good excuses, or I 'd never have gone through what I have, because I feel I was n't made for it. I 'm too big a coward to face what it leads to. I can look ahead and see through things. I can understand too easily." She came to a stop, and sat back, with one white hand on either arm of the chair. "And I 'm afraid to go on. I want to begin over. And I want to begin on the right side!"

He sat pondering just how much of this he could believe. But she disregarded his veiled impassivity.

"I want you to take Picture 3,970 out of the Identification Bureau, the picture and the Bertillon measurements. And then I want you to give me the chance I asked for."

"But that does not rest with me, Miss Verriner!"

"It will rest with you. I could n't stool with my own people here. But Wilkie knows my value. He knows what I can do for the service if I 'm on their side. He could let me begin with the Ellis Island spotting. I could stop that Stockholm white-slave work in two months. And when you see Wilkie to-morrow you can swing me one way or the other!"

Copeland, with his chin on his bony breast, looked up to smile into her intent and staring eyes.

"You are a very clever woman," he said. "And what is more, you know a great deal!"

"I know a great deal!" she slowly repeated, and her steady gaze succeeded in taking the ironic smile out of the corners of his eyes.

"Your knowledge," he said with a deliberation equal to her own, "will prove of great value to you-as an agent with Wilkie."

"That's as you say!" she quietly amended as she rose to her feet. There was no actual threat in her words, just as there was no actual mockery in his. But each was keenly conscious of the wheels that revolved within wheels, of the intricacies through which each was threading a way to certain remote ends. She picked up her black gloves from the desk top. She stood there, waiting.

"You can count on me," he finally said, as he rose from his chair. "I 'll attend to the picture. And I 'll say the right thing to Wilkie!"

"Then let's shake hands on it!" she quietly concluded. And as they shook hands her gray-irised eyes gazed intently and interrogatively into his.

V (a)

When Never-Fail Blake alighted from his sleeper in Montreal he found one of Teal's men awaiting him at Bonaventure Station. There had been a hitch or a leak somewhere, this man reported. Binhart, in some way, had slipped through their fingers.

All they knew was that the man they were tailing had bought a ticket for Winnipeg, that he was not in Montreal, and that, beyond the railway ticket, they had no trace of him.

Blake, at this news, had a moment when he saw red. He felt, during that moment, like a drum-major who had "muffed" his baton on parade. Then recovering himself, he promptly confirmed the Teal operative's report by telephone, accepted its confirmation as authentic, consulted a timetable, and made a dash for Windsor Station. There he caught the Winnipeg express, took possession of a stateroom and indited carefully worded telegrams to Trimble in Vancouver, that all out-going Pacific steamers should be watched, and to Menzler in Chicago, that the American city might be covered in case of Binhart's doubling southward on him. Still another telegram he sent to New York, requesting the Police Department to send on to him at once a photograph of Binhart.

In Winnipeg, two days later, Blake found himself on a blind trail. When he had talked with a railway detective on whom he could rely, when he had visited certain offices and interviewed certain officials, when he had sought out two or three women acquaintances in the city's sequestered area, he faced the bewildering discovery that he was still without an actual clue of the man he was supposed to be shadowing.

It was then that something deep within his nature, something he could never quite define, whispered its first faint doubt to him. This doubt persisted even when late that night a Teal Agency operative wired him from Calgary, stating that a man answering Binhart's description had just left the Alberta Hotel for Banff. To this latter point Blake promptly wired a fuller description of his man, had an officer posted to inspect every alighting passenger, and early the next morning received a telegram, asking for still more particulars.

He peered down at this message, vaguely depressed in spirit, discarding theory after theory, tossing aside contingency after contingency. And up from this gloomy shower slowly emerged one of his "hunches," one of his vague impressions, coming blindly to the surface very much like an earthworm crawling forth after a fall of rain. There was something wrong. Of that he felt certain. He could not place it or define it. To continue westward would be to depend too much on an uncertainty; it would involve the risk of wandering too far from the center of things. He suddenly decided to double on his tracks and swing down to Chicago. Just why he felt as he did he could not fathom. But the feeling was there. It was an instinctive propulsion, a "hunch." These hunches were to him, working in the dark as he was compelled to, very much what whiskers are to a cat. They could not be called an infallible guide. But they at least kept him from colliding with impregnabilities.

Acting on this hunch, as he called it, he caught a Great Northern train for Minneapolis, transferred to a Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul express, and without loss of time sped southward. When, thirty hours later, he alighted in the heart of Chicago, he found himself in an environment more to his liking, more adaptable to his ends. He was not disheartened by his failure. He did not believe in luck, in miracles, or even in coincidence. But experience had taught him the bewildering extent of the resources which he might command. So intricate and so wide-reaching were the secret wires of his information that he knew he could wait, like a spider at the center of its web, until the betraying vibration awakened some far-reaching thread of that web. In every corner of the country lurked a non-professional ally, a secluded tipster, ready to report to Blake when the call for a report came. The world, that great detective had found, was indeed a small one. From its scattered four corners, into which his subterranean wires of espionage stretched, would in time come some inkling, some hint, some discovery. And at the converging center of those wires Blake was able to sit and wait, like the central operator at a telephone switchboard, knowing that the tentacles of attention were creeping and wavering about dim territories and that in time they would render up their awaited word.

In the meantime, Blake himself was by no means idle. It would not be from official circles, he knew, that his redemption would come. Time had already proved that. For months past every police chief in the country had held his description of Binhart. That was a fact which Binhart himself very well knew; and knowing that, he would continue to move as he had been moving, with the utmost secrecy, or at least protected by some adequate disguise.

It would be from the underworld that the echo would come. And next to New York, Blake knew, Chicago would make as good a central exchange for this underworld as could be desired. Knowing that city of the Middle West, and knowing it well, he at once "went down the line," making his rounds stolidly and systematically, first visiting a West Side faro-room and casually interviewing the "stools" of Custom House Place and South dark Street, and then dropping in at the Café Acropolis, in Halsted Street, and lodging houses in even less savory quarters. He duly canvassed every likely dive, every "melina," every gambling house and yegg hang out. He engaged in leisurely games of pool with stone-getters and gopher men. He visited bucket-shops and barrooms, and dingy little Ghetto cafés. He "buzzed" tipsters and floaters and mouthpieces. He fraternized with till tappers and single-drillers. He always made his inquiries after Binhart seem accidental, a case apparently subsidiary to two or three others which he kept always to the foreground.

He did not despair over the discovery that no one seemed to know of Binhart or his movements. He merely waited his time, and extended new ramifications into newer territory. His word still carried its weight of official authority. There was still an army of obsequ

ious underlings compelled to respect his wishes. It was merely a matter of time and mathematics. Then the law of averages would ordain its end; the needed card would ultimately be turned up, the right dial-twist would at last complete the right combination.

The first faint glimmer of life, in all those seemingly dead wires, came from a gambler named Mattie Sherwin, who reported that he had met Binhart, two weeks before, in the café of the Brown Palace in Denver. He was traveling under the name of Bannerman, wore his hair in a pomadour, and had grown a beard.

Blake took the first train out of Chicago for Denver. In this latter city an Elks' Convention was supplying blue-bird weather for underground "haymakers," busy with bunco-steering, "rushing" street-cars and "lifting leathers." Before the stampede at the news of his approach, he picked up Biff Edwards and Lefty Stivers, put on the screws, and learned nothing. He went next to Glory McShane, a Market Street acquaintance indebted for certain old favors, and from her, too, learned nothing of moment. He continued the quest in other quarters, and the results were equally discouraging.

Then began the real detective work about which, Blake knew, newspaper stories were seldom written. This work involved a laborious and monotonous examination of hotel registers, a canvassing of ticket agencies and cab stands and transfer companies. It was anything but story-book sleuthing. It was a dispiriting tread-mill round, but he was still sifting doggedly through the tailings of possibilities when a code-wire came from St. Louis, saying Binhart had been seen the day before at the Planters' Hotel.

Blake was eastbound on his way to St. Louis one hour after the receipt of this wire. And an hour after his arrival in St. Louis he was engaged in an apparently care free and leisurely game of pool with one Loony Ryan, an old-time "box man" who was allowed to roam with a clipped wing in the form of a suspended indictment. Loony, for the liberty thus doled out to him, rewarded his benefactors by an occasional indulgence in the "pigeon-act."

"Draw for lead?" asked Blake, lighting a cigar.

"Sure," said Loony.

Blake pushed his ball to the top cushion, won the draw, and broke.

"Seen anything of Wolf Yonkholm?" he casually inquired, as he turned to chalk his cue. But his eye, with one quick sweep, had made sure of every face in the room.

Loony studied the balls for a second or two. Wolf was a "dip" with an international record.

"Last time I saw Wolf he was out at 'Frisco, workin' the Beaches," was Loony's reply.

Blake ventured an inquiry or two about other worthies of the underworld. The players went on with their game, placid, self-immured, matter-of-fact.

"Where's Angel McGlory these days?" asked Blake, as he reached over to place a ball.

"What's she been doin'?" demanded Loony, with his cue on the rail.

"She 's traveling with a bank sneak named Blanchard or Binhart," explained Blake. "And I want her."

Loony Ryan made his stroke.

"Hep Roony saw Binhart this mornin', beatin' it for N' Orleans. But he was n't travelin' wit' any moll that Hep spoke of."

Blake made his shot, chalked his cue again, and glanced down at his watch. His eyes were on the green baize, but his thoughts were elsewhere.

"I got 'o leave you, Loony," he announced as he put his cue back in the rack. He spoke slowly and calmly. But Loony's quick gaze circled the room, promptly checking over every face between the four walls.

"What's up?" he demanded. "Who 'd you spot?"

"Nothing, Loony, nothing! But this game o' yours blamed near made me forget an appointment o' mine!"

Twenty minutes after he had left the bewildered Loony Ryan in the pool parlor he was in a New Orleans sleeper, southward bound. He knew that he was getting within striking distance of Binhart, at last. The zest of the chase took possession of him. The trail was no longer a "cold" one. He knew which way Binhart was headed. And he knew he was not more than a day behind his man.

V (b)

The moment Blake arrived in New Orleans he shut himself in a telephone booth, called up six somewhat startled acquaintances, learned nothing to his advantage, and went quickly but quietly to the St. Charles. There he closeted himself with two dependable "elbows," started his detectives on a round of the hotels, and himself repaired to the Levee district, where he held off-handed and ponderously facetious conversations with certain unsavory characters. Then came a visit to certain equally unsavory wharf-rats and a call or two on South Rampart Street. But still no inkling of Binhart or his intended movements came to the detective's ears.

It was not until the next morning, as he stepped into Antoine's, on St. Louis Street just off the Rue Royal, that anything of importance occurred. The moment he entered that bare and cloistral restaurant where Monsieur Jules could dish up such startling uncloistral dishes, his eyes fell on Abe Sheiner, a drum snuffer with whom he had had previous and somewhat painful encounters. Sheiner, it was plain to see, was in clover, for he was breakfasting regally, on squares of toast covered with shrimp and picked crab meat creamed, with a bisque of cray-fish and papa-bottes in ribbons of bacon, to say nothing of fruit and bruilleau.

Blake insisted on joining his old friend Sheiner, much to the tatter's secret discomfiture. It was obvious that the drum snuffer, having made a recent haul, would be amenable to persuasion. And, like all yeggs, he was an upholder of the "moccasin telegraph," a wanderer and a carrier of stray tidings as to the movements of others along the undergrooves of the world. So while Blake breakfasted on shrimp and crab meat and French artichokes stuffed with caviar and anchovies, he intimated to the uneasy-minded Sheiner certain knowledge as to a certain recent coup. In the face of this charge Sheiner indignantly claimed that he had only been playing the ponies and having a run of greenhorn's luck.

"Abe, I 've come down to gather you in," announced the calmly mendacious detective. He continued to sip his bruilleau with fraternal unconcern.

"You got nothing on me, Jim," protested the other, losing his taste for the delicacies arrayed about him.

"Well, we got 'o go down to Headquarters and talk that over," calmly persisted Blake.

"What's the use of pounding me, when I 'm on the square again?" persisted the ex-drum snuffer.

"That's the line o' talk they all hand out. That's what Connie Binhart said when we had it out up in St. Louis."

"Did you bump into Binhart in St. Louis?"

"We had a talk, three days ago."

"Then why 'd he blow through this town as though he had a regiment o' bulls and singed cats behind him!"

Blake's heart went down like an elevator with a broken cable. But he gave no outward sign of this inward commotion.

"Because he wants to get down to Colon before the Hamburg-American boat hits the port," ventured Blake. "His moll's aboard!"

"But he blew out for 'Frisco this morning," contended the puzzled Sheiner. "Shot through as though he 'd just had a rumble!"

"Oh, he said that, but he went south, all right."

"Then he went in an oyster sloop. There 's nothing sailing from this port to-day."

"Well, what's Binhart got to do with our trouble anyway? What I want-"

"But I saw him start," persisted the other. "He ducked for a day coach and said he was traveling for his health. And he sure looked like a man in a hurry!"

Blake sipped his bruilleau, glanced casually at his watch, and took out a cigar and lighted it. He blinked contentedly across the table at the man he was "buzzing." The trick had been turned. The word had been given. He knew that Binhart was headed westward again. He also knew that Binhart had awakened to the fact that he was being followed, that his feverish movements were born of a stampeding fear of capture.

Yet Binhart was not a coward. Flight, in fact, was his only resource. It was only the low-brow criminal, Blake knew, who ran for a hole and hid in it until he was dragged out. The more intellectual type of offender preferred the open. And Binhart was of this type. He was suave and artful; he was active bodied and experienced in the ways of the world. What counted still more, he was well heeled with money. Just how much he had planted away after the Newcomb coup no one knew. But no one denied that it was a fortune. It was ten to one that Binhart would now try to get out of the country. He would make his way to some territory without an extradition treaty. He would look for a land where he could live in peace, where his ill-gotten wealth would make exile endurable.

Blake, as he smoked his cigar and turned these thoughts over in his mind, could afford to smile. There would be no peace and no rest for Connie Binhart; he himself would see to that. And he would "get" his man; whether it was in a week's time or a month's time, he would "get" his man and take him back in triumph to New York. He would show Copeland and the Commissioner and the world in general that there was still a little life in the old dog, that there was still a haul or two he could make.

So engrossing were these thoughts that Blake scarcely heard the drum snuffer across the table from him, protesting the innocence of his ways and the purity of his intentions. Then for the second time that morning Blake completely bewildered him, by suddenly accepting those protestations and agreeing to let everything drop. It was necessary, of course, to warn Sheiner, to exact a promise of better living. But Blake's interest in the man had already departed. He dropped him from his scheme of things, once he had yielded up his data. He tossed him aside like a sucked orange, a smoked cigar, a burnt-out match. Binhart, in all the movements of all the stellar system, was the one name and the one man that interested him.

Loony Sheiner was still sitting at that table in Antoine's when Blake, having wired his messages to San Pedro and San Francisco, caught the first train out of New Orleans. As he sped across the face of the world, crawling nearer and nearer the Pacific Coast, no thought of the magnitude of that journey oppressed him. His imagination remained untouched. He neither fretted nor fumed at the time this travel was taking. In spite of the electric fans at each end of his Pullman, it is true, he suffered greatly from the heat, especially during the ride across the Arizona Desert. He accepted it without complaint, stolidly thanking his lucky stars that men were n't still traveling across America's deserts by ox-team. He was glad when he reached the Colorado River and wound up into California, leaving the alkali and sage brush and yucca palms of the Mojave well behind him. He was glad in his placid way when he reached his hotel in San Francisco and washed the grit and grime from his heat-nettled body.

But once that body had been bathed and fed, he started on his rounds of the underworld, seined the entire harbor-front without effect, and then set out his night-lines as cautiously as a fisherman in forbidden waters. He did not overlook the shipping offices and railway stations, neither did he neglect the hotels and ferries. Then he quietly lunched at Martenelli's with the much-honored but most-uncomfortable Wolf Yonkholm, who promptly suspended his "dip" operations at the Beaches out of respect to Blake's sudden call.

Nothing of moment, however, was learned from the startled Wolf, and at Coppa's six hours later, Blake dined with a Chink-smuggler named Goldie Hopper. Goldie, after his fifth glass of wine and an adroit decoying of the talk along the channels which most interested his portly host, casually announced that an Eastern crook named Blanchard had got away, the day before, on the Pacific mail steamer Manchuria. He was clean shaven and traveled as a clergyman. That struck Goldie as the height of humor, a bank sneak having the nerve to deck himself out as a gospel-spieler.

His elucidation of it, however, brought no answering smile from the diffident-eyed Blake, who confessed that he was rounding up a couple of nickel-coiners and would be going East in a day or two.

Instead of going East, however, he hurriedly consulted maps and timetables, found a train that would land him in Portland in twenty-six hours, and started north. He could eventually save time, he found, by hastening on to Seattle and catching a Great Northern steamer from that port. When a hot-box held his train up for over half an hour, Blake stood with his timepiece in his hand, watching the train crew in their efforts to "freeze the hub." They continued to lose time, during the night. At Seattle, when he reached the Great Northern docks, he found that his steamer had sailed two hours before he stepped from his sleeper.

His one remaining resource was a Canadian Pacific steamer from Victoria. This, he figured out, would get him to Hong Kong even earlier than the steamer which he had already missed. He had a hunch that Hong Kong was the port he wanted. Just why, he could not explain. But he felt sure that Binhart would not drop off at Manila. Once on the run, he would keep out of American quarters. It was a gamble; it was a rough guess. But then all life was that. And Blake had a dogged and inarticulate faith in his "hunches."

Crossing the Sound, he reached Victoria in time to see the Empress of China under way, and heading out to sea. Blake hired a tug and overtook her. He reached the steamer's deck by means of a Jacob's ladder that swung along her side plates like a mason's plumbline along a factory wall.

Binhart, he told himself, was by this time in mid-Pacific, untold miles away, heading for that vast and mysterious East into which a man could so easily disappear. He was approaching gloomy and tangled waterways that threaded between islands which could not even be counted. He was fleeing towards dark rivers which led off through barbaric and mysterious silence, into the heart of darkness. He was drawing nearer and nearer to those regions of mystery where a white man might be swallowed up as easily as a rice grain is lost in a shore lagoon. He would soon be in those teeming alien cities as under-burrowed as a gopher village.

But Blake did not despair. Their whole barbaric East, he told himself, was only a Chinatown slum on a large scale. And he had never yet seen the slum that remained forever impervious to the right dragnet. He did not know how or where the end would be. But he knew there would be an end. He still hugged to his bosom the placid conviction that the world was small, that somewhere along the frontiers of watchfulness the impact would be recorded and the alarm would be given. A man of Binhart's type, with the money Binhart had, would never divorce himself completely from civilization. He would always crave a white man's world; he would always hunger for what that world stood for and represented. He would always creep back to it. He might hide in his heathen burrow, for a time; but there would be a limit to that exile. A power stronger than his own will would drive him back to his own land, back to civilization. And civilization, to Blake, was merely a rather large and rambling house equipped with a rather efficient burglar-alarm system, so that each time it was entered, early or late, the tell-tale summons would eventually go to the right quarter. And when the summons came Blake would be waiting for it.

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