"Good," cried Mr. Fleck, "that is something new. Go on."
"And then he slipped a paper into a book--"
"Did you notice what book?"
"I don't know the title. It was the fifth book from the end on the second shelf, and I got the paper and copied it."
"Splendid. What did the message say?"
"It's just a lot of figures. I put it back after copying it, and I am in a drug-store across the street where I can watch to see if any one comes to get the message. What shall I do now?"
"Can you remain there fifteen minutes without arousing suspicion?"
"Certainly. I'll say I am waiting for some one."
"Good. I'll get in touch with Carter at once. He'll tell you what to do when he arrives."
Impatiently Jane sat there, keeping vigilant watch on the entrance across the street, determined to be able to describe minutely each person that entered. From time to time she surreptitiously studied the postcard on which she had jotted down the mysterious numbers. How utterly meaningless they looked. Surely it would be impossible for any one, even Mr. Fleck, to decipher any message that these figures might convey. It would be impossible unless one had the key. Figures could be made to mean anything at all. She doubted if her discovery could be of much importance after all, yet certainly Mr. Fleck had seemed quite excited about it.
She spied Carter passing in a taxi. Two other men were with him. Her first impulse was to run out in the street and signal to him, but she waited, wondering what she should do. She was glad she had not acted impulsively, for a moment later Carter entered alone, evidently having left the car somewhere around the corner. She expected that he would address her at once, but that was not Carter's way. He went to the soda counter and ordered something to drink, his eyes all the while studying his surroundings. Presently he pretended to discover her sitting there.
To all appearances it might have been an entirely casual meeting of acquaintances.
"Good-morning, Miss Jones," he said quite cordially, extending his hand.
"I'm lucky to have met you, for my daughter gave me a message for you."
He put just a little stress on the words "my daughter" and Jane understood that he was referring to "Mr. Fleck."
"Indeed," she replied, "what is it?"
"She wants you to go down-town at once and meet her at Room 708--you know the building."