Match in hand, the man in advance stood stock-still, his whole figure taut, poised, alert, in an attitude of listening. All at once he wheeled about, discovering the man close behind him. He sprang at once for his pursuer. The latter took to his heels, dashing around the corner, the man whom he had been following now hot at his heels.
All trembling with nervous excitement Jane leaned out the window to listen and watch. She could hear the running feet of both men just around the corner. What was happening? The running feet came to an abrupt stop. There was a half-smothered cry, a sharp thud, like a body striking the pavement, and then came silence. Puzzled, vaguely alarmed, a hundred questions came pouring into her brain and lingered there disturbingly. Why had one of these men been shadowing the other? Why had the pursuer suddenly become the pursued? Why had the running footsteps come to such an abrupt stop? What was the noise she had heard? What was happening around the corner? Her fears rapidly growing, she was on the point of arousing her family. But what excuse should she give? What could she tell them? After all she had merely seen two men run up the side street. More than likely they would only laugh at her, and she did not like being laughed at. Besides, Dad was always cross when suddenly awakened. Undecided what to do she stood at the window, peering into the night.
Five minutes, ten minutes she stood there in tremulous perplexity. A sense of impending tragedy seemed to have laid hold of her. A black horror seized her and held her at the window. Something terrible, something tragic, she was sure must have happened. Mustering up her strength and trying to calm her fears she was about to put down the window when she heard footsteps once more approaching. Straining her ears to listen she discovered the sound was that of the steps of a man--one man--approaching from around the corner. As she watched he turned into the Drive and came on toward her. She shrank back a little, fearful of being seen even though her room was in darkness. It was the first man. She recognized him at once by his top-hat and his evening clothes. He was walking even more briskly than before, almost running.
There was no sign anywhere of the shorter thick-set man who had been following him. Something in the appearance of the figure in the street below struck her all at once as vaguely familiar. She wondered if it could be any one she knew.