"It is quite a distance for one day, but I am used to it. I make the trip often."
Feeling that at least she had learned something, Jane rose to go. She knew that both the Hoffs would be out of the way to-morrow. The inference from his last remark was that they were going to the same place they had gone on previous Wednesdays. That was something to report to Mr. Fleck.
"My car is outside," she said as they rose. "Can't I take you home?"
"Sorry," said her host, "but I am dining here to-night. Lieutenant Kramer is to join me."
"Remember me to him," she said as he escorted her to the automobile, driven by Dean.
A block away from the hotel she tapped on the glass, and as Dean brought the car to a stop she climbed into the seat beside him. Only a week ago she would have criticized any girl who rode beside the chauffeur. In fact she had spoken disapprovingly of a girl in her own set who made a habit of doing it, but now she never gave it a thought. Many things in her life seemed to have assumed new aspects and values since she had entered on a career of useful activity. In her was rapidly developing something of her father's ability and directness. As she wanted to talk confidentially with Dean, she went the easiest way about it, entirely regardless of appearances.
"Apparently you carried it off well," he commented.
"I hope so," she answered, coloring a little. "They're making their usual Wednesday motor trip."
"He did not tell you their destination?"
"No, but Lieutenant Kramer is dining with him to-night at the Biltmore."
"Fine. Those things the Chief can take care of. That leaves the way clear for us to-morrow afternoon."
"What excuse will I make for having you come up to the apartment?"
"You want me to change some pictures. That will account for the wire if I'm caught."
"I hope no one sees you."
"Nobody'll see me but the elevator man, and he'll think nothing of it."
Apparently, too, Dean was right, for the next afternoon he entered the Strong apartment carrying a suitcase in which was concealed his apparatus and the necessary wire.
"Hurry," cried Jane, who was waiting for him. "The Hoffs' maid has just gone up on the roof."
"We can safely give her at least a few minutes," said Dean setting to work to make a hole through the wall into the apartment adjoining. Just as he had finished making it and had pushed one end of the wire through, the telephone bell rang, and Jane in dismay sprang to answer it.