THE FINANCIER 
" You know I get desperately frightened, sometimes," 
said Aileen, at one place in the conversation that was 
going on, referring to her father. " He might be watch- 
ing us, you know. I've often wondered what I'd do if 
he did. I couldn't lie out of this, could I?" 
" You certainly couldn't," said Cowperwood, who 
never failed to respond to the incitement of her charms. 
She had such lovely smooth arms, a full, luxuriously 
tapering throat and neck; her golden-red hair floated like 
an aureole about her head, and her large eyes sparkled. 
The wondrous vigor of a full womanhood was hers— 
errant, ill-balanced, romantic, but exquisite. 
" You might as well not cross that bridge until you 
come to it," Cowperwood continued. " I myself have 
been thinking that we had better not go on with this for 
the present. That letter ought to have been enough to 
stop us for the time." 
He came over to where she stood by the dressing- 
table, adjusting her hair. 
"You're a pretty minx," he said. "Don't worry. 
There isn't anything going to happen here. He slipped 
his arm about her and kissed her pretty mouth. "Noth- 
ing sweeter than you this side of Paradise," he whispered 
in her ear. 
While this was enacting, Butler and the extra detec- 
tive had stepped out of sight, to one side of the front door 
of the house, while Alderson, taking the lead, rang. A 
negro servant appeared. 
" Is Mrs. Davis in?" he asked, genially, using the name 
of the woman in control. " I'd like to see her." 
" Just come in," said the maid, unsuspectingly, and 
indicated a reception-room on the right. Alderson took 
off his soft, wide-brimmed hat and entered it. When 
the maid went up-stairs he immediately returned to the 
door and let in Butler and the second detective, who was 
now accompanied by a third. The four stepped into the 
reception-room unseen. In a few moments the "madam." 
510