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Chapter 6 Tony's Happy New Year

  • Forgetting the promise he had made to rise and telephone his father early i_he morning, Bob Eden lingered on in the pleasant company of his couch. Th_agnificent desert sunrise, famous wherever books are sold, came and wen_ithout the seal of his approval, and a haze of heat spread over the barre_orld. It was nine o'clock when he awoke from a most satisfactory sleep an_at up in bed.
  • Staring about the room, he gradually located himself on the map of California.
  • One by one the events of the night before came back to him. First of all th_cene at the Oasis—that agile steak eluding him with diabolic cunning—the gir_hose charming presence made the dreary cafe an oasis indeed. The ride ove_he desert with Will Holley, the bright and cheery living-room of the ranc_ouse, the fox-trot from a Denver orchestra. Madden, leaning close an_reathing hard, demanding the Phillimore pearls. Chan in his velvet slippers, whispering of psychic fears and dark premonitions. And then the shrill cry o_he parrot out of the desert night.
  • Now, however, the tense troubled feeling with which he had gone to bed wa_elting away in the yellow sunshine of the morning. The boy began to suspec_hat he had made rather a fool of himself in listening to the little detectiv_rom the islands. Chan was an Oriental, also a policeman. Such a combinatio_as bound to look at almost any situation with a jaundiced eye. After all he, Bob Eden, was here as the representative of Meek and Eden, and he must act a_e saw fit. Was Chan in charge of this expedition, or was he?
  • The door opened, and on the threshold stood Ah Kim, in the person of Charli_han.
  • "You come 'long, boss," said his confederate loudly. "You ac' lazy bimeby yo_o catch 'um bleckfast."
  • Having said which, Charlie gently closed the door and came in, grimacing a_ne who felt a keen distaste.
  • "Silly talk like that hard business for me," he complained. "Chinese withou_ccustomed dignity is like man without clothes, naked, and ashamed. You enjo_ong, restful sleep, I think."
  • Eden yawned. "Compared to me last night, Rip Van Winkle had insomnia."
  • "That's good. Humbly suggest you tear yourself out of that bed now. The grea_adden indulges in nervous fit on living-room rug."
  • Eden laughed. "Suffering, is he? Well, we'll have to stop that." He tosse_side the covers.
  • Chan was busy at the curtains. "Favor me by taking a look from windows," h_emarked. "On every side desert stretches off like floor of eternity. Plent_cres of unlimitable sand."
  • Bob Eden glanced out. "Yes, it's the desert, and there's plenty of it, that'_ fact. But look here—we ought to talk fast while we have the chance. Las_ight you made a sudden change in our plans."
  • "Presuming greatly—yes."
  • "Why?"
  • Chan stared at him. "Why not? You yourself hear parrot scream out of the dark.
  • 'Murder. Help. Help. Put down gun.'"
  • Eden nodded. "I know. But that probably meant nothing."
  • Charlie Chan shrugged. "You understand parrot does not invent talk. Merel_epeats what others have remarked."
  • "Of course," Eden agreed. "And Tony was no doubt repeating something he hear_n Australia, or on a boat. I happen to know that all Madden said of th_ird's past was the truth. And I may as well tell you, Charlie, that lookin_t things in the bright light of the morning, I feel we acted rather foolishl_ast night. I'm going to give those pearls to Madden before breakfast."
  • Chan was silent for a moment. "If I might presume again, I would speak a fe_earty words in praise of patience. Youth, pardon me, is too hot around th_ead. Take my advice, please, and wait."
  • "Wait. Wait for what?"
  • "Wait until I have snatched more conversation out of Tony. Tony very smar_ird—he speaks Chinese. I am not so smart—but so do I."
  • "And what do you think Tony would tell you?"
  • "Tony might reveal just what is wrong on this ranch," suggested Chan.
  • "I don't believe anything's wrong," objected Eden.
  • Chan shook his head. "Not very happy position for me," he said, "that I mus_rgue with bright boy like you are."
  • "But listen, Charlie," Eden protested. "I promised to call my father thi_orning. And Madden isn't an easy man to handle."
  • "Hoo malimali," responded Chan.
  • "No doubt you're right," Eden said. "But I don't understand Chinese."
  • "You have made natural error," Chan answered. "Pardon me while I correct you.
  • That are not Chinese. It are Hawaiian talk. Well known in islands—ho_alimali—make Madden feel good by a little harmless deception. As my cousi_illie Chan, captain of All-Chinese baseball team, translate with hi_ulgarity, kid him along."
  • "Easier said than done," replied Eden.
  • "But you are clever boy. You could perfect it. Just a few hours, while I hav_alk with the smart Tony."
  • Eden considered. Paula Wendell was coming out this morning. Too bad to rus_ff without seeing her again. "Tell you what I'll do," he said. "I'll wai_ntil two o'clock. But when the clock strikes two, if nothing has happened i_he interval, we hand over those pearls. Is that understood?"
  • "Maybe," nodded Chan.
  • "You mean maybe it's understood?"
  • "Not precisely. I mean maybe we hand over pearls." Eden looked into th_tubborn eyes of the Chinese, and felt rather helpless. "However," Chan added,
  • "accept my glowing thanks. You are pretty good. Now proceed toward th_iserable breakfast I have prepared."
  • "Tell Madden I'll be there very soon."
  • Chan grimaced. "With your kind permission, I will alter that message slightly, losing the word very. In memory of old times, there remains little I would no_o for Miss Sally. My life, perhaps—but by the bones of my honorabl_ncestors, I will not say 'velly.'" He went out.
  • On his perch in the patio, opposite Eden's window, Tony was busy with his ow_reakfast. The boy saw Chan approach the bird, and pause. "Hoo la ma," crie_he detective.
  • Tony looked up, and cocked his head on one side. "Hoo la ma," he replied, in _hrill, harsh voice.
  • Chan went nearer, and began to talk rapidly in Chinese. Now and then h_aused, and the bird replied amazingly with some phrase out of Chan's speech.
  • It was, Bob Eden reflected, as good as a show.
  • Suddenly from a door on the other side of the patio the man Thorn emerged. Hi_ale face was clouded with anger.
  • "Here," he cried loudly. "What the devil are you doing?"
  • "Solly, boss," said the Chinese. "Tony nice litta fellah. Maybe I take 'um t_ook house."
  • "You keep away from him," Thorn ordered. "Get me—keep away from that bird."
  • Chan shuffled off. For a long moment Thorn stood staring after him, anger an_pprehension mingled in his look. As Bob Eden turned away, he was deep i_hought. Was there something in Chan's attitude, after all?
  • He hurried into the bath, which lay between his room and the vacant bedroo_eyond. When he finally joined Madden, he thought he perceived the afterglo_f that nervous fit still on the millionaire's face.
  • "I'm sorry to be late," he apologized. "But this desert air—"
  • "I know," said Madden. "It's all right—we haven't lost any time. I've alread_ut in that call for your father."
  • "Good idea," replied the boy, without any enthusiasm. "Called his office, _uppose?"
  • "Naturally."
  • Suddenly Eden remembered. This was Saturday morning, and unless it was rainin_n San Francisco, Alexander Eden was by now well on his way to the golf link_t Burlingame. There he would remain until late tonight at least—perhaps ove_unday. Oh, for a bright day in the north!
  • Thorn came in, sedate and solemn in his blue serge suit, and looked wit_ungry eyes toward the table standing before the fire. They sat down to th_reakfast prepared by the new servant, Ah Kim. A good breakfast it was, fo_harlie Chan had not forgotten his early training in the Phillimore household.
  • As it progressed, Madden mellowed a bit.
  • "I hope you weren't alarmed last night by Tony's screeching," he sai_resently.
  • "Well—for a minute," admitted Eden. "Of course, as soon as I found out th_ource of the racket, I felt better."
  • Madden nodded. "Tony's a colorless little beast, but he's had a scarlet past,"
  • he remarked.
  • "Like some of the rest of us," Eden suggested.
  • Madden looked at him keenly. "The bird was given me by a sea captain in th_ustralian trade. I brought him here to be company for my caretaker, Loui_ong."
  • "I thought your boy's name was Ah Kim," said Eden, innocently.
  • "Oh—this one. This isn't Wong. Louie was called suddenly to San Francisco th_ther day. This Ah Kim just happened to drift in most opportunely yesterday.
  • He's merely a stop-gap until Louie comes back."
  • "You're lucky," Eden remarked. "Such good cooks as Ah Kim are rare."
  • "Oh, he'll do," Madden admitted. "When I come west to stay, I bring a staf_ith me. This is a rather unexpected visit."
  • "Your real headquarters out here are in Pasadena, I believe?" Eden inquired.
  • "Yes—I've got a house there, on Orange Grove Avenue. I just keep this plac_or an occasional week end—when my asthma threatens. And it's good to get awa_rom the mob, now and then." The millionaire pushed back from the table, an_ooked at his watch. "Ought to hear from San Francisco any minute now," h_dded hopefully.
  • Eden glanced toward the telephone in a far corner. "Did you put the call i_or my father, or just for the office?" he asked.
  • "Just for the office," Madden replied. "I figured that if he was out, we coul_eave a message."
  • Thorn came forward. "Chief, how about that interview for Holley?" he inquired.
  • "Oh, the devil!" Madden said. "Why did I let myself in for that?"
  • "I could bring the typewriter in here," began the secretary.
  • "No—we'll go to your room. Mr. Eden, if the telephone rings, please answe_t."
  • The two went out. Ah Kim arrived on noiseless feet to clear away th_reakfast. Eden lighted a cigarette, and dropped into a chair before the fire, which the blazing sun outside made rather superfluous.
  • Twenty minutes later, the telephone rang. Eden leaped to it, but before h_eached the table where it stood, Madden was at his side. He had hoped to b_lone for this ordeal, and sighed wearily. At the other end of the wire he wa_elieved to hear the cool, melodious voice of his father's well-chose_ecretary.
  • "Hello," he said. "This is Bob Eden, at Madden's ranch down on the desert. An_ow are you this bright and shining morning?"
  • "What makes you think it's a bright and shining morning up here?" asked th_irl.
  • Eden's heart sank. "Don't tell me it isn't. I'd be broken-hearted."
  • "Why?"
  • "Why! Because, while you're beautiful at any time, I like to think of you wit_he sunlight on your hair—"
  • Madden laid a heavy hand on his shoulder. "What the blazes do you think you'r_oing—making a date with a chorus girl? Get down to business."
  • "Excuse it, please," said Eden. "Miss Chase, is my father there?"
  • "No. This is Saturday, you know. Golf."
  • "Oh yes—of course. Then it is a nice day. Well, tell him to call me here if h_omes in. Eldorado 76."
  • "Where is he?" demanded Madden eagerly.
  • "Out playing golf," the boy answered.
  • "Where? What links?"
  • Bob sighed. "I suppose he's at Burlingame," he said over the wire.
  • Then—oh, excellent young woman, thought the boy—the secretary answered: "No_oday. He went with some friends to another links. He didn't say which."
  • "Thank you so much," Eden said. "Just leave the message on his desk, please."
  • He hung up.
  • "Too bad," he remarked cheerfully. "Gone off to play golf somewhere, an_obody knows where."
  • Madden swore. "The old simpleton. Why doesn't he attend to his business—"
  • "Look here, Mr. Madden," Eden began.
  • "Golf, golf, golf," stormed Madden. "It's ruined more good men than whisky. _ell you, if I'd fooled round on golf links, I wouldn't be where I am today.
  • If your father had any sense—"
  • "I've heard about enough," said Eden, rising.
  • Madden's manner changed suddenly. "I'm sorry," he said. "But this is annoying, you must admit. I wanted that necklace to start today."
  • "The day's young," Eden reminded him. "It may get off yet."
  • "I hope so," Madden frowned. "I'm not accustomed to this sort of dilly- dallying, I can tell you that."
  • His great head was tossing angrily as he went out. Bob Eden looked after him, thoughtfully. Madden, master of many millions, was putting what seemed a_ndue emphasis on a little pearl necklace. The boy wondered. His father wa_etting on in years—he was far from the New York markets. Had he made som_laring mistake in setting a value on that necklace? Was it, perhaps, worth _reat deal more than he had asked, and was Madden fuming to get hold of i_efore the jeweler learned his error and perhaps called off the deal? O_ourse, Alexander Eden had given his word, but even so, Madden might fear _lip-up.
  • The boy strolled idly out into the patio. The chill night wind had vanishe_nd he saw the desert of song and story, baking under a relentless sun. In th_andy little yard of the ranch house, life was humming along. Plump chicken_nd haughty turkeys strutted back of wire enclosures. He paused for a momen_o stare with interest at a bed of strawberries, red and tempting. Up above, on the bare branches of the cottonwoods, he saw unmistakable buds, mut_romise of a grateful shade not far away.
  • Odd how things lived and grew, here in this desolate country. He took a tur_bout the grounds. In one corner was a great reservoir half filled wit_ater—a pleasant sight that must be on an August afternoon. Coming back to th_atio, he stopped to speak to Tony, who was sitting rather dejectedly on hi_erch.
  • "Hoo la ma," he said.
  • Tony perked up. "Sung kai yet bo," he remarked.
  • "Yes, and a great pity, too," replied Eden facetiously.
  • "Gee fung low hop," added Tony, somewhat feebly.
  • "Perhaps, but I heard different," said Eden, and moved on. He wondered wha_han was doing. Evidently the detective thought it best to obey Thorn'_ommand that he keep away from the bird. This was not surprising, for th_indows of the secretary's room looked out on Tony's perch.
  • Back in the living-room, Eden took up a book. At a few minutes before twelv_e heard the asthmatic cough of Horace Greeley in the yard and rising, h_dmitted Will Holley. The editor was smiling and alert.
  • "Hello," Eden said. "Madden's in there with Thorn, getting out the interview.
  • Sit down." He came close. "And please remember that I haven't brought thos_earls. My business with Madden is still unfinished."
  • Holley looked at him with sudden interest. "I get you. But I thought las_ight that everything was lovely. Do you mean—"
  • "Tell you later," interrupted Eden. "I may be in town this afternoon." H_poke in a louder tone. "I'm glad you came along. I was finding the desert _it flat when you flivvered in."
  • Holley smiled. "Cheer up. I've got something for you. A veritable storehous_f wit and wisdom." He handed over a paper. "This week's issue of the Eldorad_imes, damp from the presses. Read about Louie Wong's big trip to Sa_rancisco. All the news to fit the print."
  • Eden took the proffered paper—eight small pages of mingled news an_dvertisements. He sank into a chair. "Well," he said, "it seems that th_adies' Aid Supper last Tuesday night was notably successful. Not only that, but the ladies responsible for the affair labored assiduously and deserve muc_redit."
  • "Yes, but the real excitement's inside," remarked Holley. "On page three.
  • There you'll learn that coyotes are getting pretty bad in the valley. A numbe_f people are putting out traps."
  • "Under those circumstances," Eden said, "how fortunate that Henry Gratton i_aring for Mr. Dickey's chickens during the latter's absence in Los Angeles."
  • Holley rose, and stared for a moment down at his tiny newspaper. "And once _orked with Mitchell on the New York Sun," he misquoted sadly. "Don't le_arry Fladgate see that, will you? When Harry knew me I was a newspaper man."
  • He moved off across the room. "By the way, has Madden shown you his collectio_f firearms?"
  • Bob Eden rose, and followed. "Why no—he hasn't."
  • "It's rather interesting. But dusty—say, I guess Louie was afraid to touc_hem. Nearly every one of these guns has a history. See—there's a typewritte_ard above each one. 'Presented to P.J. Madden by Til Taylor'—Taylor was on_f the best sheriffs Oregon ever had. And here—look at this one—it's a beauty.
  • Given to Madden by Bill Tilghman. That gun, my boy, saw action on Front Stree_n the old Dodge City days."
  • "What's the one with all the notches?" Eden asked.
  • "Used to belong to Billy the Kid," said Holley. "Ask them about Billy over i_ew Mexico. And here's one Bat Masterson used to tote. But the star of th_ollection"—Holley's eyes ran over the wall—"the beauty of the lot—" He turne_o Eden. "It isn't there," he said.
  • "There's a gun missing?" inquired Eden slowly.
  • "Seems to be. One of the first Colts made—a forty-five—it was presented t_adden by Bill Hart, who's staged a lot of pictures round here." He pointed t_n open space on the wall. "There's where it used to be," he added, and wa_oving away.
  • Eden caught his coat sleeve. "Wait a minute," he said in a low, tense voice.
  • "Let me get this. A gun missing. And the card's gone, too. You can see wher_he tacks held it in place."
  • "Well, what's all the excitement—" began Holley surprised.
  • Eden ran his finger over the wall. "There's no dust where that card should be.
  • What does that mean? That Bill Hart's gun has been removed within the last fe_ays."
  • "My boy," said Holley. "What are you talking about—"
  • "Hush," warned Eden. The door opened and Madden, followed by Thorn, entere_he room. For a moment the millionaire stood, regarding them intently.
  • "Good morning, Mr. Holley," he said. "I've got your interview here. You'r_iring it to New York, you say?"
  • "Yes. I've queried my friend there about it this morning. I know he'll wan_t."
  • "Well, it's nothing startling. I hope you'll mention in the course of it wher_ou got it. That will help to soothe the feelings of the boys I've turned dow_o often in New York. And you won't change what I've said?"
  • "Not a comma," smiled Holley. "I must hurry back to town now. Thank you again, Mr. Madden."
  • "That's all right," said Madden. "Glad to help you out."
  • Eden followed Holley to the yard. Out of earshot of the house, the edito_topped.
  • "You seemed a little het up about that gun. What's doing?"
  • "Oh, nothing, I suppose," said Eden. "On the other hand—"
  • "What?"
  • "Well, Holley, it strikes me that something queer may have happened lately o_his ranch."
  • Holley stared. "It doesn't sound possible. However, don't keep me i_uspense."
  • "I've got to. It's a long story, and Madden mustn't see us getting too chummy.
  • I'll come in this afternoon, as I promised."
  • Holley climbed into his car. "All right," he said. "I can wait, I guess. Se_ou later, then."
  • Eden was sorry to watch Horace Greeley stagger down the dusty road. Someho_he newspaper man brought a warm, human atmosphere to the ranch, an atmospher_hat was needed there. But a moment later he was sorry no longer, for a littl_peck of brown in the distance became a smart roadster, and at its wheel h_aw the girl of the Oasis, Paula Wendell.
  • He held open the gate, and with a cheery wave of her hand the girl drove pas_im into the yard.
  • "Hello," he said, as she alighted. "I was beginning to fear you weren'_oming."
  • "I overslept," she explained. "Always do, in this desert country. Have yo_oticed the air? People who are in a position to know tell me it's like wine."
  • "Had a merry breakfast, I suppose?"
  • "I certainly did. At the Oasis."
  • "You poor child. That coffee."
  • "I didn't mind. Will Holley says that Madden's here."
  • "Madden? That's right—you do want to see Madden, don't you? Well, come alon_nside."
  • Thorn was alone in the living-room. He regarded the girl with a fishy eye. No_any men could have managed that, but Thorn was different.
  • "Thorn," said Eden. "Here's a young woman who wants to see Mr. Madden."
  • "I have a letter from him," the girl explained, "offering me the use of th_anch to take some pictures. You may remember—I was here Wednesday night."
  • "I remember," said Thorn sourly. "And I regret very much that Mr Madden ca_ot see you. He also asks me to say that unfortunately he must withdraw th_ermission he gave you in his letter."
  • "I'll accept that word from no one but Mr. Madden himself," resumed the girl, and a steely light flamed suddenly in her eyes.
  • "I repeat—he will not see you," persisted Thorn.
  • The girl sat down. "Tell Mr. Madden his ranch is charming," she said. "Tel_im I am seated in a chair in his living-room and that I shall certainl_ontinue to sit here until he comes and speaks to me himself."
  • Thorn hesitated a moment, glaring angrily. Then he went out.
  • "I say—you're all right," Eden laughed.
  • "I aim to be," the girl answered, "and I've been on my own too long to tak_ny nonsense from a mere secretary."
  • Madden blustered in. "What is all this—"
  • "Mr. Madden," the girl said, rising and smiling with amazing sweetness, "I wa_ure you'd see me. I have here a letter you wrote me from San Francisco. Yo_ecall it, of course."
  • Madden took the letter and glanced at it. "Yes, yes—of course. I'm very sorry, Miss Wendell, but since I wrote that certain matters have come up—I have _usiness deal on—" He glanced at Eden. "In short, it would be mos_nconvenient for me to have the ranch overrun with picture people at thi_ime. I can't tell you how I regret it."
  • The girl's smile vanished. "Very well," she said, "but it means a black mar_gainst me with the company. The people I work for don't accept excuses—onl_esults. I have told them everything was arranged."
  • "Well, you were a little premature, weren't you?"
  • "I don't see why. I had the word of P.J. Madden. I believed—foolishly, perhaps—the old rumor that the word of Madden was never broken."
  • The millionaire looked decidedly uncomfortable. "Well—I—er—of course I neve_reak my word. When did you want to bring your people here?"
  • "It's all arranged for Monday," said the girl.
  • "Out of the question," replied Madden. "But if you could postpone it a fe_ays—say, until Thursday." Once more he looked at Eden. "Our business shoul_e settled by Thursday," he added.
  • "Unquestionably," agreed Eden, glad to help.
  • "Very well," said Madden. He looked at the girl, and his eyes were kindly. H_as no Thorn. "Make it Thursday, and the place is yours. I may not be her_hen myself, but I'll leave word to that effect."
  • "Mr. Madden, you're a dear," she told him. "I knew I could rely on you."
  • With a disgusted look at his employer's back, Thorn went out.
  • "You bet you can," said Madden, smiling pleasantly. He was melting fast. "An_he record of P.J. Madden is intact. His word is as good as his bond—isn'_hat so?"
  • "If any one doubts it, let him ask me," replied the girl.
  • "It's nearly lunch time," Madden said. "You'll stay?"
  • "Well—I—really, Mr. Madden—"
  • "Of course she'll stay," Bob Eden broke in. "She's eating at a place i_ldorado called the Oasis, and if she doesn't stay, then she's just gone an_ost her mind."
  • The girl laughed. "You're all so good to me," she said.
  • "Why not?" inquired Madden. "Then it's settled. We need some one like yo_round to brighten things up. Ah Kim," he added, as the Chinese entered,
  • "another place for lunch. In about ten minutes, Miss Wendell."
  • He went out. The girl looked at Bob Eden. "Well, that's that. I knew it woul_e all right, if only he would see me."
  • "Naturally," said Eden. "Everything in this world would be all right, if ever_an in it could only see you."
  • "Sounds like a compliment," she smiled.
  • "Meant to be," replied the boy. "But what makes it sound so cumbersome? I mus_rush up on my social chatter."
  • "Oh—then it was only chatter?"
  • "Please—don't look too closely at what I say. I may tell you I've got a lot o_y mind just now. I'm trying to be a business man, and it's some strain."
  • "Then you're not a real business man."
  • "Not a real anything. Just sort of drifting. You know, you made me think, las_ight."
  • "I'm proud of that."
  • "Now—don't spoof me. I got to thinking—here you are, earning you_iving—luxurious pot roasts at the Oasis and all that—while I'm just father'_ittle boy. I shouldn't be surprised if you inspired me to turn over a ne_eaf."
  • "Then I shan't have lived in vain." She nodded toward the far side of th_oom. "What in the world is the meaning of that arsenal?"
  • "Oh—that's gentle old Madden's collection of firearms. A hobby of his. Come o_ver and I'll teach you to call each one by name."
  • Presently Madden and Thorn returned, and Ah Kim served a perfect lunch. At th_able Thorn said nothing, but his employer, under the spell of the girl'_right eyes, talked volubly and well. As they finished coffee, Bob Ede_uddenly awoke to the fact that the big clock near the patio windows marke_he hour as five minutes of two. At two o'clock! There was that arrangemen_ith Chan regarding two o'clock. What were they to do? The impassive face o_he Oriental as he served lunch had told the boy nothing.
  • Madden was in the midst of a long story about his early struggle towar_ealth, when the Chinese came suddenly into the room. He stood there, an_hough he did not speak, his manner halted the millionaire as effectively as _istol shot.
  • "Well, well, what is it?" Madden demanded.
  • "Death," said Ah Kim solemnly in his high-pitched voice. "Death unevitabl_nd. No wolly. No solly."
  • "What in Sam Hill are you talking about?" Madden inquired. Thorn's pale gree_yes were popping.
  • "Poah litta Tony," went on Ah Kim.
  • "What about Tony?"
  • "Poah litta Tony enjoy happly noo yeah in Hadesland," finished Ah Kim.
  • Madden was instantly on his feet, and led the way to the patio. On the ston_loor beneath his perch lay the lifeless body of the Chinese parrot.
  • The millionaire stooped and picked up the bird. "Why—poor old Tony," he said.
  • "He's gone west. He's dead."
  • Eden's eyes were on Thorn. For the first time since he met that gentleman h_hought he detected the ghost of a smile on the secretary's pale face.
  • "Well, Tony was old," continued Madden. "A very old boy. And as Ah Kim says, death is inevitable—" He stopped, and looked keenly at the expressionless fac_f the Chinese. "I've been expecting this," he added. "Tony hasn't seemed ver_ell of late. Here, Ah Kim"—he handed over all that was mortal of Tony—"yo_ake and bury him somewhere."
  • "I take sum," said Ah Kim, and did so.
  • In the big living-room the clock struck twice, loud and clear. Ah Kim, in th_erson of Charlie Chan, was moving slowly away, the bird in his arms. He wa_uttering glibly in Chinese. Suddenly he looked back over his shoulder.
  • "Hoo malimali," he said clearly.
  • Bob Eden remembered his Hawaiian.