Chapter XLIX
 

Calhoun Bennett dropped the matter, and contented himself with cutting Keith dead whenever they happened to meet. Jimmy Ware and Black were men of a different sort; indeed McDougall had made them his associates mainly because of their knowledge of the city's darker phases and their unscrupulousness. In the admirable organization thus sketched Calhoun Bennett had acted as a sort of go-between.

After the duel these two precious citizens held many anxious consultations. They could not tell just how much evidence Keith had succeeded in gathering, but they knew that plenty of it existed. If the matter came to an issue, they suspected the consequences might be serious. Either Keith or his evidence must in some way be got rid of. Black, who was inclined by instinct and training to be direct, was in favour of the simple expedient of hiring assassins.

"Won't do," negatived the more astute Ware. "The thing will be traced back to us--not legally, of course, but to a moral certainty, and while they won't be able to prove anything on us, the state of the public mind is such that hell would pop."

"He says he won't fight another duel," said Black doubtfully.

"No."

"We've got to kill him in a street quarrel, then."

"He's got to be killed in a street quarrel," amended Ware, "that's certain; but nobody even remotely connected with this Cora trial must seem to have anything to do with it. It must have the appearance of a private quarrel from away outside. Otherwise----"

"Got anybody in mind?" asked the practical Black.

"Yes, and he ought to be here at any moment."

As though Jimmy Ware's words had been the cue for which he waited, Morrell here entered the room.