The Window at the White Cat

Mary Roberts Rinehart
The Window at the White Cat
By Mary Roberts Rinehart
Author of "The Circular Staircase," "The Man in Lower Ten," "When a
Man Marries"
With Four Illustrations
by Arthur I. Keller

Chapter I
Sentiment and Clues

Chapter II
Uneasy Apprehensions

Chapter III

Ninety-eight Pearls

Chapter IV
A Thief in the Night

Chapter V
Little Miss Jane

Chapter VI
A Fountain Pen

Chapter VII
Concerning Margery

Chapter VIII
Too Late

Chapter IX
Only One Eye Closed

Chapter X
Breaking the News

Chapter XI
A Night in the Fleming Home

Chapter XII
My Commission

Chapter XIII
Sizzling Metal

Chapter XIV
A Walk in the Park

Chapter XV
Find the Woman

Chapter XVI
Eleven Twenty-Two Again

Chapter XVII
His Second Wife

Chapter XVIII
Edith's Cousin

Chapter XIX
Back to Bellwood

Chapter XX
Association of Ideas

Chapter XXI
A Proscenium Box

Chapter XXII

In the Room Over the Way

Chapter XXIII
A Box of Crown Derby

Chapter XXIV
Wardrop's Story

Chapter XXV
Measure for Measure

Chapter XXVI
Lovers and a Letter
He stopped his nervous pacing and looked down at her Frontispiece
"She's gone! She's been run off with!" 78 We three stood staring at the
prostrate figure 126 As he struck her hand aside the explosion came


IN my criminal work anything that wears skirts is a lady, until the law
proves her otherwise. From the frayed and slovenly petticoats of the
woman who owns a poultry stand in the market and who has grown
wealthy by selling chickens at twelve ounces to the pound, or the silk
sweep of Mamie Tracy, whose diamonds have been stolen down on the
avenue, or the staidly respectable black and middle-aged skirt of the
client whose husband has found an affinity partial to laces and
fripperies, and has run off with her--all the wearers are ladies, and as
such announced by Hawes. In fact, he carries it to excess. He speaks of
his wash lady, with a husband who is an ash merchant, and he
announced one day in some excitement, that the lady who had just gone
out had appropriated all the loose change out of the pocket of his
So when Hawes announced a lady, I took my feet off my desk, put
down the brief I had been reading, and rose perfunctorily. With my first
glance at my visitor, however, I threw away my cigar, and I have heard
since, settled my tie. That this client was different was borne in on me
at once by the way she entered the room. She had poise in spite of
embarrassment, and her face when she raised her veil was white,
refined, and young.
"I did not send in my name," she said, when she saw me glancing down
for the card Hawes usually puts on my table. "It was advice I wanted,
and I--I did not think the name would matter."
She was more composed, I think, when she found me considerably
older than herself. I saw her looking furtively at the graying places over
my ears. I am only thirty-five, as far as that goes, but my family,
although it keeps its hair, turns gray early--a business asset but a social
"Won't you sit down?" I asked, pushing out a chair, so that she would
face the light, while I remained in shadow. Every doctor and every
lawyer knows that trick. "As far as the name goes, perhaps you would
better tell me the trouble first. Then, if I think it indispensable, you can
tell me."

She acquiesced to this and sat for a moment silent, her gaze absently on
the windows of the building across. In the morning light my first
impression was verified. Only too often the raising of a woman's veil in
my office reveals the ravages of tears, or rouge, or dissipation. My new
client turned fearlessly to the window an unlined face, with a clear skin,
healthily pale. From where I sat, her profile was beautiful, in spite of its
drooping suggestion of trouble; her first embarrassment gone, she had
forgotten herself and was intent on her errand.
"I hardly know how to begin," she said, "but
suppose"--slowly--"suppose that a man, a well-known man, should
leave home without warning, not taking any clothes except those he
wore, and saying he was coming home to dinner, and he--he--"
She stopped as if her voice had failed her.
"And he does not come?" I prompted.
She nodded, fumbling for her handkerchief in her bag.
"How long has he been gone?" I asked. I had
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