easy enough," he answered, "if one is but complete master
But I shook my head at this. "I don't believe," said I, "that they will hide among their own people. You must remember they are not alone, but have with them a young woman of a somewhat distinguished appearance, whose presence in a crowded district, like that, would be sure to awaken gossip; something which above all else they must want to avoid."
"That is true; the Germans are a dreadful race for gossip."
"If they dared to ill-dress her or ill-treat her, it would be different. But she is a valuable piece of property to them you see, a choice lot of goods which it is for their interest to preserve in first-class condition till the day comes for its disposal. For I presume you have no doubt that it is for the purpose of extorting money from Mr. Blake that they have carried off his young wife."
"For that reason or one similar. He is a man of resources, they may have hoped he would help them to escape the country."
"If they don't hide in the German quarter they certainly won't in the Italian, French or Irish. What they want is too keep close and rouse no questions. I think they will be found to have gone up the river somewhere, or over to Jersey. Hoboken would'nt be a bad place to send Schmidt to."
"You forget what it is they've got on their minds; besides no conspicuous party such as they could live in a rural district without attracting more attention than in the most crowded tenement house in the city."
"Where do you think, then, they would be liable to go?"
"Well my most matured thought on the subject," returned Mr. Gryce, after a moment's deliberation, "is this,--you say, and I agree, that they have hampered themselves with this woman at this time for the purpose of using her hereafter in a scheme of black-mail upon Mr. Blake. He, then, must be the object about which their thoughts revolve and toward which whatever operations or plans they may be engaged upon must tend. What follows? When a company of men have made up their minds to rob a bank, what is the first thing they do? They hire, if possible, a house next to the especial building they intend to enter, and for months work upon the secret passage through which they hope to reach the safe and its contents; or they make friends with the watchman that guards its treasures, and the janitor who opens and shuts the doors. In short they hang about their prey before they pounce upon it. And so will these Schoenmakers do in the somewhat different robbery which they plan sooner or later to effect. Whatever may keep them close at this moment, Mr. Blake and Mr. Blake's house is the point toward which their eyes are turned, and if we had time--"
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