The Shadow - The Black Dragon Part 12

was there, when Pelly m.u.f.fed around with Sauber's papers just for an excuse to stay at Fenmore's. That was when Fenmore gave Pelly the real death token that eventually reached Li Huang."

Cranston paused, as though he felt that he'd really missed the facts on that occasion.

"What really tipped off The Shadow," declared Cranston impersonally, "was that message you received at Dr. Tam's. The one which bore The Shadow's name, but came from The Black Dragon."

Immediately agog, Steve asked if Tam had learned the secret of that odd riddle. Whereupon, Cranston nodded.

"The Shadow solved it," said Cranston. "The note was written on the paper in your tobacco tin. You tore it loose while you were filling your pouch.

Later, you mistook it for a note."

"That's right!" exclaimed Steve. "I left my tobacco tin on Fenmore's desk!

That's when he fixed it. But why was I such a dope to mistake that piece of paper for a real note?"

"You were really a dope," put in Myra laughingly. "Fenmore just didn't fix the wrapping. He planted a nice dose of opium in the tobacco, too. A few pipe loads and you were in a mood to mistake almost anything."

There was one thing on which Steve wasn't mistaken: The Shadow. All through the weave of fact and fancy, he could see the hand of the master genius who had ended the Black Dragon's reign of crime. But the ident.i.ty of The Shadow was still a puzzle that remained unsolved.

So strange a puzzle to Steve Trask that when he and Myra Reldon were riding from the Cobalt Club, Steve actually thought that he heard a distant laugh, trailing like an echo from the past. Mirth that was more than memory, for it symbolized The Shadow's conquest over crime.

As those echoes faded, Steve Trask looked back. He saw only Lamont Cranston waving a good night from the doorway of the Cobalt Club.

THE END.

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