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She’s here! I thought she would be. She’s one of the three young ladies you see in the right-hand box near the proscenium.”

The gentleman thus addressed—a man of middle age and a member of the most exclusive clubs—turned his opera glass toward the spot designated, and in some astonishment retorted:

“She? Why those are the Misses Pratt and—”

“Miss Violet Strange; no other.”

“And do you mean to say—”

“I do—”

“That yon silly little chit, whose father I know, whose fortune I know, who is seen everywhere, and who is called one of the season’s belles is an agent of yours; a—a—”

“No names here, please. You want a mystery solved. It is not a matter for the police—that is, as yet,—and so you come to me, and when I ask for the facts, I find that women and only women are involved, and that these women are not only young but one and all of the highest society. Is it a man’s work to go to the bottom of a combination like this? No. Sex against sex, and, if possible, youth against youth. Happily, I know such a person—a girl of gifts and extraordinarily well placed for the purpose. Why she uses her talents in this direction—why, with means enough to play the part natural to her as a successful debutante, she consents to occupy herself with social and other mysteries, you must ask her, not me. Enough that I promise you her aid if you want it. That is, if you can interest her. She will not work otherwise.”

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