'I admire your tenacity, Miss MacLeary' Kathleen turned the doctor's words over in her head as she left downtown. Well, that's a first. Of all the verbs that had been used in conjunction with her courageous personality, admire hadn't made the list. She pondered over what had happened today. Never, in Ireland, had the police descended with such a show of force on a women's rights meeting. They would visit the participants at home later. Of course, the expositions and rallies Kathleen had been a part of in Ireland hadn't ever been so large or demonstrative either. She wondered exactly how and why this 'Temperance Movement' Dr. Barclay had spoken of had gotten started. Banning alcohol would surely cause a downturn in the local economy, to say nothing of morale. She knew Papa would be in lowest spirits were he denied his nightly glass of beer. Likely for the best that the two groups weren't on friendly terms.
Kathleen was quick to move out of the boarding house she'd been in. She held no illusions about her safety. Every woman in the group knew her address. She wasn't sure but what they wouldn't rat her out, feeling she had betrayed them by disappearing when the ruckus started. Having been in the country only a month, Kathleen knew that if due were arrested she would be deported straight back to Ireland. Mum and Da wouldn't allow her I'm their home she was sure. Of course there was a pretty good possibility she would be clamped in the hoosegow if she set foot in Killywool. It was unlikely that Deirdre and Sean would welcome her as a semi-permanent houseguest either. She had moved to a different boarding house in another section of town, and was once again looking into purchasing a plantation in the southern part of the country. The only obstacle in that was she had donated a considerable portion of her funds to the support of the Organization, and no longer possessed the capital necessary to make such a large investment.
She had taken to covering her coppery red hair with a shawl when going out during the day, and stayed well away from the downtown area. Only one newspaper, the Boston Herald, had printed anything about the riot, but nothing had yet been spoken of whether or not the involved women had been released. Partly Kathleen hoped they had, because, after all, they hardly deserved to be imprisoned for fighting for their freedom, but on the other hand, no one could identify and incriminate her in the scandal while they were behind bars.
"Yoo-hoo, Kathleen," she heard someone call across the way. Kathleen turned in horror to see Josephine Garby, and two other of her fellow suffragettes, waving to her. She dove into the front door of the nearest building and concealed herself in a broom closet. She stayed inside for the better part of fifteen minutes, waiting for them to move along. It was beginning to grow stuffy in there, and she decided that if they were coming after her, they would have been in by now. Just as she laid her hand on the doorknob, it turned and the door opened. Kathleen had been leaning up against it, and fell into the arms of a very surprised man.
"Oh, I am sorry, ma'am. I wasn't aware this closet was occupied." He chuckled nervously. "I say! Miss MacLeary?"
Kathleen wished fervently that the ground would just open up and swallow her. Dr. Barclay of all people! "Good afternoon, doctor." She said in an even tone. "Pardon me for dropping in on you like this."
"Doesn't bother me, miss. Did you find my closet to be well prepared for guests? I'm afraid I haven't made it up yet today."
She wanted to slap him. Of all the insolent things to say. The only force that stayed her hand was the thought that he just might press charges for assault. They would likely be dropped once she presented her side of the story, but if the police found out that she was a recent immigrant… Instead, Kathleen stuck her nose in the air and attempted to walk around him. "It was most accommodating, unlike some men I could mention. Good day, sir."
"Hold it." he said firmly. "That space doesn't come rent free. I think I might like an explanation."
"I beg your pardon, sir?" she said, feigning shock. "It is no business of yours what I was doing in that closet."
"I beg to differ." He replied, "This building is my office, and that closet is for medical storage. I keep narcotic drugs stored in there, and closely monitor who goes in it and why."
"Well, I certainly wasn't looking for drugs, if that is what you were inferring. I happened to see someone outside that I would prefer not speak with, so I stepped in. Now, I really must be going."
"Was it one of you activist friends?" he asked pointedly. She looked over at him and gaped. "You forgot that day you were wearing a sash proclaiming 'votes for women', Miss MacLeary. I knew right away that you were involved in the riot. Smart thing to do, ducking away."
She was about to begin protesting her innocence, not sure how, but something had to be done, when to Kathleen's horror, a black clad constable entered the foyer. "There you are, you little rat." He produced a pair of sparkling handcuffs. "You'll be coming along with me." He approached her, holding out the manacles like a weapon.
"Now, officer," Dr. Barclay broke in, "Suppose you tell us what this is all about. That is no way to speak to a lady. If you have business with Miss MacLeary, we can discuss it like civilized people."
"If you'll pardon me, Doc, the jeweler across the street said an Irish brat came into his shop an lifted an emerald cameo off the counter then ran into one of these buildings. Now I don't know a great deal about jewelry, but it looks to me like the wench is wearing an emerald cameo on her dress."
Kathleen looked down at the brooch pinned to her bodice. "This belonged to me grandmother." She protested. "I'd ne'er steal from nobody." Tears welled in her eyes.
"A likely story indeed." The man snorted. "Immigrant like you would have hawked it the minute you set foot ashore just to buy a hot meal." He clasped the cuffs onto her wrists. "We'll take care of this downtown."
Kathleen began to cry as the officer led her outside. Perhaps it was just as well that she was being arrested and deported now. At least she was innocent of this charge. Dr. Barclay would have most likely turned her in in a few moments anyway. Speaking of the good doctor he followed them outside.
"Is that your horse, officer?" he asked the policeman.
"Yes, doc, as a matter of fact it is. What's that to you?"
"It occurs to me that it will not easily accommodate both of you downtown. I have a buggy hitched around back. If you'd like to tie him on, we could drive to the station instead." If he planned to go, it was most likely to add his own charges to those already mounted- make sure she was gone forever. The officer agreed to this plan, and the three of them rode in Dr. Barclay's surrey across town, with Kathleen sandwiched between the two men. None of them spoke.
After they arrived at the police station, Kathleen was taken to a small windowless room, and left by herself to sit in the plain, straight-backed wooden chair. After the space of about ten minutes had passed, the officer, who had revealed himself to be Inspector E. Reginald Boles, stepped into the room. He informed her that the man who was accusing her of theft had been summoned, and should arrive in under an hour. Kathleen wondered why they hadn't just spoken to him before leaving Dr. Barclay's office, and said as much.
"Miss MacLeary, you would do well to refrain from such insolence." The man reprimanded her sternly. "If you behave yourself in such a fashion before a judge, you will find yourself assuredly either imprisoned for many years, or escorted onto the next ship bound for Ireland."
"Look here, Inspector." She replied. "I don't know who this man is, or what his motivation may be, but I didn't steal anything from him. I swear to you, that cameo you took from me belonged to me Da's mother. It was given to me after she passed on."
"You'd have pawned anything of value the-"
Since they'd been through that song and dance before, Kathleen interrupted him. "My finances are sufficient in their own right, sir. I hardly need to resort to pawnbrokers in order to keep myself afloat." She pressed her lips into a thin line. "Nor," she continued in a lowered tone, almost a growl "Is it necessary for me to steal."
Inspector Boles flushed from the collar up, and his eyes began to glint with rage. "Miss MacLeary," he began, rising from his seat in indignation at her impudence. He would have gone on, but the door opened at that moment, and another officer poked his head in.
"Sir, this gentleman out here says he has something very important to tell you. He is becoming most insistent."
"What man?" he asked in exasperation. "Can't you see I'm questioning a suspect?"
"Er, yes, sir, it is the gentleman you brought in with the, ah, suspect."
"This had better not be a distraction," he muttered under his breath. "Send him in." After a moment, the door opened again, and Dr. Barclay was admitted. "You had better have something real important to say to me, Doc." The Inspector said in a threating tone. "I do not care for unwarranted interruptions."
Dr. Barclay appeared unstirred by the other man's manner. "I think what I have to say might save you a great deal of time, sir."
"Well, out with it then."
"This crime Miss MacLeary was supposed to have committed, when did it take place precisely?"
"I thought you had something to tell me, Doc. I can ask questions just fine."
"Well, you see sir," Dr. Barclay explained quite patiently "She had been in my office for several minutes and…"
"Okay, so it had been between fifteen and twenty minutes when I showed up."
"Why then she couldn't have done it. She and I had been talking for at least fifteen minutes, and I'll guarantee she did not leave the building during that time." Kathleen couldn't believe what she was hearing. Surely he wasn't defending her? Although, he did seem a kind man, and perhaps his sense of justice wouldn't allow him to see her convicted of charges on which he knew her to be innocent. Besides, he was going to see her cited for riot when this was over.
"What was the nature of your conversation?"
"Inspector, I am a doctor. You know that such information is privileged."
"Not with the patient's permission." He turned to Kathleen, who was somewhat baffled by the exchange. "Do you grant Dr. Barclay permission to reveal to me what you were allegedly discussing in his office during the time the robbery took place?"
She wasn't exactly sure what any of this meant, or why the doctor wouldn't just spit it out now, seeing as he would be pressing charges later, but she certainly did not want him revealing what they'd been talking about. "I do not."
"Then without proof of that conversation, I do not see where you evidence is relevant, doctor. You are excused."
Kathleen saw his jaw tense, and thought for a moment he would commence an argument with the inspector, who was again getting red in the face, but the door opened again and the other officer leaned in.
"Sir, the jeweler from Sixth Street is here to see you."
The Inspector re-seated himself, and tried to regain his composure. "Yes, thank you, Carson. Show him in, please. Dr. Barclay was just leaving."
He nodded to Kathleen as he turned to go. "I'll be waiting outside for you."
Dr. Barclay exited the room and was replaced by a wizened old man with a white fuzzy beard that reached nearly to his waist. He was quite short, not as tall as Kathleen, and was smoking a pipe, the fumes from which set her to coughing.
"Mr. Simpson, thank you for coming so quickly." The inspector said. "I believe I have recovered the cameo which was taken from you," he pulled Kathleen's brooch from his pocket, and handed it to the old man who took out a monocle and fitted it to his eye, staring at the piece. "As well as the thief who relieved you of it." he indicated her.
The man studied the brooch for some time before removing his eyepiece, shaking his head, and handing it back to the inspector. "Nope. That's not it. There are some similarities, but my piece, it was studded with imitation stones, and, unless I miss my guess, these are the real thing." It was then he turned his attention to Kathleen. "And that isn't the thief either. Right coloring, but this one was smaller. A child I do believe." He turned to go.
Inspector Boles sighed and looked across the table at her. "I suppose you can go now." He said, "But if I find out there's any funny business going on." He glared at her through narrowed eyes.
Kathleen couldn't resist a smug look "I believe I will take my brooch with me." She said condescendingly.