Tooker glanced at the ashes of the cigarette, picked up the newspaper and put it on a chair in the corner, then laid one or two documents obtrusively open, on Mr. Gallatin’s desk. Phil watched him with a smile. Tooker was a thoughtful and cautious soul.

Leuppold laughed outright.
He stepped to Loring’s side and held several of the checks up just beyond his reach.

“That’s not my signature,” said Loring.

Gallatin handed the checks to Tooker.

“You’re not convinced?”

“No. It’s a forgery.”

“Then I’ll find other means of convincing you. Perhaps, if I produced a man who saw you sign those checks——”

Loring had risen to his feet and spoke but one word. It was the popular one for the infernal regions.

Gallatin smiled. And then to the chief clerk, “Tooker, show Mr. Markham in, please.”

The situation had gotten beyond the control of Mr. Leuppold, who was completely nonplused by Mr. Gallatin’s rapidity, succinctness and damnable accuracy; but he made one desperate effort to regain his lost ground.

“Markham, a broken man, a drunkard, a gambler——”

“But once Mr. Loring’s secretary,” Gallatin broke in significantly. “Wait, Mr. Leuppold.”

In a moment Mr. Markham entered. He was a tall man, with keen eyes, hawklike nose and a weak mouth. As he entered Loring turned toward the door and the eyes of the two men met, Loring’s curious, the newcomer’s eager and unflinching.

“Mr. Markham,” asked Gallatin, “do you know this gentleman?”

“Yes. He is Henry K. Loring.”

“Have you ever seen these checks?”

“Yes. I drew them and saw Mr. Loring sign them.”

“And this affidavit?”

“I wrote it.”

“And this abstract of the books of the Sanborn Company?”

“I have seen it.”

“Is it correct?”

“In every particular.”

“All right. That will be all for the present. Will you remain outside?”

“Wait, sir!” Leuppold’s voice rang out. “I haven’t finished with Mr. Markham yet.”

“You’ll have the opportunity of questioning him at the proper time and place,” said Gallatin smoothly. “That will be all, Mr. Markham.”

“I protest, Mr. Gallatin, against your methods of conducting this meeting,” said Leuppold, rising and extending a quavery arm. “You bring as your chief  of my client, a discredited clerk, a man discharged for drunkenness, for incompetence, for dishonesty.”