The Red Button
Captain Hanska's body blocked the door. He lay dressed in his pajamas, the shrunken relic of what had been a portly man lay on his back with his hands lifted over his head as though he were clutching at the air. From his breast stuck the haft of a great knife; and from the wound the pool of blood flowed to the threshold. The match went out; and with a common impulse Tommy North and Professor Noll struggled to see who would be first to get back through that door.
There followed alarms, screams, the running of women, hysterics on the part of Mrs. Moore, who had started from bed at Tommy's first cry. Tommy North, albeit ordinarily a brave and resourceful young man enough, was of no use in this crisis, what with the compression of ten emotional years into ten minutes of life. Worse for him, the hen-minded Mrs. Moore, seeing the blood, cried, "You murderer!" clutched at his coat, and fell into a faint. Upon Professor Noll devolved the