The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece
sleep tonight and won't do any sleepwalking."
    "Well," Mason said, "I'm going to keep my door locked."
    She clutched at his arm and said, "Don't frighten me or I'll shock your doctor friend to death by staying all night in your room."
    Mason laughed, followed her back up the stairs, paused at the door of his room, turned the knob, grinned and said, "Jim beat me to it. He locked the door after we left."
    "Perhaps," she giggled, "he's afraid that I'll walk in my sleep."
    Mason tapped on the panels, and after a moment, the floor creaked with the sound of a ponderous body moving in slippered feet. Then the bolt shot back and the door opened. Edna Hammer pushed Perry Mason to one side, thrust in her head and said, "Boo!"
    A half second later the bed springs on Kelton's bed gave forth violent creaks. Perry Mason followed Edna Hammer into the room. She approached the bed. "Do you," she asked Dr. Kelton, "walk in your sleep?"
    "Not me," Kelton said, managing a grin, "I stay put – but I snore to beat hell, in case you're interested."
    "Oh, lovely," she exclaimed. "Think of what a swell sleepwalker you'd make. You could walk in a fog and blow your own signals." She turned with a laugh, slid her fingertips along the sleeve of Mason's pajamas, said, "Thanks a lot. You're a big help," and sailed through the door with fluttering silks trailing behind her.
    Jim Kelton heaved a sigh. "Lock that door, Perry, and for God's sake, keep it locked. That woman's got the prowls."

CHAPTER VII
    A SMALL alarm clock throbbed into muffled noise. Mason reached out, switched off the alarm, jumped from bed, and dressed. Dr. Kelton quit snoring for a matter of seconds, then resumed his nasal cadences. Mason put out the light, opened the door and stepped into the corridor. Edna Hammer was standing within a few feet of his door. She was still attired in her negligee. The aroma of freshly made coffee filled the hallway. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
    "I sneaked up to tell you I'd unlocked Uncle's door and to ask you to smuggle me a cup of coffee."
    "Can't you ring for the butler and have him bring it to your room?"
    "No. I don't dare to. No one must know I didn't go to Santa Barbara. Uncle Pete would be furious if he thought I'd slipped something over on him. And then I have Helen to consider."
    Mason nodded. "Which is your room?" he asked.
    "In the north wing, on the ground floor next to the 'dobe wall. It opens on the patio."
    "I'll do the best I can," he promised. "Your uncle's up?"
    "Oh, yes, he's been up for half an hour, packing and puttering around."
    A door knob rattled. Edna Hammer gave a startled exclamation and was gone with a flutter of silken garments. Mason walked toward the stairway. Peter Kent, freshly shaved, opened a door, stepped out into the hallway, saw Mason and smiled. "Good morning, Counselor. I hope you slept well. It's splendid of you to get up to see us off."
    "I always get up to see my clients married," Mason said, laughing, "but it looks as though I'm going to be the only one. Dr. Kelton's sound asleep and refuses to budge."
    Peter Kent looked at his watch. "Five o'clock," he said musingly. "The sun rises about six. We're to be at the field at five forty-five. That will give us time for bacon, eggs and toast, but we'll have to make it snappy."
    He accompanied Mason down the flight of stairs to the big sitting room, where the butler had a cheerful fire going in the fireplace and a table set in front of it. Lucille Mays came toward Peter Kent with outstretched hands, starry eyes. "How did you sleep?" she asked solicitously.
    Kent's eyes met hers. "Wonderfully," he said, "Counselor Mason inspires confidence. I'm sorry I didn't consult him earlier."
    Mason returned Lucille Mays' smile. They seated themselves at the table, had a hurried breakfast. As Kent started upstairs, Mason poured himself another cup of coffee, sugared and creamed it, strolled toward the door, ostensibly to look out into the patio.
    Mason waited until they

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