|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||The Secret Adversary|
"With the usual perversity "ot bedroom bed-room stationery, there were Innumerable Innu-merable envelopes ami no paper. lie rung. No one came. Tommy fumed at the delay. Then he remembered that there was a good supply in Julius' sitting room. The American had announced his Immediate departure, de-parture, there would he no fear of running up against him. Besides, he wouldn't mind if he did. He was beginning tc be rather ashamed ofr.he things he had said. Secret Adversary ess bAathaChristie I u.an pT.oi..a.-.T.er. rre ri-pTieii: j 'You're on to it. sir. It had.' Then i he went on to tell me something 1 j didn't know. The original of that photograph was the French girl. I Annette, who saved his life." "What?" j "Exactly. The discovery was a I providential one. Of course, froiu the moment that the girl in Man-1 Man-1 Chester was proved to be a plant eerything was altered. Young j beresford saw that for himself I without my having to tell it him. i Hut he felt he couldn't trust Ids I Judgment on the subject of .Miss Cowley. That brought us back to the telegram." "Yes?" I "I advised him to apply to you for a copy of the original wire. It had occurred to uie as probable that, after Jliss Cowley flung It on the floor, certain words might hnve been erased or altered with the ex-j ex-j press Intention of setting searchers on a false trail." Carter nodded. He took a sheet from his pocket, and read aloud: "Come at once, Astley Priors. Gatehouse. Kent. Great developments develop-ments TOMMY." "Very simple," said Sir James, "and very Ingenious. Just a few words to alter, and the thing was done. And the one important clue they overlooked." "What was that?" "The page-boy's statement that Miss Cowley drove to Charing Cross. They were so sure of themselves them-selves that they took It for granted he had made a mistake." "Then young Beresford is now?" "At Gatehouse, Kent, unless I am much mistaken. Any more facts about that American chap for me?" "I'm afraid not. Is ft Imnnrtnnt ! ! i,!!':il,l'fIP ' "What's up?" he Inquired. "Look here. If that doesn't beat toe band I" Tommy looked. Standing out and half obstructing the path was a tfcuge boulder which certainly bore a fanciful resemblance to a "begging" "beg-ging" terrier. "That's it for sure." Tommy looked at the rock with t kind of agonized passion. "T n It!" he cried. "It's Impossible! Impos-sible! Five years! Think of It 1 Bird's-nesting boys, picnic parties, thousands of people passing! It can't be there I It's a hundred to one against its being there! It's against all reason !" Julius looked at him with a widening wid-ening smile. "I guess you're rattled," he drawled with some enjoyment. "Weil, here goes!" He thrust his warned. It'sonIy a mntteroT hours now before the blow falls." Half an hour after arrival, haggard hag-gard and pale, Tommy stood before his chief. "I've come to report, sir. I've Tailed failed badly." Mr. Carter eyed him sharply. 1 "You mean that the treaty " "Is In the hands of Mr. Brown, sir." "Well," said Mr. Carter after a minute or two, "we mustn't sag at the knees, I suppose. I'm glad to know definitely. We must do what we can." I Through Tommy's mind flashed the assurance: "It's hopeless, and he knows It's hopeless!" The other looked up at him. "I blame myself. I have been blaming myself ever since I heard ths other news." Something Tn his tone attracted Tommy's attention. A new fear gripped at his heart. "Is there something more, sir?" "I'm afraid so," said Mr. Carter gravely. He stretched out his hand to a sheet on the table. "Tuppence ?" faltered Tommy. "Read for yourself." The typewritten words danced before be-fore his eyes. The description of a green toque, a coat with a handkerchief handker-chief In the pocket marked "P. L. C." He looked an agonized question ques-tion at Mr. Carter. The latter replied re-plied to It: "Washed up on the Yorkshire coast near Ebury. I'm afraid It looks very much like foul play." "My G d 1" gasped Tommy. "Tuppence I Those devils I'll never rest till I've got even with them ! I'll hunt them down ! I'll "I'm taking np your time, sir," he said with an effort. "There's no need for yon -to blame yourself. I dare say we were a couple of young fools to take on such a Job. You warned us all right. But I wish to God I'd been the one to get It In the neck. Good-by, sir." Back at the Rltz, Tommy packed Dp his few belongings mechanically, his thoughts far away. He was atlll to find out who he was?" "Oh, I know who he was," said Sir James easily. "I can't prove It yet but I know." "Well?" Carter shrugged his shoulders. "I couldn't gel mc-i. Xo-i id low" about tTilrty-flve" poorly dressed face very badly disfigured. He was never identified." "And you fancy that the two matters mat-ters are connected in some way?" "Somehow I do. I may be wrong, of course." The other two asked no questions. ques-tions. They had an instinct that It I would be mere waste of breath. "But what I don't understand," said the prime minister suddenly, "Is how that photograph came to be In Mr. Hershelmmer's drawer?" "Perhaps It never left It," sug-! sug-! gested the lawyer gently. I Two days later Julius Hershelm-j Hershelm-j mer returned from Manchester. A note from Tommy lay on his table: "Dear Hersheimmer : "Sorry I lost my temper. In case I don't see you again, good-by. I've been offered a Job In the Argentine, Ar-gentine, and might as well take It. "Yours, "TOMMY BERESFORD1." A peculiar smile lingered for a moment on Julius' face. He threw the letter Into the waste-paper basket. "The darned fool !" he murmured. "Oh, Get Out! You Don't Really Care, D n You!" But the 'room was" deserted. Tommy walked across to the writing writ-ing table, and opened the middle drawer. A photograph, carelessly thrustJn face upwards, caught his eye. ror TTTiruiiieiu mr"soTi unrooted to the ground. Then he took It out, shut the drawer, walked slowly over to an armchair, and sat down still staring at the photograph In his hand. What on earth was a photograph of the French girl Annette doing in Julius Hershelmmer's writing table? CHAPTER XIV In Downing Street '"PHE prime minister tapped the desk In front of him with nerv- I I ous fingers. His face was worn I and harassed. He took up his con- I versatlon with Mr. Carter at the point It had broken off. "I don't understand," he said. "Do you really mean that things are not so desperate after all?" "So this lad seems to think." "Let's have a look at his letter again." Mr. Carter handed It over. It was written In a sprawling boyish hand. "Dear Mr. Carter: "I think .1 know who the real Jane Finn la, and I've even got an Idea where the papers are. That After ringing up Sir James, Tommy's Tom-my's next procedure was to make a call at South Audiey mansions. He found Albert discharging his professional duties, and Introduced himself without more ado as a friend of Tuppence's. Albert unbent un-bent Immediately. "Things has been very quiet here lately," he said wistfully. "Hope the lady's keeping well, sir?" (To be Continued.) o. H Thrurt Hla Hand Into th Crevlc. tiand Into the crevice, and made a light grimace. "It's a tight fit. Jane's hand must be a few sizes smaller than mine. I don't feel anything -no say, what's this? Gee whlil" And with a flourish he waved aloft a small discolored packet. "It's the goods all right, iiewn up In oilskin. Hold It while tenderly between his hands. They had succeeded I "It's queer," he murmured Idly ; "you'd think the stitches would have rotted. They look just as good as new." They cut them carefully and ripped away the ollsllk. Inside was a small folded sheet of paper. With trembling Angers they unfolded It. The sheet was blank 1 They stared at tach other, puzzled. "A dummy?" hazarded Julius. Was Danvers Just a decoy V" , Tommy shook his head. That solution did not satisfy him. Suddenly Sud-denly his face cleared. "I've got It! Sympathetic ink!" You think so?" "Worth trying anyhow. Heat ' usually does the trick. Get some sticks. We'll make a Are." In a few minutes the little Are or twigs and leaves was blazing merrily. Tommy held the sheet of Pnper near the glow. The paper purled a little with the heat. Nothing Noth-ing more. lasts only a guess, of course, but I've a sort of feeling It'll turn out right. Anyhow, I enclose it In a sealed envelope for what It's worth. I'm going to ask you not to open It until the very last moment, midnight mid-night n the 28th, in fact You see, Tve figured It out that those things of Tuppence's are a plant, too, and she's no mire drowned than I am. The way ? r.easop Is this; as a fast chanoe they'll let fane lnn elcape In te hope that she's been shamming sham-ming tkU memory stunt, and that once she thinks she's free she'll go right away to the cache. Of course It's an awful risk for them to take, because she knows all about them but they're pretty desperate to get hold of that treaty. But If they know that the papers have been recovered re-covered by us, neither of those two girl's lives will be worth an hour's purchase. I must try and get hold of Tuppence before Jane escapes. "I want a repeat of that telegram that was sent to Tuppence at the Eltz. Sir James Peel Edgerton said you would be able to manage that for me. "One last thing please have that house in Soho watched day and ' night. j "Yours, etc., 1 "THOMAS BERESFORD." "He seems confident," mused the 1 prime minister. A half smile came to the other's i lips. I "And It Is tills boy who will de- bewlldered by the Introduction of tragedy Into his cheerful commonplace common-place existence. What fun they had had together, he and Tuppence I And now oh, he couldn't believe It It couldn't be true I Tuppence-dead Tuppence-dead 1 Little Tuppence, brimming over with life! It was a dream, a horrible dream. Nothing more. They brought him a note, a few kind words of sympathy from Peel Edgerton, who had read the news In the paper. (There had been a large headline: EX-V. A. D. FEARED DROWNED.) The letter ended with the offer of a post on a ranch in the Argentine, where Sir James had considerable Interests. "Kind old beggar," muttered Tommy, as he flung It aside. The door opened, and Julius burst In with his usual violence. He held an open newspaper In his hand. "Say, what's all this? They seem to have got some fool Idea about Tuppence." "It's true," said Tommy quietly. "You mean they've done her In?" Tommy nodded. "I suppose when they got the treaty she wasn't any good to them any longer, and they were nfrald to let her go." "Well, I'm darned !" said Julius. "Little Tuppence. She sure was the pluckiest little girl" But suddenly something seemed to crack In Tommy's brnln. He rose to his feet. ieni me master criminal of our time?" "This boy, as you say! But 1 sometimes fancy I 6ee a shadow behind." be-hind." "You mean?" "Peel Edserton. I ge his bans la this." There was a pause, then Me. Cut ter continued : "I asked him to come round here Not that we'll get anything out ol him he doesn't want to tell. His legal Instincts are too strong. But there's no doubt he can throw light on one or two obscure points In young Beresford's letter. Ah, here he Is I" The two men rose to greet the ! newcomer. A half whimsical thought flashed across the premier's mind. "My successor, perhaps!" "We've had a letter from young Beresford," said Mr. Carter, coming to the point at once. "You've seen him. I suppose?" "He rang me up." "Would you have any objection to telling us exactly what passed I ! "Oh, get out I You don't really I care, d n you ! You asked her to marry you In your rotten coldblooded cold-blooded way, but I loved her. I'd have given the soul out of my body to save her from harm. I'd have stood by without a word and let her marry you, because you could have given her the sort of time she ought to have had, and I was only a poor devil without a penny to bless himself with. But it wouldn't have been because I didn't care!" The young men were on the point of coming to blows. But suddenly, with an almost magical abruptness, Julius' anger abated. "All right, son," he snld quietly, "I'm going. I don't blame you any for what you've been saying. It's mighty lucky you did say it. I've been the most almighty blithering darned Idiot that It's possible to imagine. Calm down" Tommy had made an Impatient gesture "I'm going right away now going raI!wLL0,n!l?.n. "? Kol. Western uuuenly Julius grasped his arm, nd pointed to where characters ZH appearing la a faint brown "Cleewhte! You've got It! Sav, nxit idea of yours was grent. it never oteurred to me" Tommy held the paper In position posi-tion some minutes longer until he uged the hpt hntI dmle ts work Tl'en he withdrew It. A tnomeul later he uttered a cry Across the sheet in neat brown printing ran the words: "With the Compliments of Mr. Brown." CHAPTER XIII F Tommy Makes a Di.covery. OK a moment or two thev stood staring at each other stupidly, dazed with shock. Somehow, lnex-yVMr' lnex-yVMr' 1,rown hf,1 forestalled fliZu x-m'ny ""opted defeat Ouletly. hot 80 Juiu8 oh. V J" tar"tl"n did he get ahead of us? That's what beats m! he ended up. w,...'On'LS0' 11 matters anv-said anv-said Tommy wenrllv. "lie ' "y llnve fund out some months "to, and removed the papers, then Thm-M Jove' thnt -'t wash! oD(d hnve be Published at son,!'""' tl,,ns the,-v uld! Xo, I Z LTS got "iH""' of s todav frl i? Ur or so' 1!ut "ow t"ev 1?S Hbout how l( s The onlv ' , We've "' There's only one thing fnr me to do." flint's that?" I riwebadxit0 In,lon as so,ln ns 1 -iui. -Mx.. Carter, muy. be between you?" I "N'ot at all. He thanked me for a I certain letter which I had written j to Win-is a matter of fact, I had offered him a job. Then he re- ! mrnd6d me of something I had said j to him at Manchester respecting ' thnt bogus telegram which lured j Miss Cowley away. I asked him If ' anything untoward had occurred. lie said It had that In a drawer in I Mr. Hersheimmer's room he had I discovered a photograph." The law- ! yer paused, then continued: "I 1 asked him If the photograph bore I ' thename ami address of a Califor- ' ""' I ranway depot, if" " rz ,r-rou're he Zt dJOC"' Cl0Sei b'"nd Julius hejnedjojiis sultrnse. ' -r.cre was ne gm,lK7 Tie hadn't the faintest idea. Beyond a lived determination to get even with Mr brown he had no plans. lie reread re-read Sir James' letter, and shook his head. Tuppence must be avenged. Still, It was kind of the 1 old fellow. ! "Better answer It, I suppose" lie i went across o the writing table.