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Title: In The Express
Author: Fred M White
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
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Language: English
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In the Express


Fred M. White

Illustrated by Victor Venner

First published in Pearson's Magazine, US edition, September 1900

In The Express

A YELLOW fog hung over a part of Glasgow. The foul cloudland came to Newton Moore's nostrils, pricked his throat, filled him with a horror he had found it hard to name. His clothes hung limp with moisture as he crouched closer to the wall listening. In the same attitude the famous Secret Service Agent had remained since darkness fell. The cigarette between his teeth had spent itself, and he had no more matches. So he stood trembling there, waiting for the hour when he could strike, and then hasten to the food he had not touched for a score of hours.

It was one of the biggest things Moore had ever been engaged in. If successful, he hoped to lay by the heels the most daring scoundrel in Europe. Not a government was there which had no cause to dread Alex Mefer; no plan or treaty had leaked out these twenty years without Mefer being at the bottom of the business.

For the present, however, Moore's occupation partook more or less of the nature of a side-show. It was a means to an end, a part of a little scheme worked out by him in a drift of cigarette smoke burnt in with the midnight hours.

Now and again a figure drifted by. Then came a step lighter than the rest, and Moore stood up quivering. A tall man passed him, an exceedingly handsome man with a face of bronze, and gold rings in his ears. As this obviously Italian beauty passed on, Moore followed.

He found himself presently ascending a flight of stairs in a building let out in rooms to all and sundry who possessed the desired means to pay for them, a building of philanthropy with a backing of 5 per cent behind it. Into a room on the third floor the Italian entered.

Moore crept after his quarry like a cat. He stood in the open doorway whilst the foreigner lighted his lamp. An instant later the door was closed, and the Italian was lying back in the chair with a grip on his throat and a black terror glazing his eyes.

'Signor Moore,' he gurgled, 'Signor Moore!'

"Signor Moore," he gurgled, "Signor Moore!"

Moore relaxed his grip. He had established the full measure of fear he had anticipated. That he was dealing with an arrant coward he already knew. Even cowards have their use in the way of Queen's evidence.

"You didn't expect to see me here?" Moore asked. "Eh, Stefano?"

Stefano shook his head sadly. His dark eyes were drawn to Moore with a sort of dazed fascination.

"I am doing no harm," he said sullenly.

"You came from Florence with Tosco and Berthe and—and another one," said Moore. "And Katrina is in the business. I haven't been following up your little lot for the last two months for nothing. I know exactly where those glycerine shells are at present and also what you are going to do with them. Tosco and Berthe will have a pleasant surprise presently."

Stefano's eyes dilated still further.

"In this country," Moore went on, "men who endanger human life by blowing up public buildings and the like seldom escape with less than twenty years' penal servitude. How will you like that, my pretty Stefano? And what will be Katrina's view on the matter?"

Stefano shivered. The prospect had no charm for him. And how was he to know that Moore was merely bluffing? He had voiced his suspicions easily, and Stefano's manner was confirming them.

"What are you going to do?" the latter asked.

"I am going to wait here till Katrina arrives," Moore replied.

Stefano shivered again. He protested volubly that Katrina, the pride of Florence, the toast of the wine-shops, was not in this drear island. Moore pointed to a hat and jacket of obviously feminine origin and smiled.

"I am going to show you a way out of the difficulty," he said.

"Ah! I am going to be pardoned," Stefano gasped.

"On conditions—on conditions, of course. The wheels of life, my dear Stefano, are best run on the siding of compromise. Before midnight Tosco and Berthe will be arrested red-handed. If you are to depart as you came, I must have certain information both from Katrina and yourself."

"But Signor," Stefano protested, "for so great a man as yourself, so small a matter—"

Stefano finished with a shrug and a smile—a prettily implied compliment.

"There are such things as small matters," Moore replied, "and, as you suggest, I am fishing for salmon rather than for minnows. Now Mefer for an instance is a salmon."

"Mefer is to be implicated in this business?" Stefano suggested.

"Certainly. He is in the business, as I happen to know. Why he's in it, I have yet to discover. He goes to-morrow by the morning express to London, and I shall accompany him. Doubtless we shall have an exceedingly interesting conversation."

Stefano followed all this somewhat lazily.

"But what have I to do, Signor?" he asked. "To give evidence against my friends?"

He paused and shuddered. Not devoid of imagination, those fine eyes in fancy saw a corpse floating on dark waters with a red stain on the breast.

"Not you," said Moore, "but Katrina."

A choking cry burst from Stefano's lips.

"She would never do it," he exclaimed.

"Then you will be arrested and tried with the others. Katrina is one of the cleverest and most unscrupulous women in Europe, but she has a weak spot, Stefano, and that weak spot is her absorbing affection for you. If she fails to do what I ask, she will never see her beloved Stefano again."

The grim playfulness touched Stefano as no outburst of anger could have done. He gave a deep sigh—half relief, half fear—as a light footstep came up the stairs. The door opened and a woman came in.

She had a face of amazing beauty. Strength, resolution, and courage were stamped on her faultless features. But the eyes were melting, and the thin scarlet lines of her mouth had the curve of passion. Her eyes were gleaming now, her lips parted.

"We must fly," she cried. "Tosco and Berthe have been arrested."

"That," Moore observed, "does not in the least surprise me."

Katrina turned swiftly upon the speaker. They were old antagonists, these. And up to now Moore had had none too much the best of the game.

"We last met in France, I believe." The woman smiled. She knew the danger, but there was no trace of fear in her face.

"I am not likely to forget it," Moore said drily. "It will not be long before Stefano joins his friends Tosco and Berthe."

The woman locked her hands together. A grey tinge crept over her face. Moore had touched the right chord.

"You have come to compromise?" Katrina demanded.

"Ah, there is no doubt you are a wonderful woman. Tosco and Berthe and Mefer have been watched ever since they arrived here. For my own purposes I have managed to shield Stefano."

"You want me to betray Mefer into your hands?"

"You have guessed it. For your little tin conspiracy I care nothing. That has failed, as such things are bound to fail, only the law will not be the less severe on that account. All you will have to do is to go into the witness-box to-morrow to give evidence in favor of Tosco and Berthe. I need hardly say that you will be subject to searching cross-examination. You are to answer truthfully certain questions put to you, and those answers will give me the grip over Mefer that I need. I may say that Mefer has not been arrested yet, nor will he be for the present."

"And if I refuse to do this thing?"

Moore drew a whistle from his pocket.

"In that case," he said, "I perform a solo on this little instrument, and a minute later this room is full of police. Before an hour passes you will be in jail, and in the course of time you will find yourselves doing penal servitude for long terms of years. But you are not going to be so silly, you are not going to be the puppet of Mefer any longer. One final word of advice—don't attempt to communicate with him."

It was a long time before Katrina replied. She flashed Moore a glance like sudden death, then her eyes melted into tenderness as they fell upon Stefano screwed up anxiously in his chair.

"I couldn't let him suffer," she said. "And Mefer told me—"

Something seemed to rise up in her throat and choke her. She bent her head forward on the table and two big drops splashed on the greasy board. When she glanced at Moore she was herself again.

"If I were my own mistress!" she said hoarsely. "If I were my own mistress! But what woman ever was who truly loved?"

* * * * *

A STIFF inspector with an aggressive Scotch accent was awaiting Moore when he reached the Central Police Station. It was evident that Inspector Lockwood regarded his visitor with no great favor.

"I'm puzzled, sir," he remarked, "fairly puzzled."

"You surprise me," Moore replied drily. "A detective puzzled!"

"Well, it is evident to me that you're not a detective."

"Your information is accurate and not displeasing, which is a quotation, my dear Lockwood. You are naturally annoyed because this affair has been taken out of your hands, and because the powers that be have given you stringent orders to act under my instructions. You have arrested Tosco and Berthe?"

"Yes," Lockwood growled, "and why I was not permitted to arrest that fellow Mefer and his tool Stefano passes my understanding."

Moore smiled with what patience he could command.

"Because Mefer is a big fish," he explained. "At the present moment, Mefer is in possession of plans of the greatest importance. He came here to obtain the key to the submarine defences to Port Glasgow. And, what is more, he's got them. They were stolen by a subordinate official some few weeks ago at Mefer's instigation, and only this week he came over to get the plans. As a matter of fact, Mefer has nothing whatever to do with this dynamite business. He is only using those fools for his own purpose. He would not have the slightest difficulty in clearing himself, and he would slip through my fingers. It is of the utmost importance that those plans should be recovered. You understand that?"

"Yes, but I don't see how you are going to do it?"

"Neither do I propose to tell you," Moore said drily. "I have been days working out the scheme which is complete at last. I shall get those papers as sure as—as sure as you are a detective."

Inspector Lockwood expressed no lively satisfaction.

"It's very irregular," he grumbled, "and so humiliating for me. I know nothing; I can merely produce the prisoners to-morrow and ask for a remand. They have even sent down a barrister from London to prosecute. You seem to have the whole British Government backing you up."

"As a matter of fact," Moore said curtly, "I have."

Moore proceeded to expound his views and wishes as to the future of the puzzling case with a freedom that caused Lockwood some emotion. He was merely a puppet in the game, a fact that Moore pointed out cogently. Whereupon the Secret Service Agent departed for the Caledonian Hotel.

Here a keen, alert-looking man with a clean-shaven face and gold-rimmed glasses awaited him. They shook hands warmly.

"I'm glad the Home Office sent you, Mclntyre," Moore remarked. "I suppose you've got the heads of your case from Lockwood?"

"I'm practically in the dark, my dear fellow," the eminent barrister replied. "I know I'm to prosecute two men for an alleged conspiracy, but beyond that Lockwood told me very little. As far as I can see, to-morrow's proceedings will be purely formal."

"I fancy not," Moore said drily. "Do you remember some months ago my telling you the history of that wonderful woman, Katrina?"

Mclntyre nodded. A new interest was being added to the case. The interest deepened as Moore proceeded to relate the details of his interview with Katrina and Stefano earlier in the evening. He went still further than that—he told the why and wherefore of Mefer's immunity from arrest, and the scheme he had devised to get the better of him.

"Worthy of Wilkie Collins, by Jove," Mclntyre cried. "If Mefer is the superstitious chap you describe him to be, you will torture him almost out of his mind before he and you reach London to-morrow. So you fancy this Katrina will turn Queen's evidence to save that rascal Stefano?"

"I feel perfectly certain of it," Moore replied. "Stefano dare not do so himself, but no great harm will come to Katrina. She can always plead that she has sacrificed the few to save the many conspirators. I have jotted down here a long list of the questions you are to ask her in the witness box. She is a strong, clever woman, and doubtless she will try to evade them. She does not realise yet what it means to stand an examination such as yours will be. Once you get on her nerves you will be able to do anything."

Mclntyre nodded thoughtfully. He was lost in admiration of Moore's scheme, its wonderful ingenuity, and the dexterity with which he had worked out every detail in a marvellously complex piece of machinery.

"I never heard anything finer," he exclaimed.

At the same moment a waiter entered with a card, which he placed before Moore. The latter glanced at a pencil scrawl and smiled.

"Show the lady up," he said. "My dear Mclntyre, it's Katrina herself. I quite expected her to try and see me again."

Katrina entered. Her face was white and her eyes wild, but she had lost none of the proud, easy bearing. Moore made the necessary introduction, and explained that Mclntyre was here on business not indirectly connected with Katrina herself.

"Mr. Mclntyre has a perfect knowledge of the situation," Moore said significantly. Katrina bowed. Her quick intelligence had grasped Moore's meaning.

"You know why I come here," she cried. "I will waste no time in idle words. Our conspiracy has failed. The life of one whom I regard before all others in the world is in peril. For none other would I degrade myself as I am going to degrade myself now. For Stefano's sake I am going to be a traitor. I am going to betray those who have trusted me. Ask any question you please, and I will tell you all."

'For Stefano's sake I am going to be a traitor'

She threw up her arms; a laugh of exceeding bitterness escaped her. The passionate, loving woman was uppermost now, the splendid courage had vanished, a dull shame veiled Katrina's eyes.

"You will repeat your confession in public to-morrow," said Mclntyre. Katrina nodded. She had no word for the moment. Her hands were locked together with convulsive force, a scar was on her lips where the white, even teeth had scored it.

"I will say what you wish," she burst out presently. "If I have to be bad, then I will be bad to the core. It is all for the sake of Stefano. Ah, it is only in the South that we know how to love and to sacrifice all to the passion of our lives."

The fit of passion passed, tears stood in the woman's eyes. There was in those eyes the enthusiasm that sometimes culminates in insanity.

"Sit down," said Mclntyre,"and let us talk."

Katrina dropped into a chair. She answered glibly all the many and varied questions that the barrister put to her. But out of all those questions there was not one of them taken from the paper that Moore had handed over to his friend and ally.

* * * * *

A FAIR man with a dreamy face was in a casual way turning over a pile of flaming bookstall literature as Moore entered the great Glasgow station. The man with the dreamy face turned and just for an instant the lines of his mouth grew rigid as Moore touched him on the shoulder.

Moore touched him on the shoulder.

"Alex Mefer," said Moore, "how are you?"

The man addressed as Mefer smiled. He and Moore were old antagonists, and their respect for each other's powers was mutual. They were both men of indomitable courage and pluck when the pinch came, albeit the famous spy was no less nervous and imaginative than Moore on ordinary occasions. He showed no trace of these qualities at present.

"My dear friend," he cried, "this is a meeting the most delightful. Tell me, have you been in Glasgow long?"

The cool, delicious insolence of the question amused Moore.

"Exactly as long as you have been here." he cried.

"Is it possible that we are both going to London to-day?"

"Such is my intention, friend Mefer. I have at my disposal a compartment in the train, and I have made my arrangements for feeding on the journey. So sure was I that you were going to London to-day that I laid my plans accordingly. Permit me to offer you a seat in my carriage and a share of my luncheon basket. There will be plenty for two I assure you." Mefer's eyes sparkled.

"This interest in my welfare is flattering," he said. "But what do you expect in return for this hospitality?"

"Those Port Glasgow submarine plans you obtained possession of on Wednesday."

Mefer laughed no more for the moment. The sensitive, intellectual face grew grave. Like most really clever men, he never underrated the strength of an enemy, and in Moore he had long recognised a foe of infinite resource and novelty of method.

"So some papers have been stolen?" he asked.

"That is it," Moore replied drily. "I prefer to believe that they have passed into your possession. So sure do I feel of this that 1 have laid all my plans accordingly."

"Oh, oh. You are certain of your man."

"Absolutely certain. And equally assured that before midnight you will voluntarily restore the stolen documents. Come along."

Mefer followed his companion down the long platform, echoing to the tramp of feet and the shrill, smiting scream of escaping vapor. Moore paused at length before a carriage guarded by a stalwart porter.

"Are you coming with me?" he asked.

Mefer nodded gravely. He showed no fear, but he was plainly puzzled. Moore was violating every rule of the game. It was as if two masters of fence had come together, the one with new passes and guards—something absolutely novel in the way of carte and tierce, the other relying on old methods.

"I think I will," said Mefer, "for frankly I don't understand you."

Hitherto this kind of duel had been played in the dark. The right hand of one man was never seen by the left hand of the other until the plot was unskeined and the time to strike had come. Under ordinary circumstances, the last thing Moore would have dreamed of mentioning was the stolen plan.

Mefer flung himself down in the corner of the carriage and attacked a cigarette. There was a banging of doors, a trilling whistle, then the huge station began to slide away. Moore appeared to be studying his paper with great intentness.

"My friend," Mefer said suddenly, "you are not trying to fools-mate me?"

Moore laid his paper on one side.

"I have tried that game successfully before now," he said; "but I pay a higher tribute to your powers than attempting it with you, my dear Mefer. And I did no more than state a fact to you just now."

"But you cannot possibly guarantee that fact!"

"I can and will. I am not bluffing. By the way, there is a paragraph in the paper here that may interest you. It is to the effect that two dynamiters, by name Tosco and Berthe, were arrested red-handed last night, and informing all whom it may concern that the miscreants will be brought before the magistrates to-day. I believe these men are no strangers to you."

"I seem to have heard the names," Mefer admitted drily.

"You came over to England together."

"Again your information is exceedingly accurate. But you cannot connect me with them to my detriment. I am too clever for that, sir."

Mefer positively beamed as he spoke. He began to see daylight. Moore was going to frighten these papers out of him by connecting him with this absurd dynamite business.

"One is loth to lose one's illusions, for they are scarce at forty," Mefer resumed. "And hitherto I have regarded you as such a clever man."

Moore smiled. He saw the point quite clearly.

"I know perfectly well that those people were mere tools of yours," he said. "You came to England with them as a blind to cover your real intentions. I have not the least intention of using this information as a lever to force you to disgorge. You will see later on how that newspaper paragraph forms part of my game. Individually, I may say there are others in the conspiracy who as yet have not been arrested.

Need I say that I am alluding to Stefano and Katrina? The woman is deeply in love with that handsome coward, and she would make any sacrifice to shield him. If Katrina said all she knew she could make Europe warm for you."

'If Katrina said all she knew she could make Europe warm for you.'

The puzzled look crossed Mefer's face again. Once more he seemed anxious and uneasy. He studied the features of his companion intently.

"Katrina would never tell the story of our work," he said. "She would not undo the labor of years like that."

"She may not intend to do so," Moore replied. "But a woman eager to save her lover will commit any folly. By giving evidence against the other two she could shield Stefano. Both Tosco and Berthe are the wild visionaries who are prepared to die for what they call the 'cause.' We will suggest that Katrina turns Queen's evidence. We will suggest that she is examined by a barrister who is fully acquainted with her past, and who—best point of all—knows she is shielding Stefano. Why, man alive, under those circumstances the advocate could make that woman say anything he pleased."

"She will not do it," Mefer cried hoarsely.

"I have already shown you how she could be compelled to speak," Moore said in his most dry manner. "Within a few hours of Katrina's startling revelations every police officer in England would be on the look-out for you. It would be the same on the Continent. By the time we get to London my prophecy will be fulfilled or falsified. If the former, what is to prevent me from giving you into custody on our arrival? If I did that it would not be long before I recovered those stolen plans."

Mefer admitted the point gloomily. Moore appeared to be familiar with every detail of that dynamite business. He cursed his folly now that he had touched the matter at all.

"You cannot possibly connect me with those people," he cried.

"I'm not going to try," Moore replied. "I am merely using those fools as a means to an end. With their assistance, voluntarily or otherwise, I propose to drive you into the tightest corner you were ever in in your life. Then I propose to offer you life and liberty on certain terms."

"Katrina is to be relied upon," said Mefer sullenly. "She will not speak."

Moore looked at his watch. The conversation had been desultory and with thoughtful pauses, and an hour or more had passed.

"When we pass Carlisle," he said, "I will tell you for certain."

"You expect a telegram there?"

"Indeed, I don't. I abhor bustling about when I am travelling, which is the reason why I engaged this compartment. From now till we reach London I don't propose to leave the train. At the same time I propose telling you all that takes place before the Glasgow magistrates to-day."

Mefer laughed, but there was no mirth in it. Moore was getting on his nerves. The train at length passed Carlisle, but Moore said nothing. Another hour passed and no words came from his lips. The train was passing through the heart of the fells by this time. In the brilliant sunshine the green rolling hills seemed strangely peaceful.

Moore watched one of them dreamily for a long time. Then he crossed over to Mefer, and smote him on the thigh.

The whole aspect of the man had changed. His eyes gleamed and danced, his face was pallid with excitement.

"Katrina has turned up," he said. "For the best part of an hour now she has been giving her evidence. The two prisoners appear to be convinced that she is betraying them to save the rest of the gang. A pity that men so brave should be so wrong-headed. Katrina is being examined by Mclntyre who, as you know, is great in this kind of case. And Katrina has been speaking of you with the greatest possible freedom."

Mefer gasped. With all his power and strength he was superstitious to a degree. Had Moore some marvellous, occult power of which he knew nothing? Or was he being made the victim of a stupid practical joke?

"I don't believe a word of it," he said sullenly.

"The proof will be to hand when we reach London," Moore replied. "I see you desire further details to convince you. Let me use my eyes for you."

Moore lay back and closed those organs languidly.

"The court is crowded," he said. "At the back of it lurks Stefano, who has been unable to keep away. Pale, frightened, yet defiant, Katrina stands in the witness-box. She wears a black straw hat with scarlet poppies. Her dress is white with red bands across it. Mclntyre presses her hard and she shows signs of weakness. She staggers, and asks for a glass of water. She faints, and there is great commotion in court. Then, as it is twelve o'clock, they adjourn for luncheon."

Moore opened his eyes and sat upright. Mefer was pale and ghastly. He tried to laugh, but his thin lips trembled, and no sound came from them.

"Don't!" he grasped with a convulsive shudder. "You get on my nerves. But what you say cannot be true."

"As there is a God above us, all I say is gospel," Moore cried. "By the time we get to London it will be in print in all the evening papers. Meanwhile let us examine the contents of my luncheon basket. In the course of an hour or so I shall have more information for you."

Mefer toyed with the wing of a chicken, whilst Moore ate heartily.

He knew that he had his man now. It was getting on towards three o'clock when he returned to his proper seat and looked dreamily out of the window again. He seemed to be absorbed in the contemplation of a gaunt rock miles away that remained in sight for some time.

"Getting more information?" Mefer muttered.

"Got it," Moore snapped. "The case was adjourned and the prisoners remanded at a quarter past two, when Katrina completed her evidence. She has made a clean breast of everything. She has gone into detail over the murder of that War Office attaché at Vienna. She has given the story chapter and verse. You are wearing the murdered man's watch at the present time, which is hardly discreet of you, my dear Mefer."

Mefer uttered a cry of horror and despair. He clasped his left side, he fell over on his face in a state of absolute collapse.

He fell over in a state of absolute collapse.

A little brandy restored the color to his lips and the light to his eyes.

"How did you do it?" he gasped.

"That secret must remain locked in my breast," Moore replied. "I don't fancy you will refuse to believe in my powers any longer."

Mefer made one last attempt to fight off the horror that wrapped him in a black mist.

"It may all be pure conjecture," he muttered.

"London will prove that," said Moore, "and after London—well, after London the rest lies absolutely with yourself."

The train flashed through the green core of the landscape, leaving the streaming miles behind until the fresh fields ran into lawns and hedges and the trim houses skirting the uneasy heart of London. It was past eight o'clock and the electric arcs were glaring purple when the express pulled up.

"A paper," Mefer said hoarsely. "A paper."

Moore snatched a "special " from the bookstall and hurried his companion into a refreshment room. He opened the flimsy sheet. There was no triumph in his face as he pointed to a double column dotted with plentiful scare heads.

"Read for yourself," he said, "it seems to be all there."

Mefer spread out the paper on a marble table. It was all there with a vengeance. Every trifling touch Moore had foretold was faithfully recorded. There was a description of the sensational witness, the account of her fainting, the story of the Austrian military attaché's murder.

Mefer read it all, crushed in mind and in body. He was the victim of superhuman agency.

"I am beaten," he said drearily. "What do you want?"

"Those papers," Moore rasped out. "Give me those papers and you are free. Once I get those my task is done. And you are to tell me whence you obtained them. If you reject my terms, I give one sign and you are in custody."

Mefer smiled bitterly.

"How can I reject your terms?" he asked.

"I am utterly powerless. My liberty and life are worth more to me than all the rest. Come with me to my hotel and you shall have what you require."

Half-an-hour later and the precious plans were in Moore's possession. They were all correct, not one of them was missing, and there had been no time for anyone to make a tracing of them.

"Where are you going now?" Moore asked.

Mefer was consulting his watch earnestly. He looked half wistfully at his portmanteau; then he shook his head.

"1 dare not risk it," he muttered. "I must just slip out as I am. My idea is to get to Southampton and reach France via Jersey. Good-bye, and curse you for the cleverest man I ever met."

* * * * *

"YOU have done wonderfully well," the great personage of the War Office remarked, as he fondled the precious papers Moore had just placed in his hands. "Under the circumstances no apology for interrupting my dessert is necessary. Try the port; you look as if a glass would do you good. I am sorry that you allowed Mefer to slip through your fingers."

"I had to, my lord," Moore replied. "Otherwise we should never have got the plans. Besides, he is certain to be captured."

My lord smiled as if the information pleased him.

"There is much in that," he said. "And now perhaps you will tell me how you managed to get your marvellous information en route. I never heard of anything so remarkable in the whole course of my life."

"It was merely a variation of an old fraud," Moore said modestly. "I knew pretty well beforehand what information Mclntyre would elicit. As the case proceeded I had it wired to ten confederates in prominent places by the line of railway. The wires were tapped on purpose. Then as the telegrams were deciphered they were flashed to me in the train by heliograph. You see the thing was absurdly simple after all. Had there been no sunshine I should have varied my plan slightly and the signalling would have been done with flags. I nearly frightened my man to death. To his dying day he will firmly believe that I am possessed of occult powers."

And Moore smiled at the recollection. The great personage smiled also, but it was a smile of intense approval.

"It seems easy when you know how it is done," he said. "I am more than pleased, I am delighted. You'll like those cigarettes."

And Moore said it was the most enjoyable smoke he had ever had in his life.


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