In the street they held an informal
council of war. Sir James had drawn a watch from
his pocket. “The boat train to Holyhead
stops at Chester at 12.14. If you start at once
I think you can catch the connection.”
Tommy looked up, puzzled.
“Is there any need to hurry, sir? To-day
is only the 24th.”
“I guess it’s always well
to get up early in the morning,” said Julius,
before the lawyer had time to reply. “We’ll
make tracks for the depot right away.”
A little frown had settled on Sir James’s brow.
“I wish I could come with you.
I am due to speak at a meeting at two o’clock.
It is unfortunate.”
The reluctance in his tone was very
evident. It was clear, on the other hand, that
Julius was easily disposed to put up with the loss
of the other’s company.
“I guess there’s nothing
complicated about this deal,” he remarked.
“Just a game of hide-and-seek, that’s all.”
“I hope so,” said Sir James.
“Sure thing. What else could it be?”
“You are still young, Mr. Hersheimmer.
At my age you will probably have learnt one lesson.
‘Never underestimate your adversary.’”
The gravity of his tone impressed
Tommy, but had little effect upon Julius.
“You think Mr. Brown might come
along and take a hand? If he does, I’m
ready for him.” He slapped his pocket.
“I carry a gun. Little Willie here travels
round with me everywhere.” He produced a
murderous-looking automatic, and tapped it affectionately
before returning it to its home. “But he
won’t be needed this trip. There’s
nobody to put Mr. Brown wise.”
The lawyer shrugged his shoulders.
“There was nobody to put Mr.
Brown wise to the fact that Mrs. Vandemeyer meant
to betray him. Nevertheless, Mrs. Vandemeyer
died without speaking.”
Julius was silenced for once, and
Sir James added on a lighter note:
“I only want to put you on your
guard. Good-bye, and good luck. Take no
unnecessary risks once the papers are in your hands.
If there is any reason to believe that you have been
shadowed, destroy them at once. Good luck to
you. The game is in your hands now.”
He shook hands with them both.
Ten minutes later the two young men
were seated in a first-class carriage en route for
For a long time neither of them spoke.
When at length Julius broke the silence, it was with
a totally unexpected remark.
“Say,” he observed thoughtfully,
“did you ever make a darned fool of yourself
over a girl’s face?”
Tommy, after a moment’s astonishment, searched
“Can’t say I have,”
he replied at last. “Not that I can recollect,
“Because for the last two months
I’ve been making a sentimental idiot of myself
over Jane! First moment I clapped eyes on her
photograph my heart did all the usual stunts you read
about in novels. I guess I’m ashamed to
admit it, but I came over here determined to find her
and fix it all up, and take her back as Mrs. Julius
“Oh!” said Tommy, amazed.
Julius uncrossed his legs brusquely and continued:
“Just shows what an almighty
fool a man can make of himself! One look at the
girl in the flesh, and I was cured!”
Feeling more tongue-tied than ever, Tommy ejaculated
“No disparagement to Jane, mind
you,” continued the other. “She’s
a real nice girl, and some fellow will fall in love
with her right away.”
“I thought her a very good-looking
girl,” said Tommy, finding his tongue.
“Sure she is. But she’s
not like her photo one bit. At least I suppose
she is in a way must be because
I recognized her right off. If I’d seen
her in a crowd I’d have said ‘There’s
a girl whose face I know’ right away without
any hesitation. But there was something about
that photo” Julius shook his head,
and heaved a sigh “I guess romance
is a mighty queer thing!”
“It must be,” said Tommy
coldly, “if you can come over here in love with
one girl, and propose to another within a fortnight.”
Julius had the grace to look discomposed.
“Well, you see, I’d got
a sort of tired feeling that I’d never find
Jane and that it was all plumb foolishness
anyway. And then oh, well, the French,
for instance, are much more sensible in the way they
look at things. They keep romance and marriage
“Well, I’m damned! If that’s ”
Julius hastened to interrupt.
“Say now, don’t be hasty.
I don’t mean what you mean. I take it Americans
have a higher opinion of morality than you have even.
What I meant was that the French set about marriage
in a businesslike way find two people who
are suited to one another, look after the money affairs,
and see the whole thing practically, and in a businesslike
“If you ask me,” said
Tommy, “we’re all too damned businesslike
nowadays. We’re always saying, ‘Will
it pay?’ The men are bad enough, and the girls
“Cool down, son. Don’t get so heated.”
“I feel heated,” said Tommy.
Julius looked at him and judged it wise to say no
However, Tommy had plenty of time
to cool down before they reached Holyhead, and the
cheerful grin had returned to his countenance as they
alighted at their destination.
After consultation, and with the aid
of a road map, they were fairly well agreed as to
direction, so were able to hire a taxi without more
ado and drive out on the road leading to Treaddur Bay.
They instructed the man to go slowly, and watched
narrowly so as not to miss the path. They came
to it not long after leaving the town, and Tommy stopped
the car promptly, asked in a casual tone whether the
path led down to the sea, and hearing it did paid
off the man in handsome style.
A moment later the taxi was slowly
chugging back to Holyhead. Tommy and Julius watched
it out of sight, and then turned to the narrow path.
“It’s the right one, I
suppose?” asked Tommy doubtfully. “There
must be simply heaps along here.”
“Sure it is. Look at the gorse. Remember
what Jane said?”
Tommy looked at the swelling hedges
of golden blossom which bordered the path on either
side, and was convinced.
They went down in single file, Julius
leading. Twice Tommy turned his head uneasily.
Julius looked back.
“What is it?”
“I don’t know. I’ve
got the wind up somehow. Keep fancying there’s
some one following us.”
“Can’t be,” said Julius positively.
“We’d see him.”
Tommy had to admit that this was true.
Nevertheless, his sense of uneasiness deepened.
In spite of himself he believed in the omniscience
of the enemy.
“I rather wish that fellow would
come along,” said Julius. He patted his
pocket. “Little William here is just aching
“Do you always carry it him with
you?” inquired Tommy with burning curiosity.
“Most always. I guess you never know what
might turn up.”
Tommy kept a respectful silence.
He was impressed by little William. It seemed
to remove the menace of Mr. Brown farther away.
The path was now running along the
side of the cliff, parallel to the sea. Suddenly
Julius came to such an abrupt halt that Tommy cannoned
“What’s up?” he inquired.
“Look there. If that doesn’t beat
Tommy looked. Standing out half
obstructing the path was a huge boulder which certainly
bore a fanciful resemblance to a “begging”
“Well,” said Tommy, refusing
to share Julius’s emotion, “it’s
what we expected to see, isn’t it?”
Julius looked at him sadly and shook his head.
“British phlegm! Sure we
expected it but it kind of rattles me, all
the same, to see it sitting there just where we expected
to find it!”
Tommy, whose calm was, perhaps, more
assumed than natural, moved his feet impatiently.
“Push on. What about the hole?”
They scanned the cliff-side narrowly.
Tommy heard himself saying idiotically:
“The gorse won’t be there after all these
And Julius replied solemnly:
“I guess you’re right.”
Tommy suddenly pointed with a shaking hand.
“What about that crevice there?”
Julius replied in an awestricken voice:
“That’s it for sure.”
They looked at each other.
“When I was in France,”
said Tommy reminiscently, “whenever my batman
failed to call me, he always said that he had come
over queer. I never believed it. But whether
he felt it or not, there is such a sensation.
I’ve got it now! Badly!”
He looked at the rock with a kind of agonized passion.
“Damn it!” he cried.
“It’s impossible! Five years!
Think of it! Bird’s-nesting boys, picnic
parties, thousands of people passing! It can’t
be there! It’s a hundred to one against
its being there! It’s against all reason!”
Indeed, he felt it to be impossible more,
perhaps, because he could not believe in his own success
where so many others had failed. The thing was
too easy, therefore it could not be. The hole
would be empty.
Julius looked at him with a widening smile.
“I guess you’re rattled
now all right,” he drawled with some enjoyment.
“Well, here goes!” He thrust his hand into
the crevice, and made a slight 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 whiz!” And with
a flourish he waved aloft a small discoloured packet.
“It’s the goods all right. Sewn up
in oilskin. Hold it while I get my penknife.”
The unbelievable had happened.
Tommy held the precious packet tenderly between his
hands. They had succeeded!
“It’s queer,” he
murmured idly, “you’d think the stitches
would have rotted. They look just as good as
They cut them carefully and ripped
away the oilskin. Inside was a small folded sheet
of paper. With trembling fingers they unfolded
it. The sheet was blank! They stared at
each other, puzzled.
“A dummy?” hazarded Julius. “Was
Danvers just a decoy?”
Tommy shook his head. That solution
did not satisfy him. Suddenly 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 fire.”
In a few minutes the little fire of
twigs and leaves was blazing merrily. Tommy held
the sheet of paper near the glow. The paper curled
a little with the heat. Nothing more.
Suddenly Julius grasped his arm, and
pointed to where characters were appearing in a faint
“Gee whiz! You’ve
got it! Say, that idea of yours was great.
It never occurred to me.”
Tommy held the paper in position some
minutes longer until he judged the heat had done its
work. Then he withdrew it. A moment later
he uttered a cry.
Across the sheet in neat brown printing
ran the words: With the compliments
of Mr. Brown.