There was a long silence which he did not break.
“Dead!” she said again. “How?”
“He was shot by–we think it was by a member of the Boundary Gang, a man named Raoul.”
She looked up at him.
“I have never heard my father speak of hi cheap nike air max trainers m.”
“He was a man imported from France, according to our theory.”
“And was he captured?”
“He was killed too,” said Stafford; “he was caught in the act and instantly executed.”
“By whom?” she asked.
“By Jack o’ Judgment,” replied Stafford.
“Jack o’ Judgment!” She breathed the words. “And I–I never thanked him! I n nike air max classic ever knew!”
He told her the story step by step of the discovery which the police had made and the theories they had formed.
nike air max 95 “He was lured there,” said the girl.
She did not cry. She seemed incapable of tears.
“He was lured there and murdered, and Jack o’ Judgment slew his murderer? Poor father! Poor, dear daddy!”
And then the tears came.
Half an hour later he left her in charge of the nurse and went back to Scotland Yard to report.
Chapter 23 The Gang Fund
The news of the girl’s escape had been received in another quarter. Colonel Boundary had sat in his favourite chair and listened without comment to Pinto’s halting explanation.
“Oh, they went out of the window and down a ladder, did they?” said the colonel sarcastically when the Portuguese had finished, “and you had a fit on the mat, I suppose? Well, that’s a hell of a f cheap nike air max ine story! And what did you do? You who were plastered all over with guns? Couldn’t you shoot?”
“Did you shoot when you saw Jack o’ Judgment?” said the other sullenly. “It i nike air max 1 s no good your telling me what I ought to do.”
“Maybe it isn’t,” said the colonel. “Well, there’s nothing to do now, anyway. The girl’s gone, and all your fine plans have come unstuck.”
“They weren’t my plans,” said Pinto indignantly, “it was your scheme throughout.”
The colonel bit off the end of his cigar and contemplated the ceiling reflectively.
“We can only wait and see what will happen,” he said. “The odds are all in favour of our being raided.”
Pinto went pale.
“Yes,” said the colonel, talking to himself, “I guess this is our last day of freedom. Well, Pinto, I hope you can pick oakum.”
“Oh, shut up about oakum,” growled the other; “it isn’t a jo nike air max 2013 ke.”
“It is not a joke,” said the colonel, “and if it is, it is one of those jokes that make people laugh the most. And do you know the kind of joke that makes people laugh the most, Pinto? It is when somebody gets hurt; and we are the people who are going to get hurt.”
“Do air max 2013 you think she’ll tell the police?”
“It is extremely likely,” said the colonel; “in fact, it is extremely unlikely that she won’t tell the police. I am rather glad I’m out of it.”
Pinto leaped up.
“You’re out of it!” he shouted. “You’re in it up to the neck!”
The colonel shook his head.
“I’m absolutely out of it, Pinto,” he said, flicking the ash of his cigar into the fireplace. “I cannot be identified with this unhappy affair by so much as a finger-print.”
The Portuguese scowled down at him.
“So that’s the game, is it? You’re going to double-cross us? Y nike air max 90 ou’re going to be out of it and we’re going to be in it.”
“Sit down, you fool. Double-cross you! You are easily scared at a little leg-pulling. I’m merely pointing out that it is not a matter in which I am greatly interested. It is a good thing for you I’m not. Who are the police after? You and Crewe and the rest of the gang? Not on your life! They’re after me. They get the trunk and all the branches come down with it. Do you see? There’s no sense in lopping off a few branches http://www.nikeairmax2013.info/ even of deadwood. It won’t be good enough if they connect you with the case, unless they connect me too. They’re after the big horns, they’re not shooting the little bucks. If she tells the police, they’re going to nose around for two or three days, seeing how far they can connect me with it. And if there’s any connection–the slightest, Pinto–why, cheap nike air max they’ll pinch you without a doubt, but they’ll pinch me too. nike air max 2012 ”
The colonel blew a blue ring of smoke into the air and watched it float to the ceiling.
“The advantage of having a business associate like me is that I’m a sort of insurance to you little crooks. I am the big fish they’re trying to hook, and their bait isn’t the kind of bait that you’d swallow.”
“I’ve burnt all the papers I had,” explained Pinto, “and covered my trail.”
“When you burnt your boats and came in with me,” said the colonel, “you burnt everything that was worth burning. I tell you it isn’t you they’re trailing. It is me or nothing. Maybe they’ll scare you,” he said reflectively, “hoping you’ll turn King’s evidence. I’ve got a feeling that you won’t–if I had a feeling the other way about, Pinto, you wouldn’t see the curtain rise at the Orpheum to-nigh nike air max 90 sale t. And now,” said the colonel, “we’ll go out.”
He rose abruptly, walked into his bedroom, and came out wearing his broad felt hat. He found Pinto biting his finger-nails nervously and looking out of the window.
“I don’t want to go out,” said Pinto.
“Come out,” said the colonel. “What’s the good of staying here, anyway? Besides, if they are going to pinch you, I don’t want them to pinch you in my rooms. It would look bad.”
They walked downstairs into the street, and a few minutes later were strolling across the Green Park, the colonel a picture of a contented bourgeoisie with his half-smoked cigar, and his hands clasped together under the tails of his alpaca coat.
“I don’t see how you can say they’ve no evidence against you. Suppose Crotin squeals?”
“He ain’t stopped squealing yet,” said the colonel philosophically, “but I don’t see what difference it makes. Pinto, you haven’t got the hang of my methods, and I doubt if you ever will. You’re a clever, useful fellow, but if you were allowed to run the gang, you’d have it in gaol in a month. Take Crotin,” he said. “I dare say he’s feeling sore, and maybe this damned Jack o’ Judgment person is standing behind him telling him—-” He stopped. “No, he wouldn’t either,” he said after a moment’s thought, “Jack nike air max o’ Judgment knows as much about it as I do.”
“What are you talking about?” asked the other impatiently.
“Crotin,” said the colonel; “he hasn’t any evidence against me. You see, I do not do any business by letters. You fellows have often wanted me to write to this person and that, but writing is evidence. Do you get me? And what evidence has Crotin? Absolutely none. I have never written a line to him in my life. Crewe brought him down to the flat. We gave him a dinner and put the proposal to him in plain language. There’s nothing he could take before a judge and jury–absolutely nothing.”
He took the cigar from his mouth and blew a cloud of smoke.
“That’s the way I’ve built the business up–no letters, no documents, nothing nike air max sale that a lawyer can make head or tail of.”
“What about the documents that Hanson talked about?”
The colonel frowned and then laughed.
“They’re nothing but records of our transactions, and they’re not evidence. Why, even the police have given up the search for them. By the way, I haven’t done with Crotin,” he said after a while.
“He’s done with you, I should think,” said Pinto grimly.
The colonel nodded. ③
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There was a long silence which he did not break.