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ked slowly down the North Street towards the Grammar School. There was, perhaps, thirty seconds’ silence. The other man stroked his moustache nervously. Mr. Hoopdriver’s dramatic instincts were now fully awake. He did not quite understand in cheap nike air max 1 what role he was cast, but it was evidently something dark and mysterious. Doctor Conan Doyle, Victor Hugo, and Alexander Dumas were well within Mr. Hoopdriver’s range of reading, and he had not read them for nothing.
“I will be perfectly frank with you,” said the other man in brown.
“Frankness is always the best course,” said Mr. Hoopdriver.
“Well, then–who the devil set you on this business?”
“Set me ON this nike air max 1 grey business?”
“Don’t pretend to be stupid. Who’s your employer? Who engaged you for this job?”
“Well,” said Mr. Hoopdriver, confused. “No–I can’t say.”
“Quite sure?” The other man in brown glanced meaningly down at his hand, and Mr. Hoopdriver, following him mechanically, saw a yellow milled edge glittering in the twilight. Now your shop assistant is just above the tip-receiving class, and only just above it- -so that he is acutely sensitive on the point.
Mr. Hoopdriver flushed hotly, and his eyes were angry as he met those of the other man in brown. “Stow it!” said Mr. Hoopdriver, stopping and facing the tempter.
“What!” said the other man in brown, surprised. “Eigh?” And so saying he stowed it in his breeches pocket.
“D’yer think I’m to be bribed?” said Mr. Hoopdriver, whose imagination was rapidly expanding the situati nike air max 1 black on. “By Gosh! I’d follow you now–”
“My dear sir,” said the other man in brown, “I beg your pardon. nike air max 1 leopard I misunderstood you. I really beg your pardon. Let us walk on. In your profession–”
“What have you got to say against my profession?”
“Well, really, you know. There are detectives of an inferior description–watchers. The whole class. Private Inquiry–I did not realise–I really trust you will overlook what was, after all–you must admit–a natural indiscretion. Men of honour are not so common in the world–in any profession.”
It was lucky for Mr. Hoopdriver that in Midhurst they do not light the lamps in the summer time, or the one they were passing had betrayed him. As it was, he had to snatch suddenly at his moustache and tug fiercely at it, to conceal the furious tumult of exultation, the passion of laughter, that ca cheap nike air max 1 me boiling up. Detective! Even in the shadow Bechamel saw that a laugh was stifled, but he put it down to the fact that the phrase “men of honour” amused his interlocutor. “He’ll come round yet,” said Bechamel to himself. “He’s simply holding out for a fiver.” He coughed.
“I don’t see that it hurts you to tell nike air max 1 red me who your employer is.”
“Don’t you? I do.”
“Prompt,” said Bechamel, appreciatively. “Now here’s the thing I want to put to you–the kernel of the whole business. You need not answer if you don’t want to. There’s no harm done in my telling you what I want to know. Are you employed to watch me–or Miss Milton?”
“I’m not the leaky sort,” said Mr. Hoopdriver, keeping the secret he did not know with immense enjoym air max 1 ent. Miss Milton! That was her name. Perhaps he’d tell some more. “It’s no good pumping. Is that all you nike air max 1 sale ‘re after?” said Mr. Hoopdriver.
Bechamel respected himself for his diplomatic gifts. He tried to catch a remark by throwing out a confidence. “I take it there are two people concerned in watching this affair.”
“Who’s the other?” said Mr. Hoopdriver, calmly, but controlling with enormous internal tension his selfappreciation. “Who’s the other?” was really brilliant, he thought.
“There’s my wife and HER stepmother.”
“And you want to know which it is?”
“Yes,” said Bechamel.
“Well–arst ’em!” said Mr. Hoopdriver, his exultation getting the better of him, and with a pretty consciousness of repartee. “Arst ’em both.”
Bechamel turned impatiently. Then he made a last effort. “I’d give a five-pound note to know just the precise state of affairs,” he said.
“I told you to stow tha cheap air max 1 t,” said Mr. Hoopdriver, in a threatening tone. And added with perfect truth and a magnificent mystery, “You don’t quite understand who you’re dealing with. But you will!” He spoke with such conviction that he half believed that that defective office of his in London–Baker Street, in fact– really existed.
With that the interview terminated. Bechamel went back to the Angel, perturbed. “Hang detectives!” It wasn’t the kind of thing he had anticipated at all. Hoopdriver, with round eyes and a wondering smile, walked down to where the mill waters glittered in the moonlight, and after meditating over the parapet of the bridge for a space, with occasional murmurs of, “Private Inquiry” and the like, returned, with mystery even in his paces, towards the town.
Chapter 18
That glee which finds expression in raised eyebrows and long, low whistling noises was upon Mr. Hoopdriver. Fo nike air max 1 r a space he forgot the tears of the Young Lady in Grey. Here was a new game!–and a real one. Mr. Hoopdriver as a Private Inquiry Agent, a Sherlock Holmes in fact, keeping these two people ‘under observation.’ He walked slowly back from the bridge until he was opposite the Angel, and stood for ten minutes, perhaps, contemplating that establishment and enjoying all the strange sensations of being this wonderful, this mysterious and terrible thing. Everything fell into place in his scheme. He had, of course, by a kind of instinct, assumed the disguise of a cyclist, picked up the first old crock he came across as a means of pursuit. ‘No expense was to be spared.’
Then he tried to understand what it was in particular that he was observing. “My wife”–“HER stepmother!” Then he remembered her swimming eyes. Abruptly came a wave of anger that surprised him, washed away the detective superstructure, and left him plain Mr. Hoopdrive nike air max 1 premium r. This man in brown, with his confident manner, and his proffered half sovereign (damn him!) was up to no good, else why should he object to being watched? He was married! She was not his sister. He began to understand. A nike air max 1 ebay horrible suspicion of the state of affairs came into Mr. Hoopdriver’s head. Surely it had not come to THAT. He was a detective!–he would find out. How was it to be done? He began to submit sketches on approval to himself. It required an effort before he could walk into the Angel bar. “A lemonade and bitter, please,” said Mr. Hoopdriver.
He cleared his throat. “Are Mr. and Mrs. Bowlong stopping here?”
“What, a gentleman and a young lady–on bicycles?”
“Fairly young–a married couple.”
“No,” said the barmaid, a talkative person of ample dimen Nike air max 1 sions. “There’s no married

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