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tion I meant to ask you. You said you were in a cable office–do you add to your accomplishments a working knowledge of the Morse Code?”
She nodded.
“I can see you being useful. If you need me”–he jerked his head toward a telephone on a small table–“call 8761 Gerrard.”
“And where is that?” she asked.
“If I thought you were anything but a very sane young lady, I should tiffany co outlet fake tell you that it is the number of my favourite bar,” he said gravely. “I will not, however, practise that harmless deception upon you.”
Again she saw the dancing light of mischief in his eyes.
“You’re a queer man,” she said, “and I will not make myself ridiculous by speaking to you for your good.”
She heard his soft laughter as the door closed behind him and, gathering an armful of the guide-books, she settled tiffany sale down for a morning’s work which proved even more fascinating than his fanciful pictures had suggested. She found herself wondering to what use all this information she extracted could be put. Was Mr. Beale really a buyer or was he interested in the sale of agricultural machinery? Why should he want to know that Jonas Scobbs was the proprietor of Scobbs’ Hotel and General Emporium in the town of Red Horse Valley, Alberta, and what significance attached to the fact that he had an automobile for hire or that he ran a coach every Wednesday to Regina?
Then she fell to speculating upon the identity and appearance of this man who bore this weird name of Scobbs. She pictured him an elderly man with chin whiskers who wore his pants thrust into top-boots. And why was Red Horse Valley so called? These unexpected and, to her, hithert tiffany co 925 o unknown names of places and people set in train most interesting processions of thought that slid through the noisy jangle of traffic, and coloured the drab walls of all that was visible of the City of London through the window with the white lights and purple shadows of dream prairies.
When she looked at her watch–being impelled to that act by the indescribable sensation of hunger–she was amazed to discover that it was three o’clock.
She jumped up and went to the outer office in search of the boy who, she faintly remembered, had erupted into her presence hours before with a request which she had granted without properly hearing. He was not in evidence. Evidently his petition had also been associated with the gnawing pangs which assail boyhood at one o’clock in the afternoon.
She was turning back to her office, undeci cheap tiffany ded as to whether she should remain until his return or close the office entirely, when the shuffle of feet brought her round.
The outer office was partitioned from the entrance by a long “fence,” the farther end of which was hidden by a screen of wood and frosted glass. It was from behind that screen that the noise came and she remembered that she had noted a chair there–evidently a place where callers waited.
“Who is there?” she asked.
There was a creak as the visitor rose.
“Eggscuse, mattam,” said a wheezy voice, “I gall to eng-vire for Mister Peale, isn’t it?”
He shuffled forward into view, a small man with a dead white face and a head of monstrous size.
She was bereft of speech and could only look at him, for this was the man she had found in her rooms the night before her dismissal–the man who carried the Green Ru tiffany and co st.
Evidently he did not recognize her.
“Mister Peale, he tolt me, I must gall him mit der telephone, but der nomber she vas gone oudt of mine head!”
He blinked at her with his short-sighted eyes and laid a big hairy hand on the gate.
“You must–you mustn’t come in,” she said breathlessly. “I will call Mr. Beale–sit–sit down again.”
“Sch,” he said obediently, and shuffled back to his chair, “dell him der Herr Brofessor it was.”
The girl took up the telephone receiver with a shaking hand and gave the number. It was Beale’s voice that answered her.
“There’s a man here,” she said hurriedly, “a–a–the man–who was in my room–the Herr Professor.”
She heard his exclamation of annoyance.
“I’m sorry,” and if she could judge by the inflection of his voice his sorrow was genuine. “I’ll be with you in ten minutes–he’s quite a h tiffany co jewelry sale armless old gentleman—-”
“Hurry, please.”
She heard the “click” of his receiver and replaced her own slowly. She did not attempt to go back to the outer office, but waited by the closed door. She recalled the night, the terror of that unknown presence in her darkened flat, and shuddered. Then Beale, surprisingly sober, had come in and he and the “burglar” had gone away together.
What had these two, Mr. Beale and the “Herr Professor,” in common? She heard the snap of the outer door, and Beale’s voice speaking quickly. It was probably German–she had never acquired the language and hardly recognized it, though the guttural “Zu befel, Herr Peale” was distinct.
She heard the shuffle of the man’s feet and the closing of the outer door and then Beale came in, and his face was troubled.
“I can’t tell you how sorry I am that th e old man called–I’d forgotten that he was likely to come.”
She leant against the table, both hands behind her.
“Mr. Beale,” she said, “will you give me straightforward answers to a number of plain questions?”
He nodded.
“If I can,” he said.
“Is the Herr Professor a friend of yours?”
“No–I know him and in a way I am sorry for him. He is a German who pretends to be Russian. Immensely poor and unprepossessing to a painful degree, but a very clever scientist. In fact, a truly great analytical chemist who ought to be holding a good position. He told me that he had the best qualifications, and I quite b tiffany co engagement rings elieve him, but that his physical infirmities, his very freakishness had ruined him.”
Her eyes softened with pity–the pity of the strong for the weak, of the beautiful for the hideous.
“If that is true—-” she began, and hi tiffany co careers s chin went up. “I beg your pardon, I know it is true. It is tragic, but–did you know him before you met him in my room?”
He hesitated.
“I knew him both by repute and by sight,” he said. “I knew the work he was engaged on and I guessed why he was engaged. But I had never spoken to him.”
“Thank you–now for question number two. You n tiffany uk eedn’t answer unless you wish.”
“I shan’t,” he said.
“That’s frank, anyway. Now tell me, Mr. Beale, what is all this mystery about? What is the Green Rust? Why do you pretend to be a–a drunkard when you’re not one?” (It needed some boldness to say this, and she flushed with the effort to shape the sentence.) “Why are you always around so providentially when you’re needed, and,” here she smiled (as he thought) deliciously, “why weren’t you round yesterday, when I was nearly arrested for theft tiffany co bracelet ?”
He was back on the edge of the table, evidently his favourite resting-place, she thought, and he ticked her questions off on his fingers.
“Question number one cannot be answered. Question number two, why do I pretend to be a–a drunkard?” he mimicked her audaciously. “There are other things which intoxicate a man beside love and beer, Miss Cresswell.”
“How gross!” she protested. “What are they?”
“Work, the chase, scientific research and the first spring scent of the hawthorn,” he said solemnly. “As to the third question, why was I not around when you were nearly arrested? Well, I was around. I was in your flat whe tiffany uk sale n you came in and escaped along the fire parapet.”
“Mr. Beale!” she gasped. “Then it was you–you are a detective!”
“I turned your desk and dressing-chest upside down? Yes, it was I,” he said without shame, ignoring the latter part of the sentence. “I was looking for something.”
“You were looking for something?” she repeated. “What were you looking for?”
“Three registered envelopes which were planted in your flat yesterday morning,” he said, “and what’s more I found ’em!”
She put her hand to her forehead in bewilderment.
“Then you—-”
“Saved you from a cold, cold pr tiffany co ison cell. Have you had any lunch? Why, you’re starving!”
“Bread and butter is what you want,” said the practical Mr. Beale, “with a large crisp slice of chicken and stacks of various vegetables.”
And he hustled her from the office.
Chapter 6 Mr. Scobbs Of Red Horse Valley
Mr. White, managing director of Punsonby’s Store, was a man of simple tastes. He had a horror of extravagance and it was his boast that he had never ridden in a taxi-cab save as the guest of some other person who paid. He travelled by tube or omnibus from the Bayswater Road, where he lived what he described as his private life. He lunched in the staff dining-room, punctiliously paying his bill; he dined at home in solitary state, for he had neither chick nor child, heir or wife. Once an elder sister had lived with him and had died (according to the popularly accepted idea) of slow starvation, for he was a frugal man.
It seems the fate of apparently rich and frugal men that they either die and leave their hoardings to the State or else they disappear, leaving behind them monumental debts. The latter have apparently no vices; even the harassed accountan tiffany co terminal 5 t who disentangles their estates cannot discover the channel through which their hundreds of thousands have poured. The money has gone and, if astute detectives bring back the defaulter from the pleasant life which the Southern American cities offer to

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