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er of small boxes about ten inches square.
There was a tiffany co careers small step-ladder, evidently used by the person whose business it was to keep this stack in order. Beale lifted it noiselessly, planted it against the corner and mounted cautiously.
He saw a large, broad chamber, its groined roof supported by six squat stone pillars. Light came not only from mercurial lamps affixed to the ceiling, but from others suspended above the three rows of benches which ran the length of the room.
Mercurial lamps do not give a green light, as he knew, but a violet light, and the green effect was produced by shades of something which Beale thought was yellow silk, but which he afterwards discovered was tinted mica.
At intervals along the benches sat white-clad figures, their faces hidden behind rubber masks, their hands covered with gloves. In front of each man was a small microscope under a glass shade, a pair of balances and a rack filled with shallow porcelain trays. Evidently the work on which they were engaged did not endanger their eyesight, for the eye-pieces in the masks were innocent of protective covering, a circumstance which added to the hideous animal-like appearance of the men. They all looke tiffany co jewelry sale d alike in their uniform garb, but one figure alone Beale recognized. There was no mistaking the stumpy form and the big head of the Herr Professor, whose appearance in Oliva Cresswell’s room had so terrified that young lady.
He had expected to see him, for he knew that this old German, poverty-stricken and ill-favoured, had been roped in by van Heerden, and Beale, who pitied the old man, had been engaged for a fortnight in trying to worm from the ex-professor of chemistry at the University of Heidelberg the location of van Heerden’s secret laboratory. His efforts had been unsuccessful. There was a streak of loyalty tiffany co terminal 5 in the old man, which had excited an irritable admiration in the detective but had produced nothing more.
Beale’s eyes followed the benches and took in every detail. Some of the men were evidently engaged in tests, and remained all the time with their eyes glued to their microscopes. Others were looking into their porcelain trays and stirring the contents with glass rods, now and again transferring something to cheap tiffany a glass slide which was placed on the microscope and earnestly examined.
Beale was conscious of a faint musty odour permeating the air, an indescribable earthy smell with a tang to it which made the delicate membrane of the nostrils smart and ache. He tied his handkerchief over his nose and mouth before he took another peep. Only part of the room was visible from his post of observation. What was going on immediately beneath the far side of the screen he could only conjecture. But he saw enough to convince him that this was the principal factory, from whence van Heerden was distilling the poison with which he planned humanity’s death.
Some of the workers were filling and sealing small test-tubes with the contents of dishes. These tubes were extraordinarily delicate of structure, and Beale saw at least three crumble and sh tiffany co 925 iver in the hands of the fillers.
Every bench held a hundred or so of these tubes and a covered gas-jet for heating the wax. The work went on methodically, with very little conversation between the masked figures (he saw that the masks covered the heads of the chemists so that not a vestige of hair showed), and only occasionally did one of them leave his seat and disappear through a door at the far end of the room, which apparently led to a canteen.
Evidently the fumes against which they were protected were not virulent, for some of the men stripped their masks as soon as they left their benches.
For half an hour he watched, and in the course of that time saw the process of filling the small boxes which formed his barrier and hiding-place with the sealed tubes. He observed the care with which the fragile tubes were placed tiffany uk sale in their beds of cotton wool, and had a glimpse of the lined interior of one of the boxes. He was on the point of lifting down a box to make a more thorough examination when he heard a quavering voice beneath him.
„What you do here–eh?“
Under the step-ladder was one of the workers who had slipped noiselessly round the corner of the pile and now stood, grotesque and menacing, his uncovered eyes glowering at the intruder, the black barrel of his Browning pistol covering the detective’s heart.
„Don’t shoot, colonel,“ said Beale softly. „I’ll come down.“
Chapter 25 The Last Man At The Bench
After all, it was for the best–van Heerden could almost see the hand of Providence in this deliverance of his enemy into his power. Ther tiffany co e must be a settlement with Beale, that play-acting drunkard, who had so deceived him at first.
Dr. tiffany co engagement rings van Heerden could admire the ingenuity of his enemy and could kill him. He was a man whose mental poise permitted the paradox of detached attachments. At first he had regarded Stanford Beale as a smart police officer, the sort of man whom Pinkerton and Burns turn out by the score. Shrewd, assertive, indefatigable, such men piece together the scattered mosaics of humdrum crimes, and by their mechanical patience produce for the satisfaction of courts sufficient of the piece to reveal the design. They figure in divorce suits, in financial sw tiffany uk indles and occasionally in more serious cases.
Van Heerden knew instinctively their limitations and had too hastily placed Beale in a lower category than he deserved. Van Heerden came to his workroom by way of the buffet which he had established for the use of his employees. As he shut tiffany and co the steel door behind him he saw Milsom standing at the rough wooden sideboard which served as bar and table for the workers.
„This is an unexpected pleasure,“ said Mil som, and then quickly, as he read the other’s face: „Anything wrong?“
„If the fact that the cleverest policeman in America or England is at present on the premises can be so described, then everything is wrong,“ said van Heerden, and helped himself to a drink.
„Here–in the laboratory?“ demanded Milsom, fear in his eyes. „What do you mean?“
„I’ll tell you,“ said the other, and gave the story as he had heard it from Hilda Glaum.
„He’s in the old passage, eh?“ said Milsom, thoughtfully, „well there’s no reason why he should get out–alive.“
„He won’t,“ said the other.
„Was he followed–you saw nobody outside?“
„We have nothing to fear on that score. He’s wor tiffany co outlet fake king on his own.“
Milsom grunted.
„What are we going to do with him?“
„Gas him,“ said van Heerden, „he is certain to have a gun.“
Milsom nodded.
„Wait until the men have gone. I let them go at three–a few at a time, and it wants half an hour to tha tiffany sale t. He can wait. He’s safe where he is. Why didn’t Hilda tell me? I never even saw her.“
„She went straight up from the old passage–through the men’s door–she didn’t trust you probably.“
Milsom smiled wryly. Though he controlled these works and knew half the doctor’s secrets, he suspected that the quantity of van Heerden’s trust was not greatly in excess of his girl’s.
„We’ll wait,“ he said again, „there’s no hurry and, anyway, I want to see you about old man Heyler.“
„Von Heyler? I thought you were rid of him?“ said van Heerden in surprise, „that is the old fool that Beale h tiffany co bracelet as been after. He has been trying to suck him dry, and has had two interviews with him. I told you to send him to Deans Folly. Bridgers would have taken care of him.“
„Bridgers can look after nothing,“ said Milsom.
His eyes roved along the benches and stopped at a worker at the farther end of the room.
„He’s quiet to-night,“ he said, „that fellow is

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