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ied? How?”
“Homo was not a fake! He was a real clergyman! And the marriage was legal!”
They looked at one another without speaking. On the girl’s part there was nothing but pure amazement; but Stanford Beale read horror, loathing, consternation and unforgiving wrath, and waited, as the criminal waits for his sentence, upon her next words.
“So I am really married–to you,” she said wonderingly.
“You will never forgive me, I know.” He did not look at her now. “My own excuse is that I did what I did because I–wanted to save you. I might have sailed in with a gun and shot them up. I might have waited my chance and broken into the house. I might have t nike air max 1 aken a risk and surrounded the place with police, but that would have meant delay. I didn’t do the normal things or take the normal view–I couldn’t with you.”
He did not see the momentary tenderness in her eyes, because he was not looking at her cheap air max 1 , and went on:
“That’s the whole of the grisly story. Mr. Kitson will advise you as to what steps you may take to free yourself. It was a most horrible blunder, and it was all the more tragic because you were the victim, you of all the persons in the world!”
She had put the ring down, and now she took it up again and examined it curiously.
“It is rather–quaint, isn’t it?” she asked.
“Oh, very.”
He thought he h cheap nike air max 1 eard a sob and looked up. She was laughing, at first silently, then, as the humour of the thing seized her, her laugh rang clear and he caught its infection.
“It’s funny,” s nike air max 1 leopard he said at last, wiping her eyes, “there is a humorous side to it. Poor Mr. Beale!”
“I deserve a little pity,” he said ruefully.
“Why?” she asked quickly. “Have you committed bigamy?”
“Not noticeably so,” he answered, with a smile.
“Well, what are you going to do about it? It’s rather serious when one thinks of it–seriously. So I am Mrs. Stanford Beale–poor Mr. Beale, and poor Mrs. Beale-to-be. I do hope,” she said, and this time her seriousness was genuine, “that I have not upset any of your plans–too much. Oh,” she sat down suddenly, staring at him, “it would be awful,” she said in a hushed voice, “and I would never forgive myself. Is there–forg cheap air max 1 ive my asking the question, but I suppose,” with a flashing smile, “as your wife I am entitled to your confidence–is there somebody you are going to marry?”
“I have neither c nike air max 1 grey ommitted bigamy nor do I contemplate it,” said Beale, who was gradually recovering his grip of the situation, “if you mean am I engaged to somebody–in fact, to a girl,” he said recklessly, “the answer is in the negative. There will be no broken hearts on my side of the family. I have no desire to probe your wounded heart—-”
“Don’t be flippant,” she stopped him sternly; “it is a very terrible situation, Mr. Beale, and I hardly dare to think of it.”
“I realize how terrible it is,” he said, suddenly bold, “and as I tell you, I will do everything I can to correct my blunder.”
“Does Mr. Kitson know?” she asked.
He nodded.
“What did Mr. Kitson say? Surely he gave you some advice.”
“He said—-” began Stanford, and went red.
The girl did not pursue the subject.
“Come, let us talk about the matter like rational beings,” she said nike air max 1 black cheerfully. “I have got over my first inclination to swoon. You must curb your very natural desire to be haughty.”
“I cannot tell you what we can do yet. I don’t want to discuss the unpleasant details of a divorce,” he said, “and perhaps you will let me have a few days before we decide on any line of action. Van Heerden is still at large, and until he is under lock and key and this immense danger which threatens the world is removed, I can hardly think straight.”
“Mr. Kitson has told me about van Heerden,” she said quietly. “Isn’t it rather a matter for the English police to deal with? As I have reason to know,” she shivered slightly, “Doctor van Heerden is a man without any fear or scruple.”
“My scruples hardly keep me awake at night,” he said, “and I guess I’m not going to let up on van Heerden. I look upon it as my part nike air max 1 ebay icular job.”
“Isn’t it”–she hesitated–“isn’t it rather dangerous?”
“For me?” he laughed, “no, I don’t think so. And even if it were in the most tragic sense of the word dangerous, why, that would save you a great deal of unpleasantness.”
“I think you are being horrid,” she said.
“I am sorry,” he responded quickly, “I was fishing for a little pity, and it was rather cheap and theatrical. No, I do not think there is very much danger. Van Heerden is going to keep under cover, and he is after something bigger than my young life.”
“Is Milsom with him?”
“He is the weak link in van Heerden’s scheme,” Beale said. “Somehow van Heerden doesn’t strike me as a good team leader, and what little I have seen of Milsom leads me to the belief that he is hardly the man to follow the doctor’s lead blindly. Besides, it is always easier to ca nike air max 1 red tch two men than one,” he laughed. “That is an old detective’s axiom and it works out.”
She put out her hand.
“It’s a tangled business, isn’t it?” she said. “I mean us. Don’t let it add to your other worries. Forget our unfortunate relationship until we can smooth things out.”
He shook her hand in silence.
“And now I am coming out to hear all that you clever people suggest,” she said. “Please don’t look alarmed. I have been talking all the afternoon and have been narrating my sad experience–such as I remember–to the most important people. Cabinet Ministers and police commissioners and doctors and things.”
“One moment,” he said.
He took from his pocket a stout book.
“I was wondering what that was,” she laughed. “You haven’t been buying me reading-matter?”
He nodded, and held the volume so that she could read the title.
“‘A nike air max 1 premium Friend in Need,’ by S. Beale. I didn’t know you wrote!” she said in surprise.
“I am literary and even worse,” he said flippantly. “I see you have a shelf of books here. If you will allow me I will put it with the others.”
“But mayn’t I see it?”
He shook his head.
“I just want to tell you all you have said about van Heerden is true. He is a most dangerous man. He may yet be dangerous to you. I don’t want you to touch that little book unless you are in really serious trouble. Will you promise me?”
She opened her eyes wide.
“But, Mr. Beale—-?”
“Will you promise me?” he said again.
“Of course I’ll promise you, but I don’t quite understand.”
“You will understand,” he said.
He opened the door for her and she passed out ahead of him. Kitson came to meet them.
“I suppose there is no news?” asked Stanford.
“None,” said the other, cheap max 1 “except high political news. There has been an exchange of notes between the Triple Alliance and the German Government. All communication with the Ukraine is cut off, and three ships have been sunk in the Bosphorus so cleverly that our grain ships in the Black Sea are isolated.”
“That’s bad,” said Beale.
He walked to the table. It was littered with maps and charts and printed tabulations. McNorton got up and joined them.
“I have just had a ‘phone message through from the Yard,” he said. “Carter, my assistant, says that he’s certain van Heerden has not left London.”
“Has the girl spoken?”
“Glaum? No, she’s as dumb as an oyster. I doubt if you would get her to speak even if you put her through the third degree, and we don’t allow that.”
“So I am told,” said Beale dryly.
There was a knock at the door.
“Unlock it somebody,” said Kitson. “I turned the key.”
The nearest person was the member of the Corn Exchange Committee, and he clicked back the lock and the door opened to admit a waiter.
“There’s a man here—-” he said; but before he could say more he was pushed aside and a dusty, dishevelled figure stepped into the room and glanced round.
“My name is Milsom,” he said. “I have come to give King’s Evidence!”
Chapter 29 The Lost Code
“I’m Milsom,” said the man in the doorway again.
His clothes were grimed and dusty, his collar limp and soiled. There were two days’ growth of red-grey stubble on his big jaw, and he bore himself like a man who was faint from lack of sleep.
He walked unsteadily to the table and fell into a chair.
“Where is van Heerden?” asked Beale, but Milsom shook his head.
“I left him two hours ago, after a long and unprofitable talk on patriotism,” he said, and laughed shortly. “At that time he was making his way back to his house in Southwark.”
“Then he is in London–here in London!”
Milsom nodded.
“You won’t find him,” he said brusquely. “I tell you I’ve left him after a talk about certain patriotic misgivings on my part–look!”
He lifted his right hand, which hitherto he had kept concealed by his side, and Oliva shut her eyes and felt deathly sick.
“Right index digit and part of the phalanges shot away,” said Milsom philosophically. “That was my trigger-finger–but he shot first. Give me a drink!”
They brought him a bottle of wine, and he drank it from a long tumbler in two great breathless gulps.
“You’ve closed the coast to him,” he said, “you shut down nike air max 1 sale your wires and cables, you’re watching the roads, but he’ll get his message through, if—-”
“Then he hasn’t cabled?” said Beale eagerly. “Milsom, this means liberty for you–liberty and comfort. Tell us the truth, man, help us hold off this horror that van Heerden is loosing on the world and there’s no reward too great for you.”
Milsom’s eyes narrowed.
“It wasn’t the hope of reward or hope of pardon that made me break with van Heerden,” he said in his slow way. “You’d laugh yourself sick if I told you. It was–it was the knowledge that this country would be down and out; that the people who spoke my tongue and thought more or less as I thought should be under the foot of the Beast–fevered sentimentality! You don’t believe that?”
“I believe it.”
It was Oliva who spoke, cheap air 1 and it appeared that this was the first time that Milsom had noticed her presence, for his eyes opened wider.
“You–oh, you believe it, do you?” and he nodded.
“But why is van Heerden waiting?” asked McNorton. “What is he waiting for?”
The big man rolled his head helplessly from side to side, and the hard cackle of his laughter was very trying to men whose nerves were raw and on edge.
“That’s the fatal lunacy of it! I think it must be a nationa

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