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ee the number.”
“You will find them in the telephone book,” said Kitson. “What does it mean?”
But Beale was half-way to Kitson’s sitting-room, arriving there in time to meet McNorton who had handed over his charge to h cheap air max 1 is subordinate.
“I’ve found it!” cried Beale.
“Found what?” asked Kitson.
“The code!”
“Where? How?” asked McNorton.
“Unless I am altogether wrong the code is contained, either engraved on the case or written on a slip of paper enclosed within the case of a watch. Can’t you see it all plainly now? Van Heerden neither trusted his memory nor his subordinates. He had his simple code written, as we shall find, upon thin paper enclosed in the case of a hunter watch, and this he pledged. A pawnbroker’s is the safest of safe deposits. Searching for clues, suppose the police had detected his preparations, the pledged ticket might have been easily overlooked.”
Kitson was looking at him with an expression of amazed indignation. Here was a man who had lost his wife, and Kitson believed that this young detective loved the girl as few wo nike air max 1 ebay men are loved; but in the passion of the chase, in the production of a new problem, he was absorbed to the exclusion of all other considerations in the greater game.
Yet he did Beale an injustice if he only knew, for the thought of Oliva’s new peril ran through all his speculations, his rapid deductions, his lightning plans.
“Miss Cresswell found the ticket and probably extracted it as a curiosity. These things are kept in little envelopes, aren’t they, McNorton?”
The police chief nodded.
“That was it, then. She took it out and left the envelope behind, and van Heerden did not discover his loss until he went to find the voucher to give Milsom the code. Don’t you remember? In the first place he said he couldn’t give him the code until after ten o’clock, which is probably the hour the pawnbrokers open for business.”
McNorton nike air max 1 red nodded again.
“Then do you remember that M nike air max 1 leopard ilsom said that the code was not irredeemably lost and that van Heerden knew where it was. In default of finding the ticket he decided to burgle the pawnbroker’s, and that burglary is going through to-night.”
“But he could have obtained a duplicate of the ticket,” said McNorton.
“How?” asked Beale quickly.
“By going before a magistrate and swearing an affidavit.”
“In his own name,” said Beale, “you see, he couldn’t do that. It would mean walking into the lion’s den. No, burglary was his only chance.”
“But what of Oliva?” said Kitson impatiently, “I tell you, Beale, I am not big enough or stoical enough to think outside of that girl’s safety.”
Beale swung round at him.
“You don’t think I nike air max 1 ‘ve forgotten that, do you?” he said in a low voice. “You don’t think that has been out of my mi nike air max 1 premium nd?” His face was tense and drawn. “I think, I believe that Oliva is safe,” he said quietly. “I believe that Oliva and not any of us here will deliver van Heerden to justice.”
“Are you mad?” asked Kitson in astonishment.
“I am very sane. Come here!”
He gripped the old lawyer by the arm and led him back to the girl’s room.
“Look,” he said, and pointed.
“What do you mean, the bookshelf?”
Beale nodded.
“Half an hour ago I gave Oliva a book,” he said, “that book nike air max 1 black is no longer there.”
“But in the name of Heaven how can a book save her?” demanded the exasperated Kitson.
Stanford Beale did not answer.
“Yes, yes, she’s safe. I know she’s safe,” he said. “If Oliva is the girl I think she is then I see van Heerden’s finish.”
Chapter 31 A Corn Chandler’s Bill
The church bells were chiming eleven o’clock when a car drew up before a glo nike air max 1 omy corner shop, bearing the dingy sign of the pawnbroker’s calling, and Beale and McNorton alighted.
It was a main street and was almost deserted. Beale looked up at the windows. They were dark. He knocked at the side-entrance of the shop, and presently the two men were joined by a policeman.
“Nobody lives here, sir,” explained the officer, when McNorton had made himself known. “Old Rosenblaum runs the business, and lives at Highgate.”
He flashed his lamp upon the door and tried it, but it did not yield. A nightfarer who had been in the shade on the opposite side of the street came across and volunteered information.
He had seen another car drive up and a gentleman had alighted. He had opened the door with a key and gone in. There was n othing suspicious about him. He was “quite a gentleman, and was in evening-dress.” The constable thought it was one of the partners of Rosenblaum in convivial and resplendent garb. He had been in the house ten minutes then had come out again, locking the door behind him, and had driven off just before Beale’s car had arrived.
It was not until half an hour later that an agitated little man brought by the police from Highgate admitted the two men.
There was no need to make a long search. The moment the light was switched on in the shop Beale made his discovery. On th nike air max 1 grey e broad counter lay a sheet of paper and a little heap of silver coins. He swept the money aside and read:
“For the redemption of one silver hunter, 10s. 6d.”
It was signed in the characteristic handwriting that Beale knew so well “Van Heerden, M.D.”
The two men looked at one another.
“What do you make of that?” asked McNorton.
Beale carried the paper to the light and examined it, and McNorton went on:
“He’s a pretty cool fellow. I suppose he had the money and the message all ready for our benefit.”
Beale shook his head.
“On the contrary,” he said, “this was done on the spur of the moment. A piece of bravado which occurred to him when he had the watch. Look at this paper. You can imagine him searching his pocket for a piece of waste paper and taking the first that came to his hand. It is written in ink with the pawnbroker’s own pen. The inkwell is open,” he lifted up the pen, “the nib is still wet,” he said.
McNorton took the paper from his hands.
It was a bill from a corn-chandler’s at Horsham, the type of bill that was sent in days of war economy which folded over and constituted its own envelope. It was addressed to “J. B. H nike air max 1 sale arden, Esq.” (“That was the _alias_ he used when he took the wine vaults at Paddington,” explained McNorton) and had been posted about a week before. Attached to the bottom of the account, which was for L3 10s., was a little slip calling attention to the fact that “this account had probably been overlooked.”
Beale’s finger traced the item for which the bill was rendered, and McNorton uttered an exclamation of surprise.
“Curious, isn’t it?” said Beale, as he folded the paper and put it away in his pocket, “how these very clever men always make some trifling error which brings them to justice. I don’t know how many gr cheap air max 1 eat schemes I have seen brought to nothing through some such act of folly as this, some piece of theatrical bravado which benefited the criminal nothing at all.”
“Good gracious,” said McNorton wonderingly, “of course, that’s what he is going to do. I never thought of that. It is in the neighbourhood of Horsham we must look for him, and I think if we can get one of the Messrs. Billingham out of bed in a couple o cheap nike air max 1 f hours’ time we shall do a good night’s work.”
They went outside and again questioned the policeman. He remembered the car turning round and going back the way it had come. It had probably taken one of the innumerable side-roads which lead from the main thoroughfare, and in this way they had missed it.
“I want to go to the ‘_Megaphone_’ office first,” said Beale. “I have some good friends on that paper and I am curious to know how bad the markets are. The night cables from New York should be coming in by now.”
In his heart was a sickening fear which he dared not express. What would the morrow bring forth? If this one man’s cupidity and hate should succeed in releasing the terror upon the world, what sort of a world would it leave? Through the windows of the car he could see the placid policemen patrolling the streets, c air max 1 aught a glimpse of other cars brilliantly illuminated bearing their laughing men and women back to homes, who were ignorant of the monstrous danger which threatened their security and life.

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