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ld 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 nike air max spoke, 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 nike air max sale 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 national characteristic. You saw it in the war again and again–a wonderful plan brought to naught by some piece of over-cleverness on the part of the super-man.”
A wild hope leapt to Beale’s heart.
“Then it has failed! The rust has not answered—-?”
But Milsom shook his head wearily.
“The rust is all that he thinks–and then some,” he said. “No, it isn’t that. It is in the wor Cheap Nike Air Max k of organization where the hitch has occurred. You know something of the story. Van Heerden has agents in every country in the world. He has spent nearly a hundred thousand pounds in perfecting his working plans, and I’m willing to admit that they are wellnigh perfect. Such slight mistakes nike air max 90 sale as sending men to South Africa and Australia where the crops are six months later than the European and American harvests may be forgiven, because the German thinks longitudinally, and north and south are the two points of the compass which he never bothers his head about. If the Germans had been a seafari nike air max 1 ng people they’d have discovered America before Columbus, but they would never have found the North Pole or rounded the Cape in a million years.”
He paused, and they saw the flicker of a smile in his weary eyes.
“The whole scheme is under van Heerden’s hand. At the word ‘Go’ thousands of his agents begin their work of destruction–but the word must come from him. He has so centralized his scheme that if he died suddenly without that word being uttered, the work of years would come to naught. I guess he is suspicious of ev erybody, including his new Government. For the best part of a year he has been arranging and planning. With the assistance of a girl, a compatriot of his, he has reduced all things to order. In every country is a principal agent who possesses a copy of a simple code. At the proper moment van Heerden would cable a word which meant ‘Get busy’ or ‘Hold off until you hear from me,’ or ‘Abandon scheme for this year and collect cultures.’ I happen to Cheap Air Max be word-perfect in the meanings of the code words because van Heerden has so often drummed them into me.”
“What are the code words?”
“I’m coming to that,” nodded Milsom. “Van Heerden is the type of scientist that never trusts his memory. You find that kind in all the school–they usually spend their time making the most complete and detailed notes, and their studies are packed with nike air max 95 memoranda. Yet he had a wonderful memory for the commonplace things–for example, in the plain English of his three messages he was word perfect. He could tell you off-hand the names and addresses of all his agents. But when it came to scientific data his mind was a blank until he consulted his authorities. It seemed that once he made a note his mind was incapable of retaining the information he had committed to paper. That, as I say, is a phenomenon which is not infrequently met with amongst men of science.”
“And he had committed the code to paper?” asked Kitson.
“I am coming to that. After the fire at the Paddington works, van Heerden said the time had come to make a get away. He was going to the Continent, I was to sail nike air max classic for Canada. ‘Before you go,’ he said, ‘I will give you the code–but I am afraid that I cannot do tha Nike Air Max t until after ten o’clock.'”
McNorton was scribbling notes in shorthand and carefully circled the hour.
“We went back to his flat and had breakfast together–it was then about five o’clock. He packed a few things and I particularly noticed that he looked very carefully at the interior of a little grip which he had brought the previous night from Staines. He was so furtive, carrying the bag to the light of the window, that I supposed he was consulting his code, and cheap nike air max I wondered why he should defer giving me the information until ten o’clock. Anyway, I could swear he took something from the bag and slipped it into his pocket. We left the flat soon after and drove to a railway station where the baggage was left. Van Heerden had given me bank-notes for a thousand pounds in case we should be separated, and I went on to the house cheap nike air max trainers in South London. You needn’t ask me where it is because van Heerden is not there.”
He gulped again at the wine.
“At eleven o’clock van Heerden came back,” resumed Milsom, “and if ever a man was panic-stricken it was he–the long and the short of it is that the code was mislaid.”
“Mislaid!” Beale was staggered.
Here was farce interpolated into tragedy–the most grotesque, the most unbelievable farce.
“Mislaid,” said Milsom. “He did not say as much, but I gathered from the few disjointed words he flung at me that the code was not irredeemably lost; in fact, I have reason to believe that he knows where it is. It was after that that van Heerden started in to do some tall cursing of me, my country, my decadent race and the like. Things have been strained all the afternoon. nike air max 90 To-night they reached a climax. He wanted me to help him in a burglary–and burglary is not my forte.”
“What did he want to burgle?” asked McNorton, with professional interest.
“Ah! There you have me! It was the question I asked and he refused to answer. I was to put myself in his hands and there was to be some shooting if, as he thought likely, a caretaker was left on the premises to be entered. I told him flat–we were sitting on Wandsworth Common at the time–that he could leave me out, and that is where we became mutually offensive.”
He looked at his maimed hand.
“I dressed it roughly at a chemist’s. The iodin cheap nike air max e open dressing isn’t beautiful, but it is antiseptic. He shot to kill, too, there’s no doubt about that. A very perfect little gentleman!”

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