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a book from the shelf and nearly betrayed herself by an involuntary exclamation as she felt its weight.
“You are not very original in your methods,” she said, “this is the second time you have spirited me off.”
“The gaols of England, as your new-found friend Milsom will tell you, are filled with criminals who departed from the beaten tracks,” said van Heerden. “Walk out into the corridor and turn to the right. I will be close behind you. A little way along you will discover a narrow passage which leads to the service staircase. Go down that. I am sure you believe me when I say that I will kill you if you attempt to make any signal or scream or appeal for help.”
She did not answer. It was because nike air max sale of this knowledge and this fear, which was part of her youthful equipment–for violent death is a very terrible prospect to the young and the healthy–that she obeyed him at all.
They walked down the stone stairs, through an untidy, low-roofed lobby, redolent of cooking food, into the street, without challenge and without attracting undue notice.
Van Heerden’s car was waiting at the end of the street, and she tho nike air max 90 ught she recognized the chauffeur as Bridgers.
“Once more we ride together,” said van Heerden gaily, “and what will be the end of this adventure for you depends entirely upon your loyalty–what are you opening your bag for?” he asked, peering in the dark.
“I am looking for a handkerchief,” said Oliva. “I am afraid I am going to cry!”
He settled himself back in the corner of the car with a sigh of resignation, accepting her explanation–sarcasm was wholly wasted on van Heerden.
* * * * *
“Well, gentlemen,” said Milsom, “I don’t think there’s anything more I can tell you. What are you going to do with me?”
“I’ll take the responsibility of not executing the warrant,” said McNorton. “You will accompany one of my men to his home to-night and you will be under police supervision.”
“That’s no new experience,” said Milsom, “there’s only one piece of advice I want to give you.”
“And cheap nike air max that is?” asked Beale.
“Don’t underrate van Heerden. You have no conception of his nerve. There isn’t a man of us here,” he said, “whose insurance rate wouldn’t go up to ninety per cent. if van Heerden decided to get him. I don’t profess that I can help you to explain his strange conduct to-day. I can only outline the psychology of it, but how and where he has hidden his code and what circumstances prevent its recovery, is known only to van Heerden.”
He nodded to the little group, and accompanied by McNorton left the room.
“There goes a pretty bad man,” said Kitson, “or I am no judge of character. He’s an old lag, isn’t he?”
Beale nodded.
“Murder,” he said laconically. “He lived after his time. He should have been a contemporary of the Borgias.”
“A poisoner!” shuddered one of the under-secretaries. “I remember the case. He killed his nephew and defended himself on the plea nike air max 1 that the youth was a degenerate, as he undoubtedly was.”
“He might have got that defence past in America or France,” said Beale, “but unfortunately there was a business end to the matter. He was the sole heir of his nephew’s considerable fortune, and a jury from the Society of Eugenics would have convicted him on that.”
He looked at his watch and turned his eyes to Kitson.
“I presume Miss Cresswell is bored and has retired for the night,” he said.
“I’ll find out in a moment,” said Kitson. “Did you speak to her?”
Beale nodded, and his eyes twinkled.
“Did you make any progress?”
“I broke the sad news to her, if that’s what you mean.”
“You told her she was married to you? Good heavens! What did she say?”
“Well, she didn’t faint, I don’t think she’s the fainting kind. She is cursed with a sense of humour, and refused even to take a tragic view.”
“That’s bad,” said Kitson, shaking his head. “A sense of humour is out of place in a nike air max divorce court, and that is where your little romance is going to end, my friend.”
“I am not so sure,” said Beale calmly, and the other stared at him.
“You have promised me,” he began, with a note of acerbity in his voice.
“And you have advised me,” said Beale.
Kitson choked down something which he was going to say, but which he evidently thought was better left unsaid.
“Wait,” he commanded, “I will find out whether Miss Cresswell,” he emphasized the words, “has gone to bed.”
He passed through the door to Oliva’s sitting-room and was gone a few minutes. When he came back Beale saw his troubled face, and ran forward to meet him.
“She’s not there,” said Kitson.
“Not in her room?”
“Neither in the sitting-room nor the bedroom. I have rung for her maid. Oh, here you are.”
Prim Minnie came through the bedroom door.
“Where is your mistress?”
“I thought she was with you, sir.”
“What is this?” said Beale, stooped and picked up a white kid glove. “She surely hasn’t gone out,” he said in consternation.
“That’s cheap nike air max trainers not a lady’s glove, sir,” s cheap nike air max aid the girl, “that is a gentleman’s.”
It was a new glove, and turning it over he saw stamped inside the words: “Glebler, Rotterdam.”
“Has anybody been here?” he asked.
“Not to my knowledge, sir. The young lady told me she did not want me any more to-night.” The girl hesitated. It seemed a veritable betrayal of her mistress to disclose such a sordid matter as the search for a pawn ticket.
Beale noticed the hesita Nike Air Max tion.
“You must tell me everythin nike air max 95 g, and tell me quickly,” he said.
“Well, sir,” said the maid, “the lady came in to look for something she brought with her when she came here.”
“I remember!” cried Kitson, “she told me she had brought away something very curious from van Heerden’s house and made me guess what it was. Something interrupted our talk–what was it?”
“Well, sir,” said the maid, resigned, “I won’t tell you a lie, sir. It was a pawn ticket.”
“A pawn ticket!” cried Kitson and Beale in unison.
“Are you sure?” asked the latter.
“Absolutely sure, sir.”
“But she couldn’t have brought a pawn ticket from van Heerden’s house. What was it for?”
“I beg your pardon, sir.”
“What was on the pawn ticket?” said Kitson impatiently. “What article had been pledged?”
Again the girl hesitated. To betray her mistress was unpleasant. Cheap Nike Air Max To betray herself–as she would if she confessed that she had most carefully and thoroughly read the voucher–was unthinkable.
“You know what was on it, Cheap Air Max ” said Beale, in his best third degree manner, “now don’t keep us waiting. What was it?”
“A watch, sir.”
“How much was it pledged for?”
“Ten shillings, sir.”
“Do you remember the name.”
“In a foreign name, sir–van Horden.”
“Van Heerden,” said Beale quickly, “and at what pawnbrokers?”
“Well, sir,” said the girl, making a fight for her reputation, “I only glanced at the ticket and I only noticed—-”
“Yes, you did,” interrupted Beale sharply, “you read every line of it. Where was it?”
“Rosenblaum Bros., of Commercial Road,” blurted the girl.
“Any number?”
“I didn’t see 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 his 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 nike air max classic 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 nike air max 90 sale lost his wife, and Kitson believed that this young detective loved the girl as few women 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 nodded again.
“Then do you remember that Milsom 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 go

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