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ns!” repeated van Heerden, closing the door, “and every one knows his way back to Germany. It has been a labour of love collecting them. And they are all British,” he said with a laugh. “There I will give the British credit, they know ghd outlet more about pigeons than we Germans and have used them more in the war.”
“But suppose your pigeon is shot down or falls by the way?” she asked, as they walked slowly back to the house.
“I shall send fifty,” replied van Heerden calmly; “each will carry the same message and some at least will get home.”
Back in the dining-room he cleared the remains of the supper from the table and went out of the room for a few minutes, returning with a small pad of paper, and she saw from the delicacy with which he handed each sheet that it was of the thinnest texture. Between each page he placed a carbon and began to write, printing the characters. There was only one word on each tiny sheet. When this was written he detached the leaves, putting them aside and using his watch as a paper-weight, and wrote another batch.
She watched him, fas cheap ghd straighteners £50 cinated, until he showed signs that he had completed his task. Then she lifted the little valise which she had at her side, put it on her knees, opened it and took out a book. It must have been instinct which made him raise his eyes heap ghd hair straighteners uk to her.
“What have you got there?” he asked sharply.
“Oh, a book,” she said, with an attempt at carelessness.
“But why have you got it out? You are not reading.”
He leant over and snatched it from her and looked at the title.
“‘A Friend in Need,'” he read. “By Stanford Beale–by Stanford Beale,” he repeated, frowning. “I didn’t know your husband wrote books?”
She made no reply. He turned back the cover and read the title page.
“But this is ‘Smiles’s Self Help,'” he said.
“It’s the same thing,” she replied.
He turned another page or two, then stopped, for he had come to a place where the centr Cheap ghds e of the book had been cut right out. The leaves had been glued together to disguise this fact, and what was apparently a book was in reality a small box.
“What was in there?” he asked, springing to his feet.
“This,” she said, “don’t move, Dr. van Heerden!”
The little hand which held the Browning was firm and did not quiver.
“I don’t th cheap ghd straighteners next day delivery ink you are going to send your pigeons off this morning, doctor,” she said. “Stand back from the table.” She leant over and seized the little heap of papers and the watch. “I am going to shoot you,” she said steadily, “if you refuse to do as I tell you; because if I don’t shoot you, you will kill me.”
His face had grown old and grey in the space of a few seconds. The white hands he raised were shaking. He tried to speak but only a hoarse murmur came. Then his face went blank. He stared at ghd straighteners the pistol, then stretched out his hands slowly toward it.
“Stand back!” she cried.
He jumped at her, and she pulled the trigger, but nothing happened, and the next minute she was struggling in his arms. The man was hysterical with fear and relief and was giggling and cursing in the same breath. He wrenched the pistol from her hand and threw it on the table.
“You fool! You fool!” he shouted, “the safety-catch! You didn’t put it down!”
She could have wept with anger and mortification. Beale had put the catch of the weapon at safety, not realizi Cheap GHD Straighteners ng that she did not understand the mechanism of it, and van Heerden in one lightning glance had seen his advantage.
“Now you suffer!” he said, as he flung her in a chair. “You shall suffer, I tell you! I will make an example of you. I will leave your husband something which he will cheap ghd flat iron not touch!”
He was shaking in every limb. He dashed to the door and bellowed “Bridgers!”
Presently she heard a footstep in the hall.
cheap ghd air “Come, my friend,” van Heerden shouted, “you shall have your wish. It is—-”
“How are you going, van Heerden? Quietly or rough?”
He spun round. There were two men in the doorway, and the first of these was Beale.
“It’s no use your shouting for Bridgers because Bridgers is on the way to the jug,” said McNorton. “I have a warrant for you, van Heerden.”
The doctor turned with a howl of rage, snatched up the pistol which lay on the table, and thumbed down the safety-catch.
Beale and McNorton fired together, so that it seemed like a single shot that thundered through the room. Van Heerden slid forward, and fell sprawling across the table.
* * * * *
It was the Friday morning, and Beale stepped briskly through the vestibule of the Ritz-Carlton, and declining the elevator went up the stairs two at a time. He burst into the room w ghd straighteners here Kitson and the girl were standing by the window.
“Wheat prices are tumbling down,” he said, “the message worked.”
“Thank Heaven for that!” said Kitson. “Then van Heerden’s code message telling his gang to stop operations reached its destination!”
“Its destinations,” corrected Beale cheerfully. “I released thirty pigeons with the magic word. The agents have been arrested,” he said; “we notified the Government authorities, and there was a sheriff or a policeman in every post office when the code word came through–van Heerden’s agents saw some curious telegraph messengers yesterday.”
Kitson nodded and turned away.
“What are you going to do now?” asked the girl, with a light in her eyes. “You must feel quite lost without this great quest of yours.”
“There are others,” said Stanford Beale.
“When do you return to America?” cheap ghd wide plate straighteners she asked.
He fenced the question, but she brought him back to it.
“I have a great deal of business to do in London before I go,” he said.
“Like what?” she asked.
“Well,” he hesitated, “I have some legal business.”
“Are you suing somebody?” she asked, wilfully dense.
He rubbed his head in perplexity.
“To tell you the truth,” he said, “I don’t exactly know what I’ve got to do or what sort of figure I shall cut. I have never been in the Divorce Court before.”
“Divorce Court?” she said, puzzled, “are you giving evidence? Of course I know detectives do that sort of thing. I have read about it in the newspapers. It must be rather horrid, but you are such a clever detective–oh, by the way you never told me how you found me.”
“It was a very simple matter,” he said, relieved to change the subject, “van Heerden, by one of those c cheap ghds urious lapses which the best of criminals make, left a message at the pawnbroker’s which was written on the back of an account for pigeon food, sent to him from a Horsham tradesman. I knew he would not try to dispatch his message by the ordinary courses and I suspected all along that he had established a pigeon-post. The bill gave me all the information I wanted. It took us a long time to find the tradesman, but once we had discovered him he directed us to the farm. We took along a couple of local policemen and arrested Bridgers in the garage.”
She shivered.
“It was horrible, wasn’t it?” she said.
He nodded.
“It was rather dreadful, but it might have been very much worse,” he added philosophically.
“But how wonderful of you to switch yourself from the crime of that enthralling character to a commonplace divorce suit.”
“Thi cheap ghd straighteners s isn’t commonplace,” he said, “it is rather a curious story.”
“Do tell me.” She made a place for him on the window-ledge and he sat down beside her.
“It is a story of a mistake and a blunder,” he said. “The plaintiff, a very worthy young man, passably good looking, was a man of my profession, a detective engaged in protecting the interests of a young and beautiful girl.”
“I suppose you have to say she’s young and beautiful or the story wouldn’t be interesting,” she said.
“It is not necessary to lie in this case,” he said, “she is certainly young and undoubtedly beautiful. She has the loveliest eyes—-”
“Go on,” she said hastily.
“The detective,” he resumed, “hereinafter called the petitioner, desiring to protect the innocent maiden from the machinations of a fortune-hunting gentleman no longer with us, contracted as he t hought a fraudulent marriage with this unfortunate girl, believing thereby he could choke off the villain who was pursuing her.”
“But why did the unfortunate girl marry him, even fraudulently?”
“Because,” said Beale, “the villain of the piece had drugged her and she didn’t know what she was doing. After the marriage,” he went on, “he discovered that so far from being illegal it was good in law and he had bound this wretched female.”
“Please don’t be rude,” she said.
“He had bound this wretched female to him for life. Being a perfect gentleman, born of poor but American parents, he takes the

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