This was too much for the Russian. He burst out vehemently:
"Curse you--curse you! They know now that I betrayed them. My
life won't be safe for an hour in this country."
"That's so," assented Julius. "I'd advise you to make tracks for
Russia right away."
"Let me go, then," cried the other. "I have done what you asked.
Why do you still keep me with you?"
"Not for the pleasure of your company. I guess you can get right
off now if you want to. I thought you'd rather I tooled you back
"You may IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница never reach London," snarled the other. "Let me go here
"Sure thing. Pull up, George. The gentleman's not making the
return trip. If I ever come to Russia, Monsieur Kramenin, I shall
expect a rousing welcome, and----"
But before Julius had finished his speech, and before the car had
finally halted, the Russian had swung himself out and disappeared
into the night.
"Just a mite impatient to leave us," commented Julius, as the car
gathered way again. "And no idea of saying good-bye politely to
the ladies. Say, Jane, you can get up on the seat now."
For the first time IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница the girl spoke.
"How did you 'persuade' him?" she asked.
Julius tapped his revolver.
"Little Willie here takes the credit!"
"Splendid!" cried the girl. The colour surged into her face, her
eyes looked admiringly at Julius.
"Annette and I didn't know what was going to happen to us," said
Tuppence. "Old Whittington hurried us off. We thought it was
lambs to the slaughter."
"Annette," said Julius. "Is that what you call her?"
His mind seemed to be trying to adjust itself to a new idea.
"It's her name," said Tuppence, opening her eyes very wide.
"Shucks!" retorted Julius. "She may IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница think it's her name, because
her memory's gone, poor kid. But it's the one real and original
Jane Finn we've got here."
"What?" cried Tuppence.
But she was interrupted. With an angry spurt, a bullet embedded
itself in the upholstery of the car just behind her head.
"Down with you," cried Julius. "It's an ambush. These guys have
got busy pretty quickly. Push her a bit, George."
The car fairly leapt forward. Three more shots rang out, but
went happily wide. Julius, upright, leant over the back of the
"Nothing to shoot at," he announced gloomily. "But IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница I guess
there'll be another little picnic soon. Ah!"
He raised his hand to his cheek.
"You are hurt?" said Annette quickly.
"Only a scratch."
The girl sprang to her feet.
"Let me out! Let me out, I say! Stop the car. It is me they're
after. I'm the one they want. You shall not lose your lives
because of me. Let me go." She was fumbling with the fastenings
of the door.
Julius took her by both arms, and looked at her. She had spoken
with no trace of foreign accent.
"Sit down, kid," he said gently. "I guess there's nothing wrong
with IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница your memory. Been fooling them all the time, eh?"
The girl looked at him, nodded, and then suddenly burst into
tears. Julius patted her on the shoulder.
"There, there--just you sit tight. We're not going to let you
Through her sobs the girl said indistinctly:
"You're from home. I can tell by your voice. It makes me
"Sure I'm from home. I'm your cousin--Julius Hersheimmer. I
came over to Europe on purpose to find you--and a pretty dance
you've led me."
The car slackened speed. George spoke over his shoulder:
"Cross-roads IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница here, sir. I'm not sure of the way."
The car slowed down till it hardly moved. As it did so a figure
climbed suddenly over the back, and plunged head first into the
midst of them.
"Sorry," said Tommy, extricating himself.
A mass of confused exclamations greeted him. He replied to them
"Was in the bushes by the drive. Hung on behind. Couldn't let
you know before at the pace you were going. It was all I could
do to hang on. Now then, you girls, get out!"
"Yes. There's a station just up that road. Train due in IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница three
minutes. You'll catch it if you hurry."
"What the devil are you driving at?" demanded Julius. "Do you
think you can fool them by leaving the car?"
"You and I aren't going to leave the car. Only the girls."
"You're crazed, Beresford. Stark staring mad! You can't let
those girls go off alone. It'll be the end of it if you do."
Tommy turned to Tuppence.
"Get out at once, Tuppence. Take her with you, and do just as I
say. No one will do you any harm. You're safe. Take the train
to London. Go IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница straight to Sir James Peel Edgerton. Mr. Carter
lives out of town, but you'll be safe with him."
"Darn you!" cried Julius. "You're mad. Jane, you stay where you
With a sudden swift movement, Tommy snatched the revolver from
Julius's hand, and levelled it at him.
"Now will you believe I'm in earnest? Get out, both of you, and
do as I say--or I'll shoot!"
Tuppence sprang out, dragging the unwilling Jane after her.
"Come on, it's all right. If Tommy's sure--he's sure. Be quick.
We'll miss the train."
They started IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница running.
Julius's pent-up rage burst forth.
"What the hell----"
Tommy interrupted him.
"Dry up! I want a few words with you, Mr. Julius Hersheimmer."
HER arm through Jane's, dragging her along, Tuppence reached the
station. Her quick ears caught the sound of the approaching
"Hurry up," she panted, "or we'll miss it."
They arrived on the platform just as the train came to a
standstill. Tuppence opened the door of an empty first-class
compartment, and the two girls sank down breathless on the padded
A man looked in, then passed on to the next IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница carriage. Jane
started nervously. Her eyes dilated with terror. She looked
questioningly at Tuppence.
"Is he one of them, do you think?" she breathed.
Tuppence shook her head.
"No, no. It's all right." She took Jane's hand in hers. "Tommy
wouldn't have told us to do this unless he was sure we'd be all
"But he doesn't know them as I do!" The girl shivered. "You
can't understand. Five years! Five long years! Sometimes I
thought I should go mad."
"Never mind. It's all over."
The train was moving now, speeding through the night at a
gradually IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница increasing rate. Suddenly Jane Finn started up.
"What was that? I thought I saw a face--looking in through the
"No, there's nothing. See." Tuppence went to the window, and
lifting the strap let the pane down.
The other seemed to feel some excuse was necessary:
"I guess I'm acting like a frightened rabbit, but I can't help
it. If they caught me now they'd----" Her eyes opened wide and
"DON'T!" implored Tuppence. "Lie back, and DON'T THINK. You can
be quite sure that Tommy wouldn't have said it was IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница safe if it
"My cousin didn't think so. He didn't want us to do this."
"No," said Tuppence, rather embarrassed.
"What are you thinking of?" said Jane sharply.
"Your voice was so--queer!"
"I WAS thinking of something," confessed Tuppence. "But I don't
want to tell you--not now. I may be wrong, but I don't think so.
It's just an idea that came into my head a long time ago. Tommy's
got it too--I'm almost sure he has. But don't YOU
worry--there'll be time enough for that later. And IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница it mayn't be
so at all! Do what I tell you--lie back and don't think of
"I'll try." The long lashes drooped over the hazel eyes.
Tuppence, for her part, sat bolt upright--much in the attitude of
a watchful terrier on guard. In spite of herself she was
nervous. Her eyes flashed continually from one window to the
other. She noted the exact position of the communication cord.
What it was that she feared, she would have been hard put to it
to say. But in her own mind she was far from feeling the
confidence displayed IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница in her words. Not that she disbelieved in
Tommy, but occasionally she was shaken with doubts as to whether
anyone so simple and honest as he was could ever be a match for
the fiendish subtlety of the arch-criminal.
If they once reached Sir James Peel Edgerton in safety, all would
be well. But would they reach him? Would not the silent forces
of Mr. Brown already be assembling against them? Even that last
picture of Tommy, revolver in hand, failed to comfort her. By
now he might be overpowered, borne down by sheer force of
numbers.... Tuppence mapped out her plan of campaign.
As the train at length IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница drew slowly into Charing Cross, Jane Finn
sat up with a start.
"Have we arrived? I never thought we should!"
"Oh, I thought we'd get to London all right. If there's going to
be any fun, now is when it will begin. Quick, get out. We'll nip
into a taxi."
In another minute they were passing the barrier, had paid the
necessary fares, and were stepping into a taxi.
"King's Cross," directed Tuppence. Then she gave a jump. A man
looked in at the window, just as they started. She was almost
certain it was the same man who had got IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница into the carriage next to
them. She had a horrible feeling of being slowly hemmed in on
"You see," she explained to Jane, "if they think we're going to
Sir James, this will put them off the scent. Now they'll imagine
we're going to Mr. Carter. His country place is north of London
Crossing Holborn there was a block, and the taxi was held up.
This was what Tuppence had been waiting for.
"Quick," she whispered. "Open the right-hand door!"
The two girls stepped out into the traffic. Two minutes later
they were seated in another taxi and IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница were retracing their steps,
this time direct to Carlton House Terrace.
"There," said Tuppence, with great satisfaction, "this ought to
do them. I can't help thinking that I'm really rather clever!
How that other taxi man will swear! But I took his number, and
I'll send him a postal order to-morrow, so that he won't lose by
it if he happens to be genuine. What's this thing
There was a grinding noise and a bump. Another taxi had collided
In a flash Tuppence was out on the pavement. A policeman was
approaching. Before IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница he arrived Tuppence had handed the driver
five shillings, and she and Jane had merged themselves in the
"It's only a step or two now," said Tuppence breathlessly. The
accident had taken place in Trafalgar Square.
"Do you think the collision was an accident, or done
"I don't know. It might have been either."
Hand-in-hand, the two girls hurried along.
"It may be my fancy," said Tuppence suddenly, "but I feel as
though there was some one behind us."
"Hurry!" murmured the other. "Oh, hurry!"
They were now at the corner of Carlton House Terrace, and their
spirits lightened IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница. Suddenly a large and apparently intoxicated
man barred their way.
"Good evening, ladies," he hiccupped. "Whither away so fast?"
"Let us pass, please," said Tuppence imperiously.
"Just a word with your pretty friend here." He stretched out an
unsteady hand, and clutched Jane by the shoulder. Tuppence heard
other footsteps behind. She did not pause to ascertain whether
they were friends or foes. Lowering her head, she repeated a
manoeuvre of childish days, and butted their aggressor full in
the capacious middle. The success of these unsportsmanlike
tactics was immediate. The man sat down abruptly on the pavement.
Tuppence and Jane took to their heels IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница. The house they sought was
some way down. Other footsteps echoed behind them. Their breath
was coming in choking gasps as they reached Sir James's door.
Tuppence seized the bell and Jane the knocker.
The man who had stopped them reached the foot of the steps. For a
moment he hesitated, and as he did so the door opened. They fell
into the hall together. Sir James came forward from the library
"Hullo! What's this?"
He stepped forward, and put his arm round Jane as she swayed
uncertainly. He half carried her into the library, and laid her
on the leather couch. From a tantalus on IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница the table he poured out
a few drops of brandy, and forced her to drink them. With a sigh
she sat up, her eyes still wild and frightened.
"It's all right. Don't be afraid, my child. You're quite safe."
Her breath came more normally, and the colour was returning to
her cheeks. Sir James looked at Tuppence quizzically.
"So you're not dead, Miss Tuppence, any more than that Tommy boy
of yours was!"
"The Young Adventurers take a lot of killing," boasted Tuppence.
"So it seems," said Sir James dryly. "Am I right in thinking
that the joint venture has IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница ended in success, and that this"--he
turned to the girl on the couch--"is Miss Jane Finn?"
Jane sat up.
"Yes," she said quietly, "I am Jane Finn. I have a lot to tell
"When you are stronger----"
"No--now!" Her voice rose a little. "I shall feel safer when I
have told everything."
"As you please," said the lawyer.
He sat down in one of the big arm-chairs facing the couch. In a
low voice Jane began her story.
"I came over on the Lusitania to take up a post in Paris. I was
fearfully keen about the war IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница, and just dying to help somehow or
other. I had been studying French, and my teacher said they were
wanting help in a hospital in Paris, so I wrote and offered my
services, and they were accepted. I hadn't got any folk of my
own, so it made it easy to arrange things.
"When the Lusitania was torpedoed, a man came up to me. I'd
noticed him more than once--and I'd figured it out in my own mind
that he was afraid of somebody or something. He asked me if I
was a patriotic American, and told me he was IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница carrying papers
which were just life or death to the Allies. He asked me to take
charge of them. I was to watch for an advertisement in the Times.
If it didn't appear, I was to take them to the American
"Most of what followed seems like a nightmare still. I see it in
my dreams sometimes.... I'll hurry over that part. Mr. Danvers
had told me to watch out. He might have been shadowed from New
York, but he didn't think so. At first I had no suspicions, but
on the boat to Holyhead I began to get uneasy. There was one
woman who IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница had been very keen to look after me, and chum up with
me generally--a Mrs. Vandemeyer. At first I'd been only grateful
to her for being so kind to me; but all the time I felt there was
something about her I didn't like, and on the Irish boat I saw
her talking to some queer-looking men, and from the way they
looked I saw that they were talking about me. I remembered that
she'd been quite near me on the Lusitania when Mr. Danvers gave
me the packet, and before that she'd tried to talk to him IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница once or
twice. I began to get scared, but I didn't quite see what to do.
"I had a wild idea of stopping at Holyhead, and not going on to
London that day, but I soon saw that that would be plumb
foolishness. The only thing was to act as though I'd noticed
nothing, and hope for the best. I couldn't see how they could
get me if I was on my guard. One thing I'd done already as a
precaution--ripped open the oilskin packet and substituted blank
paper, and then sewn it up again. So, if anyone did manage to IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница rob
me of it, it wouldn't matter.
"What to do with the real thing worried me no end. Finally I
opened it out flat--there were only two sheets--and laid it
between two of the advertisement pages of a magazine. I stuck the
two pages together round the edge with some gum off an envelope.
I carried the magazine carelessly stuffed into the pocket of my
"At Holyhead I tried to get into a carriage with people that
looked all right, but in a queer way there seemed always to be a
crowd round me shoving and pushing me just the way I didn't want
to IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница go. There was something uncanny and frightening about it. In
the end I found myself in a carriage with Mrs. Vandemeyer after
all. I went out into the corridor, but all the other carriages
were full, so I had to go back and sit down. I consoled myself
with the thought that there were other people in the
carriage--there was quite a nice-looking man and his wife sitting
just opposite. So I felt almost happy about it until just outside
London. I had leaned back and closed my eyes. I guess they
thought I was asleep, but my eyes weren't quite shut IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница, and
suddenly I saw the nice-looking man get something out of his bag
and hand it to Mrs. Vandemeyer, and as he did so he WINKED....
"I can't tell you how that wink sort of froze me through and
through. My only thought was to get out in the corridor as quick
as ever I could. I got up, trying to look natural and easy.
Perhaps they saw something--I don't know--but suddenly Mrs.
Vandemeyer said 'Now,' and flung something over my nose and mouth
as I tried to scream. At the same moment I felt a terrific blow
on the IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница back of my head...."
She shuddered. Sir James murmured something sympathetically. In
a minute she resumed:
"I don't know how long it was before I came back to
consciousness. I felt very ill and sick. I was lying on a dirty
bed. There was a screen round it, but I could hear two people
talking in the room. Mrs. Vandemeyer was one of them. I tried to
listen, but at first I couldn't take much in. When at last I did
begin to grasp what was going on--I was just terrified! I wonder
I didn't scream right out there and then.
"They hadn IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница't found the papers. They'd got the oilskin packet
with the blanks, and they were just mad! They didn't know
whether I'd changed the papers, or whether Danvers had been
carrying a dummy message, while the real one was sent another
way. They spoke of"--she closed her eyes--"torturing me to find
"I'd never known what fear--really sickening fear--was before!
Once they came to look at me. I shut my eyes and pretended to be
still unconscious, but I was afraid they'd hear the beating of my
heart. However, they went away again. I began thinking IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница madly.
What could I do? I knew I wouldn't be able to stand up against
torture very long.
"Suddenly something put the thought of loss of memory into my
head. The subject had always interested me, and I'd read an awful
lot about it. I had the whole thing at my finger-tips. If only I
could succeed in carrying the bluff through, it might save me. I
said a prayer, and drew a long breath. Then I opened my eyes and
started babbling in FRENCH!
"Mrs. Vandemeyer came round the screen at once. Her face was so
wicked I nearly died, but I smiled up IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница at her doubtfully, and
asked her in French where I was.
"It puzzled her, I could see. She called the man she had been
talking to. He stood by the screen with his face in shadow. He
spoke to me in French. His voice was very ordinary and quiet,
but somehow, I don't know why, he scared me worse than the woman.
I felt he'd seen right through me, but I went on playing my part.
I asked again where I was, and then went on that there was
something I MUST remember--MUST remember--only for the moment it
was IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница all gone. I worked myself up to be more and more distressed.
He asked me my name. I said I didn't know--that I couldn't
remember anything at all.
"Suddenly he caught my wrist, and began twisting it. The pain
was awful. I screamed. He went on. I screamed and screamed, but
I managed to shriek out things in French. I don't know how long
I could have gone on, but luckily I fainted. The last thing I
heard was his voice saying: 'That's not bluff! Anyway, a kid of
her age wouldn't know enough.' I guess he forgot American IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница girls
are older for their age than English ones, and take more interest
in scientific subjects.
"When I came to, Mrs. Vandemeyer was sweet as honey to me. She'd
had her orders, I guess. She spoke to me in French--told me I'd
had a shock and been very ill. I should be better soon. I
pretended to be rather dazed--murmured something about the
'doctor' having hurt my wrist. She looked relieved when I said
"By and by she went out of the room altogether. I was suspicious
still, and lay quite quiet for some time. In the end, however, I
got up and walked IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница round the room, examining it. I thought that
even if anyone WAS watching me from somewhere, it would seem
natural enough under the circumstances. It was a squalid, dirty
place. There were no windows, which seemed queer. I guessed the
door would be locked, but I didn't try it. There were some
battered old pictures on the walls, representing scenes from
Jane's two listeners gave a simultaneous "Ah!" The girl nodded.
"Yes--it was the place in Soho where Mr. Beresford was
imprisoned. Of course, at the time I didn't even know if I was in
London. One thing was IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница worrying me dreadfully, but my heart gave
a great throb of relief when I saw my ulster lying carelessly
over the back of a chair. AND THE MAGAZINE WAS STILL ROLLED UP IN
"If only I could be certain that I was not being overlooked! I
looked carefully round the walls. There didn't seem to be a
peep-hole of any kind--nevertheless I felt kind of sure there
must be. All of a sudden I sat down on the edge of the table, and
put my face in my hands, sobbing out a 'Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!'
I've got very sharp ears. I distinctly IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница heard the rustle of a
dress, and slight creak. That was enough for me. I was being
"I lay down on the bed again, and by and by Mrs. Vandemeyer
brought me some supper. She was still sweet as they make them. I
guess she'd been told to win my confidence. Presently she
produced the oilskin packet, and asked me if I recognized it,
watching me like a lynx all the time.
"I took it and turned it over in a puzzled sort of way. Then I
shook my head. I said that I felt I OUGHT to remember something
about it IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница, that it was just as though it was all coming back, and
then, before I could get hold of it, it went again. Then she told
me that I was her niece, and that I was to call her 'Aunt Rita.'
I did obediently, and she told me not to worry--my memory would
soon come back.
"That was an awful night. I'd made my plan whilst I was waiting
for her. The papers were safe so far, but I couldn't take the
risk of leaving them there any longer. They might throw that
magazine away any minute. I lay awake waiting IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница until I judged it
must be about two o'clock in the morning. Then I got up as
softly as I could, and felt in the dark along the left-hand wall.
Very gently, I unhooked one of the pictures from its
nail--Marguerite with her casket of jewels. I crept over to my
coat and took out the magazine, and an odd envelope or two that I
had shoved in. Then I went to the washstand, and damped the
brown paper at the back of the picture all round. Presently I was
able to pull it away. I had already torn out the two
stuck-together pages IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница from the magazine, and now I slipped them
with their precious enclosure between the picture and its brown
paper backing. A little gum from the envelopes helped me to stick
the latter up again. No one would dream the picture had ever been
tampered with. I rehung it on the wall, put the magazine back in
my coat pocket, and crept back to bed. I was pleased with my
hiding-place. They'd never think of pulling to pieces one of
their own pictures. I hoped that they'd come to the conclusion
that Danvers had been carrying a dummy all along, and that, in
the end, they'd IN THE HOPE THAT THEY MAY EXPERIENCE 17 страница let me go.
"As a matter of fact, I guess that's what they did think at
first, and, in a way, it was dangerous for me. I learnt
afterwards that they nearly did away with me then and
Дата добавления: 2015-11-04; просмотров: 2 | Нарушение авторских прав