Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/248

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Everybody stared.

“What was it all about?” asked Herbert, unperturbed.


“Stealing!” exclaimed Le Blanc.

“Yes. That was about it,” he answered. “Only this time I tried to bag a government and got locked up for my pains. One of your countrymen”—and he nodded toward me—“was mixed up in it. By the way”—and he rose from his chair—“you don’t mind my taking this candle, do you?—I’ve been looking at something in that cabinet over there all the evening and I can’t stand it any longer. I may be wrong, but they look awfully like it.”

He had reached the carved triptych, and was holding the flame of the candle within a few inches of a group of tiny figures—some of Lemois’ most precious carvings—one the figure of a man with a gun.

“Just as I thought. Prison work, isn’t it, Monsieur Lemois? Yes—of course it is—I see the tool marks. Made of soup bones. Oh, very good indeed—best I have ever seen. Where did you get this?”

“They were made by the French prisoners in Moscow,” answered Lemois, who had also