"I dessay you'd have shoved it, George. Still———You know, George. . . . I believe in him."
"Yes," I said. "Yes, I believe in him too. In a way. Still——"
He took up a telegram that was lying on his desk and opened it. His face became a livid yellow. He put the flimsy pink paper down with a slow reluctant movement and took off his glasses.
"George," he said, "the luck's against us."
He grimaced with his mouth in the queerest way at the telegram.
I took it up and read:—
"motor smash compound fracture of the leg gordon naismith what price mordet now"
For a moment neither of us spoke.
"That's all right," I said at last.
"Eh?" said my uncle.
"I'm going. I'll get that quap or bust."
I had a ridiculous persuasion that I was "saving the situation."
"I'm going," I said quite consciously and dramatically. I saw the whole affair—how shall I put it?—in American colours.
I sat down beside him. "Give me all the data you've got," I said, "and I'll pull this thing off."
"But nobody knows exactly where——"
"Nasmyth does, and he'll tell me."
"He's been very close," said my uncle, and regarded me.