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"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.