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17: The Treasure

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« on: November 08, 2023, 07:15:47 am »

IT WAS after breakfast next morning before Kerrigan returned to Marsh Manor and found the whole place a seething mass of reporters, policemen, detectives, photographers, insurance-representatives (genuine ones), and, outside a cordon of police, sightseers with a very poor chance of seeing any sights.

Inspector Fleming took down the long depositions of every one concerned, arrested Heine on a charge of being an accessory before the fact in the murders of John Hone, Rubin, Mr. Tollemache, and the Colombian, warned Kerrigan that he might be arrested later on for the assault on Heine if that gentleman pressed the charge, and announced that he would advise the Chief Constable of the County to proceed against every one, including Lady Caroline, for being in illegal possession of firearms.

After it was all over, Kerrigan at last was able to get hold of Lady Caroline.

“Well?” said the old lady with some asperity. “So he got away?”

“Yes. But I got the clue. And it looks to me like another cipher.”

He handed her an envelope containing eleven sheets of yellow paper, closely written up in a queer crabbed handwriting.

Lady Caroline examined them with great care through her lorgnettes. At last she said slowly:

“I don’t think this is in cipher. I’m going to London now. I want you to come with me.”

“But the clue?” expostulated Kerrigan.

“Never mind about that,” replied the old lady. “Go and get a motor-car.”

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