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Chapter XLIX - I will Go Alone

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« on: December 07, 2022, 07:28:43 am »

We all sat down to breakfast together. Lord Langerdale divided his attention between his breakfast and The Times.

“Are you going shopping to-day, Elsie?” he asked, looking up from his paper.

She glanced at him inquiringly. “I think so. Why?”

“Be very careful about your change, then. There has never been so much bad money about as just now. The papers are full of the most startling rumours. Coining must be going on in London somewhere upon an enormous scale, and the police are— Why, Philip, what’s the matter with you?”

I recovered myself promptly and set down the cup which I had been within an ace of spilling.

“The coffee was a little hot,” I said slowly. “It was very stupid of me.”

He went on reading and Lady Langerdale began to talk to me. But my attention was wandering. It was a strange idea which had occurred to me, perhaps a ridiculous one. Yet it was possessed of a certain fascination.

In the middle of breakfast a waiter brought me a note. Lady Langerdale’s permission was given unasked and I tore it open. It was from de Cartienne, and the contents, though brief, were to the point:

    “My dear Morton,—I have seen the man whom you are seeking and I know for certain where he will be to-morrow night. My carriage shall call for you at ten o’clock in the evening—to-morrow, mind; not this evening—and if you care to come I will bring you to him. By the by, you might as well bring with you the box which you were good enough to take care of—Yours,

    “E. de C.”


I handed it to Lord Langerdale, who adjusted his glasses and read it through carefully.

“I don’t like it,” he remarked, when he had finished; “don’t like it at all. Take my advice, Philip; send him his box, or whatever it is, and don’t go.”

I shook my head.

“I must find out about Mr. Marx,” I answered, “and I know of no other means. That will be to-morrow night, you know. To-day—”

“Yes, what are we going to do to-day?” Lord Langerdale interrupted.

I answered him without hesitation:

“I am going down to Ravenor Castle.”

He looked surprised, a little agitated.

“I shall go with you,” Lord Langerdale suddenly declared. “Alice was my sister-in-law, and if Ravenor deserted or ill-used her, I have the right to call him to account for it.”

“And I a better one,” I reminded him quietly. “Grant me this favour please. I must go alone and see him—alone.”

He looked at his wife and she inclined her head towards me.

“The boy is right,” she said softly. “It is his affair, not ours. It will be better for him to go alone.”

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