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|The Secret Adversary||Agatha Christie|
XIII The Vigil
|Page 4 of 6||
"Mr. Brown, I suppose," said Julius scoffingly.
The lawyer looked at him deliberately for a minute or two.
"Why not?" he said. "Remember, you yourself have once been worsted by him."
Julius flushed with vexation.
"I feel just mad when I think of how I handed out Jane's photograph to him like a lamb. Gee, if I ever lay hands on it again, I'll freeze on to it like--like hell!"
"That contingency is likely to be a remote one," said the other dryly.
"I guess you're right," said Julius frankly. "And, in any case, it's the original I'm out after. Where do you think she can be, Sir James?"
The lawyer shook his head.
"Impossible to say. But I've a very good idea where she has been."
"You have? Where?"
Sir James smiled.
"At the scene of your nocturnal adventures, the Bournemouth nursing home."
"There? Impossible. I asked."
"No, my dear sir, you asked if anyone of the name of Jane Finn had been there. Now, if the girl had been placed there it would almost certainly be under an assumed name."
"Bully for you," cried Julius. "I never thought of that!"
"It was fairly obvious," said the other.
"Perhaps the doctor's in it too," suggested Tuppence.
Julius shook his head.
"I don't think so. I took to him at once. No, I'm pretty sure Dr. Hall's all right."
"Hall, did you say?" asked Sir James. "That is curious--really very curious."
"Why?" demanded Tuppence.
"Because I happened to meet him this morning. I've known him slightly on and off for some years, and this morning I ran across him in the street. Staying at the Metropole, he told me." He turned to Julius. "Didn't he tell you he was coming up to town?"
Julius shook his head.
"Curious," mused Sir James. "You did not mention his name this afternoon, or I would have suggested your going to him for further information with my card as introduction."
"I guess I'm a mutt," said Julius with unusual humility. "I ought to have thought of the false name stunt."
"How could you think of anything after falling out of that tree?" cried Tuppence. "I'm sure anyone else would have been killed right off."
"Well, I guess it doesn't matter now, anyway," said Julius. "We've got Mrs. Vandemeyer on a string, and that's all we need."
"Yes," said Tuppence, but there was a lack of assurance in her voice.
A silence settled down over the party. Little by little the magic of the night began to gain a hold on them. There were sudden creaks of the furniture, imperceptible rustlings in the curtains. Suddenly Tuppence sprang up with a cry.
"I can't help it. I know Mr. Brown's somewhere in the flat! I can FEEL him."
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