Read Books Online, for Free
|The Secret Adversary||Agatha Christie|
|Page 4 of 10||
But the evening of the third day brought a rude awakening.
It was barely seven o'clock when he heard the tramp of footsteps outside in the passage. In another minute the door was flung open. Conrad entered. With him was the evil-looking Number 14. Tommy's heart sank at the sight of them.
"Evenin', gov'nor," said the man with a leer. "Got those ropes, mate?"
The silent Conrad produced a length of fine cord. The next minute Number 14's hands, horribly dexterous, were winding the cord round his limbs, while Conrad held him down.
"What the devil----?" began Tommy.
But the slow, speechless grin of the silent Conrad froze the words on his lips.
Number 14 proceeded deftly with his task. In another minute Tommy was a mere helpless bundle. Then at last Conrad spoke:
"Thought you'd bluffed us, did you? With what you knew, and what you didn't know. Bargained with us! And all the time it was bluff! Bluff! You know less than a kitten. But your number's up now all right, you b----swine."
Tommy lay silent. There was nothing to say. He had failed. Somehow or other the omnipotent Mr. Brown had seen through his pretensions. Suddenly a thought occurred to him.
"A very good speech, Conrad," he said approvingly. "But wherefore the bonds and fetters? Why not let this kind gentleman here cut my throat without delay?"
"Garn," said Number 14 unexpectedly. "Think we're as green as to do you in here, and have the police nosing round? Not 'alf! We've ordered the carriage for your lordship to-morrow mornin', but in the meantime we're not taking any chances, see!"
"Nothing," said Tommy, "could be plainer than your words--unless it was your face."
"Stow it," said Number 14.
"With pleasure," replied Tommy. "You're making a sad mistake--but yours will be the loss."
"You don't kid us that way again," said Number 14. "Talking as though you were still at the blooming Ritz, aren't you?"
Tommy made no reply. He was engaged in wondering how Mr. Brown had discovered his identity. He decided that Tuppence, in the throes of anxiety, had gone to the police, and that his disappearance having been made public the gang had not been slow to put two and two together.
The two men departed and the door slammed. Tommy was left to his meditations. They were not pleasant ones. Already his limbs felt cramped and stiff. He was utterly helpless, and he could see no hope anywhere.
About an hour had passed when he heard the key softly turned, and the door opened. It was Annette. Tommy's heart beat a little faster. He had forgotten the girl. Was it possible that she had come to his help?
Suddenly he heard Conrad's voice:
"Come out of it, Annette. He doesn't want any supper to-night."
"Oui, oui, je sais bien. But I must take the other tray. We need the things on it."
"Well, hurry up," growled Conrad.
Without looking at Tommy the girl went over to the table, and picked up the tray. She raised a hand and turned out the light.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Secret Adversary
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004