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|The Secret Adversary||Agatha Christie|
XV Tuppence Receives a Proposal
|Page 2 of 5||
But over her downcast head his eyes met Julius's, and almost imperceptibly he shook his head. Julius understood. The lawyer considered the case hopeless. The young American's face grew grave. Sir James took Tuppence's hand.
"You must let me know if anything further comes to light. Letters will always be forwarded."
Tuppence stared at him blankly.
"You are going away?"
"I told you. Don't you remember? To Scotland."
"Yes, but I thought----" The girl hesitated.
Sir James shrugged his shoulders.
"My dear young lady, I can do nothing more, I fear. Our clues have all ended in thin air. You can take my word for it that there is nothing more to be done. If anything should arise, I shall be glad to advise you in any way I can."
His words gave Tuppence an extraordinarily desolate feeling.
"I suppose you're right," she said. "Anyway, thank you very much for trying to help us. Good-bye."
Julius was bending over the car. A momentary pity came into Sir James's keen eyes, as he gazed into the girl's downcast face.
"Don't be too disconsolate, Miss Tuppence," he said in a low voice. "Remember, holiday-time isn't always all playtime. One sometimes manages to put in some work as well."
Something in his tone made Tuppence glance up sharply. He shook his head with a smile.
"No, I shan't say any more. Great mistake to say too much. Remember that. Never tell all you know--not even to the person you know best. Understand? Good-bye."
He strode away. Tuppence stared after him. She was beginning to understand Sir James's methods. Once before he had thrown her a hint in the same careless fashion. Was this a hint? What exactly lay behind those last brief words? Did he mean that, after all, he had not abandoned the case; that, secretly, he would be working on it still while----
Her meditations were interrupted by Julius, who adjured her to "get right in."
"You're looking kind of thoughtful," he remarked as they started off. "Did the old guy say anything more?"
Tuppence opened her mouth impulsively, and then shut it again. Sir James's words sounded in her ears: "Never tell all you know--not even to the person you know best." And like a flash there came into her mind another memory. Julius before the safe in the flat, her own question and the pause before his reply, "Nothing." Was there really nothing? Or had he found something he wished to keep to himself? If he could make a reservation, so could she.
"Nothing particular," she replied.
She felt rather than saw Julius throw a sideways glance at her.
"Say, shall we go for a spin in the park?"
"If you like."
For a while they ran on under the trees in silence. It was a beautiful day. The keen rush through the air brought a new exhilaration to Tuppence.
"Say, Miss Tuppence, do you think I'm ever going to find Jane?"
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