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Nicol Brinn's clasp of Naida tightened cruelly.
"Oh, you hurt me!" she moaned. "Please let me speak. He gave me your name and told me to bring you!"
Nicol Brinn dropped his arms and stood, as a man amazed, watching her.
"Last night there was a meeting outside London."
"You don't want me to believe there are English members?"
"Yes. There are. Many. But let me go on. Somehow--somehow I don't understand--he finds you are one--"
"And you are not present last night! Now, do you understand? So he sends me to tell you that a car will be waiting at nine o'clock to-night outside the Cavalry Club. The driver will be a Hindu. You know what to say. Oh, my Nicol, my Nicol, go for my sake! You know it all! You are clever. You can pretend. You can explain you had no call. If you refuse--"
Nicol Brinn nodded grimly. "I understand! But, good God! How has he found out? How has he found out?"
"I don't know!" moaned Naida. "Oh, I am frightened--so frightened!"
A discreet rap sounded upon the door.
Nicol Brinn crossed and stood, hands clasped behind him, before the mantelpiece. "In," he said.
Hoskins entered. "Detective Sergeant Stokes wishes to see you at once, sir."
Brinn drew a watch from his waistcoat pocket. Attached to it was a fob from which depended a little Chinese Buddha. He consulted the timepiece and returned it to his pocket.
"Eight-twenty-five," he muttered, and glanced across to where Naida, wide-eyed, watched him. "Admit Detective Sergeant Stokes at eight-twenty. six, and then lock the door."
"Very good, sir."
Hoskins retired imperturbably.
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