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|The Secret Adversary||Agatha Christie|
VI A Plan of Campaign
|Page 2 of 5||
"Yes. I'd recognize him anywhere."
"Hum," said Tommy doubtfully, "I don't call that much of a clue. You don't know where to look for him, and it's about a thousand to one against your running against him by accident."
"I'm not so sure about that," replied Tuppence thoughtfully. "I've often noticed that once coincidences start happening they go on happening in the most extraordinary way. I dare say it's some natural law that we haven't found out. Still, as you say, we can't rely on that. But there ARE places in London where simply every one is bound to turn up sooner or later. Piccadilly Circus, for instance. One of my ideas was to take up my stand there every day with a tray of flags."
"What about meals?" inquired the practical Tommy.
"How like a man! What does mere food matter?"
"That's all very well. You've just had a thundering good breakfast. No one's got a better appetite than you have, Tuppence, and by tea-time you'd be eating the flags, pins and all. But, honestly, I don't think much of the idea. Whittington mayn't be in London at all."
"That's true. Anyway, I think clue No. 2 is more promising."
"Let's hear it."
"It's nothing much. Only a Christian name--Rita. Whittington mentioned it that day."
"Are you proposing a third advertisement: Wanted, female crook, answering to the name of Rita?"
"I am not. I propose to reason in a logical manner. That man, Danvers, was shadowed on the way over, wasn't he? And it's more likely to have been a woman than a man----"
"I don't see that at all."
"I am absolutely certain that it would be a woman, and a good-looking one," replied Tuppence calmly.
"On these technical points I bow to your decision," murmured Mr. Beresford.
"Now, obviously this woman, whoever she was, was saved."
"How do you make that out?"
"If she wasn't, how would they have known Jane Finn had got the papers?"
"Correct. Proceed, O Sherlock!"
"Now there's just a chance, I admit it's only a chance, that this woman may have been 'Rita.' "
"And if so?"
"If so, we've got to hunt through the survivors of the Lusitania till we find her."
"Then the first thing is to get a list of the survivors."
"I've got it. I wrote a long list of things I wanted to know, and sent it to Mr. Carter. I got his reply this morning, and among other things it encloses the official statement of those saved from the Lusitania. How's that for clever little Tuppence?"
"Full marks for industry, zero for modesty. But the great point is, is there a 'Rita' on the list?"
"That's just what I don't know," confessed Tuppence.
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