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|The Secret Adversary||Agatha Christie|
XVIII The Telegram
|Page 2 of 9||
"They didn't give you any sort of hint as to where Jane was?"
Tommy shook his head regretfully.
"Not a word. I'm a bit of an ass, as you know. I ought to have got more out of them somehow."
"I guess you're lucky to be here at all. That bluff of yours was the goods all right. How you ever came to think of it all so pat beats me to a frazzle!"
"I was in such a funk I had to think of something," said Tommy simply.
There was a moment's pause, and then Tommy reverted to Mrs. Vandemeyer's death.
"There's no doubt it was chloral?"
"I believe not. At least they call it heart failure induced by an overdose, or some such claptrap. It's all right. We don't want to be worried with an inquest. But I guess Tuppence and I and even the highbrow Sir James have all got the same idea."
"Mr. Brown?" hazarded Tommy.
"All the same," he said thoughtfully, "Mr. Brown hasn't got wings. I don't see how he got in and out."
"How about some high-class thought transference stunt? Some magnetic influence that irresistibly impelled Mrs. Vandemeyer to commit suicide?"
Tommy looked at him with respect.
"Good, Julius. Distinctly good. Especially the phraseology. But it leaves me cold. I yearn for a real Mr. Brown of flesh and blood. I think the gifted young detectives must get to work, study the entrances and exits, and tap the bumps on their foreheads until the solution of the mystery dawns on them. Let's go round to the scene of the crime. I wish we could get hold of Tuppence. The Ritz would enjoy the spectacle of the glad reunion."
Inquiry at the office revealed the fact that Tuppence had not yet returned.
"All the same, I guess I'll have a look round upstairs," said Julius. "She might be in my sitting-room." He disappeared.
Suddenly a diminutive boy spoke at Tommy's elbow:
"The young lady--she's gone away by train, I think, sir," he murmured shyly.
"What?" Tommy wheeled round upon him.
The small boy became pinker than before.
"The taxi, sir. I heard her tell the driver Charing Cross and to look sharp."
Tommy stared at him, his eyes opening wide in surprise. Emboldened, the small boy proceeded. "So I thought, having asked for an A.B.C. and a Bradshaw."
Tommy interrupted him:
"When did she ask for an A.B.C. and a Bradshaw?"
"When I took her the telegram, sir."
"When was that?"
"About half-past twelve, sir."
"Tell me exactly what happened."
The small boy drew a long breath.
"I took up a telegram to No. 891--the lady was there. She opened it and gave a gasp, and then she said, very jolly like: 'Bring me up a Bradshaw, and an A.B.C., and look sharp, Henry.' My name isn't Henry, but----"
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