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|The Secret Adversary||Agatha Christie|
XV Tuppence Receives a Proposal
|Page 1 of 5||
JULIUS sprang up.
"I thought you were aware of that."
"When did she leave?"
"Let me see. To-day is Monday, is it not? It must have been last Wednesday--why, surely--yes, it was the same evening that you--er--fell out of my tree."
"That evening? Before, or after?"
"Let me see--oh yes, afterwards. A very urgent message arrived from Mrs. Vandemeyer. The young lady and the nurse who was in charge of her left by the night train."
Julius sank back again into his chair.
"Nurse Edith--left with a patient--I remember," he muttered. "My God, to have been so near!"
Dr. Hall looked bewildered.
"I don't understand. Is the young lady not with her aunt, after all?"
Tuppence shook her head. She was about to speak when a warning glance from Sir James made her hold her tongue. The lawyer rose.
"I'm much obliged to you, Hall. We're very grateful for all you've told us. I'm afraid we're now in the position of having to track Miss Vandemeyer anew. What about the nurse who accompanied her; I suppose you don't know where she is?"
The doctor shook his head.
"We've not heard from her, as it happens. I understood she was to remain with Miss Vandemeyer for a while. But what can have happened? Surely the girl has not been kidnapped."
"That remains to be seen," said Sir James gravely.
The other hesitated.
"You do not think I ought to go to the police?"
"No, no. In all probability the young lady is with other relations."
The doctor was not completely satisfied, but he saw that Sir James was determined to say no more, and realized that to try and extract more information from the famous K.C. would be mere waste of labour. Accordingly, he wished them goodbye, and they left the hotel. For a few minutes they stood by the car talking.
"How maddening," cried Tuppence. "To think that Julius must have been actually under the same roof with her for a few hours."
"I was a darned idiot," muttered Julius gloomily.
"You couldn't know," Tuppence consoled him. "Could he?" She appealed to Sir James.
"I should advise you not to worry," said the latter kindly. "No use crying over spilt milk, you know."
"The great thing is what to do next," added Tuppence the practical.
Sir James shrugged his shoulders.
"You might advertise for the nurse who accompanied the girl. That is the only course I can suggest, and I must confess I do not hope for much result. Otherwise there is nothing to be done."
"Nothing?" said Tuppence blankly. "And--Tommy?"
"We must hope for the best," said Sir James. "Oh yes, we must go on hoping."
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