Appleyard nodded approval.
“Good!” he said. “That’s something, Gaffney—a good deal. We can work on from that.”
“Well?” he continued, turning to Allerdyke. “I think there’s nothing else we can do to-night? We’d better meet, all of us, at Gresham Street, at, say, ten to-morrow morning; then I shall be able to say if they return to the Pompadour to-night. It’s my impression they won’t—but we shall see.”
Allerdyke presently drove him to his hotel, wondering all the way what these last doings might really mean. They were surprising enough, but there was another surprise awaiting him. As he walked into the Waldorf the hall-porter stopped him.
“There’s a gentleman for you, sir, in the waiting-room,” he said. “Been waiting a good hour. Name of Chettle.”
THE PARCEL FROM HULL
Chettle sat alone in the waiting-room, a monument of patient resignation to his fate. His hands were bunched on the head of his walking-stick, his chin propped on his hands; his eyes were bent on a certain spot on the carpet with a fixed stare. And when Allerdyke entered he sprang up as if roused from a fitful slumber.
“I should ha’ been asleep in another minute, Mr. Allerdyke,” he said apologetically. “Been waiting over an hour, sir—and I’m dog-tired. I’ve been at it, hard at it! every minute since I left you. And—I had to come. I’ve news.”
“Come up,” said Allerdyke. “I’ve news, too—it’s been naught else but news all day. You haven’t seen Fullaway while you’ve been waiting?”
“Seen nobody but the hotel folks,” answered the detective. He followed Allerdyke up to his private sitting-room and sighed wearily as he dropped into a chair. “I’m dog-tired,” he repeated. “Fair weary!”
“Have a drink,” said Allerdyke, setting out his decanter and a syphon. “Take a stiff ’un—I’ll have one myself. I’m tired, too. I wouldn’t like this game to be on long, Chettle—it’s too exhausting. But, by the Lord Harry!—I believe it’s coming to an end at last!”
The detective, who had gladly helped himself to Allerdyke’s whisky, took a long pull at his glass and sighed with relief.