“However, to go forward to the discovery which we made about Schmall, Van Koon, and Merrifield. As soon as we made that discovery, Mr. Rayner was for going to the police at once, but I thought not—there was still certain evidence which I wanted, so that the case could be presented without a flaw. However, all of a sudden I saw that we should have to act. Ebers was found dead in a small hotel near the Docks, and at a conference in which Mr. Fullaway insisted I should join, in his rooms, and at which Van Koon, who had been playing a bluff game, was present, there was enough said to convince me that Van Koon and his associates would take alarm and be off with what they believed themselves to possess—the jewels in that parcel. So then Mr. Rayner and I determined on big measures. And they were risky ones—for me.
“I had already been down, more than once, into Whitechapel, and had bought things at Schmall’s shop, and I was convinced that he was the man who accompanied Lisette Beaurepaire to that little hotel in Eastbourne Terrace. Now that the critical moment came, after the Ebers-Federman affair, I went there again. I got Schmall outside his premises. I took a bold step. I told him that I was a woman detective, who, for purposes of my own, had been working this case, and that I was in full possession of the facts. If I had not taken the precaution to tell him this in the thick of a crowded street, he would have killed me on the spot! Then I went on to tell him more. I said that his accomplice had led him to believe that he had the Nastirsevitch jewels in a parcel in his possession. I said that Van Koon was wrong—I had them myself—I told him how I got them. He nearly collapsed at that—I restored him by saying that the real object of my visit to him was to do a deal with him. I said that it did not matter two pins to me what he and his accomplices had done—what I was out for was money, nothing but money. How much would he and the others put up for the jewels and my silence? I reminded him of the fifty thousand pound reward. He glared at me like the devil he is, and said that he’d a mind to kill me there and then, whatever happened. Whereupon I told him that I had a revolver in my jacket pocket, that it was trained on him, and that if he moved, my finger would move just as quick, and I invited him to be sensible. It was nothing but a question of money, I said—–how much would they give? Finally, we settled it at sixty thousand pounds. He was to meet me here—to-day at two—the other two were to be about—the money was to be paid to me on production of the jewels, for which purpose one of them was to go with me to my boarding-house. And—you know the rest.”
Miss Slade came to a sudden stop. She glanced at Rayner, who had been watching the effect of her story on the other men.