There was a silence of much significance for a few minutes; then Allerdyke got up from his chair with a growl.
“I’d have given a good deal if that fellow Schmall had saved his neck for the gallows!” he muttered. “He’s cheated me!”
“It’s my impression,” said the chief, “that if Miss Slade hadn’t been so smart, Schmall would have cheated his two accomplices. He had what he believed to be the parcel containing the Nastirsevitch jewels in his possession, and he also had Miss Lennard’s pearls locked up in his safe. We got those this afternoon, on searching his premises; Miss Slade gave us the real Nastirsevitch jewels from her bank. Here they are—both lots, in these parcels. And if you two gentlemen will go through the formality of signing receipts for them, you, Mr. Fullaway, can take her parcel to the Princess, and you, Mr. Allerdyke, can carry hers to Miss Lennard. And, er—” he added, with a quiet smile, as he rose and produced some papers—“you won’t mind, either of you, I’m sure, if a couple of my men accompany you—just to see that you accomplish your respective missions in safety?”
THE ALLERDYKE WAY
With the recovered pearls in his hand, and Chettle as guardian and companion at his side, Allerdyke chartered a taxi-cab and demanded to be driven to Bedford Court Mansions. And as they glided away up Whitehall he turned to the detective with a grin that had a sardonic complexion to it.
“Well—except for the law business—I reckon this is about over, Chettle,” he said. “You’ve had plenty to do, anyway—not much kicking your heels in idleness anywhere, while this has been going on!”
Chettle pulled a long face and sighed.
“Unfortunate for me, all the same, Mr. Allerdyke,” he answered. “I’d meant to have a big cut in at that reward, sir. Now I suppose that young woman’ll get it.”
“Miss Slade’ll doubtless get most of it,” replied Allerdyke. “But I think there’ll have to be a bit of a dividing-up, like. You fellows are certainly entitled to some of it—especially you—and two or three of those folks who gave some information ought to have a look in. But, of course, Miss Slade will feel herself entitled to the big lump—and she’ll take care to get it, don’t make any mistake!”
“She’s a deal too clever, that young lady,” observed Chettle. “I like ’em clever, but not quite as clever as all that. In my opinion, she’s mistaken her calling, has that young woman. She ought to have been one of us—they’re uncommonly bent that way, some of these modern misses—they can see right through a thing, sometimes, where we men can’t see an inch above our noses.”