“She shall be sent up to your sitting-room as soon as I’ve found her,” responded the manager. “This is the servants’ breakfast-hour, but—”
“Send her up there after nine o’clock,” said Allerdyke. “In the meantime I’ve another inquiry to make elsewhere.”
He found Gaffney and sent him round to the garage from which Miss Celia Lennard had obtained her midnight car, with instructions to find the chauffeur who had driven her, and to get from him what information he could as to her movements subsequent to the rencontre at Howden.
“Don’t excite his suspicions,” said Allerdyke, “but pump him for any news he can give you. I want to know what became of her.”
Gaffney speedily returned, fully informed of Miss Lennard’s movements up to a certain point. The chauffeur had just got back, and was about to seek the bed from which he had been pulled at one o’clock in the morning. He had taken the lady to York—only to find that there was no train thence to Edinburgh until after nine o’clock. So she had turned into the Station Hotel at York, to wait, and there he had left her.
There was little of importance in this, but it seemed to indicate that Miss Lennard was certainly about to travel North, and that her hurried departure from the hotel was due to a genuine desire to reach her ultimate destination as speedily as possible. While Allerdyke was wondering if it would be worth while to follow her up, merely because she had been a fellow-passenger with his cousin, the manager came to him with another telegram.
“That lady we were talking about,” he said, laying the telegram before Allerdyke, “has just sent me this. I thought you’d like to see it as you were asking about her.”
Allerdyke saw that the message was addressed to the manager, and had been dispatched from York railway station three-quarters of a hour previously.
“Please ask chambermaid to search for diamond shoe-buckle which I believe I lost in your hotel last night. If found send by registered post to Miss Lennard, 503_a_, Bedford Court Mansions, London.”
Allerdyke memorized that address while he secretly wondered whether he should or should not tell the manager that the missing property was in his possession. Finally he determined to keep silence for the moment, and he handed back the message with an assumption of indifference.
“I should think a thing of that sort will soon be found,” he observed. “Look here—never mind about sending that chambermaid to me just now; I’ll see her later. I’m going to breakfast.”
He wondered as he sat in the coffee-room, eating and drinking, if any of the folk about him knew anything about the dead man whose body had been quietly taken away by the doctors while the hotel routine went on in its usual fashion. It seemed odd, strange, almost weird, to think that any one of these people, eating fish or chops, chatting, reading their propped-up newspapers, might be in possession of some knowledge which he would give a good deal to appropriate.