Of one fact, however, he was certain—that diamond buckle belonged to Miss Celia Lennard, and she lived at an address in London which he had by that time written down in his pocket-book. And now arose the big (and, in view of what had happened, the most important and serious) question—how had Miss Celia Lennard’s diamond buckle come to be in Room Number 263? That question had got to be answered, and he foresaw that he and Miss Lennard must very quickly meet again.
But there were many matters to be dealt with first, and they began to arise and to demand attention at once. Before he had finished breakfast came a wire from Mr. Franklin Fullaway, answering his own:—
“Deeply grieved and astonished by your news. Am coming down at once, and shall arrive Hull two o’clock. In meantime keep strict guard on your cousin’s effects, especially on any sealed package. Most important this should be done.”
This message only added to the mass of mystery which had been thickening ever since the early hours of the morning. Strict guard on James’s effects—any sealed package—what did that mean? But a very little reflection made Allerdyke come to the conclusion that all these vague references and hints bore relation to the possible transaction mentioned in the various telegrams already exchanged between James Allerdyke and Franklin Fullaway, and that James had on him or in his possession when he left Russia something which was certainly not discovered when Gaffney searched the dead man.
There was nothing to do but to wait: to wait for two things—the result of the medical investigation, and the arrival of Mr. Franklin Fullaway. The second came first. At ten minutes past two a bustling, quick-mannered American strode into Marshall Allerdyke’s private sitting-room, and at the instant that the door was closed behind him asked a question which seemed to burst from every fibre of his being—
“My dear sir! Are they safe?”
THE NASTIRSEVITCH JEWELS
Allerdyke, like all true Yorkshiremen, had been born into the world with a double portion of caution and a triple one of reserve, and instead of answering the question he took a leisurely look at the questioner. He saw before him a tall, good-looking, irreproachably attired man of from thirty to thirty-five years of age, whose dark eyes were ablaze with excitement, whose equally dark, carefully trimmed moustache did not conceal the agitation of the lips beneath. Mr. Franklin Fullaway, in spite of his broad shoulders and excellent muscular development, was evidently a highly strung, nervous, sensitive gentleman; nothing could be plainer than that he had travelled from town in a state of great mental activity which was just arriving at boiling-point. Everything about his movements and gestures denoted it—the way in which he removed his hat, laid aside his stick and gloves, ran his fingers through his dark, curly hair, and—more than anything—looked at Marshall Allerdyke. But Allerdyke had a habit of becoming cool and quiet when other men grew excited and emotional, and he glanced at his visitor with seeming indifference.