Allerdyke’s practical mind asserted itself. He twisted the American round in another direction, and called to a porter who had picked up their bags.
“All that’s easy,” he said. “We’ll stick these things in the left-luggage spot, dine here in the station, and go straight to the concert. There, perhaps, during an interval, we might get in a word with this lady who sports two names. Come on, now.”
He hurried his companion from the cloak-room to the dining-room, gave a quick order on his own behalf to the waiter, left Fullaway to give his own, and began to eat and drink with the vigour of a man who means to waste no time.
“There’s one thing jolly certain, my lad!” he said presently, leaning confidentially across the table after he had munched in silence for a while. “This Miss Lennard, or Mamselle, or Signora de Longarde, or whatever her real label is, hasn’t got those jewels—confound ’em! Folks who steal things like that don’t behave as she’s doing.”
“I never thought she had stolen the jewels,” answered Fullaway. “What I want to know is—has she seen them, and when, and where, and under what circumstances? You’ve got her shoe-buckle all safe?”
“Waistcoat-pocket just now,” replied Allerdyke laconically.
“That’ll be an extra passport,” observed Fullaway. “Not that it’s needed, because, as I said, I’ve done business for her. Oddly enough, that was in the jewel line—I negotiated the sale of Pinkie Pell’s famous pearl necklace with Mademoiselle de Longarde. You’ve heard of that, of course?”
“Never a whisper!” answered Allerdyke. “Not in my line, those affairs. Who was Pinkie Pell, anyhow!”
“Pinkie Pell was a well-known music-hall artiste, my dear sir, once a great favourite, who came down in the world, and had to sell her valuables,” replied the American. “To the last she stuck to a pearl necklace, which was said to have been given to her by the Duke of Bendlecombe—Pinkie, they said, attached a sentimental value to it. However, it had to be sold, and I sold it for Pinkie to the lady we’re going to see to-night. Seven thousand five hundred—it’s well worth ten. Mademoiselle will be wearing it, no doubt—she generally does, anyway—so you’ll see it.”
“Not unless we get a front pew,” said Allerdyke. “Hurry up, and let’s be off! Our best plan,” he went on as they made for a cab, “will be to get as near the platform as possible, so that I can make certain sure this is the woman I saw at Howden yesterday morning—when I positively identify her, I’ll leave it to you to work the interview with her, either at this concert place or at her hotel afterwards. If it can be done at once, all the more to my taste—I want to be knowing things.”
“Oh, we’re going well ahead!” said Fullaway. “I’ll work it all right. I noticed on that poster that this affair is being run by the Concert-Director Ernest Weiss. I know Weiss—he’ll get us an interview with the great lady after she’s appeared the first time.”