The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation eBook

J. S. Fletcher
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation.

“Not a line!” replied the Princess.  “There was no need.  We met three times and arranged everything.  The only correspondence there was—­if you could call it correspondence—­was the exchange of cablegrams between Mr. James Allerdyke and Mr. Fullaway.  I saw those cablegrams—­of course the jewels were mentioned.  But I don’t believe Mr. James Allerdyke was the sort of man to leave his cablegrams lying around for somebody else to see.  I know he had them in his pocket-book.  No!” she went on, with added emphasis and conviction.  “The thing did not start over there, I’m sure.  It’s been put up here, in London.”

“Well,” observed the official, after a pause, “there’s only one thing more I want to ask you just now, Princess.  You gave these immensely valuable jewels to Mr. James Allerdyke?  Did he hand you any receipt for them?”

“A receipt which I’ve got here,” answered the Princess, tapping her hand-bag.  “And it’s all in his handwriting, and made out in the form of an inventory—­all that was at his suggestion.”

“And how,” asked the official, “were the jewels packed when given to him?”

“Very simply,” said the Princess.  “That was his suggestion, too.  They were wrapped up in soft paper and chamois leather, and put into an old cigar-box which he placed in his small travelling-bag.  That bag, he said, would never go out of his sight until he reached London, where, when he’d exhibited the jewels to Mr. Fullaway’s client, he was to lodge them in a bank.  It seemed to him that the cigar-box was a good notion—­the jewels themselves didn’t take up so much room as you might think, and he laid some very ordinary things over the top of the package—­a cake or two of soap, a sponge, and things like that—­so that, supposing the cigar-box had been opened, its contents would have seemed very ordinary, you understand?”

“And yet,” said the official softly, “the thieves evidently went straight for that cigar-box when the critical moment came.  Well,” he continued, looking round at his visitors, “I don’t know that we can do more to-night.  Is there anything any of you ladies or gentlemen wish to suggest?”

“Yes!” said Allerdyke.  “In my opinion a most important thing.  It’s my decided conviction that in this case we’ve got to offer a reward—­no mere trifling sum, but one that’ll set a few fingers tingling.  And it’s my concern, and the Princess’s, and Miss Lennard’s.  And if you’ll permit us three to have a quiet talk in yon corner of your room, I’ll tell you its result when we’ve finished.”

The result of that quiet talk—­chiefly conducted by Allerdyke with masculine force and vigour—­was that by noon of next day the exterior of every London police-station attracted vast attention by reason of a freshly-posted bill.  It was a long bill, and it set out the surface particulars of three murders, and of two robberies in connection therewith.  The particulars made interesting reading enough—­but the real fascination of the bill was in its big, staring headline—­

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The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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