The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation eBook

J. S. Fletcher
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 228 pages of information about The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation.

“Egad, it’s a queer business!” he muttered.  “A thread here, a thread there!—­Heaven knows what it’ll all come to.  But this Chettle’s a good ’un—­he’s like to do things.”

Chettle joined him in the smoking-room of the hotel at a quarter to seven, and immediately produced a telegram.

“Came half an hour ago,” he said as they sat down in a corner.  “Nobody but myself seen it up to now.  And—­it’s just what I expected.  Read it.”

Allerdyke slowly read the message through, pondering over it—­

“We have made fullest inquiries concerning Lydenberg.  He was certainly not in practice here either under that or any other name.  Nothing is known of him as a resident in this city.  We have definitely ascertained that he came to Christiania from Copenhagen, by land, via Lund and Copenhagen, arriving Christiania May 7th, and that he left here by steamship Perisco for Hull, May 10th.”

“You notice the dates?” observed Chettle.  “May 7th and 10th.  Now, it was on May 8th that your cousin wired to Fullaway from Christiania, Mr. Allerdyke—­there’s no doubt about it!  This man, Lydenberg, whoever he is or was, was sent to waylay your cousin at Christiania—­sent from London.  I’ve worked it out—­he went overland—­Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway.  Sounds a lot—­but it’s a quick journey.  Sir—­he was sent!  And the sooner we find out about that photograph the better.”

“I’m at work,” answered Allerdyke.  “Leave it to me.”

He found his morocco-bound photograph album awaiting him when he arrived at the Waldorf Hotel next day, and during the afternoon he took it in his hand and strolled quietly and casually into Franklin Fullaway’s rooms.  Everything there looked as he had always seen it—­Mrs. Marlow, charming as ever, was tapping steadily at her typewriter:  Fullaway, himself a large cigar in his mouth, was reading the American newspapers, just arrived, in his own sanctum.  He greeted Allerdyke with enthusiasm.

“Been away since yesterday, eh?” he said, after warm greetings.  “Home?”

“Aye, I’ve been down to Yorkshire,” responded Allerdyke offhandedly.  “One or two things I wanted to see to, and some things I wanted to get.  This is one of ’em.”

“Family Bible?” inquired Fullaway, eyeing the solemnly bound album.

“No.  Photos,” answered Allerdyke.  He was going to test things at once, and he opened the book at the fateful page.  “I’m a bit of an amateur photographer,” he went on, with a laugh.  “Here’s what’s probably the last photo ever taken of James.  What d’ye think of it?”

Fullaway glanced at the photograph, all unconscious that his caller was watching him as he had never been watched in his life.  He waved his cigar at the open page.

“Oh!” he said airily.  “A remarkably good likeness—­wonderful!  I said so when I saw it before—­excellent likeness, Allerdyke, excellent!  Couldn’t be beaten by a professional.  Excellent!”

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