Her uncle shook his head.
“Certainly not,” he answered. “If it wasn’t that I suppose they will arrange it so that the affair could not possibly be traced back to them, I should be in the room myself. As it is, I shall leave the matter to Leverson, the man who has just gone out. He will get as much help as he wants. Only if you hear a noise in the night, you will know what to expect.”
Virginia shivered a little.
“There will be a fight, I suppose,” she said.
“There may be some shooting,” he answered. “In any case, I am not afraid of their opening my safe-box.”
In the middle of the night Virginia was awakened by the sound of a revolver shot. She put on her dressing-gown, and, with an electric torch in her hand, started to descend the stairs. The house was already, however, a blaze of light. Electric alarm bells were ringing, and servants were hurrying toward the library. The man Leverson was sitting in an easy-chair, with an ugly gash across the temple, and one of his men had a revolver wound through the shoulder. One of the two burglars, however, whom they had surprised, was a prisoner in their hands, a pale, sullen-looking man, who had apparently accepted his fate quite philosophically. He was just being marched off by the uniformed police when Virginia arrived.
“Has anything been taken?” she asked Leverson.
“Not a thing, miss,” the man answered. “There were three of them, but two escaped. One was Bill Danes, I’m sure o’ that, and we can lay our hands upon him at any time. This one I don’t know, but they meant business. They had enough dynamite with them to blow the house up.”
She crossed to her uncle’s desk and looked downward. The carpet had apparently not been disturbed. There were no signs that it had been touched at all.
“Are these men ordinary burglars?” she asked Leverson.
“Why, I imagine so,” he answered. “Their tools are as smart a lot as ever I saw in my life. They had spies all round the house to help them escape, and this one would have got away too, if I hadn’t tripped him up.”
“Curse you!” the bound man muttered.
Virginia looked at him and shivered.
“Well, I am glad you caught one of them,” she said. “I will go and tell my uncle.”
But Phineas Duge already knew all about it. He smiled when Virginia brought him her news.
“They must be desperate indeed,” he said, “to run such risks. However, I suppose they have bought these fellows’ silence safe enough.”
The midday papers were full of the attempted burglary. Before the magistrates, the man who had been apprehended said not a word. He seemed to accept his position with stolid fatalism. The cross-examination as to his associates, and the motive of the attempted robbery, was absolutely futile.