“How did he manage to escape?” asked the Governor-General.
“By jumping over the wall.”
“Over a wall ten feet high?” demanded the Governor-General.
“Without touching his hands, sir. He was very tall; must have been seven feet.”
“If you ever had an atom of gray matter, evidently this stranger has beaten it out of you. Hurry and notify the police!”
Kalora’s candid version of the whole affair was hardly less startling than that of the guards. The stranger had come over the wall suddenly, much to her alarm. He attempted to converse with her, but she sternly ordered him from the premises. He was exceedingly tall, as the guards had said, and very dark, with rather long hair and curling black mustache. He addressed her in English, but spoke with a marked German accent.
This description, faithfully set down by Popova, was carried away to the secret police of Morovenia, said to be the most astute in the world. They were instructed to watch all trains and guard the frontier and, as soon as they had their prisoner safely put away in the lower dungeon of the municipal prison, they were to notify the Governor-General, who would privately pass sentence.
A crime against any member of the ruler’s household comes under a separate category and need not be tried in public sessions. For entering a royal harem or addressing a woman of title the sentences range from the bastinado to solitary confinement for life.
No wonder Kalora waited in trembling. Like every other provincial she had much respect for the indigenous constabulary. She did not believe it possible for the pleasing stranger to break through the network that would be woven about him.
Shunning her father and sister, and shunned by them, she waited many sleepless hours in her own apartments for the inevitable news from beyond the walls.
Next morning there came to her a cheering and terrifying message.
THE ONLY KOLDO
Three hours after his pole-vault, Mr. Alexander H. Pike, wearing a dinner-jacket newly ironed by his man-slave, and with a soft hat crushed jauntily down over the right ear, was pacing back and forth in the main corridor of the Hotel de l’Europe waiting for the dread summons to the table d’hote.
He had to admit to himself that his nerves seemed to be about as taut as piano wires. He told himself that possibly he was “up against it,” and yet he had stood on the brink of disaster so often during his college career without acquiring vertigo, that the experience of the afternoon was like a joyous renewal of youth.
He had no set program but he had a feeling that if he was to be questioned he would lie entertainingly.