“I know. They abuse it unceasingly. But, on the whole, public opinion swings to the side of the Government. They will not go against it.”
Again the Russian’s fingers drummed on the table.
“To the point, my friend. I was given to understand that there was a certain document in existence which assured success.”
“That is so. If that document were placed before the leaders, the result would be immediate. They would publish it broadcast throughout England, and declare for the revolution without a moment’s hesitation. The Government would be broken finally and completely.”
“Then what more do you want?”
“The document itself,” said the German bluntly.
“Ah! It is not in your possession? But you know where it is?”
“Does anyone know where it is?”
“One person—perhaps. And we are not sure of that even.”
“Who is this person?”
Tommy held his breath.
“A girl?” The Russian’s voice rose contemptuously. “And you have not made her speak? In Russia we have ways of making a girl talk.”
“This case is different,” said the German sullenly.
“How—different?” He paused a moment, then went on: “Where is the girl now?”
But Tommy heard no more. A crashing blow descended on his head, and all was darkness.
TUPPENCE ENTERS DOMESTIC SERVICE
When Tommy set forth on the trail of the two men, it took all Tuppence’s self-command to refrain from accompanying him. However, she contained herself as best she might, consoled by the reflection that her reasoning had been justified by events. The two men had undoubtedly come from the second floor flat, and that one slender thread of the name “Rita” had set the Young Adventurers once more upon the track of the abductors of Jane Finn.
The question was what to do next? Tuppence hated letting the grass grow under her feet. Tommy was amply employed, and debarred from joining him in the chase, the girl felt at a loose end. She retraced her steps to the entrance hall of the mansions. It was now tenanted by a small lift-boy, who was polishing brass fittings, and whistling the latest air with a good deal of vigour and a reasonable amount of accuracy.
He glanced round at Tuppence’s entry. There was a certain amount of the gamin element in the girl, at all events she invariably got on well with small boys. A sympathetic bond seemed instantly to be formed. She reflected that an ally in the enemy’s camp, so to speak, was not to be despised.
“Well, William,” she remarked cheerfully, in the best approved hospital-early-morning style, “getting a good shine up?”
The boy grinned responsively.