The next day but one, it was announced that the Enemy had moved into the bungalow. Signs of activity about the rambling place could be made out from the hanging garden at the chateau. It was necessary, however, to employ the binoculars in the rather close watch that was kept by the interested aristocrats below. From time to time the grey, blue or white-clad figure of the Enemy could be seen directing the operations of the natives who were engaged in rehabilitating Wyckholme’s “nest.”
The chateau was now under the very eye of the Enemy.
THE AMERICAN BAR
“You’re wanted at the ’phone, Mr. Britt,” said Miss Pelham. It was late in the evening a day or two afterward. Britt went into the booth. He was not in there long, but when he came out he found that Miss Pelham had disappeared. The coincidence was significant; Mr. Saunders was also missing from his seat on the window-sill at the far end of the long corridor. Britt looked his disgust, and muttered something characteristic. Having no one near with whom he could communicate, he boldly set off for the hanging garden, where Deppingham had installed the long-idle roulette paraphernalia. The quartette were placing prospective rubies and sapphires on the board, using gun-wads in lieu of the real article.
Britt’s stocky figure came down through the maze of halls, across the vine-covered bridge and into the midst of a transaction which involved perhaps a hundred thousand pounds in rubies.
“Say,” he said, without ceremony, “the Enemy’s in trouble. Bowles just telephoned. There’s a lot of excitement in the town. I don’t know what to make of it.”
“Then why the devil are you breaking in here with it?” growled Deppingham, who was growing to hate Britt with an ardour that was unmanageable.
“This’ll interest you, never fear. There’s been a row between Von Blitz and the lawyer, and the lawyer has unmercifully threshed Von Blitz. Good Lord, I’d like to have seen it, wouldn’t you, Browne? Say, he’s all right, isn’t he?”
“What was it all about?” demanded Browne. They, were now listening, all attention.
“It seems that Von Blitz is in the habit of licking his wives,” said Britt. “Bowles was so excited he could hardly talk. It must have been awful if it could get Bowles really awake.”
“Miraculous!” said Deppingham conclusively.
“Well, as I get it, the lawyer has concluded to advance the American idiosyncrasy known as reform. It’s a habit with us, my lady. We’ll try to reform heaven if enough of us get there to form a club. Von Blitz beats his Persian wives instead of his Persian rugs, therefore he needed reforming. Our friend, the Enemy, met him this evening, and told him that no white man could beat his wife, singular or plural, while he was around. Von Blitz is a big, ugly chap, and he naturally resented the interference