The captain had hoped to see Shirley and Burke before he left Paris, but that was now impossible, and, on his way to his hotel, after breakfasting at the Hotel Grenade, he telegraphed to them to come to him in London. He had just sent his telegram when he was touched on the arm, and, turning, saw standing by him two police officers. Their manner was very civil, but they promptly informed him, the speaker using very fair English, that he must accompany them to the presence of a police magistrate.
The captain was astounded. The officers could or would give him no information in regard to the charge against him, or whether it was a charge at all. They only said that he must come with them, and that everything would be explained at the police station. The captain’s brow grew black. What this meant he could not imagine, but he had no time to waste in imaginations. It would be foolish to demand explanations of the officers, or to ask to see the warrant for their action. He would not understand French warrants, and the quicker he went to the magistrate and found out what this thing meant, the better. He only asked time to send a telegram to Mr. Wraxton, urging him to attend him instantly at the police station, and then he went with the officers.
On the way, Captain Horn turned over matters in his mind. He could think of no cause for this detention, except it might be something which had turned up in connection with his possession of the treasure, or perhaps the entrance of the Arato, without papers, at the French port. But anything of this kind Wraxton could settle as soon as he could be made acquainted with it. The only real trouble was that he was to be married at four o’clock, and it was now nearly two.
At the police station, Captain Horn met with a fresh annoyance. The magistrate was occupied with important business and could not attend to him at present. This made the captain very impatient, and he sent message after message to the magistrate, but to no avail. And Wraxton did not come. In fact, it was too soon to expect him.
The magistrate had good reason for delay. He did not wish to have anything to do with the gentleman who had been taken in custody until his accuser, Banker by name, had been brought to this station from his place of confinement, where he was now held under a serious charge.
Ten minutes, twenty minutes, twenty-five minutes, passed, and the magistrate did not appear. Wraxton did not come. The captain had never been so fiercely impatient. He did not know to whom to apply in this serious emergency. He did not wish Edna to know of his trouble until he found out the nature of it, and if he sent word to the legation, he was afraid that the news would speedily reach her. Wraxton was his man, whatever the charge might be. He would be his security for any amount which might be named, and the business might be settled afterwards, if, indeed, it were not all a mistake of some sort.