“You scoundrel! You liar! You beast!” cried the officer. “To accuse this well-known and honorable gentleman, and say that he is a leader of a band of robbers! You are an impostor, a villain, and if you had been confronted with this other gentleman alone, you would have sworn that he was a bandit chief!”
Banker made no answer, but still kept his eyes fixed upon the professor. Now Captain Horn spoke: “That fellow had to say something, and he made a very wild guess of it,” he said to Barre. “I think the matter may now be considered settled. Will you suggest as much to the magistrate? Truly, I have not a moment to spare.”
Banker listened attentively to these words, and his eyes sparkled.
“You needn’t try any of your tricks on me, you scoundrel Raminez,” he said, shaking his fist at the professor. “I know you. I know you better than I did when I first spoke. If you wanted to escape me, you ought to have shaved off your eyebrows when you trimmed your hair and your beard. But I will be after you yet. The tales you have told here won’t help you.”
“Take him away!” shouted the magistrate. “He is a fiend!”
Banker was hurried from the room by two policemen.
To the profuse apologies of the magistrate Captain Horn had no time to listen; he accepted what he heard of them as a matter of course, and only remarked that, as he was not the man against whom the charges had been brought, he must hurry away to attend to a most important appointment. The professor went with him into the street.
“Sir,” said the captain, addressing Barre, “you have been of the most important service to me, and I heartily acknowledge the obligation. Had it not been that you were good enough to exert your influence with the magistrate, that rascal would have sworn through thick and thin that I had been his captain.”
Then, looking at his watch, he said, “It is twenty-five minutes to four. I shall take a cab and go directly to the legation. I was on my way to my hotel, but there is no time for that now,” and, after shaking hands with the professor, he hailed a cab.
Captain Horn reached the legation but a little while after the party from the Hotel Grenade had arrived, and in due time he stood up beside Edna in one of the parlors of the mansion, and he and she were united in marriage by the American minister. The services were very simple, but the congratulations of the little company assembled could not have been more earnest and heartfelt.
“Now,” said Mrs. Cliff, in the ear of Edna, “if we knew that that gold was all to be sunk in the ocean to-morrow, we still ought to be the happiest people on earth.”
She was a true woman, Mrs. Cliff, and at that moment she meant what she said.
It had been arranged that the whole party should return to the Hotel Grenade, and from there the newly married couple should start for the train which would take them to Calais; and, as he left the legation promptly, the captain had time to send to his own hotel for his effects. The direct transition from the police station to the bridal altar had interfered with his ante-hymeneal preparations, but the captain was accustomed to interference with preparations, and had long learned to dispense with them when occasion required.