The Lost Ambassador eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 305 pages of information about The Lost Ambassador.
of absolute terror.  Bartot for a moment shrank back in his chair as though he had been struck, only to recover himself the next second; and the lady with the turquoises bent over and whispered in his ear.  One person only left his place,—­a young man who had been sitting at a table at the other end of the room with one of the gayest parties.  At the very first note of alarm he had sprung to his feet.  A few seconds later, with swift, silent movements and face as pale as a ghost, he had vanished into the little service room from which the waiters issued and returned.  With his disappearance the curious spell which seemed to have fallen upon these other people passed away.  The waiters resumed their tasks.  The room was once more hilariously gay.  Upon the threshold a newcomer was standing, a tall man in correct morning dress, with a short gray beard and a tiny red ribbon in his button-hole.  He stood there smiling slightly—­an unobtrusive entrance, such as might have befitted any habitue of the place.  Yet all the time his eyes were travelling restlessly up and down the room.  As he stood there, one could fancy there was not a face into which he did not look during those few minutes.



I leaned towards Louis, but he anticipated my question.  His hand had caught my wrist and was pinning it down to the table.

“Wait!” he muttered—­“wait!  You perceive that we are drinking wine of the vintage of ’98.  I will tell you of my trip to the vineyards.  Do not look at that man as though his appearance was anything remarkable.  You are not an habitue here, and he will take notice of you.”

As one who speaks upon the subject most interesting to him, Louis, with the gestures and swift, nervous diction of his race, talked to me of the vineyards and the cellars of the famous champagne house whose wine we were drinking.  I did my best to listen intelligently, but every moment I found my eyes straying towards this new arrival, now deep in apparently pleasant conversation with Monsieur Carvin.

The newcomer had the air of one who has looked in to smile around at his acquaintances and pass on.  He accepted a cigarette from Carvin, but he did not sit down, and I saw him smile a polite refusal as a small table was pointed out to him.  He strolled a little into the place and he bowed pleasantly to several with whom he seemed to be acquainted, amongst whom was the man Bartot.  He waved his hand to others further down the room.  His circle of acquaintances, indeed, seemed unlimited.  Then, with a long hand-shake and some parting jest, he took leave of Monsieur Carvin and disappeared.  Somehow or other one seemed to feel the breath of relief which went shivering through the room as he departed.  Louis answered then my unspoken question.

“That,” he said, “is a very great man.  His name is Monsieur Myers.”

“The head of the police!” I exclaimed.

Project Gutenberg
The Lost Ambassador from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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