Then, just as I was half undressed, there came a soft knock at my door. I rose to my feet and stood for a moment undecided. For some time my own personal danger seemed to have slipped out of my memory. Now it came back with a sudden terrible rush. Perhaps the man Tapilow was dead! If so, this was the end!
I went out into the little hall and opened the door. The corridors outside were dimly lit, but there was no mistaking the two men who stood there waiting for me. One was obviously a police inspector, and the man by his side, although he wore plain clothes, could scarcely be anything but a detective.
I looked at the two men, and they returned my gaze with interest.
“Are you Captain Rotherby, sir?” the inspector asked.
“That is my name,” I said.
“We shall be glad to have a few words with you, sir,” he declared.
“You had better come inside,” I answered, and led the way into my sitting-room.
“We have been sent for,” the inspector continued, “to inquire into the disappearance of Mr. Delora,—the gentleman who was expected to have arrived at this hotel this evening,” he added, referring to his notes.
To me, who with a natural egotism had been thinking of my own affairs, and had been expecting nothing less than arrest, this declaration of the object of their visit had its consolations.
“We understand,” the inspector continued, “that you travelled with Mr. Delora and his niece from Folkestone to Charing Cross.”