The Lost Ambassador eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 305 pages of information about The Lost Ambassador.
intention, and take the first train on the morrow to my brother’s house in Norfolk.  On the other hand, inclination strongly prompted me to stay where I was, to see this thing through, to see more of Felicia Delora!  I was thirty years old, free and unencumbered, a moderately impressionable bachelor of moderate means.  Until the time when the shadow of this tragedy had come into my life, which had found its culmination in the little restaurant of the Place d’Anjou, things had moved smoothly enough with me.  I had had the average number of flirtations, many pleasant friendships.  Yet I asked myself now whether there was any one in the past who had ever moved me in the same way as this girl, who was still almost a perfect stranger to me.  I hated the man, her uncle.  I hated the circumstances under which I had seen her.  I hated the mystery by which they were surrounded.  It was absolutely maddening for me to reflect that two floors below she was spending the night either with some mysterious and secret knowledge, or in real distress as to her uncle’s fate.  After all, I told myself a little bitterly, I was a fool!  I was old enough to know better!  The man himself was an adventurer,—­there could be no doubt about it.  How was it possible that she could be altogether ignorant of his character?

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.

I nodded.

“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.”

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The Lost Ambassador from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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