A car was coming down the hill and Foster stopped behind a tramway cable-post and took out his pipe as if he meant to strike a match. Just then a tram-car rolled across the bridge and the motor swerved towards the spot where he stood. It passed close enough for him to have touched it, and he saw Daly sitting beside the driver, and two ladies behind. He could not distinguish their faces, for the car sped across the bridge and a few moments later its tail light vanished among the houses that ran down to the river.
Foster set off after it as fast as he could walk. Daly would not go to the station, because there was no train south for some time, and the two hotels where motorists generally stayed were not far off. Still he might drive through the town, making for Kendal or Lancaster, in which case Foster would lose him. The car was not in the first garage, and he hurried to the other, attached to his hotel. He found the car, splashed with mud which the driver, whom he had seen at Hawick, was washing off.
“I want some petrol, and you had better leave me a clear road to the door,” the man said to a garage hand. “I expect we’ll be out first in the morning, because we mean to start as soon as it’s light.”
Foster had heard enough, and quickly went away. Daly meant to stop the night, and he must decide what to say to him. He was moreover curious about his companions.
DALY TAKES ALARM
When he returned to the hotel Foster signed the visitors’ book, which he examined. Daly’s name was not there, but the last entry recorded the arrival of Mr. Forbes and two ladies from Edinburgh, and Foster did not doubt that this was the party he had seen. He next went to the smoking-room and choosing a quiet corner, lighted a cigarette. Daly would probably see his name in the book, but this did not matter, because he meant to seek an interview with the man. Foster did not think he had met Graham, which gave him the advantage of being able to make a surprise attack, since Daly would not know about the documents he carried.
By and by, however, he began to see the matter in a different light. Taking it for granted that Daly meant to leave England, it might be better to let him go. Even if he had not killed Fred Hulton, he had obviously had something to do with the theft of the bonds, and would be more afraid of detection in Canada, which would make him easier to deal with. Besides, his knowledge of Lawrence Featherstone’s offense would be of less use to him there. If Foster could keep him in sight and sail by the same vessel, he would be able to have the reckoning when he liked after the ship left port.