CARMEN GETS A SHOCK
On his way to Liverpool, Foster tried to review the situation calmly. His anger was vanishing, but he still felt sore and annoyed with himself. He had weakly yielded to sentimental pity for an attractive girl and had paid for it, because she had, no doubt, warned Daly, who knew from Foster’s boldness that he had learned enough to make him dangerous. The latter grimly resolved that he would not let any Quixotic folly spoil his plans again. He had been cleverly tricked, but was not beaten yet, because a study of the steamship advertisements led him to believe that Daly could not leave Liverpool until the afternoon. Moreover, the fellow was obviously afraid of him.
Arriving shortly after twelve o’clock, he drove to the Canadian Pacific office and asked a clerk for a list of the passengers by a steamer announced to sail that day. He was given a list and saw that Mr. Andrew Forbes had taken a saloon berth. This indicated that Daly had booked his passage beforehand.
“I see my friend’s on board,” Foster remarked. “Have you got a first and a second-class berth left?”
“We had,” the clerk said, smiling, “Unfortunately, the boat has gone.”
“Gone!” exclaimed Foster, who got a shock. “Don’t your steamers sail in the afternoon?”
“As a rule,” the clerk agreed. “However, this is an extra sailing, and we sent her off earlier to pick up passengers at Belfast Lough.”
Foster said nothing, but left the office with a determined look. A swift Canadian Northern liner sailed from Bristol two days later and ought to reach Quebec soon after the other boat. He thought of telegraphing to secure a berth, but decided not to do so. He had given Gordon his Carlisle address, which was all that he had promised, and although he had heard nothing from him, the police might make inquiries at the steamship offices. On the whole, it seemed safer to leave Liverpool and he took the first train to Bristol, but got out at Hereford, which was about half-way. It would be awkward if the police interfered with him now.
Reaching Bristol shortly before the steamer sailed, he had no trouble in taking a passage for himself and Pete, and arrived at Quebec about twelve hours after the Canadian Pacific boat. Daly had got a start, and although Foster did not mean to give up the chase, he felt depressed as the train sped through the forests of Ontario. It was not long since he had come that way in high spirits, looking forward with pleasure to a holiday. Now he looked back, with a feeling of unreality, on his wanderings among the Scottish bogs. All he had done seemed ridiculous and fantastic. Nobody was the better for it, while he had involved himself in a horrible tangle. The police were probably on his track and Featherstone suspected him; he had acted like a romantic boy and not a sober man. There was, however, one bright gleam; Alice trusted him, and he must show that he deserved her confidence.