“I am,” said the other. “Got a wire to hold her up.”
“Ah,” said Foster. “I expect we can get tickets on board, but if you don’t mind, we’ll wait in here. It’s freezing pretty fierce.”
He imagined that Telford or another of the gang had sent the telegram, and sat down when Pete came in. He heard the wind among the pines and the humming of the telegraph wires, but for a time this was all. Then a faint throbbing came up the valley and got louder until he could distinguish the snorting of a locomotive.
The snorting stopped, a bell began to toll, and with lights flashing the cars rolled past the shack. Foster waited a moment or two, standing at the window, and then as the conductor called “All aboard” saw a man run along the line and jump on to the step of the end car. Then, beckoning Pete, he dashed out and got on board as the train began to move.
It was with a thrill of triumph he sat down in a corner as the cars gathered speed. They would not stop for some time and the game was in his hands at last. The long chase was ended; he had run Daly down.
DALY SOLVES THE PUZZLE
The train was speeding along the hillside when Foster took Pete with him and walked through the rocking cars. As he crossed the platforms between them he met an icy wind and saw the dark pines stream by. It was obvious that the track was nearly level and the train running fast, for dusky woods and snowy banks flung back a rapid snorting and a confused roll of wheels. There were not many passengers and nobody seemed to notice Foster, until as they entered a car near the end a man raised a newspaper he was reading so that it hid his face. As they left the car Foster thought he heard a rustle, as if the paper had been lowered, but did not look round. The thing might have no meaning and he did not want to hint that he was suspicious.
He felt anxious but cool. Daly was the cleverer man and the game they must play was intricate, but Foster thought he had the better cards. The last car was empty except for two women, and leaving Pete there, he went through to the smoking compartment at its end. It had only one occupant, who looked up as he came in, and he calmly met Daly’s gaze. The fellow had his hand in his pocket and his face was rather hard, but he did not show surprise or alarm.
“Well,” he said, “we have been looking for one another for a long time and at last have met.”
Foster sat down opposite. “That’s so. When we began, you were looking for me, but since then things have, so to speak, been reversed. I’ve followed you across England and much of Canada.”
“I’ve wondered what accounted for your boldness.”
“It looked as if you knew, but if you don’t, I’m going to tell you,” Foster replied. “But I’d sooner you took your hand out of your pocket. It would be dangerous to use a pistol, because my man’s in the car. Then I left a plain statement of all I know and surmise about you, with instructions for it to be handed to the police if I don’t come back.”