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Carmen's Messenger eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 280 pages of information about Carmen's Messenger.

Lawrence had done wrong, but had paid for it and made good in Canada, and now the rogue who had learned his secret would drag him down, or, as the price of silence, bring his relatives to poverty.  Foster felt that Daly was not the man to be merciful when there was an advantage to be got; one saw a sinister hint of cruelty in his coarsely-handsome face.  It would have been a relief to provoke the fellow and throw him out of the garage, but Foster knew he must deny himself this satisfaction, since it would make things worse for those he meant to shield.  He did not remember having felt so full of primitive savageness before, but he exercised his self-control.

Standing in the shadow, he turned his head, looking down at the lamp he began to take to pieces, and presently Daly said to the driver, “You had better get some food; I’ll want you soon.”

Then he came back and passing close enough to touch Foster, went up the steps and through a door.  Foster put down the lamp and strolled out of the garage.  He found dinner ready at his hotel and when he had finished went to the smoking-room, which was opposite the office.  He left the door open and by and by heard a man enter the hall and stop at the counter.

“Have you an American called Franklin here?” he asked and Foster smiled as he recognized Daly’s voice.

He had half-expected the visit, and the inquiry was cleverly framed.  Daly had not asked about a Canadian, because the accent of Western Canada is that of the United States, and Franklin resembled Featherstone enough to prompt the girl clerk to mention the latter if he were a guest.  For all that, Daly was ignorant of the Scottish character, because the Scot seldom offers information that is not demanded.

“No,” she said, “we have no American staying with us.”

Foster thought Daly opened the visitors’ book, which lay on the counter, but as he had not yet entered his name, there was nothing to be learned from it.  Still Daly might come into the smoking-room, and he picked up the Scotsman and leaning back in his chair held up the newspaper to hide his face.  After a few moments, Daly said, “I don’t know anybody here; it looks as if my friends aren’t in the town.”

Then he went along the hall, and when the door shut Foster put down the newspaper and began to think.  He imagined that Daly hardly expected to find Featherstone in Hawick, but it was curious that he was going to Langholm, which was on the best road to Lockerbie in Annandale.  It was the police Foster had tried to put off the track at the clachan by striking west across the moors, and he did not think Daly had anything to do with them.  He could see no light on the matter, but when he went back to the garage it was something of a relief to find the car had gone.

XIII

FOSTER RETURNS TO THE GARTH

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