Conyers moved to the side of the bridge. He saw Geraldine lifted into the boat, and Thomson, as soon as she was safe, clamber in after her. He watched them hauled up on to the deck of the destroyer and suddenly he recognised them.
“My God!” he exclaimed, as he dashed down the ladder. “It’s Geraldine!”
She was standing on the deck, the wet streaming from her, supported by a sailor on either side. She gasped a little when she saw him. She was quite conscious and her voice was steady.
“We are both here, Ralph,” she cried, “Hugh and I. He saved my life. Thank heavens you are here!”
Already the steward was hastening forward with brandy. Geraldine sipped a little and passed the glass to Thomson. Then she turned swiftly to her brother. There was an unfamiliar look in her face.
“Ralph,” she muttered, “don’t bother about us. Don’t stop for anything else. Can’t you find that submarine? I saw them all—the men—laughing as they passed away!”
Conyers’ eyes blazed for a moment with reminiscent fury. Then his lips parted and he broke into strange, discordant merriment.
“They’ll laugh no more in this world, Geraldine,” he cried, in fierce triumph. “They’re down at the bottom of the sea, every man and dog of them!”
She gripped him by the shoulder—Geraldine, who had never willingly hurt and insect.
“Ralph,” she sobbed, “thank God! Thank God you did it!”
It was towards the close of an unusually long day’s work and Major Thomson sighed with relief as he realised that at last his anteroom was empty. He lit a cigarette and stretched himself in his chair. He had been interviewed by all manner of people, had listened to dozens of suspicious stories. His work had been intricate and at times full of detail. On the whole, a good day’s work, he decided, and he had been warmly thanked over the wires by a Brigadier-General at Harwich for his arrest and exposure of a man who had in his possession a very wonderful plan of the Felixstowe land defences. He lit a cigarette and glanced at his watch. Just then the door was hurriedly opened. Ambrose came in without even the usual ceremony of knocking. He held a worn piece of paper in his hand. There was a triumphant ring in his tone as he looked up from it towards his chief.
“I’ve done it, sir!” he exclaimed. “Stumbled across it quite by accident. I’ve got the whole code. It’s based upon the leading articles in the Times of certain dates. Here’s this last message—’Leave London June 4th. Have flares midnight Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s steps, gardens in front of Savoy. Your last report received.’”
“‘Leave London June 4th,’” Thomson repeated, glancing at his calendar,—“to-day! ’Have flares,’—Zeppelins, Ambrose!”
The clerk nodded.
“I thought of them at once, sir,” he agreed. “That’s a very plain and distinct warning in a remarkably complicated code, and it’s addressed—to Sir Alfred Anselman.”