“I have not much to say to you, Mr. Harvey,” she said. “There is just something which I have discovered and which you ought to know. I want to tell it you as quickly as possible and get away.”
“A propos of our last conversation?” he asked eagerly.
She bowed her head.
“It concerns Prince Maiyo,” she admitted.
“You are sure that you will not sit down?” he persisted. “You know how interesting this is to me.”
She smiled faintly.
“To me,” she said, “it is terrible. My only desire is to tell you and have finished with it. You remember, when I was here last, you told me that it was your firm belief that somewhere behind the hand which murdered Hamilton Fynes and poor Dicky stood the shadow of Prince Maiyo.”
“I remember it perfectly,” he answered.
“You were right,” Penelope said.
The Ambassador drew a little breath. It was staggering, this, even if expected.
“I have talked with the Prince several times since our conversation,” Penelope continued. “So far as any information which he gave me or seemed likely to give me, I might as well have talked in a foreign language. But in his house, the day before yesterday, in his own library, hidden in a casket which opened only with a secret lock, I found two things.”
“What were they?” the Ambassador asked quickly.
“A roll of silken cord,” Penelope said, “such as was used to strangle poor Dicky, and a strangely shaped dagger exactly like the picture of the one with which Hamilton Fynes was stabbed.”
“Did he know that you found them?” Mr. Blaine-Harvey asked.
“He was with me,” Penelope answered. “He even, at my request, opened the casket. He must have forgotten that they were there.”
“Perhaps,” the Ambassador said thoughtfully, “he never knew.”
“One cannot tell,” Penelope answered.
“Did he say anything when you discovered them?” the Ambassador asked.
“Nothing,” Penelope declared. “It was not necessary. I saw his face. He knows that I understand. It may have been some one else connected with the house, of course, but the main fact is beyond all doubt. Those murders were instigated, if they were not committed, by the Prince.”
The Ambassador walked to the window and back again.
“Penelope,” he said, “you have only confirmed what I felt must be so, but even then the certainty of it is rather a shock.”
She gave him her hand.
“I have told you the truth,” she said. “Make what use of it you will. There is one other thing, perhaps, which I ought to tell you. The Prince is going back to his own country very shortly.”
Mr. Harvey nodded.
“I have just been given to understand as much,” he said. “At present he is to be met with every day. I believe that he is even now in my drawing rooms.”
“Where I ought to be,” Penelope said, turning toward the door, “only I felt that I must see you first.”