He stared at me in amazement.
“But, honestly, no kid...” he remarked.
I saw that, naturally enough, he could not make head or tail of my story.
“Oh! it’s all perfectly true, in effect,” I said. “I can’t go into details. As a matter of fact, all the Jervaises’ suspicions came about as a result of our accidental meeting on the hill last night. I said nothing about it to them, you understand; and then they found out that I hadn’t slept in the house, and Miss Tattersall discovered by accident that I knew you by sight—that was when you came up to the house this morning—and after that everything I’ve ever done since infancy has somehow gone to prove that my single ambition in life has always been to help you in abducting Brenda Jervaise. Also, I wanted to fight Frank Jervaise an hour or two ago in the avenue. So, my dear Banks, have pity on me and help me to get back to London.”
Banks grinned. “No getting back to London to-night,” he said. “Last train went at 3.19.”
“Well, isn’t there some hotel in the neighbourhood?” I asked.
He hesitated, imaginatively searching the county for some hotel worthy of receiving me.
“There’s nothing decent nearer than Godbury,” he said. “Twenty-three miles. There’s an inn at Hurley of a sort. There’s no town there to speak of, you know. It’s only a junction.”
“Oh! well, I’ll risk the inn at Hurley for one night,” I said.
“What about your things?” he asked.
“Blast!” was my only comment.
“Rummest go I ever heard of,” Banks interjected thoughtfully. “You don’t mean as they’ve actually turned you out?”
“Well, no, not exactly,” I explained. “But I couldn’t possibly go back there.”
“What about writing a note for your things?” he suggested. “I’d take it up.”
“And ask them to lend me the motor?”
“I don’t expect they’d mind,” he said.
“Perhaps not. Anything to get rid of me,” I returned. “But I’m not going to ask them any favours. I don’t mind using the bally thing—they owe me that—but I’m not going to ask them for it.”
“Must have been a fair old bust up,” he commented, evidently curious still about my quarrel at the Hall.
“I told you that it ended with my wanting to fight Frank Jervaise,” I reminded him.
He grinned again. “How did he get out of it?” he asked.
“What makes you think he wanted to get out of it?” I retorted.