Hastily I packed my bag, and the good officer endeavoured to help me, packing up anything he could see in the room and thrusting it in with my things. Unfortunately he kept packing my brother’s things in as well, and so when his back was turned I thrust them back into my brother’s bed, for I did not want it known he was about there too.
Having finally filled my portmanteau, my next care was to leave a warning lest he too should be entrapped. So while ostensibly paying the bill to the landlord of the house, who had been called up by the police, I wrote a warning note on a scrap of paper, which I jammed on the candle, where my brother could not fail to find it when he came home later on, and then I went off to the station, and was taken back to the capital by a Hussar officer of congenial temperament.
With all good feeling and the true hospitality of his kind, he insisted on buying half a dozen bottles of beer for my consumption—since I was an Englishman—and he helped me with the ordeal during the small hours of the morning.
On reaching the capital I was put into a hotel, my passport taken from me, and I was told that I should be expected to remain there until called for. In the meantime I might go about the city, but was not to take myself away without permission. I very soon found that I was being watched by a detective told off for the purpose, and then it was that I made the acquaintance of a foreign spy who was acting as waiter in the hotel. He was so well informed on higher politics, as well as on military matters, that I guessed he must be an officer of the intelligence staff, and he was most helpful and kind to me in my predicament.
He pointed out to me who were the detectives in the hotel staff, and informed me that their duty was merely to watch me, to ascertain what my moves were day by day, and to report them by telephone to the head police office. He advised me before going out each day to inform the hall porter, thereby letting the detectives overhear what were my plans; they would then telephone to the police, who would have their own detectives watching me while I was out.
Within a short time my brother rejoined me from the manoeuvre area, but by doing so he at once came under observation and under suspicion, and we were practically a pair of prisoners. So much was this the case that a few days later we received a visit at daybreak one morning, from a friend in power, who was also in touch with the police, and he advised us that the best course we could take was to escape from the country while it was possible, he undertaking quietly to make arrangements for us. The idea was that we should slip away to a seaport, where we could get on to a British steamer as two of the crew and so pass out of the country.
That was the scheme. But the difficulty was how to play it off. A ship was found whose captain was willing to receive us provided that we could get to him without being observed. With the aid of our friendly waiter, we let the detective at the hotel understand that we were tired of being under suspicion, and that we were boldly going to take the train and leave the country.