“Yes,” Arnold answered, “I will do that.”
“Tell him, if indeed he has the courage which fame has bestowed upon him, to come here and bid me farewell. I have certain things to say to him.”
“I will give him your message,” Arnold promised, “but I shall not advise him to come.”
A look of anger flashed in Isaac’s face. The pistol which had never left his grip was slowly raised, only to be lowered again.
“Do as I say,” he repeated. “Tell him to come. Perhaps I may have more to say to him about that other matter than I choose to say to you.”
“About Ruth,” Isaac repeated, sternly.
“You would trust a stranger,” Arnold exclaimed, “with information which you deny me—her friend?”
Isaac waved him away.
“Be off,” he said, tersely. “I have queer humors sometimes lying here waiting for the end. Don’t let it be your fate to excite one of them. You have had your escape.”
“What do you mean?” Arnold demanded.
Isaac laughed hoarsely.
“How many nights ago was it,” he asked, “that you threw up a window in the man Weatherley’s house—the night Morris and I were there, seeking for Rosario?”
“I never saw you!” Arnold exclaimed.
“No, but you saw Morris,” Isaac continued. “What is more, you saw him again on the stairs with me that night, and it very nearly cost you your life. Lucky for you, young man, that you were not at Hampstead the night when Morris went there to seek for you!”
Arnold was speechless.
“You mean that he was there that night looking for me?” he cried.
“He hated you all,” Isaac muttered, “you and the woman and Sabatini, and he was a little mad—just a little mad. If he had found you all there—”
“Well?” Arnold interposed, breathlessly.
Isaac shook his head.
“But I do mind,” Arnold insisted. “I want to know about that night. Was it in search of us—”
Isaac held out his skinny hand. There was a dangerous glitter in his eyes.
“It is enough,” he snarled. “I have no more to say about what is past. Send me Sabatini and he shall hear news from me.”
Arnold retreated slowly towards the threshold.
“If you will take the advice of a sane man,” he said, “you will throw that thing away and escape. If I can help—”
Isaac was already creeping to his hiding-place. He turned around with a contemptuous gesture.
“There is no escape for me,” he declared. “Every day the police draw their circle closer. So much the better! When they come, they will find me prepared! If you are still here in sixty seconds,” he added, “I will treat you as I shall treat them.”
Arnold closed the door and made his way into the street.