Haggerty was really a fine general; he directed his army with shrewdness and little or no waste. The Jersey side was watched, East and North Rivers. The big ships Haggerty himself undertook.
From half after nine that night till noon the next day, without sleep or rest or food, excepting a cup of coffee and a sandwich, which, to a man of Haggerty’s build, wasn’t food at all, he searched. Each time he left the motor-car, the chauffeur fell asleep. Haggerty reasoned in this wise: There were really but two points of departure for a man in Mason’s position, London or South America. Ten men, vigilant and keen-eyed, were watching all fruiters and tramps which sailed for the Caribbean.
It came to the last boat. Haggerty, in each case, had not gone aboard by way of the passengers’ gangplank; not he. He got aboard secretly and worked his way up from hold to boat-deck. His chance lay in Mason’s curiosity. It would be almost impossible for the man not to watch for his ancient enemy.
At two minutes to twelve, as the whistle boomed its warning to visitors to go ashore, Haggerty put his hard-palmed hand on Mason’s shoulder. The man, intent on watching the gangplank, turned quickly, sagged, and fell back against the rail.
“Come along,” said Haggerty, not unkindly.
Mason sighed. “One question. Did Mr. Crawford advise you where to look for me?”
“No. I found you myself, Mr. Mason; all alone. It was a sporting proposition; an’ you’d have won out if y’ hadn’t been human like everybody else, an’ watched for me. Come along!”
It remains for me, then, to relate how Thomas escaped that arm of the law equally as relentless as that of the police—the customs. Perfectly innocent of intent, he was none the less a smuggler.
Killigrew took him before the Collector of the Port, laid the matter before him frankly, paid the duty, and took the gems over to Tiffany’s expert, who informed him that these sapphires were the originals from which his daughter’s had been copied, and were far more valuable. Twenty-five thousand would not purchase such a string of sapphires these days. All like a nice, calm fairy-story for children.
Immediately upon being informed of his wealth, Thomas became filled with a truly magnanimous idea. But of that, later.
A week later, to be exact.
Around and upon the terrace of the Killigrew villa, with its cool white marble and fresh green strip of lawn, illumined at each end by scarlet poppy-beds, lay the bright beauty of the morning. The sea below was still, the air between, and the heavens above, since no cloud moved up or down the misty blue horizons. Leaning over the baluster was a young woman. She too was still; and her eyes, directed toward the sea, contemplative apparently but introspective in truth, divided in their deeps the blue of the heavens and the green of the sea. Presently a sound broke the hush. It came from a neat little brown shoe. Tap-tap, tap-tap. To the observer of infinite details, a foot is often more expressive than lips or eyes. Moods must find some outlet. One can nearly perfectly control the face and hands; the foot is least guarded.