The Passenger from Calais eBook

Arthur Griffith
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 213 pages of information about The Passenger from Calais.

“Just so, and all my great scheme will be ruined.  They cannot but find out, and there is no knowing what they may do.  Lord Blackadder, I know, is capable of anything.  I assure you, Colonel Annesley, I am in despair.  What can I do?”

She looked at me in piteous appeal, the tears brimming over, her hands stretched towards me with a gesture at once pathetic and enchanting.

“Say, rather, what can we do, Lady Claire,” I corrected her.  “This is my business, too, if you will allow me to say so, and I offer you my advice for what it is worth.”

“Yes, I will take it thankfully, I promise you.”

“The only safe course now is the boldest.  You must make another exchange with your sister, Lady Blackadder—­”

“Call her Lady Henriette Standish.  She has dropped the other entirely.”

“By all means.  Lady Henriette then has determined to take the first train from Amberieu at—­Have you a Bradshaw?  Thank you—­at 5.52 A.M., which will get her to Culoz at 6.48.  You must, if possible, exchange babies, and at the same time exchange roles.  I feel sure that you, at any rate, are not afraid of going to Marseilles with the real baby.”

“Hardly!” she laughed scornfully.  “But Henriette—­what is to become of her?”

“That shall be my affair.  It is secondary, really.  The first and all-important is for you to secure the little Ralph and escape with him.  It will have to be done under the very eyes of the enemy, for there is every reason to fear they will be going on, too.  The other detective, this Tiler—­I have heard them call him by that name—­will have told them of her ladyship’s movements, and will have summoned them, Falfani at least, to his side.”

“If I go on by that early train they will, no doubt, do the same.  I must not be seen by them.  They would fathom the trick of the two parties and the exchange.”

“Yet you must go on by that train.  It’s the only way.”

“Of course I might change my appearance a little, but not enough to deceive them.  Cannot I go across to the station before them and hide in some compartment specially reserved for us?”

“It might be managed.  We might secure the whole of the seats.”

“Money is no object.”

“It will do most things, especially in Switzerland.  Leave it to me, Lady Claire.  All you have to do is to be ready to-morrow morning, very early, remember.  Before 5 A.M.”

“If necessary I’ll sit up all night.”

“Well, then, that’s settled.  I’ll knock at your door and see you get some coffee.”

“Philpotts shall make it; no one in the hotel must know.  There will be the bill.”

“I will see to that.  I’ll come back after you’re ensconced, with the blinds drawn.  Sick lady on the way, via Culoz to Aix-les-Bains, must not be disturbed.  It won’t matter my being seen on the road, all the better really if my lord is there, for I have a little plan of my own, Lady Claire—­no, please don’t ask me yet—­but it will help matters, I think.”

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The Passenger from Calais from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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