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The Passenger from Calais eBook

Arthur Griffith
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 171 pages of information about The Passenger from Calais.

He came back more than once during the journey and stared.  No doubt he would have taken a seat in our compartment, but it was reserved for dames seules or ladies alone.  He was evidently in great doubt, so much so that I began to fear he would sheer off altogether.  That we were the women he wanted was probably borne in on him, but what had become of the baby?  I could enter into the workings of his mind on that point.  What could we have done with it?  Hidden it, left it somewhere on the road in the lost property office or at a foundling hospital?  All sorts of suggestions probably presented themselves to him, but none would satisfy him; for why, he would reason, were we travelling to Marseilles or anywhere else without it?

To tie him still to our heels, I took the opportunity of having the compartment to ourselves to revive and reconstitute the dummy.  The baby was quickly reborn behind the drawn blinds of the carriage, and when at last we arrived at Marseilles at 10.30 P.M. we sallied forth and marched in solemn procession to the Terminus Hotel under the very eyes of our watchful detective.  I almost laughed in his face as we entered the lift near the outer door, and were carried up to our rooms upon the second floor.

I slept late, and when I woke, refreshed and fortified against anything that might come, I looked out on to the little square with its fringe of plane-trees, and saw my friend Mr. Tiler walking to and fro like a sentry on his beat.  He had the hotel under observation that was clear, and it was little I should be able to do that day unknown to him.

It did not worry me in the least, for in the early hours of calm reflection that followed deep, restful sleep, I had thought out the course I should pursue.  I no longer dreaded pursuit; let them all come, the more the merrier, and I meant to fully justify Mr. Tiler in calling them to him.

I dressed slowly, lingered leisurely over my luncheon-dejeuner, and then ordered a carriage, a comfortable landau and pair.  I meant to lead my follower a fine dance, starting with the innocent intention of giving myself and my belongings an airing.  It was a brilliant day, the Southern sun struck with semi-tropical fervour, the air was soft and sleepy in the oppressive heat.  I brought out the baby undeterred, and installed it, slumbering peacefully, on Philpotts’s knees in the seat before me, and lying back with ostentatious indifference, drove off in full view of the detective.

I shot one glance back as I turned down the long slope leading to the Grace-a-Dieu Street, and was pleased to see that he had jumped into a fiacre and was coming on after me.  He should have his fill of driving.  I led him up and down and round and round, street after street, all along the great Cannebiere and out towards the Reserve, where Roubion’s Restaurant offers his celebrated fish stew, bouillabaise, to all comers.

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