Later in the day, out of mere curiosity, I walked down to the offices to ask a trivial question about my baggage. It was easy to turn the talk to other matters connected with the voyage and my fellow passengers.
Several other cabins had been engaged, two of them in the name of Ludovic Tiler.
There was nothing left for me but to bide my time. I telegraphed that evening to Colonel Annesley, reporting myself, so to speak, and counted upon hearing his whereabouts in reply next day.
Tiler did not show up nor trouble me, nor did I concern myself about him. We were really waiting for each other, and we knew enough of each other’s plans to bide in tranquil expectation of what we thought must certainly follow. When I was at dinner in the hotel restaurant he calmly came into the room, merely to pass his eye over me as it were, and I took it so much as a matter of course that I looked up, and felt half-inclined to give him a friendly nod. We were like duellists saluting each other before we crossed swords, each relying upon his own superior skill.
[We need not reproduce in detail the rest of the matters set forth by Lady Claire Standish while she and the detective watched each other at Marseilles. Tiler, on the Saturday morning, made it plain, from his arrogance and self-sufficient air as he walked through the hotel restaurant, that all was going well, and he had indeed heard from Falfani that he would arrive with Lord Blackadder that night.
Later on that Saturday a telegram from Culoz reached Lady Claire from Colonel Annesley giving the latest news, and bringing down Lady Henriette’s movements to the time of her departure for Marseilles. He promised a later message from somewhere along the road with later information, and soon after 9 P.M. Lady Claire was told they were coming through by the night train, due at Marseilles at 4 A.M. next morning. Thus all the parties to this imbroglio were about to be concentrated in the same place, and it must depend upon the skill and determination of one clever woman to turn events her way.]
She goes on to say:
It was a shock to me to hear that Henriette still lingered on the fringe of danger, and I was very much disturbed at finding she might be running into the very teeth of it. But I trusted to my good fortune, and, better still, to good management, to keep her out of harm’s way until the coast was clear.
I was on the platform at 10 P.M. watching for the Blackadder lot when they appeared. Tiler was there to receive them and spoke a few words to my lord, who instantly looked round, for me no doubt, and I slipped away. I did not wish to anticipate a crisis, and he was quite capable of making a scene, even at the hotel at that time of night. I was relieved at seeing him pass on, and the more so that he did not take the turn into the Terminus Hotel, my hotel, but went towards the entrance where a carriage was waiting for him. He meant of course to put up in the town, either at the Noailles or the Louvre.