Mr. Harker looked at him gratefully.
“Thank you, my lord,” he said. “Your confidence is not misplaced; indeed, it is not my fault that you have not been placed in possession of the real facts of the case before this. I certainly think it would be best for me to retain them for the present. I would suggest now that we arrange a plan by which Jasper Vermont shall expose his villainy in the actual presence of your son; otherwise, we shall have difficulty, perhaps, to convince him on my bare word.”
“That’s true enough,” put in Mortimer Shelton. “Adrien is so set on the man, that even with these proofs we shall hardly convince him of his treachery other than from Vermont’s own mouth.”
“Yes,” said Lord Barminster with a sigh. “I think you are right. But how is this to be managed?”
“I have brought with me the girl, Jessica, to whom I referred just now, and her aunt, Miss Ada Lester,” said Mr. Harker. “Both of them will be able to assist us, and I would suggest to your lordship that they be sent for, and brought into the Castle quietly. We should then be able to confront Vermont.”
“Certainly,” agreed Lord Barminster; and, crossing the room, he rang for his own confidential man.
“Simpson,” he said, when the servant appeared, “I want you to drive down, yourself, to the station.”
“The Windleham Hotel, your lordship,” interrupted Mr. Harker respectfully. “I think, too, if your lordship would have no objection, a short note from me would be advisable.”
“Certainly,” agreed Lord Barminster. He directed Harker to a small desk, then turned once more to the waiting servant. “Bring the ladies back with you. Take them into the Octagon Room, and ask them to wait there.” Then, as Mr. Harker came forward with the note, he added, “Give this to a Miss Lester.”
“Yes, my lord,” said Simpson, and taking the letter with a deep bow, he departed on his mission.
Lord Barminster conducted Mr. Harker to the Octagon Room, so named from its peculiar shape.
“If you will wait here,” he said courteously, “I will have some refreshment sent up to you and the ladies, when they arrive.”
“Thank you, my lord,” returned Mr. Harker gratefully.
Seating himself, he waited patiently for the arrival of Miss Lester and Jessica, secretly congratulating himself on the success of his interview. The time passed quickly; and, while waiting, Lord Barminster and Mortimer Shelton held a hurried consultation with him as to the best method of exposing Vermont. Long before they had finished, Miss Lester and her niece had arrived, the former flushed with excitement and triumph at the prospect of at last, as she expressed it, “getting her own back” with Jasper.
Lord Barminster and Shelton descended to the terrace, where they found Lady Constance; and almost immediately after came Adrien, with his inevitable companion, Jasper Vermont.