“I want your permission, dear,” he went on, “to go to him. I suppose he calls himself your guardian. If he says no, you are of age. I just want you to believe that I am strong enough to put my arms, around you and to carry you away to my own world and keep you there, although an army of Mr. Fentolin’s creatures followed us.”
She turned, and he saw the great transformation. Her face was brilliant, her eyes shone with wonderful things.
“Please,” she begged, “will you say or do nothing at all for a little time, until I tell you when? I want just a few days’ peace. You have said such beautiful things to me that I want them to lie there in my thoughts, in my heart, undisturbed, for just a little time. You see, we are at the village now. I am going to call at this third cottage. While I am inside, you can go and make what enquiries you like. Come and knock at the door for me when you are ready.”
“And we will walk back together?”
“We will walk back together,” she promised him.
“I will take you home another way. I will take you over what they call the Common, and come down behind the Hall into the gardens.”
She dismissed him with a little smile. He strolled along the village street and plunged into the mysterious recesses of the one tiny shop.
Hamel met Kinsley shortly before one o’clock the following afternoon, in the lounge of the Royal Hotel at Norwich.
“You got my wire, then?” the latter asked, as he held out his hand. “I had it sent by special messenger from Wells.”
“It arrived directly after breakfast,” Hamel replied. “It wasn’t the easiest matter to get here, even then, for there are only about two trains a day, and I didn’t want to borrow a car from Mr. Fentolin.”
“Quite right,” Kinsley agreed. “I wanted you to come absolutely on your own. Let’s get into the coffee-room and have some lunch now. I want to catch the afternoon train hack to town.”
“Do you mean to say that you’ve come all the way down here to talk to me for half an hour or so?” Hamel demanded, as they took their places at a table.
“All the way from town,” Kinsley assented, “and up to the eyes in work we are, too. Dick, what do you think of Miles Fentolin?”
“Hanged if I know!” Hamel answered, with a sigh.
“Nothing definite to tell us, then?”
“What about Mr. John P. Dunster?”
“He left yesterday morning,” Hamel said. “I saw him go. He looked very shaky. I understood that Mr. Fentolin sent him to Yarmouth.”
“Did Mr. Fentolin know that there was an enquiry on foot about this man’s disappearance?” Kinsley asked.
“Certainly. I heard Lord Saxthorpe tell him that the police had received orders to scour the country for him, and that they were coming to St. David’s Hall.”