Gerald rose impatiently to his feet and swung across the terrace. Mr. Fentolin, however, called him back.
“Gerald,” he advised, “better not go away. The inspector may desire to ask you questions. You will have nothing to conceal. It was a natural and delightful impulse of yours to bring the man who had befriended you, and who was your companion in that disaster, straight to your own home for treatment and care. It was an admirable impulse, my boy. You have nothing to be ashamed of.”
“Shall I tell him, too—” Gerald began.
“Be careful, Gerald.”
Mr. Fentolin’s words seemed to be charged with a swift, rapier-like note. The boy broke off in his speech. He looked at Hamel and was silent.
“Dear me,” Mrs. Fentolin murmured, “I am sure there is no need for us to talk about this poor man as though anybody had done anything wrong in having him here. This, I suppose, must be the Inspector Yardley whom Lord Saxthorpe spoke of.”
“A very intelligent-looking officer, I am sure,” Mr. Fentolin remarked. “Gerald, go and meet him, if you please. I should like to speak to him out here.”
The dog-cart had drawn up at the front door, and the inspector had already alighted. Gerald intervened as he was in the act of questioning the butler.
“Mr. Fentolin would like to speak to you, inspector,” he said, “if you will come this way.”
The inspector followed Gerald and saluted the little group solemnly. Mr. Fentolin held out his hand.
“You got my telephone message, inspector?” he asked.
“We have not received any message that I know of, sir,” the inspector replied. “I have come over here in accordance with instructions received from headquarters—in fact from Scotland Yard.”
“Quite so,” Mr. Fentolin assented. “You’ve come over, I presume, to make enquiries concerning Mr. John P. Dunster?”
“That is the name of the gentleman, sir.”
“I only understood to-day from my friend Lord Saxthorpe,” Mr. Fentolin continued, “that Mr. Dunster was being enquired about as though he had disappeared. My nephew brought him here after the railway accident at Wymondham, since when he has been under the care of my own physician. I trust that you have nothing serious against him?”
“My first duty, sir,” the inspector pronounced, “is to see the gentleman in question.”
“By all means,” Mr. Fentolin agreed. “Gerald, will you take the inspector up to Mr. Dunster’s rooms? Or stop, I will go myself.”
Mr. Fentolin started his chair and beckoned the inspector to follow him. Meekins, who was waiting inside the hall, escorted them by means of the lift to the second floor. They made their way to Mr. Dunster’s room. Mr. Fentolin knocked softly at the door. It was opened by the nurse.
“How is the patient?” Mr. Fentolin enquired.
Doctor Sarson appeared from the interior of the room.