“Idiot!” the Prince cried. “Oh, the dolt! Why, even his wife was amazed.”
“He may be all those pleasant things,” Lady Carey, said, “but he is a gentleman.”
He stopped short. The footman was standing by the side of Lady Carey’s victoria with a rug on his arm.
“Lucille,” he said thoughtfully, “is locked in the morning-room. She is prostrate with fear. If the Duke sees her everything is over. Upon my word, I have a good mind to throw this all up and cross to Paris to-night. Let England breed her own revolutions. What do you say, Muriel? Will you come with me?”
She laughed scornfully.
“I’d as soon go with my coachman,” she said.
His eyebrows narrowed. A dull, purple flush crept to his forehead.
“Your wit,” he said, “is a little coarse. Listen! You wish our first plan to go through?”
“Then you must get Lucille out of that house. If she is left there she is absolutely lost to us. Apart from that, she is herself not safe. Our plan worked out too well. She is really in danger from this Duson affair.”
The laughter died away from Lady Carey’s face. She hesitated with her foot upon the step of her carriage.
“You can go back easily enough,” the Prince said. “You are the Duke’s cousin, and you were not included in his tirade. Lucille is in the morning-room, and here is the key. I brought it away with me. You must tell her that all our plans are broken, that we have certain knowledge that the police are on the track of this Duson affair. Get her to your house in Pont Street, and I will be round this afternoon. Or better still, take her to mine.”
Lady Carey stepped back on to the pavement. She was still, however, hesitating.
“Leave her with the Duke and Duchess,” the Prince said, “and she will dine with her husband to-night.”
Lady Carey took the key from his hand.
“I will try,” she said. “How shall you know whether I succeed?”
“I will wait in the gardens,” he answered. “I shall be out of sight, but I shall be able to see you come out. If you are alone I shall come to you. If she is with you I shall be at your house in an hour, and I promise you that she shall leave England to-night with me.”
“Poor Brott!” she murmured ironically.
The Prince smiled.
“He will follow her. Every one will believe that they left London together. That is all that is required.”
Lady Carey re-entered the house. The Prince made his way into the gardens. Ten minutes passed—a quarter of an hour. Then Lady Carey with Lucille reappeared, and stepping quickly into the victoria were driven away. The Prince drew a little sigh of relief. He looked at his watch, called a hansom, and drove to his club for lunch.
Another man, who had also been watching Dorset House from the gardens for several hours, also noted Lucille’s advent with relief. He followed the Prince out and entered another hansom.