“But—how did you get here?”
“The Campania, of course. I had plenty of time. It was easy enough for those fellows to arrest me, but they never had a chance of holding me.”
“But how did you get away in time?”
Mr. Sabin sighed.
“It was very simple,” he said. “One day, while one of those wonderful spies was sleeping on my doormat I slipped away and went over to Washington, saw the English Ambassador, convinced him of my bonafides, told him very nearly the whole truth. He promised if I wired him that I was arrested to take my case up at once. You sent the despatch, and he kept his word. I breakfasted on Saturday morning at the Waldorf, and though a great dray was driven into my carriage on the way to the boat, I escaped, as I always do—and here I am.”
“Unhurt!” Felix remarked with a smile, “as usual!”
Mr. Sabin nodded.
“The driver of my carriage was killed, and Duson had his arm broken,” he said. “I stepped out of the debris without a scratch. Come into the Customs House now and get your baggage through. I have taken a coupe on the special train and ordered lunch.”
Before long they were on the way to London. Mr. Sabin, whilst luncheon was being served, talked only of the lightest matters. But afterwards, when coffee was served and he had lit a cigarette, he leaned over towards Felix.
“Felix,” he said, “your sister is dear to you?”
“She is the only creature on earth,” Felix said, “whom I care for. She is very dear to me, indeed.”
“Am I right,” Mr. Sabin asked, “in assuming that the old enmity between us is dead, that the last few years has wiped away the old soreness.
“Yes,” Felix answered. “I know that she was happy with you. That is enough for me.”
“You and I,” Mr. Sabin continued, “must work out her salvation. Do not be afraid that I am going to ask you impossibilities. I know that our ways must lie apart. You can go to her at once. It may be many, many months before I can catch even a glimpse of her. Never mind. Let me feel that she has you within the circle, and I without, with our lives devoted to her.”
“You may rely upon that,” Felix answered. “Wherever she is I am going. I shall be there. I will watch over her.”
Mr. Sabin sighed.
“The more difficult task is mine,” he said, “but I have no fear of failure. I shall find her surrounded by spies, by those who are now my enemies. Still, they will find it hard to shake me off. It may be that they took her from me only out of revenge. If that be so my task will be easier. If there are other dangers which she is called upon to face, it is still possible that they might accept my service instead.”
“You would give it?” Felix exclaimed.
“To the last drop of blood in my body,” Mr. Sabin answered. “Save for my love for her I am a dead man upon the earth. I have no longer politics or ambition. So the past can easily be expunged. Those who must be her guiding influence shall be mine.”