“To Lucille, Duchesse de Souspennier.-
“You will be at the Waldorf Astoria
Hotel in the main corridor
at four o’clock this afternoon.”
The thin paper shook in Mr. Sabin’s fingers. There was no signature, but he fancied that the handwriting was not wholly unfamiliar to him. He looked slowly up towards the cabman.
“I am much obliged to you,” he said. “This is of interest to me.”
He stretched out his hand to the little wad of notes which Duson had left upon the table, but the cabdriver backed away.
“Beg pardon, sir,” he said. “You’ve given me plenty. The letter’s of no value to me. I came very near tearing it up, but for the peculiar colour pencil it’s written with. Kinder took my fancy, sir.”
“The letter is of value,” Mr. Sabin said. “It tells me much more than I hoped to discover. It is our good fortune.”
The man accepted the little roll of bills and departed. Mr. Sabin touched the bell.
“Duson, what time is it?”
“Nearly midnight, sir!”
“I will go to bed!”
“Very good, sir!”
“Mix me a sleeping draught, Duson. I need rest. See that I am not disturbed until ten o’clock to-morrow morning.
At precisely ten o’clock on the following morning Duson brought chocolate, which he had prepared himself, and some dry toast to his master’s bedside. Upon the tray was a single letter. Mr. Sabin sat up in bed and tore open the envelope. The following words were written upon a sheet of the Holland House notepaper in the same peculiar coloured crayon.
“The first warning addressed to you yesterday was a friendly one. Profit by it. Go back to Lenox. You are only exposing yourself to danger and the person you seek to discomfort. Wait there, and some one shall come to you shortly who will explain what has happened, and the necessity for it.”
Mr. Sabin smiled, a slow contemplative smile. He sipped his chocolate and lit a cigarette.
“Our friends, then,” he said softly, “do not care about pursuit and inquiries. It is ridiculous to suppose that their warning is given out of any consideration to me. Duson!”
“My bath. I shall rise now.”
Mr. Sabin made his toilet with something of the same deliberation which characterised all his movements. Then he descended into the hall, bought a newspaper, and from a convenient easy-chair kept a close observation upon every one who passed to and fro for about an hour. Later on he ordered a carriage, and made several calls down town.