Sir Henry glanced towards the door and listened.
“Shall I just give the key a turn, sir?” his visitor asked.
“I don’t think it is necessary,” Sir Henry replied. “They’ve all gone up to change. Now listen to me, Jimmy.”
He leaned forward and touched a spring. The false back of the cabinet, with its little array of flies, spinners, fishing hooks and tackle, slowly rolled back. Before them stood a huge chart, wonderfully executed in red, white and yellow.
“That’s a marvellous piece of work, sir,” the fisherman observed admiringly.
“Best thing I ever did in my life,” Sir Henry agreed. “Now see here, Jimmy. We’ll sail out tomorrow, or take the motor boat, according to the wind. We’ll enter Langley Shallows there and pass Dead Man’s Rock on the left side of the waterway, and keep straight on until we get Budden Wood on the church tower. You follow me?”
“Aye, aye, sir!”
“We make for the headland from there. You see, we shall be outside the Gidney Shallows, and number twelve will pick us up. Put all the fishing tackle in the boat, and don’t forget the bait. We must never lose sight of the fact, Jimmy, that the main object of our lives is to catch fish.”
“That’s right, sir,” was the hearty assent.
“We’ll be off at seven o’clock sharp, then,” Sir Henry decided.
“The tide’ll be on the flow by that time,” Jimmy observed, “and we’ll get off from the staith breakwater. That do be a fine piece of work and no mistake,” he added, as the false back of the cabinet glided slowly to its place.
Sir Henry chuckled.
“It’s nothing to the one I’ve got on number twelve, Jimmy,” he said. “I’ve got the seaweed on that, pretty well. You’ll take a drop of whisky on your way out?” he added. “Mills will look after you.”
“I thank you kindly, sir.”
Mills answered the bell with some concern in his face.
“The inspector is here to see you, sir,” he announced. “He did mention something about the lights. I’m sure we’ve all been most careful. Even her ladyship has only used a candle in her bedroom.”
“Show the inspector in,” Sir Henry directed, “and I’ll hear what he has to say. And give Dumble some whisky as he goes out, and a cigar.”
“Wishing you good night, sir,” the latter said, as he followed Mills. “I’ll be punctual in the morning. Looks to me as though we might have good sport.”
“We’ll hope for it, anyway, Jimmy,” his employer replied cheerfully. “Come in, Inspector.”
The inspector, a tall, broad-shouldered man, saluted and stood at attention. Sir Henry nodded affably and glanced towards the door. He remained silent until Mills and Dumble had disappeared.
“Glad I happened to catch you, Inspector,” he observed, sitting on the edge of the table and helping himself to another cigarette. “Any fresh arrivals?”