“None, sir,” the man reported, “of any consequence that I can see. There are two more young officers for the Depot, and the young lady for the Grange, and Mr. and Mrs. Silvester returned home last night. There was a commercial traveller came in the first train this morning, but he went on during the afternoon.”
“Hm! What about a Mr. Lessingham—a Mr. Hamar Lessingham?”
“I haven’t heard of him, sir.”
“Have you had the registration papers down from the hotel yet?”
“Not this evening, sir. I met the Midland and Great Northern train in myself. Her ladyship was the only passenger to alight here.”
“And I came the other way myself,” Sir Henry reflected.
“Now you come to mention the matter, sir,” the inspector continued, “I was up at the hotel this afternoon, and I saw some luggage about addressed to a name somewhat similar to that.”
“Probably sent on in advance, eh?”
“There could be no other way, sir,” the inspector replied, “unless the registration paper has been mislaid. I’ll step up to the hotel this evening and make sure.”
“You’ll oblige me very much, if you will. By Jove,” Sir Henry added, looking towards the door, “I’d no idea it was so late!”
Philippa, who had changed her travelling dress for a plain black net gown, was standing in the doorway. She looked at the inspector, and for a moment the little colour which she had seemed to disappear.
“Is anything the matter?” she asked breathlessly.
“Nothing in the world, my dear,” her husband assured her. “I am frightfully sorry I’m so late. Jimmy stayed some time, and then the inspector here looked in about our lights. Just a little more care in this room at night, he thinks. We’ll see to it, Inspector.”
“I am very much obliged, sir,” the man replied. “Sorry to be under the necessity of mentioning it.”
Sir Henry opened the door.
“You’ll find your own way out, won’t you?” he begged. “I’m a little late.”
The inspector saluted and withdrew. Sir Henry glanced round.
“I won’t be ten minutes, Philippa,” he promised. “I had no idea it was so late.”
“Come here one moment, please,” she insisted.
He came back into the room and stood on the other side of the small table near which she had paused.
“What is it, dear?” he enquired. “We are going to leave our talk till after dinner, aren’t we?”
She looked him in the face. There was an anxious light in her eyes, and she was certainly not herself. “Of course! I only wanted to know—it seemed to me that you broke off in what you were saying to the inspector, as I came into the room. Are you sure that it was the lights he came around about? There isn’t anything else wrong, is there?”
“What else could there be?” he asked wonderingly.
“I have no idea,” she replied, with well-simulated indifference. “I was only asking you whether there was anything else?”