With that he pulled up the window from the outside, and the occupant of the limousine found himself in impenetrable darkness; for dark blue blinds covered all the windows. He lay back, endeavoring to determine what should be his next move. The car started with a perfect action, and without the slightest jolt or jar. By reason of the light which suddenly shone in through the chinks of the blinds, he knew that he was outside the covered courtyard; then he became aware that a sharp turning had been taken to the left, followed almost immediately, by one to the right.
He directed his attention to the blinds.
“Ah! nom d’un nom! they are clever—these!”
The blinds worked in little vertical grooves and had each a tiny lock. The blinds covering the glass doors on either side were attached to the adjustable windows; so that when Ho-Pin had raised the window, he had also closed the blind! And these windows operated automatically, and defied all M. Max’s efforts to open them!
He was effectively boxed in and unable to form the slightest impression of his surroundings. He threw himself back upon the soft cushions with a muttered curse of vexation; but the mobile mouth was twisted into that wryly humorous smile. Always, M. Max was a philosopher.
At the end of a drive of some twenty-five minutes or less, the car stopped—the door was opened, and the radiant Gianapolis extended both hands to the occupant.
“My dear M. Gaston!” he cried, “how glad I am to see you looking so well! Hand me your bag, I beg of you!”
M. Max placed the bag in the extended hand of Gianapolis, and leapt out upon the pavement.
“This way, my dear friend!” cried the Greek, grasping him warmly by the arm.
The Frenchman found himself being led along toward the head of the car; and, at the same moment, Said reversed the gear and backed away. M. Max was foiled in his hopes of learning the number of the limousine.
He glanced about him wonderingly.
“You are in Temple Gardens, M. Gaston,” explained the Greek, “and here, unless I am greatly mistaken, comes a disengaged taxi-cab. You will drive to your hotel?”
“Yes, to my hotel,” replied M. Max.
“And whenever you wish to avail yourself of your privilege, and pay a second visit to the establishment presided over by Mr. Ho-Pin, you remember the number?”
“I remember the number,” replied M. Max.
The cab hailed by Gianapolis drew up beside the two, and M. Max entered it.
“Good morning, M. Gaston.”
“Good morning, Mr. Gianapolis.”
LOGIC VS. INTUITION
And now, Henry Leroux, Denise Ryland and Helen Cumberly were speeding along the Richmond Road beneath a sky which smiled upon Leroux’s convalescence; for this was a perfect autumn morning which ordinarily had gladdened him, but which saddened him to-day.