The light grew brighter—brighter yet; and, with the engine running very silently, the car came up almost beside her. She considered this unwise on the man’s part, yet welcomed his presence, for in this place not a soul was visible, and for the first time she began to feel afraid...
A shawl, or some kind of silken wrap, was suddenly thrown over her head!
She shrieked frenziedly, but the arm of her captor was now clasped tightly about her mouth and head. She felt herself to be suffocating. The silken thing which enveloped her was redolent of the perfume of roses; it was stifling her. She fought furiously, but her arms were now seized in an irresistible grasp, and she felt herself lifted—and placed upon a cushioned seat.
Instantly there was a forward movement of the vehicle which she had mistaken for a taxi-cab, and she knew that she was speeding through those unknown east-end streets—God! to what destination?
She could not cry out, for she was fighting for air—she seemed to be encircled by a swirling cloud of purplish mist. On—and on—and on, she was borne; she knew that she must have been drugged in some way, for consciousness was slipping—slipping...
Helpless as a child in that embrace which never faltered, she was lifted again and carried down many steps. Insensibility was very near now, but with all the will that was hers she struggled to fend it off. She felt herself laid down upon soft cushions...
A guttural voice was speaking, from a vast distance away:
“What is this that you bwring us, Mahara?”
Answered a sweet, silvery voice:
“Does it matter to you what I bringing?
It is one I hate—hate—hate!
There will be two cases of ‘ginger’ to go away some day instead of
one—that is all! Said, yalla!”
“Your pwrimitive passions will wruin us"...
The silvery voice grew even more silvery:
“Do you quarrel with me, Ho-Pin, my friend?”
“This is England, not Burma! Gianapolis"...
“Ah! Whisper—whisper it to him, and"...
Oblivion closed in upon Helen Cumberly; she seemed to be sinking into the heart of a giant rose.
IN DUNBAR’S ROOM
Dr. Cumberly, his face unusually pale, stood over by the window of Inspector Dunbar’s room, his hands locked behind him. In the chair nearest to the window sat Henry Leroux, so muffled up in a fur-collared motor-coat that little of his face was visible; but his eyes were tragic as he leant forward resting his elbows upon his knees and twirling his cap between his thin fingers. He was watching Inspector Dunbar intently; only glancing from the gaunt face of the detective occasionally to look at Denise Ryland, who sat close to the table. At such times his gaze was pathetically reproachful, but always rather sorrowful than angry.