The Quest of the Sacred Slipper eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 149 pages of information about The Quest of the Sacred Slipper.

“What steps have you taken to protect yourself?”

Again the short laugh reached my ears.

“I’m afraid long residence in the East has rendered me something of a fatalist, Cavanagh!  Beyond keeping my door locked, I have taken no steps whatever.  I fear I am quite accessible!”

A while longer we talked; and with every word the conviction was more strongly borne in upon me that some uncanny menace threatened the peace, perhaps the life, of Professor Deeping.

I had hung up the receiver scarce a moment when, acting upon a sudden determination, I called up New Scotland Yard, and asked for Detective-Inspector Bristol, whom I knew well.  A few words were sufficient keenly to arouse his curiosity, and he announced his intention of calling upon me immediately.  He was in charge of the case of the severed hand.

I made no attempt to resume work in the interval preceding his arrival.  I had not long to wait, however, ere Bristol was ringing my bell; and I hurried to the door, only too glad to confide in one so well equipped to analyze my doubts and fears.  For Bristol is no ordinary policeman, but a trained observer, who, when I first made his acquaintance, completely upset my ideas upon the mental limitations of the official detective force.

In appearance Bristol suggests an Anglo-Indian officer, and at the time of which I write he had recently returned from Jamaica and his face was as bronzed as a sailor’s.  One would never take Bristol for a detective.  As he seated himself in the armchair, without preamble I plunged into my story.  He listened gravely.

“What sort of house is Professor Deeping’s?” he asked suddenly.

“I have no idea,” I replied, “beyond the fact that it is somewhere in Dulwich.”

“May I use your telephone?”

“Certainly.”

Very quickly Bristol got into communication with the superintendent of P Division.  A brief delay, and the man came to the telephone whose beat included the road wherein Professor Deeping’s house was situated.

“Why!” said Bristol, hanging up the receiver after making a number of inquiries, “it’s a sort of rambling cottage in extensive grounds.  There’s only one servant, a manservant, and he sleeps in a detached lodge.  If the Professor is really in danger of attack he could not well have chosen a more likely residence for the purpose!”

“What shall you do?  What do you make of it all?”

“As I see the case,” he said slowly, “it stands something like this:  Professor Deeping has . . . "

The telephone bell began to ring.

I took up the receiver.

“Hullo!  Hullo.”

“Cavanagh!—­is that Cavanagh?”

“Yes! yes! who is that?”

“Deeping!  I have rung up the police, and they are sending some one.  But I wish . . . "

His voice trailed off.  The sound of a confused and singular uproar came to me.

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The Quest of the Sacred Slipper from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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