“Therefore,” he propounded, “you are working for the betterment of the least considered class, whether it be German, Austrian, British, or French?”
“That also is true,” she agreed.
“I pursue my theory, then. The issue of this war leaves you indifferent, so long as the people come to their own?”
“My work for the last few weeks amongst those men of whom you have been speaking,” she pointed out, “should prove that.”
“We are through the wood and in the open, then,” he declared, with a little sigh of relief. “Now I am prepared to trade secrets with you. I am not a friend of this country. Neither my Chief nor my Government have the slightest desire to see England win the war.”
“That I knew,” she acknowledged.
“Now I ask you for information,” he continued. “Tell me this? Your pseudo-friends have presented the supposed German terms of peace to Mr. Stenson. What was the result?”
“He is taking twenty-four hours to consider them.”
“And what will happen if he refuses?” the Baron asked, leaning a little towards her. “Will they use their mighty weapon? Will they really go the whole way, or will they compromise?”
“They will not compromise,” she assured him. “The telegrams to the secretaries of the various Trades Unions are already written out. They will be despatched five minutes after Mr. Stenson’s refusal to sue for an armistice has been announced.”
“You know that?” he persisted.
“I know it beyond any shadow of doubt.”
He nodded slowly.
“Your information,” he admitted, “is
valuable to me. Well though
I am served, I cannot penetrate into the inner circles of the
Council itself. Your news is good.”
“And now,” she said, “I expect the most amazing revelations from you.”
“You shall have them, with pleasure,” he replied. “Freistner has been in a German fortress for some weeks and may be shot at any moment. The supposed strength of the Socialist Party in Germany is an utter sham. The signatures attached to the document which was handed to your Council some days ago will be repudiated. The whole scheme of coming into touch with your Labour classes has been fostered and developed by the German War Cabinet. England will be placed in the most humiliating and ridiculous position. It will mean the end of the war.”
“And Germany?” she gasped.
“Germany,” the Baron pronounced calmly, “will have taken the first great step up the ladder in her climb towards the dominance of the world.”