Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works eBook

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“I didn’t care by then what came of it.  I didn’t even think what I was going to say.  He led me down a passage to a room with bars across the windows and long seats, and maps on the walls.  We sat and waited.  He kept his eye on me all the time; and I saw no hope.  Presently the Inspector came.  ‘Bring him in here,’ he said; I remember feeling I could kill him for ordering me about!  We went into the next room.  It had a large clock, a writing-table, and a window, without bars, looking on a courtyard.  Long policemen’s coats and caps were hanging from some pegs.  The Inspector told me to take off my cap.  I took it off, wig and all.  He asked me who I was, but I refused to answer.  Just then there was a loud sound of voices in the room we had come from.  The Inspector told the policeman to look after me, and went to see what it was.  I could hear him talking.  He called out:  ‘Come here, Becker!’ I stood very quiet, and Becker went towards the door.  I heard the Inspector say:  ’Go and find Schwartz, I will see after this fellow.’  The policeman went, and the Inspector stood with his back to me in the half-open door, and began again to talk to the man in the other room.  Once or twice he looked round at me, but I stood quiet all the time.  They began to disagree, and their voices got angry.  The Inspector moved a little into the other room.  ‘Now!’ I thought, and slipped off my cloak.  I hooked off a policeman’s coat and cap, and put them on.  My heart beat till I felt sick.  I went on tiptoe to the window.  There was no one outside, but at the entrance a man was holding some horses.  I opened the window a little and held my breath.  I heard the Inspector say:  ’I will report you for impertinence!’ and slipped through the window.  The coat came down nearly to my heels, and the cap over my eyes.  I walked up to the man with the horses, and said:  ‘Good-evening.’  One of the horses had begun to kick, and he only grunted at me.  I got into a passing tram; it was five minutes to the West Bahnhof; I got out there.  There was a train starting; they were shouting ‘Einsteigen!’ I ran.  The collector tried to stop me.  I shouted:  ‘Business—­important!’ He let me by.  I jumped into a carriage.  The train started.”

He paused, and Christian heaved a sigh.

Harz went on, twisting a twig of ivy in his hands:  “There was another man in the carriage reading a paper.  Presently I said to him, ’Where do we stop first?’ ‘St. Polten.’  Then I knew it was the Munich express—­St. Polten, Amstetten, Linz, and Salzburg—­four stops before the frontier.  The man put down his paper and looked at me; he had a big fair moustache and rather shabby clothes.  His looking at me disturbed me, for I thought every minute he would say:  ‘You’re no policeman!’ And suddenly it came into my mind that if they looked for me in this train, it would be as a policeman!—­they

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Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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