His fingers tightened on her shoulders.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “and don’t ask me to stay to explain. When I come back I’ll have Dan with me!”
He trusted himself no further, but, clapping his hat on his head, walked out to the waiting cab.
“Back to Limehouse police station,” he directed rapidly.
“Lor lumme!” muttered the taximan. “Where are you goin’ to after that, guv’nor? It’s a bit off the map.”
“I’m going to hell!” rapped Kerry, suddenly thrusting his red face very near to that of the speaker. “And you’re going to drive me!”
THE KNIGHT ERRANT
Recognizing the superior strength of his captors, young Kerry soon gave up struggling. The thrill of his first real adventure entered into his blood. He remembered that he was the son of his father, and he realized, being a quick-witted lad, that he was in the grip of enemies of his father. The panic which had threatened him when first he had recognized that he was in the hands of Chinese, gave place to a cold rage—a heritage which in later years was to make him a dangerous man.
He lay quite passively in the grasp of someone who held him fast, and learned, by breathing quietly, that the presence of the muffler about his nose and mouth did not greatly inconvenience him. There was some desultory conversation between the two men in the car, but it was carried on in an odd, sibilant language which the boy did not understand, but which he divined to be Chinese. He thought how every other boy in the school would envy him, and the thought was stimulating, nerving. On the very first day of his holidays he was become the central figure of a Chinatown drama.
The last traces of fear fled. His position was uncomfortable and his limbs were cramped, but he resigned himself, with something almost like gladness, and began to look forward to that which lay ahead with a zest and a will to be no passive instrument which might have surprised his captors could they have read the mind of their captive.
The journey seemed almost interminable, but young Kerry suffered it in stoical silence until the car stopped and he was lifted and carried down stone steps into some damp, earthy-smelling place. Some distance was traversed, and then many flights of stairs were mounted, some bare but others carpeted.
Finally he was deposited in a chair, and as he raised his hand to the scarf, which toward the end of the journey had been bound more tightly about his head so as to prevent him from seeing at all, he heard a door closed and locked.
The scarf was quickly removed. And Dan found himself in a low-ceilinged attic having a sloping roof and one shuttered window. A shadeless electric lamp hung from the ceiling. Excepting the cane-seated chair in which he had been deposited and a certain amount of nondescript lumber, the attic was unfurnished. Dan rapidly considered what his father would have done in the circumstances.