“And what do you gather from all this?” Dominey asked.
“I gather that Wolff must have had friends in the neighbourhood,” Seaman replied, “or else—”
“My last supposition sounds absurd,” Seaman confessed, “but the whole matter is so incomprehensible that I was going to say—or else he was forcibly removed.”
Dominey laughed softly.
“Wolff would scarcely have been an easy man to abduct, would he,” he remarked, “even if we could hit upon any plausible reason for such a thing! As a matter of fact, Seaman,” he concluded, turning on his heel a little abruptly as he saw Rosamund standing in the avenue, “I cannot bring myself to treat this Johann Wolff business seriously. Granted that the man was a spy, well, let him get on with it. We are doing our job here in the most perfect and praiseworthy fashion. We neither of us have the ghost of a secret to hide from his employers.”
“In a sense that is true,” Seaman admitted.
“Well, then, cheer up,” Dominey enjoined. “Take a little walk with us, and we will see whether Parkins cannot find us a bottle of that old Burgundy for lunch. How does that sound?”
“If you will excuse me from taking the walk,” Seaman begged, “I would like to remain here until your return.”
“You are more likely to do harm,” Dominey reminded him, “and set the servants talking, if you show too much interest in this man’s disappearance.”
“I shall be careful,” Seaman promised, “but there are certain things which I cannot help. I work always from instinct, and my instinct is never wrong. I will ask no more questions of your servants, but I know that there is something mysterious about the sudden departure of Johann Wolff.”
Dominey and Rosamund returned about one o’clock to find a note from Seaman, which the former tore open as his companion stood warming her feet in front of the fire. There were only a few lines:
“I am following an idea. It takes me to London. Let us meet there within a few days.
“Has he really gone?” Rosamund asked.
“Back to London.”
She laughed happily. “Then we shall lunch a deux after all! Delightful! I have my wish!”
There was a sudden glow in Dominey’s face, a glow which was instantly suppressed.
“Shall I ever have mine?” he asked, with a queer little break in his voice.
Terniloff and Dominey, one morning about six months later, lounged underneath a great elm tree at Ranelagh, having iced drinks after a round of golf. Several millions of perspiring Englishmen were at the same moment studying with dazed wonder the headlines in the midday papers.
“I suppose,” the Ambassador remarked, as he leaned back in his chair with an air of lazy content, “that I am being accused of fiddling while Rome burns.”