McAllister was in the tank. His
puffing and blowing as he dove and tumbled like a
contented, rubicund porpoise, reverberated loudly among
the marble pillars of the bath at the club. It
was all part of a carefully adjusted and as rigorously
followed regimen, for McAllister was a thorough believer
in exercise (provided it was moderate), and took it
regularly, averring that a fellow couldn’t expect
to eat and drink as much as he naturally wanted to
unless he kept in some sort of condition, and if he
didn’t he would simply get off his peck, that
was all. Hence “Chubby” arose regularly
at nine-thirty, and wrapping himself in a padded Japanese
silk dressing-gown, descended to the tank, where he
dove six times and swam around twice, after which
he weighed himself and had Tim rub him down.
Tim felt a high degree of solicitude for all this
procedure, since he was a personal discovery of McAllister’s,
and owed his present exalted position entirely to
the clubman’s interest, for the latter had found
him at Coney Island earning his daily bread by diving,
in the presence of countless multitudes, into a six-foot
glass tank, where he seated himself upon the bottom
and nonchalantly consumed a banana. McAllister’s
delight and enthusiasm at this elevating spectacle
had been boundless.
“Wish I could do any one thing
as well as that feller dives down and eats that banana!”
he had confided to his friend Wainwright. “Sometimes
I feel as if my life had been wasted!” The upshot
of the whole matter was that Tim had been forthwith
engaged as rubber and swimming teacher at the club.
McAllister had just taken his fifth
plunge, and was floating lazily toward the steps,
when Tim appeared at the door leading into the dressing-rooms
and announced that a party wanted to speak to him on
the ’phone, the Lady somebody, evidently a very
cantankerous old person, who was in the devil of a
hurry, and wouldn’t stand no waitin’.
The clubman turned over, sputtered,
touched bottom, and arose dripping to his feet.
The “old person” on the wire was clearly
his aunt, Lady Lyndhurst, and he knew very much better
than to irritate her when she was in one of her tantrums.
Still, he couldn’t imagine what she wanted with
him at that hour of the morning. She’d been
placid enough the evening before when he’d left
her after the opera. But ever since she had married
Lord Lyndhurst for her second husband ten years before
she’d been getting more and more dictatorial.
“Tell her I’m in this
beastly tank; awful sorry I can’t speak with
her myself, don’cher know, and find out what
she wants. And Tim handle her
gently it’s my aunt.”
Tim grinned and winked a comprehending
eye. As McAllister hurried into his bath-robe
and slippers he wondered more and more why she had
rung him up so early. He had intended calling
on her after breakfast, any way, but “after
breakfast” to McAllister meant in the neighborhood
of twelve o’clock, for the meal was always carefully
ordered the evening before for half-past ten the next
morning, after which came the paper and a long, light
Casadora, crop of ’97, which McAllister had bought
up entire. Something must be up that
was certain. He could imagine her in her wrapper
and curl-papers holding converse with Tim over the
wire. The language of his protege might
well assist in the process for which the curl-papers
were required. There was nobody in the world,
in McAllister’s opinion, so queer as his aunt,
except his aunt’s husband. The latter was
a stout, beefy nobleman of sixty-five, with a walrus-like
countenance, an implicit faith in the perfection of
British institutions, and about enough intelligence
to drive a watering-cart. He had been rewarded
for his unswerving fidelity to party with the post
of Governor-General at a small group of islands somewhere
near the equator, and had assumed his duties solemnly
and ponderously, establishing the Bertillon system
of measurements for the seven criminals which his
islands supported, and producing quarterly monographs
on the flora, fauna, and conchology of his dominion.
Just now they were en route for England (via
Quebec, of course), and were stopping at the Waldorf.
Tim presently reappeared.
“She says you’ve got to
hike right down to the hotel as fast as you can.
She’s terrible upset. My, ain’t she
“But what’s the bloomin’ row?”
Tim looked round cautiously and lowered his voice.
“The Lyndhurst Jewels has been stole!”
The Lyndhurst Jewels stolen!
No wonder Aunt Sophia had seemed peevish, for they
were the treasured heirlooms of her husband’s
family, cherished and guarded by her with anxious
eye. McAllister had always said the old man was
an ass to go lugging ’em off down among the mangoes
and land-crabs, but the Governor-General liked to have
his lady appear in style at Government House, and
took much innocent pleasure in astonishing the natives
by the splendor of her adornment. The jewelry,
however, was the source of unending annoyance to himself,
Sophia, and everybody else, for it was always getting
lost, and burglar scares occurred with regularity
at the islands. It had been still intact, however,
on their arrival in New York.
The clubman found his uncle and aunt
sitting dejectedly at the breakfast-table in the Diplomatic
The atmosphere of gloom struck a cold
chill to our friend’s centre of vivacity.
There were also evidences of a domestic misunderstanding.
His aunt fidgeted nervously, and his uncle evaded
McAllister’s eye as they responded half-heartedly
to his cheerful salutation. That the matter was
serious was obvious. Clearly this time the jewels
must be really gone. In addition, both the Governor-General
and his lady kept looking over their shoulders fearfully,
as if dreading the momentary assault of some assassin.
McAllister inquired what the jolly mess was, incidentally
suggesting that their hurry-call had deprived him of
any attempt at breakfast. His hint, however,
fell on barren ground.
“That fool Morton has packed
all the jewelry in the big Vuitton!” exclaimed
his uncle, nervously jabbing his spoon into a grape-fruit.
“To say the least, it was excessively careless
of him, for he knows perfectly well that we always
carry it in the morocco hand-bag, and never allow
it out of our sight.” The Governor-General
paused, and took a sip of coffee.
“Well,” said McAllister,
rather impatiently, “why don’t you have
him unpack it, then?” He couldn’t for
the life of him see why they made such a row about
a thing of that sort. It was clear enough that
they were both more than half mad.
“Ah, that’s the point!
It was sent to the station with the rest of the luggage
last evening. Heaven knows it may all have been
stolen by this time! Think of it, McAllister!
The Lyndhurst Jewels, secured merely by a miserable
brass check with a number on it and the
railroad liable by express contract only to the extent
of one hundred dollars!” Before Uncle Basil
had attained his present eminence he had been called
to the bar, and his book on “Flotsam and Jetsam”
is still an authority in those regions to which later
works have not penetrated. “You see we’re
leaving at three this afternoon, but why send it all
so early unless for a purpose?” Lord
Lyndhurst nodded conclusively. He had the air
of one who had divined something.
Still Chubby failed to see the connection.
Someone, a valet evidently, had packed the jewelry
in the wrong place, and then sent the load off a little
ahead of time. What of it? He recalled vividly
an occasion when the jewels had been stuffed by mistake
into the soiled-clothes basket, but had turned up
safe enough at the end of the trip.
“If that is all,” replied
McAllister, “all you have to do is to send your
man over to the station and have the trunk brought
back. Send the fellow who packed the trunk this
Morton whoever he is.”
“No,” said his uncle,
studiously knocking in the end of a boiled egg.
“There are reasons. I wish you would go,
instead. The fact is I don’t wish Morton
to leave the rooms this morning; I I need
him.” Lord Lyndhurst again evaded the clubman’s
inquiring glance, and eyed the egg in an embarrassed
McAllister laughed. “I
guess your jewelry’s all right,” said he
cheerfully. “Certainly I’ll go.
Don’t worry. I’ll have the trunk and
the jewels back here inside of fifty minutes.
Who’s Morton, anyhow?”
“My valet,” replied Lord
Lyndhurst, lowering his voice, and looking over his
shoulder. “You wouldn’t recall him.
I engaged the man at Kingston on the way out.
As a servant I have had absolutely no fault to find
at all. You know it’s very hard to get
a good man to go to the Tropics, but Morton has seemed
perfectly contented. Up to the present time I
haven’t had the slightest reason to suspect
“Well, I don’t see that
you have any now,” said McAllister. “I
guess I’ll start along. I haven’t
had anythin’ to eat yet. Have you the check?”
Uncle Basil gingerly handed him the bit of brass.
“I secured it from Morton,” he remarked,
attacking the egg viciously.
“Secured it?” exclaimed McAllister.
The Governor-General nodded ambiguously.
Aunt Sophia during the course of the
recital had become almost hysterical, and now sat
wringing her hands in the greatest agitation.
Suddenly she broke forth:
“I told Basil he had been too
hasty! But he would have it that there was nothing
else to do! Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Why
don’t you tell him what you’ve done?”
“What in thunder have
you done?” asked McAllister, now convinced beyond
peradventure that his uncle was a candidate for the
nearest insane asylum.
Lord Lyndhurst became very red, stammered,
and jerked his thumb over his shoulder.
“Yes, secured it! Morton,
if you must know it, is locked in the clothes-closet.
I locked him!”
“He’s in there!”
suddenly wailed Aunt Sophia. “Basil put
him in! And now the jewelry’s no one knows
where, and there’s a man in the room, and I’m
afraid to stay and Basil’s afraid to go for fear
he may get out, and ”
She was interrupted by a smothered
voice that came from within the closet. McAllister
was startled, for there was something faintly, vaguely
familiar about it.
“It’s a bloomin’
houtrage, it is! Look ’ere, sir, I’ll
’ave you to hunderstand that I gives notice
at once, sir, ’ere and now, sir! It’s
a great hindignity you are a-puttin’ me to,
sir! Won’t you let me hout, sir?”
The voice ceased momentarily.
“Isn’t it awful!”
exclaimed Aunt Sophia. “He’s been
like that for over an hour!”
“Yes!” added Uncle Basil.
“At times he’s been actually abusive.”
But McAllister was lost in an effort to recall the
hazy past. Where had he heard that voice before?
“’Ang it, sir! Won’t
you let me hout, sir,” continued Morton.
“I’m stiflin’ in ‘ere, an’
I thinks there’s a rat, sir. O Lawd!
Let me hout!”
McAllister jumped to his feet.
Of course he recognized the voice! Could he ever
forget it? Had anyone ever said “O Lawd!”
in quite the same way as the majestic Wilkins?
It could be no other! By George, the old man
wasn’t such a fool after all! And
the jewels! He smote his fist upon the table,
while his uncle and aunt gazed at him apprehensively.
There was no use exciting their fears, however.
It was all plain to him, now. The clever dog!
Well, the first thing was to see what had become of
“Damn!” came in vigorous
tones from the closet, as Wilkins endeavored to assert
himself. “It’s a bloomin’ houtrage,
it is! I’ll ’ave you arrested
for hassault an’ bat’ry, I will, if you
are a guv’nor! Let me hout,
McAllister lost no time in getting
to the Grand Central Station. He was looking
for a big Vuitton trunk, and he wanted to find it quick.
For this purpose he enlisted the services of a burly
young porter, who, for the consideration of a half-dollar,
piloted the clubman through the crowded alleys of
the outgoing baggage-room, until they came upon the
familiar collection of Lord Lyndhurst’s paraphernalia
of travel. Eagerly he recognized the luggage
of his uncle’s official household. There
were his boot-boxes, his hat-boxes, his portable desk,
his dumb-bells, his bath-tub, his medicine chest,
the secretary’s trunk, the typewriter in its
case; there were his aunt’s basket trunks, and yes there
was the big Vuitton. McAllister heaved a sigh
of relief. The next thing was to get it back
to the hotel as fast as possible.
“That’s it,” said
he to the porter. “Heave it out!”
They were standing in a little open space some distance
from the entrance. The big Vuitton lay at one
side, and about it a row of other trunks roughly in
a semicircle. The porter made but one step in
the desired direction, then jumped as if he had seen
a ghost, for a big basket trunk, standing alone upon
its end apart, suddenly shook violently, its lock clicked,
the cover swung open, and out jumped a slender, sharp-featured
young man with a black mustache. It was Barney
Conville, although at first McAllister failed to recognize
“Look here you! Don’t
touch that trunk!” he exclaimed. Then he
perceived McAllister, and a look of intense disgust
overspread his face.
“It’s the Baron!”
ejaculated McAllister. “Now what the devil
do you suppose he’s been doin’ in that
trunk? Howd’y’, Baron,” he added
pleasantly, holding out his hand. “Hardly
expected to see you here. Do you take your rest
that way?” pointing to the trunk from which Conville
The detective eyed him with disapproval.
“Say,” he remarked, disdainfully,
“you give me a pain always buttin’
in an’ spoilin’ everythin’!
This here is a plant. I’m waitin’
fer a thief Jerry, the Oyster.
They’re goin’ to try an’ lift that
big striped trunk over there. It belongs to an
old party up to the Waldorf. He’s a diplomatico.”
“He’s my uncle!” cried McAllister.
“Your aunt!” snorted Barney.
“But I want to take that trunk back with me.”
“On the level?”
“Can’t help it! This
is an important job. The Oyster’s the cleverest
thief in the business. Works in with all the butlers
and valets. Why he’s got away with more’n
three thousand pieces of baggage. He’s
Barney did not finish the sentence.
Suddenly he ducked, and grabbing McAllister by the
shoulder, pulled him down with him.
“There he is now! Into
the trunk! There’s no other way! Plenty
of room!” He shoved his fat companion inside
and stepped after him. McAllister, utterly bewildered,
tried to convince himself that he was not dreaming.
He was quite sure he had taken only one Scotch that
morning, but he pinched himself, and was relieved
to get the proper reaction. When he became used
to the dim light he discovered that he was ensconced
in a dress-box of immense proportions, made of basket
work, and covered with waterproofing. Placed
on end, with a seat across the middle, it afforded
a very comfortable place of concealment. Conville
turned the key and locked the cover. Then he
poked McAllister in the ribs.
“Great joint, ain’t it?
Idee of the cap’s. Makes a fine plant,”
he whispered, affixing his eye to a narrow slit near
“Sh-h!” he added;
“he’s here. There’s another
peeper over on your side.”
McAllister followed his example, gluing
his eye to the improvised window, and discovered that
they commanded the approach to the big Vuitton.
And inside that innocent piece of luggage reposed the
glory of his uncle’s family, the heirlooms of
four centuries! He made an involuntary movement.
“Keep still!” hissed Conville,
and McAllister sank back obediently.
A young Anglican clergyman in shovel-hat
and gaiters, carrying a dainty silver-headed umbrella
in one hand and a copy of The Churchman in the
other, had approached the counter. He seemed somewhat
at a loss, gazed vaguely about him for a moment, and
then stepping up to the head baggage-man, an oldish
man with white whiskers, addressed him anxiously.
“I say, my man, I’m really
in an awful mess, don’t you know! I don’t
see my box anywhere. I sent it over from the
hotel early this morning, and I’m leavin’
for Montreal at three. The luggage-man says it
was left here by ten o’clock. Do you keep
all the boxes in this room?”
The head baggage-man nodded.
“Sorry you’ve lost your
trunk,” said he. “If it ain’t
here we haven’t got it, but like as not it’s
mixed up in one of them piles. If you’ll
wait for about ten minutes I’ll see if I can
find it for your Reverence.”
The Anglican looked shocked.
“Thanks, I’m sure,”
he murmured stiffly. He was a slight young man
with a monocle and mutton-chops.
“It’s very good of you,”
he added after a pause, with more condescension.
“Awfully awkward to be without one’s luggage,
for I have a service in Montreal to-morrow, and all
my vestments are in my box. I fear I shall miss
“Oh, I guess not!” replied
the baggage-man encouragingly. “I’ll
be with you presently. You come in and look around
yourself, and if you don’t see it I’ll
help you. This way, sir,” and he lifted
a section of the counter and allowed the clergyman
to pass in.
“My! Ain’t he clever!”
whispered Barney delightedly.
The clergyman now began a rather dilatory
investigation of the contents of the baggage-room,
bending over and examining every trunk in sight, and
even tapping the one in which they were ensconced with
the silver head of his umbrella, but after a few moments,
in apparent despair, he took his stand beside the
big trunk marked “B. C. L.,” and gazed
despondently about him. There was nothing in his
appearance to suggest that he was other than he seemed,
but Barney directed McAllister’s attention to
the copy of The Churchman, from the leaves of
which protruded two diminutive pieces of string, put
there, as it might appear, for a book-mark. And
now as the Anglican shifted from one foot to the other,
ostensibly waiting for the porter, he placed his hands
behind him and took a step or two backward toward the
big trunk. Chubby was by this time all agog.
What would the fellow do? He certainly couldn’t
be goin’ to shoulder the trunk and try to walk
off with it!
Suddenly McAllister saw the daintily
gloved hands slip a penknife from among the leaves
of the magazine and quickly sever the check from the
handle of the trunk. The Anglican altered his
position and waited until the baggage-man was once
more engaged at the other end of the counter.
Again this amiable representative of the cloth shuffled
backward until the handle was within easy reach, and
with a dexterity which must have been born of long
practice deftly tied the two ends of string around
it. With a quick motion he stepped away in the
direction of the counter, and out from the leaves
of The Churchman fell and dangled a new check
stamped “Waistcoat’s Express, N.”
“My good fellow,” impatiently
drawled the clergyman, approaching the baggage-man,
“I really can’t wait, don’cher know.
I’ve looked everywhere, and my box isn’t
here. I don’t know whether to blame that
beastly luggage-man, or whether it’s the fault
of this disgustin’ American railroad. It’s
evident someone’s at fault, and as I assume that
you are in charge I shall report you immediately.”
The elderly baggage-man regarded the
robust champion of religion before him with scorn.
“Well, son, you can report all
you like. I’ve worked in this baggage-room
eighteen years, and you’re not the first English
crank who thought he owned the hull Central Railroad,”
and he turned on his heel, while the clergyman, with
an expression of horror, ambled quickly out of the
McAllister had watched this remarkable
proceeding with enthusiastic interest, his round face
shining with the excitement of a child.
“Jiminy, but this is great!”
he exclaimed, slapping Barney upon the back.
“And to think of your doin’ it for a livin’!
Why I’d sit here all day for nothin’!
What happens next? And what becomes of the feller
that’s just gone out?”
“Oh, you ain’t seen half
the show yet!” responded Conville, pleased.
“It is pretty good fun at times. But, o’
course, this is a star performance, and we’re
sure of our man. Oh, it beats the theayter, all
right, all right! Truth’s stranger than
fiction every time, you bet. Now take this Oyster why
he’s a regular cracker-jack! Got sense enough
to be an alderman, or president, or anythin’,
but he keeps right at his own little job of liftin’
trunks, an’ he ain’t never been caught
yet. His pal’ll be along now any minute.”
“How’s that?” inquired Chubby with
“Why, don’cher see?
Jerry’s cut off the reg’lar tag, and now
the other feller’ll present a duplicate of the
one Jerry’s just hitched on. Great game,
‘Foxy Quiller,’ eh?”
McAllister admitted delightedly that
it was a great game. By George, it beat playin’
the horses! At the same time he shivered as he
realized how nearly the famous jewels had actually
been lost. Wilkins must be an awful bad egg to
go and tie up to a gang of that sort!
The baggage-man, serenely unconscious
of all that had been taking place behind his back,
and apparently not soured by his little set-to with
the Englishman, was genially assisting the great American
public to find its effects, and beaming on all about
him. People streamed in and out, engines coughed
and wheezed; from outside came the roar and rattle
of the city.
Presently there bounced in a stout
person in a yellow and black suit, with white waistcoat
and green tie, who mopped his red face with a large
silk handkerchief. Rushing up to a porter who
seemed to be unoccupied, he threw down a pasteboard
check, together with a shining half-dollar, and shouted,
“Here, my good feller, that trunk, will you?
Quick! The big one with the red letters on it ’B.
C. L.’ They sent it here from the Astoria
instead of to the steamboat dock, and my ship sails
at twelve. Now, get a move on!”
The porter grabbed the check and the
half-dollar, and falling upon the big Vuitton, rolled
it end over end out into the street, followed by its
“That’s right, that’s
right,” shouted the bounder. “Chuck
it on behind. Mus’n’t miss the boat!”
and throwing the porter another half-dollar, the sportive
traveller jumped into the hack, yelling, “Now
drive like the devil!” The door closed with
a bang, and the vehicle quickly disappeared among
the tracks and wagons of Forty-second Street.
McAllister for the first time felt distinctly uneasy.
“Look here,” he whispered
feverishly, “is it right to let him walk off
like that? Hurry! Open the trunk, or he’ll
“Sit still, and don’t
get excited!” commanded Barney. “It’s
all right,” he added condescendingly, remembering
that McAllister was unfamiliar with such mysteries.
“We’ve got him covered. He couldn’t
get away to save his neck. An’ as for follerin’
him, why he’ll carry that trunk half over New
York before he lands it where it’s goin’!”
“All right!” sighed the
clubman; “you’re the doctor. But it
seems to me you’re takin’ a lot of risk.
Your brother officer might lose track of him, or he
might drop the trunk somehow, and then where
would the jewels be?”
“Right exactly where they are
now,” replied Barney with a grin.
“In the office safe at the Waldorf. They
ain’t never left the hotel. There wasn’t
any need of it, and if I hadn’t taken ’em
out I’d ’ve had to watch ’em
here all night. Now everythin’s all right.
“And say,” he added, chuckling
at the joke of it, “I forgot to tell you.
Who do you suppose is workin’ with Jerry?
Fatty Welch! ‘Wilkins,’ you’d
call him. He’s turned up again an’
hooked on, somehow, to the Gov’nor. Me
and my side-partner’s been trailin’ ’em
both ever since your uncle hit New York. I had
the room opposite him at the Waldorf. Yesterday
mornin’ I saw Welch pack the jewelry. I
was togged out as a bell-boy, and was cleanin’
the winders. The Gov’nor’s kind of
figgity you know, and I thought we’d better
not mention anythin’ to him. Of course
I didn’t have any idea you’d come
waltzin’ along this way.”
McAllister solemnly held out his hand
to the detective. He was as demonstrative as
his narrow quarters rendered possible.
“Baron,” said he, “you’re
a corker! I’ve learned a heap this morning.”
“There’s lots of things
you never dream of, Horace,” replied Barney
“Do you remember, Baron, the
last time we met asking me to help you nab Wilkins?”
continued McAllister. “Well, I’m goin’
to make good. I’ve got him safely locked
in a closet at the hotel. He promised not to come
back, and now I’m done with him. What do
you say to that?”
“Good work!” ejaculated
Barney. “Keep it up! In time you might
make a pretty good detective.”
From Barney such a concession was
high praise, and showed intense appreciation.
On their way back to the Waldorf he explained that
the “Oyster” was one of a very few “guns”
able effectively to make use of a disguise, this being
in part due to the fact that he was the son of a clergyman,
and educated for the stage.
They were met at the door of the apartment
by Lady Lyndhurst.
“Basil has disappeared!”
she gasped. “And that awful man in the closet
has become so blasphemous that I can’t remain
with decency in the room.”
McAllister partially pacified her
by stating that the jewelry was entirely safe.
He wondered what on earth had become of the Governor.
Once inside the suite conversation became practically
impossible, owing to the sounds of inarticulate rage
which proceeded from the closet.
Barney decided to place the valet
immediately under arrest and take him to Police Headquarters.
The sooner they did so the more likely he would be
to “squeal.” He requested McAllister
to arm himself with a walking-stick, and to stand
ready to come to his assistance if, on opening the
door, he should find himself unable to cope with the
prisoner alone. Aunt Sophia was relegated to her
bedroom, the door leading to the corridor was closed
and locked, and the two prepared for the conflict.
The detective, of course, had his pistol, which he
cocked and held ready.
“Don’t fire ’till
you see the whites of his eyes!” murmured McAllister.
muttered Barney, throwing open the closet door.
“Hands up, or I’ll shoot!”
yelled the detective, as a fat, wild-eyed individual
sprung from within and burst upon their astonished
gaze. The Governor-General stood before them.
Speechless with rage, he glowered
from one to the other then in response
to their surprised inquiries broke into incoherent
explanation. He had waited on guard some ten
minutes after McAllister’s departure, and Sophia
had gone to her bedroom to finish dressing, when suddenly
the expostulations of Morton had seemed to grow fainter.
Finally they had died entirely away, and in their
place had come terrible gasps and gurgles. He
had remembered that there was no means of renewing
the air supply in the closet, and had become alarmed.
Presently all sounds had ceased. He was convinced
that Morton was being suffocated. Opening the
door, he had found the valet apparently lying there
unconscious, and had dragged him forth, whereupon
Morton had suddenly returned to life, and before he
knew it had jammed him into the closet and locked the
“He was most impertinent, too,
when he got on the outside, I can assure you,”
concluded Lord Lyndhurst indignantly. “Gave
me a lot of gratuitous advice!”
McAllister and the detective endeavored
to calm his troubled spirit, and soothe his ruffled
dignity, informing him that the jewels had been in
the hotel safe all the time. The Governor, however,
refused to take any stock whatever in their explanation.
Nothing of the sort could possibly have happened in
England. It took them an hour to persuade him
that they were not lying. The only things that
appeared to convince him at all were the disappearance
of Morton, a large bump on his own forehead, and the
actual presence of the jewelry in the safe downstairs.
Even then he sent to Tiffany’s for a man to
Barney he regarded with unconcealed
suspicion, subjecting him to an exhaustive cross-examination
upon his antecedents and occupation. The Governor
declared he was astounded at his impudence. The
idea of opening his private luggage! He would
address a communication to the authorities! It
was little better than grand larceny. It was
grand larceny, by Jupiter! Hadn’t Conville
abstracted the jewels vi et armis? Of
course he had! Damme, he would see if the
sacred rights of an English official should be trampled
on! It was trespass anyway Trespass
ab initio! Did Conville know that? It
was grand larceny and trespass. He would
lock him up.
Barney grinned, and the Governor again
became almost apoplectic.
He snorted scornfully at the detective’s
explanation about this Jerry “What-do-you-call-him the
Clam.” Pooh! Did they expect him to
believe that? Conville was a confounded,
hair-brained busybody He dwindled off,
At that moment there came a sharp
rap upon the door, and an officer in roundsman’s
“Gentleman called at the precinct
house and reported a jewelry theft in this suite.
Said the thief had been caught and locked up in a closet,
so I thought I’d drop over and see how things
He looked inquiringly at McAllister,
significantly at the Governor-General, and then caught
sight of Barney.
“Hello, Conville!” he
exclaimed. “You on the case? Well,
then I’ll drop out. Got your man, I see!”
He glanced again at the dishevelled scion of nobility
“Everythin’s all right,”
answered the detective with a chuckle. “I
guess they was fakin’ you round at the house.
By the way, I want you to meet a friend of mine Roundsman
McCarthy, let me present you to his Nibs the
The Governor glared immobile, his
stony eyes shifting from the now red and stammering
roundsman to Conville’s beaming countenance,
and back again.
“Gentlemen,” he remarked
sternly, “do you prefer Scotch or rye? You
will find cigars on the sideboard. The drinks,
as you Yankees say, are upon me!”
“By the way,” he added
to McCarthy, as McAllister filled the glasses, “would
you be so obliging as to describe the individual who
so thoughtfully notified you in regard to the loss
of the jewelry?”
“Rather stout, well-dressed
man, fat face, gray eyes,” answered McCarthy,
lighting a cigar. “Looked somethin’
like this gentleman here,” indicating the clubman.
“Spoke with a kind of English accent. Nice
appearin’ feller, all right.”
“By George! Wilkins!” ejaculated
“Damn!” exploded Uncle Basil.
“The nerve of him!” muttered Barney.