The Door with Seven Locks

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Chapter 33

"THE LETTERS that Havelock showed me," said Dick, as they were driving back to town, "were, of course, written by himself. I discovered that the day he showed me a message that he said he had received that morning from Cairo. It was written in green ink, and he had two specks of green ink on the tip of his finger. I knew before that that he was deeply involved in this case."

"How did Cawler know that the big man was his brother?" asked Sneed. "That puzzles me."

Dick thought the matter over.

"He may have guessed for a long time," he said. "He's not a bad fellow, Cawler, and I'm not going to repeat the story he told me about the scientific use of a spanner. At present the 'locals' think it was caused by the car in its fall, and I see no reason in the world why I should undeceive them."

"Is your young lady's father a very rich man?" asked Sneed innocently, but quailed before Dick Martin's eye.

"Will you get it out of your head that Miss Sybil Lansdown is my 'young lady' in any respect whatever. Although her father was very rich at the time that document was written, he was a poor man when he died."

"The girl will be rich now, though," said Sneed.

"Yes," replied Dick shortly.

He had an uncomfortable feeling that the change in Sybil Lansdown's fortunes made a very considerable difference to him. He had enough money to be acquitted of any charge of fortune - hunting; but, as he argued, a girl with the immense wealth of the Selfords at her command might well hesitate to limit the possibilities of her future by…

"Anyway, I haven't spoken a word to her about that," he said, unconsciously answering his own thoughts.

But Inspector Sneed was sleeping peacefully in a corner of the car and did not reply.

Dick went home and walked straight into his bedroom and pulled open the door of the bureau where, one grisly night, a silent figure had crouched.

"They've got him, Lew," he said quietly, and closed the door.

For, strange though it may sound, Dick's heart was hottest against Stalletti for this one crime.

He dressed himself with unusual care, rejecting this cravat and selecting that, changing his shoes twice, and went back, not once, but half a dozen times to his dressing - table, there to manipulate a hair brush with delicate care; and at last, feeling a little hot and uncomfortable, he took a cab and was deposited at the door of 107, Coram Street. Passing up the stairs, he pressed the bell of the apartment, and almost immediately it was opened by Sybil; and the look of relief in her face when she saw him was a great reward.

"Thank God, you're safe," she said in a low voice. "I know that something dreadful has happened. I've only seen what was in the early editions. Mr Havelock is arrested - how terrible!"

He nodded.

"Mother isn't here," she said, and dropped her eyes. "She thought - she thought - perhaps - you would come, and that you'd like - - " She did not finish her sentence.

"And that I should like to see you alone? I think I should, Sybil," he said quietly. "Do you know you're a very rich woman?"

She looked at him incredulously.

"Lord Selford is dead. You are the heiress - at - law," he stated briefly, and then: "Is it going to make a big difference?"

"How?" she asked.

"I mean" - he was almost tongue - tied - "is it going to make you think differently in - the way you think of me?"

"How do I think of you now?" she asked, with a return to her old manner.

He pushed his fingers through his finely brushed hair.

"I don't know," he admitted lamely. And then a bright idea occurred to him. "Would you like me to tell you what I think of you?"

For answer she took him by the arm, led him into the sitting - room and, closing the door, pushed him gently into a chair.

"I should, very much," she breathed, and sat on the arm of the chair expectantly.

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