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A small plate affixed to the scabbard reads “To H.B.T. in sincere admiration from W.S.H.” In a barely furnished bedroom on the first floor a naked gas jet cast a trembling light on a haggard, unshaven man who tossed on the bed, coughing incessantly. Mr. Treadgold thrust the bundle of notes into her hand. “Get rid of the rest of these poor devils,” he bade her, “and tell our one-legged friend he’s coming with us.”

“He’s had a manicure recently, too.” It did not appear to be very fruitful. From a side pocket of the jacket he clawed up with his nails a little heap of that fluffy grey substance that forms in pockets, and dumped it on the table; from the outside breast pocket he detached something so minute as to be unidentifiable from where I stood and, with a jeweller’s glass screwed into his eye, submitted it to a rapid scrutiny. Then it was the turn of the waistcoat and trousers, and after that of the shirt, underwear, socks and shoes. He even examined the turn-ups of the trousers, and spent quite some time on the shoes. Edna Masters sprang to her feet in a panic.

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“Will you excuse us a moment? There’s something I want to show Mr. Treadgold in my study.” “I think I’d prefer,” he remarked, enunciating clearly, “to have a look at that charming Thoueris ushabti you told me about.” Mr. Treadgold’s blue eyes dwelt sternly on her face. She was a quiet, self-possessed girl who, without being directly beautiful, had a wealth of character in her expression. “And you say you can get the ushabti back?” he questioned.

  • From the ensuing interrogatory—which Mr. Treadgold was careful to make appear as desultory as possible—it emerged that the young man in question had first brought his motor-cycle to the garage about two months before.
  • Like a big dog Manderton lumbered out and Treadgold, lighting his pipe, fell to studying the note-book once more in a brooding silence.
  • “We’re going to handle this ourselves.” He glanced at the paper in his hand.
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  • From a side pocket of the jacket he clawed up with his nails a little heap of that fluffy grey substance that forms in pockets, and dumped it on the table; from the outside breast pocket he detached something so minute as to be unidentifiable from where I stood and, with a jeweller’s glass screwed into his eye, submitted it to a rapid scrutiny.

The gown Marcia had worn at dinner was spread across the back of a chair. The room was in perfect order, the same with the bathroom and the small kitchen beyond it. AFTER breakfast next morning I was in the library with Brinckman, looking at his first editions. The library had two windows giving on the porch where Mr. Treadgold was ragging with the children, on their way down to the Yacht Club to bathe. Presently I heard Linda’s voice inquiring for Marcia.

IX. — THE MAN WITH THE TWO LEFT

We had a cup of coffee with him and talked about the case. Our host could throw little light on the circumstances in which his car was stolen. He had driven up from Broadstairs in the morning, he told us, lunched with his fiancée at the Ritz, and put her on the afternoon ‘plane for Paris, where she was going to buy her trousseau.


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