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    Chapter 16

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    Chapter 16
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    IN THE TURKISH BATHS

    Colonel Boundary had a breakfast party of three. Though he had been up the whole of the night, he showed no signs of weariness. Not so Pinto or Crewe, who looked fagged out and all the more tired because they were both conspicuously unshaven.

    "Half the game's won," said the colonel. "We'll get rid of this girl and Solly White by the same stroke. I'm afraid of Solly, he knows too much. By the way, Raoul is coming over."

    "Raoul!" said Crewe, sitting up suddenly, "why, colonel, you're mad! Didn't the Scotland Yard man tell you----"

    "That he suspected a French hand in the case of 'Snow' Gregory? All the more reason why Raoul should come," said the colonel calmly; "he ought to report this morning."

    "You're taking a risk," growled Pinto.

    "Nothing unusual," replied the colonel, shelling a plover's egg. "It is the last thing in the world they would suspect at Scotland Yard after their warning, that I should bring Raoul over again. Besides, they don't know him anyway. He's just a harmless young French cabinet-maker. He doesn't talk and I will get him out of the silly habit of leaving his visiting-card."

    There was a silence, which Crewe broke.

    "You want him for----"

    He did not finish the sentence.

    "For work," replied the colonel. "It is a thousand pities, but it would be a thousand times more so if you and I were jugged, and waiting in the condemned cell for the arrival of Mr. Ellis, the eminent hangman. Raoul's a workman. We can trust him. He doesn't try any funny business. He lives out of this country and I can cover his tracks. Besides," the colonel went on, "I shall give him enough to live in comfort for the next two years. Raoul is a grateful little beast, and thank God! he can neither read nor write."

    "I don't like it," said Crewe. "I hate that kind of thing. Why not give Solly a chance? Why not get up a fight--a duel, anything but cold-blooded murder?"

    The colonel turned his cold eyes upon the other, and his lips parted in a mirthless smile.

    "You're speaking up to your character now, aren't you, Crewe?" he said unpleasantly. "You're 'Gentleman Crewe' once again, eh? Want to do everything in the public school fashion? Well, you can cut out all that stuff and feed it to the pigs. I'm Dan Boundary, looking forward to a pleasant old age. There's nothing of the Knights of the Round Table about me."

    Crewe flushed.

    "All right," he said, "have it your own way."

    "You bet your life I'm going to have it my own way," said the colonel. "Have you seen the girl this morning, Pinto?"

    Pinto shook his head.

    "You'll keep away from there for a couple of days. I've got Boyton on the spot and he'll be feeding her with bromide till she won't care whether she's in hell or Wigan. Besides, we'll all be shadowed for the next day or two, make no mistake about that. Stafford King won't let the grass grow under his feet. And now, you chaps, go home and try to look as though you've had a night's rest."

    After their departure the colonel made his own preparations. There were Turkish baths in Westminster and it was to the Turkish baths he went. Clad in a towel, he passed from hot room to hot room, and finally came to the big, vaulted saloon, tiled from floor to roof, where in canvas-backed chairs the bathers doze and read. The colonel lay back in his chair, his eyes closed, apparently oblivious to his surroundings. Nor was it to be observed that he saw the thin little man who came and sat beside him. The new-comer was sallow-skinned and lantern-jawed, and his long arms were tattooed from shoulder to wrist.

    "Here!" said a soft voice in French.

    The colonel did not open his eyes. He merely dropped the palm fan which he was idly waving to and fro so that it hid his mouth.

    "Do you remember a Monsieur White?" he said in the same tone.

    "Perfectly," replied the other. "He was the man who would not have your little 'coco' friend--disposed of."

    "That is the man," said the other. "You have a good memory, Raoul."

    "Monsieur, my memory is wonderful, but alas! one cannot live on memory," he added sententiously.

    "Then remember this: there is a place near London called Putney Heath."

    "Putney Heath," repeated the other.

    "There is a house called Bishopsholme."

    "Bishopsholme," repeated the other.

    "It is empty--to let, à louer, you understand. It is in a sad state of desolation. The garden, the house--you know the kind of place?"

    "Perfectly, monsieur."

    "At nine o'clock to-night and at nine o'clock to-morrow night you will be near the door. There is a large clump of bushes, behind which you will stand. You will stay there until ten. Between those hours M. White will approach and go into the house. You understand?"

    "Perfectly, monsieur," said the voice again.

    "You will shoot him so that he dies immediately."

    "He is a dead man," said the other.

    There was a long pause.

    "I will pay you sixty thousand francs, and I will have a motor-car to take you direct to Dover. You will catch the night boat for Ostend. Your passport will be in order, and you can make your way to Paris at your leisure. The payment you will receive in Paris. Is that satisfactory?"

    "Eminently so, monsieur," said the other. "I need a little for expenses for the moment. Also I wish information as to where the motor-car will meet me."

    "It will be waiting for you at the corner of the first road past the house, on the way from London. You will not speak to the chauffeur and he will not speak to you. In the car you will find sufficient money for your immediate needs. Is there any necessity to explain further?"

    "None whatever, monsieur," said the soft voice, and Raoul dropped his head on one side as though he were sleeping.

    As for the colonel, he did not simulate slumber, but passed into dreamland, sleeping quietly and calmly, with a look of benevolence upon his big face.

    The only other occupant of the cooling room, a big-framed man who was reading a newspaper, closed his eyes too--but he did not sleep.
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