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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Voice In The Fog - Chapter 23
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The Voice In The Fog - Chapter 23 Post by :daniel4life Category :Long Stories Author :Harold Macgrath Date :May 2012 Read :2012

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The Voice In The Fog - Chapter 23

CHAPTER XXIII

"Mr. Killigrew," whispered Haggerty, "will you get Miss Kitty an' Thomas int' th' study-end o' th' library?"

"Found anything?"

"Th' sapphires were in his trunk, all right. Tucked away in th' toes of a pair o' shoes. Webb is in th' library now. Jus' get Miss Kitty."

"Very well," replied Killigrew, leaden-hearted.

Thomas had been busy all day. He was growing very tired, and often now the point of his pen sputtered. The second man had brought in his dinner and set it on a small stand which stood at the right of the desk. It was growing cold on the tray. A sound. He glanced up wearily. He saw Kitty and Killigrew, and behind them the sardonic visage of Haggerty. Thomas got up slowly.

"Take it easy, Mr. Webb," warned Haggerty. "Go on, Miss Killigrew, an' we'll see first if you've hit it."

Thomas stared, wide-eyed, from face to face. What in heaven's name had happened? What was this blighter of a detective doing at the villa? And why was Kitty so white?

"Mr. Webb," began Kitty, striving hard to maintain even tones, "on the night of May 13, you and Lord Henry Monckton stood on the curb outside my carriage, near the Garden, where I was blockaded in the fog. I heard your voices. There was talk about a wager. The time imposed upon the fulfilment of this wager was six months. Shortly after, Lord Monckton entered my carriage under the pretense of getting into his own and took my necklace of sapphires. He did it very cleverly. Then they were turned over to you. You were to carry them for six months, find out to whom they belonged, and return them."

"Thousands of miles away," said Haggerty confidently. "Nothing ever happened like that."

"Is it not true?" asked Kitty, ignoring Haggerty's interpolation.

"Miss Killigrew, either I'm dreaming or you are. I haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about." Thomas was now whiter than Kitty. "The talk about a wager is true; but I never knew you had lost any sapphires."

"How about this little chamois-bag which I found in your trunk, Mr. Webb?" asked Haggerty ironically. He tossed the bag on the desk.

The bag hypnotized Thomas. Suddenly he came to life. He snatched up the bag and thrust it into his pocket.

"Those are mine," he said quite calmly. "Mine, by every legal and moral right in the world. Mine!"

Kitty breathed hard and closed her eyes.

"Some brass!" jeered Haggerty, stepping forward.

"Can you prove it, Thomas?" asked Killigrew, hoping against hope.

"Yes, Mr. Killigrew, to your satisfaction, to Miss Killigrew's, and even to Mr. Haggerty's."

Tableau.

Broken by the entrance of Crawford and Forbes, who were also pale and disturbed. Crawford flung a packet of papers on the desk.

"Webb, I fancy that these papers are yours," said Crawford, smiling.

One glance was enough for Thomas.

"Tell them the truth," went on Crawford; "tell them who you are."

"I have wagered . . ."

"Never mind about the wager," put in Forbes. "Crawford and I have just canceled it."

"What has happened?" asked Thomas. The whole world seemed tumbling about his unhappy head.

"Tell Mr. Killigrew here how you have imposed on him and his family," urged Crawford, serious now. "Tell them your name, your full name."

Thomas hesitated a moment. "My name is Henry Thomas Webb-Monckton."

"Ninth Baron of Dimbledon," added Forbes, "and as crazy as a loon!"

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CHAPTER XXIVMeanwhile the whirligig had gone about violently after this fashion. Forbes, wondering mightily, procured his automatics and gave one to his impatient friend. "What's the row, Crawffy?" "Be as silent as you can," said Crawford. "Follow me. We may be too late." "Anywhere you say." "The door will be locked. We'll creep around the upper veranda and enter by opposite windows. You keep your eye on the valet. Don't be afraid to shoot if it's necessary." "What the deuce . . . !" "Come!" "But where?" "Lord Monckton's room." Blindly and confidently Forbes went out
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CHAPTER XXIIFor a moment Killigrew sat stiffly upright in his chair; then gradually his body grew limp, his chin sank, his shoulders drooped. "Webb?" he said dully. "Are you sure, Haggerty?" "No question about it. Y' see, this Jameson chap writes me a sassy letter from Liverpool. Spite. Thomas Webb was th' name. What's th' matter?" "Haggerty, the very devil is the matter. Thomas Webb, recently a steward on the _Celtic_, has been my wife's private secretary for nearly two months." "Say that again!" gasped Haggerty, bracing himself against the jamb of the door.
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