A YELLOW fog hung over a part of Glasgow. The foul cloudland came to Newto_oore's nostrils, pricked his throat, filled him with a horror he had found i_ard to name. His clothes hung limp with moisture as he crouched closer to th_all listening. In the same attitude the famous Secret Service Agent ha_emained since darkness fell. The cigarette between his teeth had spen_tself, and he had no more matches. So he stood trembling there, waiting fo_he hour when he could strike, and then hasten to the food he had not touche_or a score of hours.
It was one of the biggest things Moore had ever been engaged in. I_uccessful, he hoped to lay by the heels the most daring scoundrel in Europe.
Not a government was there which had no cause to dread Alex Mefer; no plan o_reaty had leaked out these twenty years without Mefer being at the bottom o_he business.
For the present, however, Moore's occupation partook more or less of th_ature of a side-show. It was a means to an end, a part of a little schem_orked out by him in a drift of cigarette smoke burnt in with the midnigh_ours.
Now and again a figure drifted by. Then came a step lighter than the rest, an_oore stood up quivering. A tall man passed him, an exceedingly handsome ma_ith a face of bronze, and gold rings in his ears. As this obviously Italia_eauty passed on, Moore followed.
He found himself presently ascending a flight of stairs in a building let ou_n rooms to all and sundry who possessed the desired means to pay for them, _uilding of philanthropy with a backing of 5 per cent behind it. Into a roo_n the third floor the Italian entered.
Moore crept after his quarry like a cat. He stood in the open doorway whils_he foreigner lighted his lamp. An instant later the door was closed, and th_talian was lying back in the chair with a grip on his throat and a blac_error glazing his eyes.
"Signor Moore," he gurgled, "Signor Moore!"
Moore relaxed his grip. He had established the full measure of fear he ha_nticipated. That he was dealing with an arrant coward he already knew. Eve_owards have their use in the way of Queen's evidence.
"You didn't expect to see me here?" Moore asked. "Eh, Stefano?"
Stefano shook his head sadly. His dark eyes were drawn to Moore with a sort o_azed fascination.
"I am doing no harm," he said sullenly.
"You came from Florence with Tosco and Berthe and—and another one," sai_oore. "And Katrina is in the business. I haven't been following up you_ittle lot for the last two months for nothing. I know exactly where thos_lycerine shells are at present and also what you are going to do with them.
Tosco and Berthe will have a pleasant surprise presently."
Stefano's eyes dilated still further.
"In this country," Moore went on, "men who endanger human life by blowing u_ublic buildings and the like seldom escape with less than twenty years' pena_ervitude. How will you like that, my pretty Stefano? And what will b_atrina's view on the matter?"
Stefano shivered. The prospect had no charm for him. And how was he to kno_hat Moore was merely bluffing? He had voiced his suspicions easily, an_tefano's manner was confirming them.
"What are you going to do?" the latter asked.
"I am going to wait here till Katrina arrives," Moore replied.
Stefano shivered again. He protested volubly that Katrina, the pride o_lorence, the toast of the wine-shops, was not in this drear island. Moor_ointed to a hat and jacket of obviously feminine origin and smiled.
"I am going to show you a way out of the difficulty," he said.
"Ah! I am going to be pardoned," Stefano gasped.
"On conditions—on conditions, of course. The wheels of life, my dear Stefano, are best run on the siding of compromise. Before midnight Tosco and Berth_ill be arrested red-handed. If you are to depart as you came, I must hav_ertain information both from Katrina and yourself."
"But Signor," Stefano protested, "for so great a man as yourself, so small _atter—"
Stefano finished with a shrug and a smile—a prettily implied compliment.
"There are such things as small matters," Moore replied, "and, as you suggest, I am fishing for salmon rather than for minnows. Now Mefer for an instance i_ salmon."
"Mefer is to be implicated in this business?" Stefano suggested.
"Certainly. He is in the business, as I happen to know. Why he's in it, I hav_et to discover. He goes to-morrow by the morning express to London, and _hall accompany him. Doubtless we shall have an exceedingly interestin_onversation."
Stefano followed all this somewhat lazily.
"But what have I to do, Signor?" he asked. "To give evidence against m_riends?"
He paused and shuddered. Not devoid of imagination, those fine eyes in fanc_aw a corpse floating on dark waters with a red stain on the breast.
"Not you," said Moore, "but Katrina."
A choking cry burst from Stefano's lips.
"She would never do it," he exclaimed.
"Then you will be arrested and tried with the others. Katrina is one of th_leverest and most unscrupulous women in Europe, but she has a weak spot, Stefano, and that weak spot is her absorbing affection for you. If she fail_o do what I ask, she will never see her beloved Stefano again."
The grim playfulness touched Stefano as no outburst of anger could have done.
He gave a deep sigh—half relief, half fear—as a light footstep came up th_tairs. The door opened and a woman came in.
She had a face of amazing beauty. Strength, resolution, and courage wer_tamped on her faultless features. But the eyes were melting, and the thi_carlet lines of her mouth had the curve of passion. Her eyes were gleamin_ow, her lips parted.
"We must fly," she cried. "Tosco and Berthe have been arrested."
"That," Moore observed, "does not in the least surprise me."
Katrina turned swiftly upon the speaker. They were old antagonists, these. An_p to now Moore had had none too much the best of the game.
"We last met in France, I believe." The woman smiled. She knew the danger, bu_here was no trace of fear in her face.
"I am not likely to forget it," Moore said drily. "It will not be long befor_tefano joins his friends Tosco and Berthe."
The woman locked her hands together. A grey tinge crept over her face. Moor_ad touched the right chord.
"You have come to compromise?" Katrina demanded.
"Ah, there is no doubt you are a wonderful woman. Tosco and Berthe and Mefe_ave been watched ever since they arrived here. For my own purposes I hav_anaged to shield Stefano."
"You want me to betray Mefer into your hands?"
"You have guessed it. For your little tin conspiracy I care nothing. That ha_ailed, as such things are bound to fail, only the law will not be the les_evere on that account. All you will have to do is to go into the witness-bo_o-morrow to give evidence in favor of Tosco and Berthe. I need hardly sa_hat you will be subject to searching cross-examination. You are to answe_ruthfully certain questions put to you, and those answers will give me th_rip over Mefer that I need. I may say that Mefer has not been arrested yet, nor will he be for the present."
"And if I refuse to do this thing?"
Moore drew a whistle from his pocket.
"In that case," he said, "I perform a solo on this little instrument, and _inute later this room is full of police. Before an hour passes you will be i_ail, and in the course of time you will find yourselves doing penal servitud_or long terms of years. But you are not going to be so silly, you are no_oing to be the puppet of Mefer any longer. One final word of advice—don'_ttempt to communicate with him."
It was a long time before Katrina replied. She flashed Moore a glance lik_udden death, then her eyes melted into tenderness as they fell upon Stefan_crewed up anxiously in his chair.
"I couldn't let him suffer," she said. "And Mefer told me—"
Something seemed to rise up in her throat and choke her. She bent her hea_orward on the table and two big drops splashed on the greasy board. When sh_lanced at Moore she was herself again.
"If I were my own mistress!" she said hoarsely. "If I were my own mistress!
But what woman ever was who truly loved?"
* * * * *
A STIFF inspector with an aggressive Scotch accent was awaiting Moore when h_eached the Central Police Station. It was evident that Inspector Lockwoo_egarded his visitor with no great favor.
"I'm puzzled, sir," he remarked, "fairly puzzled."
"You surprise me," Moore replied drily. "A detective puzzled!"
"Well, it is evident to me that you're not a detective."
"Your information is accurate and not displeasing, which is a quotation, m_ear Lockwood. You are naturally annoyed because this affair has been take_ut of your hands, and because the powers that be have given you stringen_rders to act under my instructions. You have arrested Tosco and Berthe?"
"Yes," Lockwood growled, "and why I was not permitted to arrest that fello_efer and his tool Stefano passes my understanding."
Moore smiled with what patience he could command.
"Because Mefer is a big fish," he explained. "At the present moment, Mefer i_n possession of plans of the greatest importance. He came here to obtain th_ey to the submarine defences to Port Glasgow. And, what is more, he's go_hem. They were stolen by a subordinate official some few weeks ago at Mefer'_nstigation, and only this week he came over to get the plans. As a matter o_act, Mefer has nothing whatever to do with this dynamite business. He is onl_sing those fools for his own purpose. He would not have the slightes_ifficulty in clearing himself, and he would slip through my fingers. It is o_he utmost importance that those plans should be recovered. You understan_hat?"
"Yes, but I don't see how you are going to do it?"
"Neither do I propose to tell you," Moore said drily. "I have been day_orking out the scheme which is complete at last. I shall get those papers a_ure as—as sure as you are a detective."
Inspector Lockwood expressed no lively satisfaction.
"It's very irregular," he grumbled, "and so humiliating for me. I kno_othing; I can merely produce the prisoners to-morrow and ask for a remand.
They have even sent down a barrister from London to prosecute. You seem t_ave the whole British Government backing you up."
"As a matter of fact," Moore said curtly, "I have."
Moore proceeded to expound his views and wishes as to the future of th_uzzling case with a freedom that caused Lockwood some emotion. He was merel_ puppet in the game, a fact that Moore pointed out cogently. Whereupon th_ecret Service Agent departed for the Caledonian Hotel.
Here a keen, alert-looking man with a clean-shaven face and gold-rimme_lasses awaited him. They shook hands warmly.
"I'm glad the Home Office sent you, Mclntyre," Moore remarked. "I suppos_ou've got the heads of your case from Lockwood?"
"I'm practically in the dark, my dear fellow," the eminent barrister replied.
"I know I'm to prosecute two men for an alleged conspiracy, but beyond tha_ockwood told me very little. As far as I can see, to-morrow's proceeding_ill be purely formal."
"I fancy not," Moore said drily. "Do you remember some months ago my tellin_ou the history of that wonderful woman, Katrina?"
Mclntyre nodded. A new interest was being added to the case. The interes_eepened as Moore proceeded to relate the details of his interview wit_atrina and Stefano earlier in the evening. He went still further than that—h_old the why and wherefore of Mefer's immunity from arrest, and the scheme h_ad devised to get the better of him.
"Worthy of Wilkie Collins, by Jove," Mclntyre cried. "If Mefer is th_uperstitious chap you describe him to be, you will torture him almost out o_is mind before he and you reach London to-morrow. So you fancy this Katrin_ill turn Queen's evidence to save that rascal Stefano?"
"I feel perfectly certain of it," Moore replied. "Stefano dare not do s_imself, but no great harm will come to Katrina. She can always plead that sh_as sacrificed the few to save the many conspirators. I have jotted down her_ long list of the questions you are to ask her in the witness box. She is _trong, clever woman, and doubtless she will try to evade them. She does no_ealise yet what it means to stand an examination such as yours will be. Onc_ou get on her nerves you will be able to do anything."
Mclntyre nodded thoughtfully. He was lost in admiration of Moore's scheme, it_onderful ingenuity, and the dexterity with which he had worked out ever_etail in a marvellously complex piece of machinery.
"I never heard anything finer," he exclaimed.
At the same moment a waiter entered with a card, which he placed before Moore.
The latter glanced at a pencil scrawl and smiled.
"Show the lady up," he said. "My dear Mclntyre, it's Katrina herself. I quit_xpected her to try and see me again."
Katrina entered. Her face was white and her eyes wild, but she had lost non_f the proud, easy bearing. Moore made the necessary introduction, an_xplained that Mclntyre was here on business not indirectly connected wit_atrina herself.
"Mr. Mclntyre has a perfect knowledge of the situation," Moore sai_ignificantly. Katrina bowed. Her quick intelligence had grasped Moore'_eaning.
"You know why I come here," she cried. "I will waste no time in idle words.
Our conspiracy has failed. The life of one whom I regard before all others i_he world is in peril. For none other would I degrade myself as I am going t_egrade myself now. For Stefano's sake I am going to be a traitor. I am goin_o betray those who have trusted me. Ask any question you please, and I wil_ell you _all_."
She threw up her arms; a laugh of exceeding bitterness escaped her. Th_assionate, loving woman was uppermost now, the splendid courage had vanished, a dull shame veiled Katrina's eyes.
"You will repeat your confession in public to-morrow," said Mclntyre. Katrin_odded. She had no word for the moment. Her hands were locked together wit_onvulsive force, a scar was on her lips where the white, even teeth ha_cored it.
"I will say what you wish," she burst out presently. "If I have to be bad, then I will be bad to the core. It is all for the sake of Stefano. Ah, it i_nly in the South that we know how to love and to sacrifice all to the passio_f our lives."
The fit of passion passed, tears stood in the woman's eyes. There was in thos_yes the enthusiasm that sometimes culminates in insanity.
"Sit down," said Mclntyre,"and let us talk."
Katrina dropped into a chair. She answered glibly all the many and varie_uestions that the barrister put to her. But out of all those questions ther_as not one of them taken from the paper that Moore had handed over to hi_riend and ally.
* * * * *
A FAIR man with a dreamy face was in a casual way turning over a pile o_laming bookstall literature as Moore entered the great Glasgow station. Th_an with the dreamy face turned and just for an instant the lines of his mout_rew rigid as Moore touched him on the shoulder.
"Alex Mefer," said Moore, "how are you?"
The man addressed as Mefer smiled. He and Moore were old antagonists, an_heir respect for each other's powers was mutual. They were both men o_ndomitable courage and pluck when the pinch came, albeit the famous spy wa_o less nervous and imaginative than Moore on ordinary occasions. He showed n_race of these qualities at present.
"My dear friend," he cried, "this is a meeting the most delightful. Tell me, have you been in Glasgow long?"
The cool, delicious insolence of the question amused Moore.
"Exactly as long as you have been here." he cried.
"Is it possible that we are both going to London to-day?"
"Such is my intention, friend Mefer. I have at my disposal a compartment i_he train, and I have made my arrangements for feeding on the journey. So sur_as I that you were going to London to-day that I laid my plans accordingly.
Permit me to offer you a seat in my carriage and a share of my luncheo_asket. There will be plenty for two I assure you." Mefer's eyes sparkled.
"This interest in my welfare is flattering," he said. "But what do you expec_n return for this hospitality?"
"Those Port Glasgow submarine plans you obtained possession of on Wednesday."
Mefer laughed no more for the moment. The sensitive, intellectual face gre_rave. Like most really clever men, he never underrated the strength of a_nemy, and in Moore he had long recognised a foe of infinite resource an_ovelty of method.
"So some papers have been stolen?" he asked.
"That is it," Moore replied drily. "I prefer to believe that they have passe_nto your possession. So sure do I feel of this that 1 have laid all my plan_ccordingly."
"Oh, oh. You are certain of your man."
"Absolutely certain. And equally assured that before midnight you wil_oluntarily restore the stolen documents. Come along."
Mefer followed his companion down the long platform, echoing to the tramp o_eet and the shrill, smiting scream of escaping vapor. Moore paused at lengt_efore a carriage guarded by a stalwart porter.
"Are you coming with me?" he asked.
Mefer nodded gravely. He showed no fear, but he was plainly puzzled. Moore wa_iolating every rule of the game. It was as if two masters of fence had com_ogether, the one with new passes and guards—something absolutely novel in th_ay of _carte_ and _tierce_ , the other relying on old methods.
"I think I will," said Mefer, "for frankly I don't understand you."
Hitherto this kind of duel had been played in the dark. The right hand of on_an was never seen by the left hand of the other until the plot was unskeine_nd the time to strike had come. Under ordinary circumstances, the last thin_oore would have dreamed of mentioning was the stolen plan.
Mefer flung himself down in the corner of the carriage and attacked _igarette. There was a banging of doors, a trilling whistle, then the hug_tation began to slide away. Moore appeared to be studying his paper wit_reat intentness.
"My friend," Mefer said suddenly, "you are not trying to fools-mate me?"
Moore laid his paper on one side.
"I have tried that game successfully before now," he said; "but I pay a highe_ribute to your powers than attempting it with you, my dear Mefer. And I di_o more than state a fact to you just now."
"But you cannot possibly guarantee that fact!"
"I can and will. I am not bluffing. By the way, there is a paragraph in th_aper here that may interest you. It is to the effect that two dynamiters, b_ame Tosco and Berthe, were arrested red-handed last night, and informing al_hom it may concern that the miscreants will be brought before the magistrate_o-day. I believe these men are no strangers to you."
"I seem to have heard the names," Mefer admitted drily.
"You came over to England together."
"Again your information is exceedingly accurate. But you cannot connect m_ith them to my detriment. I am too clever for that, sir."
Mefer positively beamed as he spoke. He began to see daylight. Moore was goin_o frighten these papers out of him by connecting him with this absur_ynamite business.
"One is loth to lose one's illusions, for they are scarce at forty," Mefe_esumed. "And hitherto I have regarded you as such a clever man."
Moore smiled. He saw the point quite clearly.
"I know perfectly well that those people were mere tools of yours," he said.
"You came to England with them as a blind to cover your real intentions. _ave not the least intention of using this information as a lever to force yo_o disgorge. You will see later on how that newspaper paragraph forms part o_y game. Individually, I may say there are others in the conspiracy who as ye_ave not been arrested.
Need I say that I am alluding to Stefano and Katrina? The woman is deeply i_ove with that handsome coward, and she would make any sacrifice to shiel_im. If Katrina said all she knew she could make Europe warm for you."
The puzzled look crossed Mefer's face again. Once more he seemed anxious an_neasy. He studied the features of his companion intently.
"Katrina would never tell the story of our work," he said. "She would not und_he labor of years like that."
"She may not intend to do so," Moore replied. "But a woman eager to save he_over will commit any folly. By giving evidence against the other two sh_ould shield Stefano. Both Tosco and Berthe are the wild visionaries who ar_repared to die for what they call the 'cause.' We will suggest that Katrin_urns Queen's evidence. We will suggest that she is examined by a barriste_ho is fully acquainted with her past, and who—best point of all—knows she i_hielding Stefano. Why, man alive, under those circumstances the advocat_ould make that woman say anything he pleased."
"She will not do it," Mefer cried hoarsely.
"I have already shown you how she could be compelled to speak," Moore said i_is most dry manner. "Within a few hours of Katrina's startling revelation_very police officer in England would be on the look-out for you. It would b_he same on the Continent. By the time we get to London my prophecy will b_ulfilled or falsified. If the former, what is to prevent me from giving yo_nto custody on our arrival? If I did that it would not be long before _ecovered those stolen plans."
Mefer admitted the point gloomily. Moore appeared to be familiar with ever_etail of that dynamite business. He cursed his folly now that he had touche_he matter at all.
"You cannot possibly connect me with those people," he cried.
"I'm not going to try," Moore replied. "I am merely using those fools as _eans to an end. With their assistance, voluntarily or otherwise, I propose t_rive you into the tightest corner you were ever in in your life. Then _ropose to offer you life and liberty on certain terms."
"Katrina is to be relied upon," said Mefer sullenly. "She will not speak."
Moore looked at his watch. The conversation had been desultory and wit_houghtful pauses, and an hour or more had passed.
"When we pass Carlisle," he said, "I will tell you for certain."
"You expect a telegram there?"
"Indeed, I don't. I abhor bustling about when I am travelling, which is th_eason why I engaged this compartment. From now till we reach London I don'_ropose to leave the train. At the same time I propose telling you all tha_akes place before the Glasgow magistrates to-day."
Mefer laughed, but there was no mirth in it. Moore was getting on his nerves.
The train at length passed Carlisle, but Moore said nothing. Another hou_assed and no words came from his lips. The train was passing through th_eart of the fells by this time. In the brilliant sunshine the green rollin_ills seemed strangely peaceful.
Moore watched one of them dreamily for a long time. Then he crossed over t_efer, and smote him on the thigh.
The whole aspect of the man had changed. His eyes gleamed and danced, his fac_as pallid with excitement.
"Katrina has turned up," he said. "For the best part of an hour now she ha_een giving her evidence. The two prisoners appear to be convinced that she i_etraying them to save the rest of the gang. A pity that men so brave shoul_e so wrong-headed. Katrina is being examined by Mclntyre who, as you know, i_reat in this kind of case. And Katrina has been speaking of you with th_reatest possible freedom."
Mefer gasped. With all his power and strength he was superstitious to _egree. Had Moore some marvellous, occult power of which he knew nothing? O_as he being made the victim of a stupid practical joke?
"I don't believe a word of it," he said sullenly.
"The proof will be to hand when we reach London," Moore replied. "I see yo_esire further details to convince you. Let me use my eyes for you."
Moore lay back and closed those organs languidly.
"The court is crowded," he said. "At the back of it lurks Stefano, who ha_een unable to keep away. Pale, frightened, yet defiant, Katrina stands in th_itness-box. She wears a black straw hat with scarlet poppies. Her dress i_hite with red bands across it. Mclntyre presses her hard and she shows sign_f weakness. She staggers, and asks for a glass of water. She faints, an_here is great commotion in court. Then, as it is twelve o'clock, they adjour_or luncheon."
Moore opened his eyes and sat upright. Mefer was pale and ghastly. He tried t_augh, but his thin lips trembled, and no sound came from them.
"Don't!" he grasped with a convulsive shudder. "You get on my nerves. But wha_ou say cannot be true."
"As there is a God above us, all I say is gospel," Moore cried. "By the tim_e get to London it will be in print in all the evening papers. Meanwhile le_s examine the contents of my luncheon basket. In the course of an hour or s_ shall have more information for you."
Mefer toyed with the wing of a chicken, whilst Moore ate heartily.
He knew that he had his man now. It was getting on towards three o'clock whe_e returned to his proper seat and looked dreamily out of the window again. H_eemed to be absorbed in the contemplation of a gaunt rock miles away tha_emained in sight for some time.
"Getting more information?" Mefer muttered.
"Got it," Moore snapped. "The case was adjourned and the prisoners remanded a_ quarter past two, when Katrina completed her evidence. She has made a clea_reast of everything. She has gone into detail over the murder of that Wa_ffice attaché at Vienna. She has given the story chapter and verse. You ar_earing the murdered man's watch at the present time, which is hardly discree_f you, my dear Mefer."
Mefer uttered a cry of horror and despair. He clasped his left side, he fel_ver on his face in a state of absolute collapse.
A little brandy restored the color to his lips and the light to his eyes.
"How did you do it?" he gasped.
"That secret must remain locked in my breast," Moore replied. "I don't fanc_ou will refuse to believe in my powers any longer."
Mefer made one last attempt to fight off the horror that wrapped him in _lack mist.
"It may all be pure conjecture," he muttered.
"London will prove that," said Moore, "and after London—well, after London th_est lies absolutely with yourself."
The train flashed through the green core of the landscape, leaving th_treaming miles behind until the fresh fields ran into lawns and hedges an_he trim houses skirting the uneasy heart of London. It was past eight o'cloc_nd the electric arcs were glaring purple when the express pulled up.
"A paper," Mefer said hoarsely. "A paper."
Moore snatched a "special " from the bookstall and hurried his companion int_ refreshment room. He opened the flimsy sheet. There was no triumph in hi_ace as he pointed to a double column dotted with plentiful scare heads.
"Read for yourself," he said, "it seems to be all there."
Mefer spread out the paper on a marble table. It was all there with _engeance. Every trifling touch Moore had foretold was faithfully recorded.
There was a description of the sensational witness, the account of he_ainting, the story of the Austrian military attaché's murder.
Mefer read it all, crushed in mind and in body. He was the victim o_uperhuman agency.
"I am beaten," he said drearily. "What do you want?"
"Those papers," Moore rasped out. "Give me those papers and you are free. Onc_ get those my task is done. And you are to tell me whence you obtained them.
If you reject my terms, I give one sign and you are in custody."
Mefer smiled bitterly.
"How can I reject your terms?" he asked.
"I am utterly powerless. My liberty and life are worth more to me than all th_est. Come with me to my hotel and you shall have what you require."
Half-an-hour later and the precious plans were in Moore's possession. The_ere all correct, not one of them was missing, and there had been no time fo_nyone to make a tracing of them.
"Where are you going now?" Moore asked.
Mefer was consulting his watch earnestly. He looked half wistfully at hi_ortmanteau; then he shook his head.
"1 dare not risk it," he muttered. "I must just slip out as I am. My idea i_o get to Southampton and reach France _via_ Jersey. Good-bye, and curse yo_or the cleverest man I ever met."
* * * * *
"YOU have done wonderfully well," the great personage of the War Offic_emarked, as he fondled the precious papers Moore had just placed in hi_ands. "Under the circumstances no apology for interrupting my dessert i_ecessary. Try the port; you look as if a glass would do you good. I am sorr_hat you allowed Mefer to slip through your fingers."
"I had to, my lord," Moore replied. "Otherwise we should never have got th_lans. Besides, he is certain to be captured."
My lord smiled as if the information pleased him.
"There is much in that," he said. "And now perhaps you will tell me how yo_anaged to get your marvellous information _en route_. I never heard o_nything so remarkable in the whole course of my life."
"It was merely a variation of an old fraud," Moore said modestly. "I kne_retty well beforehand what information Mclntyre would elicit. As the cas_roceeded I had it wired to ten confederates in prominent places by the lin_f railway. The wires were tapped on purpose. Then as the telegrams wer_eciphered they were flashed to me in the train by heliograph. You see th_hing was absurdly simple after all. Had there been no sunshine I should hav_aried my plan slightly and the signalling would have been done with flags. _early frightened my man to death. To his dying day he will firmly believ_hat I am possessed of occult powers."
And Moore smiled at the recollection. The great personage smiled also, but i_as a smile of intense approval.
"It seems easy when you know how it is done," he said. "I am more tha_leased, I am delighted. You'll like those cigarettes."
And Moore said it was the most enjoyable smoke he had ever had in his life.