Page:BulldogDrummondSapper.djvu/117

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113
A QUIET NIGHT AT THE ELMS

fighting, anything you touch will get very dirty. As you say, I am completely in the dark as to your plans; but I have a pretty shrewd idea what I'm up against. Men who can employ thumbscrew on a poor defenceless brute seem to me to be several degrees worse than an aboriginal cannibal, and therefore if I put you down as one of the lowest types of degraded criminal I shall not be very wide of the mark. There's no good you snarling at me, you swine; it does everybody good to hear some home truths—and don't forget it was you who pulled off the gloves."

Drummond lit a cigarette; then his merciless eyes fixed themselves again on Peterson.

"There is only one thing more," he continued. "You have kindly warned me of my danger: let me give you a word of advice in my turn. I'm going to fight you; if I can, I'm going to beat you. Anything that may happen to me is part of the game. But if anything happens to Miss Benton during the course of operations, then, as surely as there is a God above, Peterson, I'll get at you somehow and murder you with my own hands."

For a few moments there was silence, and then with a short laugh Drummond turned away.

"Quite melodramatic," he remarked lightly. "And very bad for the digestion so early in the morning. My regards to your charming daughter, also to him of the broken jaw. Shall we meet again soon?" He paused at the door and looked back.

Peterson was still standing by the table, his face expressionless.

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