Page:BulldogDrummondSapper.djvu/14

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10
 
PROLOGUE

little apprehensive. "Let us hope the dinner will appease everybody. Otherwise——"

But whatever fears he might have entertained with regard to the furniture in Room X, they were not destined to be uttered. Even as he spoke the door again swang open, and a man with a thick white scarf around his neck, so pulled up as almost completely to cover his face, came in. A soft hat was pulled down well over his ears, and all that the manager could swear to as regards the newcomer's appearance was a pair of deep-set, steel-grey eyes which seemed to bore through him.

"You got my letter this morning?"

"M'sieur le Comte de Guy?" The manager bowed deferentially and rubbed his hands together. "Everything is ready, and your three guests have arrived."

"Good. I will go to the room at once."

The maître d'hôtel stepped forward to relieve him of his coat, but the Count waved him away.

"I will remove it later," he remarked shortly. "Take me to the room."

As he followed his guide his eyes swept round the lounge. Save for two or three elderly women of doubtful nationality, and a man in the American Red Cross, the place was deserted; and as he passed through the swing doors he turned to the head waiter.

"Business good?" he asked.

No—business decidedly was not good. The waiter was voluble. Business had never been so poor in the memory of man… But it was to be hoped that the dinner would be to Monsieur le Comte' s liking… He personally had superintended it… Also the wines.

"If everything is to my satisfaction you will not