Page:BulldogDrummondSapper.djvu/199

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195
HE GOES TO PARIS FOR A NIGHT

And still Hugh sang and Peterson cursed; and still the audience grew. Then, at last, there came the police with notebook all complete, and the singer stopped singing to laugh.

The next moment the laugh froze on his lips. Standing by the skylight, with his revolver raised, was Lakington, and Hugh knew by the expression on his face that his finger was trembling on the trigger. Out of view of the crowd below he did not know of its existence, and, in a flash, Hugh realised his danger. Somehow Lakington had got up on the roof while the soldier's attention had been elsewhere; and now, his face gleaming with an unholy fury, Lakington was advancing step by step towards him with the evident intention of shooting him.

"Good morrow, Henry," said Hugh quietly. "I wouldn't fire if I were you. We are observed, as they say in melodrama. If you don't believe me," his voice grew a little tense, "just wait while I talk to Peterson, who is at present deep in converse with the village constable and several farm labourers."

He saw doubt dawn in Lakington's eyes, and instantly followed up his advantage.

"I'm sure you wouldn't like the notoriety attendant upon a funeral, Henry dear; I'm sure Peterson would just hate it. So, to set your mind at rest, I'll tell him you're here."

It is doubtful whether any action in Hugh Drummond's life ever cost him such an effort of will as the turning of his back on the man standing two yards below him, but he did it apparently without thought. He gave one last glance at the face convulsed with