Page:BulldogDrummondSapper.djvu/26

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
22
PROLOGUE

"That is improbable." The Count took out his pocket-book. "But one never knows; perhaps I shall." He gave the waiter a note. "Let my bill be prepared at once, and given to me as I pass through the hall."

Apparently without a care in the world the Count passed down the passage to his private room, while the head waiter regarded complacently the unusual appearance of an English five-pound note.

For an appreciable moment the Count paused by the door, and a faint smile came to his lips. Then he opened it, and passed into the room.…

The American was still chewing his toothpick; Steinemann was still breathing hard. Only von Gratz had changed his occupation, and he was sitting at the table smoking a long thin cigar. The Count closed the door, and walked over to the fireplace.…

"Well, gentlemen," he said quietly, "what have you decided?"

It was the American who answered.

"It goes. With one amendment. The money is too big for three of us: there must be a fourth. That will be a quarter of a million each."

The Count bowed.

"Have you any suggestions as to who the fourth should be?"

"Yep," said the American shortly. "These two gentlemen agree with me that it should be another of my countrymen—so that we get equal numbers. The man we have decided on is coming to England in a few weeks—Hiram C. Potts. If you get him in, you can count us in too. If not, the deal's off."