LAKINGTON PLAYS HIS LAST "COUP"
if the gods speak the truth, and the sand does not lie, I can but say what is written."
From a pocket in his robe he took a bag and two small bronze dishes, and placing them on a table stood waiting.
"I am ready," he announced. "Who first will learn of the things that are written on the scroll of Fate?"
"I say, hadn't you better do it in private, Mr. Rum?" murmured the Duke apprehensively. "I mean, don't you know, it might be a little embarrassing if the jolly old gods really do give tongue; and I don't see anybody getting killed in the rush."
"Is there so much to conceal?" demanded the Indian, glancing round the group, contempt in his brooding eyes. "In the lands that lie beyond the snows we have nothing to conceal. There is nothing that can be concealed, because all is known."
And it was at that moment that the intent watcher outside the window began to shake with silent mirth. For the face was the face of the Indian, Ram Dar, but the voice was the voice of Lakington. It struck him that the next ten minutes or so might be well worth while. The problem of removing the pearls from the Duchess's neck before such an assembly seemed to present a certain amount of difficulty even to such an expert as Henry. And Hugh crept a little nearer the window, so as to miss nothing. He crept near enough, in fact, to steal a look at Irma, and in doing so saw something which made him rub his eyes and then grin once more. She was standing on the outskirts of the group, an evening wrap thrown loosely over her arm. She edged a step or two towards a table containing18