and a man came in. Hugh recognised him at once as Vallance Nestor, an author of great brilliance—in his own eyes—who had lately devoted himself to the advancement of revolutionary labour.
"Good afternoon," murmured Drummond affably. "Mr. Peterson will be a little late. I am his private secretary."
The other nodded and sat down languidly.
"What did you think of my last little effort in the Midlands?" he asked, drawing off his gloves.
"Quite wonderful," said Hugh. "A marvellous help to the great Cause."
Valiance Nestor yawned slightly and closed his eyes, only to open them again as Hugh turned the pages of the ledger on the table.
"What's that?" he demanded.
"This is the book," replied Drummond carelessly, "where Mr. Peterson records his opinions of the immense value of all his fellow-workers. Most interesting reading."
"Am I in it?" Valiance Nestor rose with alacrity.
"Why, of course," answered Drummond. "Are you not one of the leaders? Here you are." He pointed with his finger, and then drew back in dismay. "Dear, dear! there must be some mistake." But Valiance Nestor, with a frozen and glassy eye, was staring fascinated at the following choice description of himself:
"Nestor, Valiance. Author—so-called. Hot-air factory, but useful up to a point. Inordinately conceited and a monumental ass. Not fit to be trusted far."