Page:BulldogDrummondSapper.djvu/42

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38
 
HE TAKES TEA AT THE CARLTON

enough money to allow him to take his time over any coup—to perfect his details. And that's what he loves. He regards a crime as an ordinary man regards a complicated business deal—a thing to be looked at and studied from all angles, a thing to be treated as a mathematical problem. He is quite unscrupulous; he is only concerned in pitting himself against the world and winning."

"An engaging fellah," said Hugh. "What particular form of crime does he favour?"

"Anything that calls for brain, iron nerve, and refinement of detail," she answered. "Principally, up to date, burglary on a big scale, and murder."

"My dear soul!" said Hugh incredulously. "How can you be sure? And why don't you tell the police?"

She smiled wearily. "Because I've got no proof, and even if I had…" She gave a little shudder, and left her sentence unfinished. "But one day, my father and I were in his house, and, by accident, I got into a room I'd never been in before. It was a strange room, with two large safes let into the wall and steel bars over the skylight in the ceiling. There wasn't a window, and the floor seemed to be made of concrete. And the door was covered with curtains, and was heavy to move—almost as if it was steel or iron. On the desk in the middle of the room lay some miniatures, and, without thinking, I picked them up and looked at them. I happen to know something about miniatures, and, to my horror, I recognised them." She paused for a moment as a waiter went by their table.