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D.S.O., M.C. Just to snuff out in your sleep. No, my friend, I think I can devise something better than that; something really artistic."

Two other men came in as he turned away, and Lakington looked at them.

"Well," he asked, "have you got the old woman?"

"Bound and gagged in the kitchen," answered one of them laconically. "Are you going to do this crowd in?"

The speaker looked at the unconscious men with hatred in his eyes.

"They encumber the earth—this breed of puppy."

"They will not encumber it for long," said Lakington softly. "But the one in the window there is not going to die quite so easily. I have a small unsettled score with him…"

"All right; he's in the car." A voice came from outside the window, and with a last look at Hugh Drummond, Lakington turned away.

"Then we'll go," he remarked. "Au revoir, my blundering young bull. Before I've finished with you, you'll scream for mercy. And you won't get it…"


Through the still night air there came the thrumming of the engine of a powerful car. Gradually it died away and there was silence. Only the murmur of the river over the weir broke the silence, save for an owl which hooted mournfully in a tree near by. And then, with a sudden crack, Peter Darrell's head rolled over and hit the arm of his chair.