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"What the devil," cried Drummond furiously, "is the meaning of this?"

"Cut it out," cried the leader contemptuously. "These guns are silent. If you utter—you die. Do you get me?"

The veins stood out on Drummond's forehead, and he controlled himself with an immense effort.

"Are you aware that this man is a guest of mine, and sick?" he said, his voice shaking with rage.

"You don't say," remarked the leader, and one of the others laughed. "Rip the bed-clothes off, boys, and gag the young cock-sparrow."

Before he could resist, a gag was thrust in Drummond's mouth and his hands were tied behind his back. Then, helpless and impotent, he watched three of them lift up the man from the bed, and, putting a gag in his mouth also, carry him out of the room.

"Move," said the fourth to Hugh. "You join the picnic."

With fury gathering in his eyes he preceded his captor along the passage and downstairs. A large car drove up as they reached the street, and in less time than it takes to tell, the two helpless men were pushed in, followed by the leader; the door was shut and the car drove off.

"Don't forget," he said to Drummond suavely, "this gun is silent. You had better be the same."

At one o'clock the car swung up to The Elms. For the last ten minutes Hugh had been watching the invalid in the corner, who was making frantic efforts to loosen his gag. His eyes were rolling horribly, and he swayed from side to side in his seat, but the