Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/272

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however, there was no knowing what might not happen. Anybody might come along the passage, and see him.

He had one point in his favor. There was no likelihood of the jewels being required by their owner till the conclusion of the theatricals. The part that Lady Julia had been persuaded by Charteris to play mercifully contained no scope for the display of gems.

Before going down to dinner, Jimmy had locked the necklace in a drawer. It was still there, Spike having been able apparently to resist the temptation of recapturing it. Jimmy took it, and went into the corridor. He looked up and down. There was nobody about. He shut his door, and walked quickly in the direction of the dressing-room.

He had provided himself with an electric pocket-torch, equipped with a reflector, which he was in the habit of carrying when on his travels. Once inside, having closed the door, he set this aglow, and looked about him.

Spike had given him minute directions as to the position of the jewel-box. He found it without difficulty. To his untrained eye, it seemed tolerably massive and impregnable, but Spike had evidently known how to open it without much difficulty. The lid was shut, but it came up without an effort when he tried to raise it, and he saw that the lock had been broken.

"Spike's coming on!" he said.