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By Leslie Charteris

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Ponderous footsteps clumped intentionally alongside the passage, and a turnkey got here in sight. The uniform clinched any lingering doubt concerning the prison. “What am I doing right here? ” Simon demanded in Italian. the fellow surveyed him unfeelingly. “Aspette,” he acknowledged, and went away back. Simon sat down at the challenging cot and held his head in his arms, scuffling with to transparent the cobwebs out of it. shortly there have been footsteps back, fresher and extra a number of. Simon seemed up and located the jailer unlocking the door. It opened to confess a small delegation. First, in one of those inverted order of priority, got here a burly police sergeant in uniform. After him got here an effective officer in undeniable outfits, who used to be moderate and fairly dapper, yet simply as noticeable a police style in eu phrases. these the Saint may have anticipated, if he had thought of it, irrespective of why he was once the place he used to be. however it was once the 3rd guy, for whom they made method purely once they had it sounds as if happy themselves that the Saint’s angle used to be no longer violent, who was once the stopper. He used to be a tall iron-gray guy with a scholarly droop, so much officially wearing swallow-tail coat and striped trousers, even sporting white gloves and a silk hat, and Simon famous him without delay. a number of million other folks might have made an analogous startled reputation, for Mr Hudson Inverest was once now not precisely a world nonentity. “Well,” stated the Saint, a bit incredulously, “this is unquestionably a brand new excessive in provider. i do know the Secretary of country is technically answerable for those that get themselves in difficulty out of the country, yet I didn’t anticipate you to bail me out in individual. ” “You be aware of who i'm? ” Inverest stated matter-of-factly. The Saint smiled. “I’ve noticeable you in adequate information photographs, caricatures—and tv. Now I have in mind studying approximately you being right here on an reliable stopover at. It’s rather very considerate of you to be round simply at this second. ” The Secretary stared at him grimly excessive of his glasses. “Mr Templar, what are you aware approximately my daughter? ” Simon Templar’s eyebrows rose a bit and drew jointly. “Your daughter? I didn’t even be aware of you had one. ” The uniformed sergeant begun a threatening gesture, however the plainclothes guy checked it with a virtually imperceptible move of his hand. “My daughter, Sue,” Inverest stated. “A willowy blonde? ” Simon stated slowly. “With brief curly hair and grey eyes? ” “You have been along with her on the Colosseum—just prior to she used to be kidnaped. ” all of it clicked within the Saint’s improving brain, with a blind and devastating simplicity—even to a response of hers which had questioned him on the time. “I used to be speaking to a lady like that,” he acknowledged. “I’d simply made a few foolish crack in regards to the kingdom division, and that i spotted she took it in a slightly humorous means. yet I hadn’t the faintest notion who she was once. after which I received slugged over the pinnacle myself. If there have been any witnesses, they have to have noticeable that. ” “That used to be seen,” stated the plainclothes guy. “But it didn't clarify your presence there. ” “I was once not able to leave,” acknowledged the Saint. “I used to be knocked chilly, take into account?

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