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Silver recognized the voice and the dumpy figure of his visitor. At once he dragged him into the passage and barred the door quickly, breathing hard meanwhile. "I don't mind you," he giggled, hysterically. "You're in the same boat with me, my lord. But I fancied when you knocked that the police—the police"—his voice died weakly in his throat: he cast a wild glance around and touched his neck uneasily as though he already felt the hangman's rope encircling it.

Garvington did not approve of this grim pantomime, and swore. "I'm quite alone, damn you," he said roughly. "It's all right, so far!" He sat down and loosened his overcoat, for the place was like a Turkish bath for heat. "I want a drink. You've been priming yourself, I see," and he pointed to a decanter of port wine and a bottle of brandy which were on the table along with a tray of glasses. "Silly ass you are to mix."

"I'm—I'm—keeping up my—my spirits," giggled Silver, wholly unnerved, and pouring out the brandy with a shaking hand. "There you are, my lord. There's water, but no soda."

"Keeping up your spirits by pouring spirits down," said Garvington, venturing on a weak joke. "You're in a state of siege, too."

Silver certainly was. He had bolted the shutters, and had piled furniture against the two windows of the room. On the table beside the decanter and bottles of brandy, lay a poker, a heavy club which Lambert had brought from Africa, and had left behind when he gave up the cottage, a revolver loaded in all six chambers, and a large bread knife. Apparently the man was in a dangerous state of despair and was ready to give the officers of the law a hostile welcome when they came to arrest him. He touched the various weapons feverishly.

"I'll give them beans," he said, looking fearfully from right to left. "Every door is locked; every window is bolted. I've heaped up chairs and sofas and tables and chests of drawers, and wardrobes and mattresses against every opening to keep the devils out. And the lamps—look at the lamps. Ugh!" he shuddered. "I can't bear to be in the dark."

"Plenty of light," observed Garvington, and spoke truly, for there must have been at least six lamps in the room—two on the table, two on the mantel-piece, and a couple on the sideboard. And amidst his primitive defences sat Silver quailing and quivering at every sound, occasionally pouring brandy down his throat to keep up his courage.

The white looks of the man, the disorder of the room, the glare of the many lights, and the real danger of the situation, communicated their thrill to Garvington. He shivered and looked into shadowy corners, as Silver did; then strove to reassure both himself and his companion. "Don't worry so," he said, sipping his brandy to keep him up to concert pitch, "I've got an idea which will be good for both of us."

"What is it?" questioned the secretary cautiously. He naturally did not trust the man who had betrayed him.

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"Do you know who has inherited Pine's money?"

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"No. The person named in the sealed envelope?"

"Exactly, and the person is Mother Cockleshell."

Silver was so amazed that he forgot his fright. "What? Is Gentilla Stanley related to Pine?"

"She's his grandmother, it seems. One of my servants was at the camp to-day and found the gypsies greatly excited over the old cat's windfall."