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Fire-Tongue

9. Two Reports
On returning to his office Paul Harley found awaiting him the report of the man to
whom he had entrusted the study of the movements of Nicol Brinn. His mood
was a disturbed one, and he had observed none of his customary precautions in
coming from Doctor McMurdoch's house. He wondered if the surveillance which
he had once detected had ceased. Perhaps the chambers of Nicol Brinn were
the true danger zone upon which these subtle but powerful forces now were
focussed. On the other hand, he was quite well aware that his movements might
have been watched almost uninterruptedly since the hour that Sir Charles
Abingdon had visited his office.
During the previous day, in his attempt to learn the identity of Ormuz Khan, he
had covered his tracks with his customary care. He had sufficient faith in his
knowledge of disguise, which was extensive, to believe that those mysterious
persons who were interested in his movements remained unaware of the fact
that the simple-minded visitor from Vancouver who had spent several hours in
and about the Savoy, and Paul Harley of Chancery Lane, were one and the
same.
His brain was far too alertly engaged with troubled thoughts of Phil Abingdon to
be susceptible to the influence of those delicate etheric waves which he had
come to recognize as the note of danger. Practically there had been no
development whatever in the investigation, and he was almost tempted to believe
that the whole thing was a mirage, when the sight of the typewritten report
translated him mentally to the luxurious chambers in Piccadilly.
Again, almost clairvoyantly, he saw the stoical American seated before the empty
fireplace, his foot restlessly tapping the fender. Again he heard the curious, high
tones: "I'll tell you... You have opened the gates of hell...."
 
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