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My Lady's Money

Chapter 18
SHARON'S news was not of an encouraging character. He had met with serious
difficulties, and had spent the last farthing of Moody's money in attempting to
overcome them.
One discovery of importance he had certainly made. A horse withdrawn from the
sale was the only horse that had met with Hardyman's approval. He had secured
the animal at the high reserved price of twelve thousand francs--being four
hundred and eighty pounds in English money; and he had paid with an English
bank-note. The seller (a French horse-dealer resident in Brussels) had returned
to Belgium immediately on completing the negotiations. Sharon had ascertained
his address, and had written to him at Brussels, inclosing the number of the lost
banknote. In two days he had received an answer, informing him that the horse-
dealer had been called to England by the illness of a relative, and that he had
hitherto failed to send any address to which his letters could be forwarded.
Hearing this, and having exhausted his funds, Sharon had returned to London. It
now rested with Moody to decide whether the course of the inquiry should follow
the horse-dealer next. Here was the cash account, showing how the money had
been spent. And there was Sharon, with his pipe in his mouth and his dog on his
lap, waiting for orders.
Moody wisely took time to consider before he committed himself to a decision. In
the meanwhile, he ventured to recommend a new course of proceeding which
Sharon's report had suggested to his mind.
"It seems to me," he said, "that we have taken the roundabout way of getting to
our end in view, when the straight road lay before us. If Mr. Hardyman has
passed the stolen note, you know, as well as I do, that he has passed it
innocently. Instead of wasting time and money in trying to trace a stranger, why
not tell Mr. Hardyman what has happened, and ask him to give us the number of
 
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