My Lady's Money
THE conference between Lady Lydiard and Mr. Troy, on the way back to
London, led to some practical results.
Hearing from her legal adviser that the inquiry after the missing money was for a
moment at a standstill, Lady Lydiard made one of those bold suggestions with
which she was accustomed to startle her friends in cases of emergency. She had
heard favorable reports of the extraordinary ingenuity of the French police; and
she now proposed sending to Paris for assistance, after first consulting her
nephew, Mr. Felix Sweetsir. "Felix knows Paris as well as he knows London,"
she remarked. "He is an idle man, and it is quite likely that he will relieve us of all
trouble by taking the matter into his own hands. In any case, he is sure to know
who are the right people to address in our present necessity. What do you say?"
Mr. Troy, in reply, expressed his doubts as to the wisdom of employing foreigners
in a delicate investigation which required an accurate knowledge of English
customs and English character. Waiving this objection, he approved of the idea
of consulting her Ladyship's nephew. "Mr. Sweetsir is a man of the world," he
said. "In putting the case before him, we are sure to have it presented to us from
a new point of view." Acting on this favorable expression of opinion, Lady Lydiard
wrote to her nephew. On the day after the visit to Miss Pink, the proposed council
of three was held at Lady Lydiard's house.
Felix, never punctual at keeping an appointment, was even later than usual on
this occasion. He made his apologies with his hand pressed upon his forehead,
and his voice expressive of the languor and discouragement of a suffering man.
"The beastly English climate is telling on my nerves," said Mr. Sweetsir--"the
horrid weight of the atmosphere, after the exhilarating air of Paris; the intolerable
dirt and dullness of London, you know. I was in bed, my dear aunt, when I
received your letter. You may imagine the completely demoralised?? state I was