Peter Ruff and the Double Four
I.8. Mrs. Bognor's Star Boarder
In these days, the duties of Miss Brown as Peter Ruff's secretary had become
multifarious. Together with the transcribing of a vast number of notes concerning
cases, some of which he undertook and some of which he refused, she had also
to keep his cash book, a note of his investments and a record of his social
engagements. Notwithstanding all these demands upon her time, however, there
were occasions when she found herself, of necessity, idle. In one of these she
broached the subject which had often been in her mind. They were alone, and
not expecting callers. Consequently, she sat upon the hearthrug and addressed
her employer by his Christian name.
"Peter, she said softly, "do you remember the night when you came through the
fog and burst into my little flat?"
"Quite well," he answered, "but it is a subject to which I prefer that you do not
"I will be careful," she answered. "I only spoke of it for this reason. Before you
left, when we were sitting together, you sketched out the career which you
proposed for yourself. In many respects, I suppose, you have been highly
successful, but I wonder if it has ever occurred to you that your work has not
proceeded upon the lines which you first indicated?"
"I think I know what you mean," he said. "Go on."
"That night," she murmured softly, "you spoke as a hunted man; you spoke as
one at war with Society; you spoke as one who proposes almost a campaign
against it. When you took your rooms here and called yourself Peter Ruff, it was