The Devil's Paw
It was about half-past ten on the following morning when Julian, obeying a stentorian
invitation to enter, walked into Miles Furley's sitting room. Furley was stretched upon the
couch, smoking a pipe and reading the paper.
"Good man!" was his hearty greeting. "I hoped you'd look me up this morning."
Julian dragged up the other dilapidated-looking easy-chair to the log fire and commenced
to fill his pipe from the open jar.
"How's the leg?" he enquired.
"Pretty nearly all right again," Furley answered cheerfully. "Seems to me I was frightened
before I was hurt. What about your head?"
"No inconvenience at all," Julian declared, stretching himself out. "I suppose I must have
a pretty tough skull."
"News enough, of a sort, if you haven't heard it. They caught the man who sandbagged
me, and who I presume sawed your plank through, and shot him last night."
"The devil they did!" Furley exclaimed, taking his pipe from his mouth. "Shot him?. Who
the mischief was he, then?"
"It appears," Julian replied, "that he was a German hairdresser, who escaped from an
internment camp two years ago and has been at large ever since, keeping in touch,
somehow or other, with his friends on the other side. He must have known the game was
up as soon as he was caught. He didn't even attempt any defence."
"Shot, eh?" Furley repeated, relighting his pipe. "Serves him damned well right!"
"You think so, do you?" Julian remarked pensively.
"Who wouldn't? I hate espionage. So does every Englishman. That's why we are such
duffers at the game, I suppose."
Julian watched his friend with a slight frown.
"How in thunder did you get mixed up with this affair, Furley?" he asked quietly.
Furley's bewilderment was too natural to be assumed. He removed his pipe from his teeth
and stared at his friend.