The Evil Shepherd
Francis drove direct from Grosvenor Square to his chambers in the Temple, and found
Shopland, his friend from Scotland Yard, awaiting his arrival.
"Any news?" Francis enquired.
"Nothing definite, I am sorry, to say," was the other's reluctant admission.
Francis hung up his hat, threw himself into his easy-chair and lit a cigarette.
"The lad's brother is one of my oldest friends, Shopland," he said. "He is naturally in a
state of great distress."
The detective scratched his chin thoughtfully.
"I said 'nothing definite' just now, sir," he observed. "As a rule, I never mention
suspicions, but with you it is a different matter. I haven't discovered the slightest trace of
Mr. Reginald Wilmore, or the slightest reason for his disappearance. He seems to have
been a well-conducted young gentleman, a little extravagant, perhaps, but able to pay his
way and with nothing whatever against him. Nothing whatever, that is to say, except one
almost insignificant thing."
"A slight tendency towards bad company, sir. I have heard of his being about with one or
two whom we are keeping our eye upon."
"Bobby Fairfax's lot, by any chance?"
"He was with Jacks and Miss Daisy Hyslop, a night or two before he disappeared. I am
not sure that a young man named Morse wasn't of the party, too."
"What do you make of that lot?" Francis asked curiously. "Are they gamesters, dope
fiends, or simply vicious?"
The detective was silent. He was gazing intently at his rather square-toed shoes.
"There are rumours, sir," he said, presently, "of things going on in the West End which
want looking into very badly--very badly indeed. You will remember speaking to me of
Sir Timothy Brast?"
"I remember quite well," Francis acknowledged.