The Illustrious Prince
27. A Prisoner
Dr. Spencer Whiles was sitting in a very comfortable easy chair, smoking a particularly
good cigar, with a pile of newspapers by his side. His appearance certainly showed no
signs of hardship. His linen, and the details of his toilet generally, supplied from some
mysterious source into which he had not inquired, were much improved. Notwithstanding
his increased comfort, however, he was looking perplexed, even a little worried, and the
cause of it was there in front of him, in the advertisement sheets of the various
newspapers which had been duly laid upon his table.
The Prince came in quietly and closed the door behind him.
"Good afternoon, my friend!" he said. "I understood that you wished to see me."
The doctor had made up his mind to adopt a firm attitude. Nevertheless the genial
courtesy of the Prince's tone and manner had the same effect upon him as it had upon
most people. He half rose to his feet and became at once apologetic.
"I hope that I have not disturbed you, Prince," he said. "I thought that I should like to
have a word or two with you concerning something which I have come across in these
He tapped them with his forefinger, and the Prince nodded thoughtfully.
"Your wonderful Press!" he exclaimed. "How much it is responsible for! Well, Dr.
Whiles, what have the newspapers to say to you?"
The doctor handed across a carefully folded journal and pointed to a certain paragraph.
"Will you kindly read this?" he begged.
The Prince accepted the sheet and read the paragraph aloud:
"FIFTY POUNDS REWARD! Disappeared from his home in Long Whatton on
Wednesday morning last, Herbert Spencer Whiles, Surgeon. The above reward will be
paid to any one giving information which will lead to the discovery of his present
whereabouts. Was last seen in a motor car, Limousine body, painted dark green, leaving
Long Whatton in the direction of London."
The Prince laid down the paper, smiling.
"Well?" he asked. "That seems clear enough. Some one is willing to give fifty pounds to
know where you are."
The doctor tapped the advertisement with his forefinger impressively.