The Kingdom of the Blind
At a little after noon on the following day Captain Granet descended from a taxicab in the
courtyard of the Milan Hotel, and, passing through the swing doors, made his way to the
inquiry office. A suave, black-coated young clerk hastened to the desk.
"Can you tell me," Granet inquired, "whether a gentlemen named Guillot is staying
The young man bowed.
"Monsieur Guillot arrived last night, sir," he announced. "He has just rung down to say
that if a gentlemen called to see him he could be shown up. Here, page," he went on,
turning to a diminutive youth in the background, "show this gentleman to number 322."
Granet followed the boy to the lift and was conducted to a room on the third floor. The
door was opened by a tall, white-haired Frenchman.
"Monsieur Guillot?" Captain Granet inquired pleasantly. "My name is Granet."
The Frenchman ushered him in. The door was closed and carefully locked. Then
Monsieur Guillot swung around and looked at his visitor with some curiosity. Granet was
still wearing his uniform.
"France must live," Granet murmured.
The Frenchman at once extended his hand.
"My friend," he confessed, "for a moment I was surprised. It did not occur to me to see
you in this guise."
"I have been out at the Front," he explained, "and am home wounded."
"But an English officer?" Monsieur Guillot remarked dubiously. "I do not quite
understand, then. The nature of the communication which I have come to receive is
known to you?"
Granet nodded and accepted the chair which his host had offered.
"I do not think that you should be so much surprised," he said simply. "If the war is
grievous for your country, it is ruin to mine. We do not, perhaps, advertise our
apprehensions in the papers. We prefer to keep them locked up in our own brain. There is