I.4. A Delicate Mission
Aynesworth was back in less than an hour. He carried under his arm a brown paper
parcel, the strings of which he commenced at once to untie. Wingrave, who had been
engrossed in the contents of his deed box, watched him with immovable face.
"The tailor will be here at two-thirty," he announced, "and the other fellows will follow
on at half an hour's interval. The manicurist and the barber are coming at six o'clock."
"What have you there?" he asked, pointing to the parcel.
"Cigars and cigarettes, and jolly good ones, too," Aynesworth answered, opening a flat
tin box, and smelling the contents appreciatively. "Try one of these! The finest Turkish
"I don't smoke," Wingrave answered.
"Oh! You've got out of it, but you must pick it up again," Aynesworth declared. "Best
thing out for the nerves--sort of humanizes one, you know!"
"Humanizes one, does it?" Wingrave remarked softly. "Well, I'll try!"
He took a cigarette from the box, curtly inviting Aynesworth to do the same.
"What about lunch?" the latter asked. "Would you care to come round with me to the
Cannibal Club? Rather a Bohemian set, but there are always some good fellows there."
"I am much obliged," Wingrave answered. "If you will ask me again in a few days' time,
I shall be very pleased. I do not wish to leave the hotel just at present."
"Do you want me?" Aynesworth asked.
"Not until five o'clock," Wingrave answered. "I should be glad if you would leave me
now, and return at that hour. In the meantime, I have a commission for you."
"Good!" Aynesworth declared. "What is it?"
"You will go," Wingrave directed, "to No. 13, Cadogan Street, and you will enquire for
Lady Ruth Barrington. If she should be out, ascertain the time of her return, and wait for