The Secret Adversary
2. Mr. Whittington's Offer
TUPPENCE turned sharply, but the words hovering on the tip of her tongue remained
unspoken, for the man's appearance and manner did not bear out her first and most
natural assumption. She hesitated. As if he read her thoughts, the man said quickly:
"I can assure you I mean no disrespect."
Tuppence believed him. Although she disliked and distrusted him instinctively, she was
inclined to acquit him of the particular motive which she had at first attributed to him.
She looked him up and down. He was a big man, clean shaven, with a heavy jowl. His
eyes were small and cunning, and shifted their glance under her direct gaze.
"Well, what is it?" she asked.
The man smiled.
"I happened to overhear part of your conversation with the young gentleman in Lyons'."
"Well--what of it?"
"Nothing--except that I think I may be of some use to you."
Another inference forced itself into Tuppence's mind:
"You followed me here?"
"I took that liberty."
"And in what way do you think you could be of use to me?"
The man took a card from his pocket and handed it to her with a bow.
Tuppence took it and scrutinized it carefully. It bore the inscription, "Mr. Edward
Whittington." Below the name were the words "Esthonia Glassware Co.," and the address
of a city office. Mr. Whittington spoke again:
"If you will call upon me to-morrow morning at eleven o'clock, I will lay the details of
my proposition before you."
"At eleven o'clock?" said Tuppence doubtfully.
"At eleven o'clock."
Tuppence made up her mind.