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The Secret Adversary

18. The Telegram
BAFFLED for the moment, Tommy strolled into the restaurant, and ordered a meal of
surpassing excellence. His four days' imprisonment had taught him anew to value good
He was in the middle of conveying a particularly choice morsel of Sole a la Jeanette to
his mouth, when he caught sight of Julius entering the room. Tommy waved a menu
cheerfully, and succeeded in attracting the other's attention. At the sight of Tommy,
Julius's eyes seemed as though they would pop out of his head. He strode across, and
pump-handled Tommy's hand with what seemed to the latter quite unnecessary vigour.
"Holy snakes!" he ejaculated. "Is it really you?"
"Of course it is. Why shouldn't it be?"
"Why shouldn't it be? Say, man, don't you know you've been given up for dead? I guess
we'd have had a solemn requiem for you in another few days."
"Who thought I was dead?" demanded Tommy.
"She remembered the proverb about the good dying young, I suppose. There must be a
certain amount of original sin in me to have survived. Where is Tuppence, by the way?"
"Isn't she here?"
"No, the fellows at the office said she'd just gone out."
"Gone shopping, I guess. I dropped her here in the car about an hour ago. But, say, can't
you shed that British calm of yours, and get down to it? What on God's earth have you
been doing all this time?"
"If you're feeding here," replied Tommy, "order now. It's going to be a long story."
Julius drew up a chair to the opposite side of the table, summoned a hovering waiter, and
dictated his wishes. Then he turned to Tommy.
"Fire ahead. I guess you've had some few adventures."
"One or two," replied Tommy modestly, and plunged into his recital.
Julius listened spellbound. Half the dishes that were placed before him he forgot to eat.
At the end he heaved a long sigh.