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The Secret Adversary

19. Jane Finn
"MY train got in half an hour ago," explained Julius, as he led the way out of the station.
"I reckoned you'd come by this before I left London, and wired accordingly to Sir James.
He's booked rooms for us, and will be round to dine at eight."
"What made you think he'd ceased to take any interest in the case?" asked Tommy
"What he said," replied Julius dryly. "The old bird's as close as an oyster! Like all the
darned lot of them, he wasn't going to commit himself till he was sure he could deliver
the goods."
"I wonder," said Tommy thoughtfully.
Julius turned on him.
"You wonder what?"
"Whether that was his real reason."
"Sure. You bet your life it was."
Tommy shook his head unconvinced.
Sir James arrived punctually at eight o'clock, and Julius introduced Tommy. Sir James
shook hands with him warmly.
"I am delighted to make your acquaintance, Mr. Beresford. I have heard so much about
you from Miss Tuppence"--he smiled involuntarily--"that it really seems as though I
already know you quite well."
"Thank you, sir," said Tommy with his cheerful grin. He scanned the great lawyer
eagerly. Like Tuppence, he felt the magnetism of the other's personality. He was
reminded of Mr. Carter. The two men, totally unlike so far as physical resemblance went,
produced a similar effect. Beneath the weary manner of the one and the professional
reserve of the other, lay the same quality of mind, keen-edged like a rapier.
In the meantime he was conscious of Sir James's close scrutiny. When the lawyer
dropped his eyes the young man had the feeling that the other had read him through and
through like an open book. He could not but wonder what the final judgment was, but
there was little chance of learning that. Sir James took in everything, but gave out only
what he chose. A proof of that occurred almost at once.