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The Secret Adversary

20. Too Late
IN the street they held an informal council of war. Sir James had drawn a watch from his
pocket. "The boat train to Holyhead stops at Chester at 12.14. If you start at once I think
you can catch the connection."
Tommy looked up, puzzled.
"Is there any need to hurry, sir? To-day is only the 24th."
"I guess it's always well to get up early in the morning," said Julius, before the lawyer
had time to reply. "We'll make tracks for the depot right away."
A little frown had settled on Sir James's brow.
"I wish I could come with you. I am due to speak at a meeting at two o'clock. It is
The reluctance in his tone was very evident. It was clear, on the other hand, that Julius
was easily disposed to put up with the loss of the other's company.
"I guess there's nothing complicated about this deal," he remarked. "Just a game of hide-
and-seek, that's all."
"I hope so," said Sir James.
"Sure thing. What else could it be?"
"You are still young, Mr. Hersheimmer. At my age you will probably have learnt one
lesson. 'Never underestimate your adversary.' "
The gravity of his tone impressed Tommy, but had little effect upon Julius.
"You think Mr. Brown might come along and take a hand? If he does, I'm ready for him."
He slapped his pocket. "I carry a gun. Little Willie here travels round with me
everywhere." He produced a murderous-looking automatic, and tapped it affectionately
before returning it to its home. "But he won't be needed this trip. There's nobody to put
Mr. Brown wise."
The lawyer shrugged his shoulders.
"There was nobody to put Mr. Brown wise to the fact that Mrs. Vandemeyer meant to
Julius was silenced for once, and Sir James added on a lighter note: