The Secret Adversary
13. The Vigil
SIR James brushed past Julius and hurriedly bent over the fallen woman.
"Heart," he said sharply. "Seeing us so suddenly must have given her a shock. Brandy--
and quickly, or she'll slip through our fingers."
Julius hurried to the washstand.
"Not there," said Tuppence over her shoulder. "In the tantalus in the dining-room. Second
door down the passage."
Between them Sir James and Tuppence lifted Mrs. Vandemeyer and carried her to the
bed. There they dashed water on her face, but with no result. The lawyer fingered her
"Touch and go," he muttered. "I wish that young fellow would hurry up with the brandy."
At that moment Julius re-entered the room, carrying a glass half full of the spirit which he
handed to Sir James. While Tuppence lifted her head the lawyer tried to force a little of
the spirit between her closed lips. Finally the woman opened her eyes feebly. Tuppence
held the glass to her lips.
Mrs. Vandemeyer complied. The brandy brought the colour back to her white cheeks, and
revived her in a marvellous fashion. She tried to sit up--then fell back with a groan, her
hand to her side.
"It's my heart," she whispered. "I mustn't talk."
She lay back with closed eyes.
Sir James kept his finger on her wrist a minute longer, then withdrew it with a nod.
"She'll do now."
All three moved away, and stood together talking in low voices. One and all were
conscious of a certain feeling of anticlimax. Clearly any scheme for cross-questioning the
lady was out of the question for the moment. For the time being they were baffled, and
could do nothing.
Tuppence related how Mrs. Vandemeyer had declared herself willing to disclose the
identity of Mr. Brown, and how she had consented to discover and reveal to them the
whereabouts of Jane Finn. Julius was congratulatory.