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5. The Door Is Opened
Quentin Gray and Seton strolled out of Prince's and both paused whilst Seton
lighted a long black cheroot.
"It seems a pity to waste that box," said Gray. "Suppose we look in at the Gaiety
for an hour?"
His humor was vastly improved, and he watched the passing throngs with an
expression more suited to his boyish good looks than that of anger and
mortification which had rested upon him an hour earlier.
Seton Pasha tossed a match into the road.
"My official business is finished for the day," he replied. "I place myself
unreservedly in your hands."
"Well, then," began Gray--and paused.
A long, low car, the chauffeur temporarily detained by the stoppage of a motorbus
ahead, had slowed up within three yards of the spot where they were standing.
Gray seized Seton's arm in a fierce grip.
"Seton," he said, his voice betraying intense excitement, "Look! There is Monte
"In the car?"
"Yes, yes! But--he has two police with him! Seton, what can it mean?"
The car moved away, swinging to the right across the traffic stream and clearly
heading for old Bond Street. Quentin Gray's mercurial color deserted him, and he
turned to Seton a face grown suddenly pale.
"Good God," he whispered, "something has happened to Rita!"
Neglectful of his personal safety, he plunged out into the traffic, dodging this way
and that, and making after Monte Irvin's car. Of the fact that his friend was close
beside him he remained unaware until, on the corner of old Bond Street, a firm grip
settled upon his shoulder. Gray turned angrily. But the grip was immovable, and he
found himself staring into the unemotional face of Seton Pasha.
"Seton, for God's sake, don't detain me! I must learn what's wrong."
"Pull up, Gray."
Quentin Gray clenched his teeth.
"Listen to me, Seton. This is no time for interference. I--"
"You are about to become involved in some very unsavory business; and I repeat--
pull up. In a moment we shall learn all there is to be learned. But are you
determined openly to thrust yourself into the family affairs of Mr. Monte Irvin?"
"If anything has happened to Rita I'll kill that damned cur Pyne!"
"You are determined to intrude upon this man in your present frame of mind at a
time of evident trouble?"
But Gray was deaf to the promptings of prudence and good taste alike.
"I'm going to see the thing through," he said hoarsely.
"Quite so. Rely upon me. But endeavor to behave more like a man of the world
and less like a dangerous lunatic, or we shall quarrel atrociously."