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The Waiter At The "Black Post"
Laverick, notwithstanding that the hour was becoming late, found an outfitter's shop in
the Strand still open, and made such purchases as he could on Morrison's behalf. Then,
with the bag ready packed, he returned to his rooms. Time had passed quickly during the
last three hours. It was nearly nine o'clock when he stepped out of the lift and opened the
door of his small suite of rooms with the latchkey which hung from his chain. He began
to change his clothes mechanically, and he had nearly finished when the telephone bell
upon his table rang.
"Who's that?" he asked, taking up the receiver.
"Hall-porter, sir," was the answer. "Person here wishes to see you particularly."
"A person!" Laverick repeated. "Man or woman?"
"Man, sir.
"Better send him up," Laverick ordered.
"He's a seedy-looking lot, sir," the porter explained "I told him that I scarcely thought
you'd see him."
"Never mind," Laverick answered. "I can soon get rid of the fellow if he's cadging."
He went back to his room and finished fastening his tie. His own affairs had sunk a little
into the background lately, but the announcement of this unusual visitor brought them
back into his mind with a rush. Notwithstanding his iron nerves, his fingers shook as he
drew on his dinner-jacket and walked out to the passageway to answer the bell which
rang a few seconds later. A man stood outside, dressed in shabby black clothes, whose
face somehow was familiar to him, although he could not, for the moment, place it.
"Do you want to see me?" Laverick asked.
"If you please, Mr. Laverick," the man replied, "if you could spare me just a moment."
"You had better come inside, then," Laverick said, closing the door and preceding the
way into the sitting-room. At any rate, there was nothing threatening about the
appearance of this visitor - nor anything official.
"I have taken the liberty of coming, sir," the man announced, "to ask you if you can tell
me where I can find Mr. Arthur Morrison."
Laverick's face showed no sign of his relief. What he felt he succeeded in keeping to
"You mean Morrison - my partner, I suppose?" he answered.