The Devil's Paw HTML version

Chapter 16
Julian, duly embarked upon his mission, was kept waiting an unexpectedly short time in
the large but gloomy apartment into which Mr. Stenson's butler had somewhat doubtfully
ushered him. The Prime Minister entered with an air of slight hurry. He was also
somewhat surprised.
"My dear Orden," he exclaimed, holding out his hand, "what can I do for you?"
"A great deal," Julian replied gravely. "First of all, though, I have an explanation to
"I am afraid," Mr. Stenson regretted, "that I am too much engaged this evening to enter
into any personal matters. I am expecting a messenger here on very important official
"I am that messenger," Julian announced.
Mr. Stenson started. His visitor's tone was serious and convincing.
"I fear that we are at loggerheads. It is an envoy from the Labour Party whom I am
"I am that envoy."
"You?" Mr. Stenson exclaimed, in blank bewilderment.
"I ought to explain a little further, perhaps. I have been writing on Labour questions for
some time under the pseudonym of `Paul Fiske'."
"Paul Fiske?" Mr. Stenson gasped. "You - Paul Fiske?"
Julian nodded assent.
"You are amazed, of course," he proceeded, "but it is nevertheless the truth. The fact has
just come to light, and I have been invited to join this new emergency Council, composed
of one or two Socialists and writers, amongst them a very distinguished prelate; Labour
Members of Parliament, and representatives of the various Trades Unions, a body of men
which you doubtless know all about. I attended a meeting at Westminster an hour ago,
and I was entrusted with this commission to you."
Mr. Stenson sat down suddenly.
"God bless my soul!" he exclaimed. "You - Julian Orden!"