The Evil Shepherd HTML version

Chapter 25
Sir Timothy was standing upon the hearthrug of the very wonderful apartment which he
called his library. By his side, on a black marble pedestal, stood a small statue by Rodin.
Behind him, lit by a shielded electric light, was a Vandyck, "A Portrait of a Gentleman
Unknown," and Francis, as he hesitated for a moment upon the threshold, was struck by a
sudden quaint likeness between the face of the man in the picture, with his sunken
cheeks, his supercilious smile, his narrowed but powerful eyes, to the face of Sir Timothy
himself. There was something of the same spirit there--the lawless buccaneer, perhaps the
"You asked for me, Sir Timothy," Francis said.
Sir Timothy smiled.
"I was fortunate to find that you had not left," he answered. "I want you to be present at
this forthcoming interview. You are to a certain extent in the game. I thought it might
amuse you."
Francis for the first time was aware that his host was not alone. The room, with its odd
splashes of light, was full of shadows, and he saw now that in an easy-chair a little
distance away from Sir Timothy, a girl was seated. Behind her, still standing, with his hat
in his hand, was a man. Francis recognised them both with surprise.
"Miss Hyslop!" he exclaimed.
She nodded a little defiantly. Sir Timothy smiled. "Ah!" he said. "You know the young
lady, without a doubt. Mr. Shopland, your coadjutor in various works of philanthropy,
you recognise, of course? I do not mind confessing to you, Ledsam, that I am very much
afraid of Mr. Shopland. I am not at all sure that he has not a warrant for my arrest in his
The detective came a little further into the light. He was attired in an ill-fitting dinner suit,
a soft-fronted shirt of unpleasing design, a collar of the wrong shape, and a badly
arranged tie. He seemed, nevertheless, very pleased with himself.
"I came on here, Mr. Ledsam, at Sir Timothy's desire," he said. "I should like you to
understand," he added, with a covert glance of warning, "that I have been devoting every
effort, during the last few days, to the discovery of your friend's brother, Mr. Reginald
"I am very glad to hear it," Francis replied shortly. "The boy's brother is one of my
greatest friends."