The Great Impersonation HTML version

Chapter 21
There was nothing in the least alarming about the appearance of Mr. Ludwig Miller. He
had been exceedingly well entertained in the butler's private sitting-room and had the air
of having done full justice to the hospitality which had been offered him. He rose to his
feet at Dominey's entrance and stood at attention. But for some slight indications of
military training, he would have passed anywhere as a highly respectable retired
"Sir Everard Dominey?" he enquired.
Dominey nodded assent. "That is my name. Have I seen you before?"
The man shook his head. "I am a cousin of Doctor Schmidt. I arrived in the Colony from
Rhodesia, after your Excellency had left."
"And how is the doctor?"
"My cousin is, as always, busy but in excellent health," was the reply. "He sends his
respectful compliments and his good wishes. Also this letter."
With a little flourish the man produced an envelope inscribed:
To Sir Everard Dominey, Baronet,
Dominey Hall,
In the County of Norfolk,
Dominey broke the seal just as Seaman entered.
"A messenger here from Doctor Schmidt, an acquaintance of mine in East Africa," he
announced. "Mr. Seaman came home from South Africa with me," he explained to his
The two men looked steadily into each other's eyes. Dominey watched them, fascinated.
Neither betrayed himself by even the fall of an eyelid. Yet Dominey, his perceptive
powers at their very keenest in this moment which instinct told him was one of crisis, felt
the unspoken, unbetokened recognition which passed between them. Some commonplace
remark was uttered and responded to. Dominey read the few lines which seemed to take
him back for a moment to another world:
"Honoured and Honourable Sir,
"I send you my heartiest and most respectful greeting. Of the progress of all matters here
you will learn from another source.