The Illustrious Prince HTML version

15. Penelope Explains
Once more Penelope found herself in the library of the great house in Park Lane, where
Mr. Blaine-Harvey presided over the interests of his country. This time she came as an
uninvited, even an unexpected guest. The Ambassador, indeed, had been fetched away by
her urgent message from the reception rooms, where his wife was entertaining a stream
of callers. Penelope refused to sit down.
"I have not much to say to you, Mr. Harvey," she said. "There is just something which I
have discovered and which you ought to know. I want to tell it you as quickly as possible
and get away."
"A propos of our last conversation?" he asked eagerly.
She bowed her head.
"It concerns Prince Maiyo," she admitted.
"You are sure that you will not sit down?" he persisted. "You know how interesting this
is to me."
She smiled faintly.
"To me," she said, "it is terrible. My only desire is to tell you and have finished with it.
You remember, when I was here last, you told me that it was your firm belief that
somewhere behind the hand which murdered Hamilton Fynes and poor Dicky stood the
shadow of Prince Maiyo."
"I remember it perfectly," he answered.
"You were right," Penelope said.
The Ambassador drew a little breath. It was staggering, this, even if expected.
"I have talked with the Prince several times since our conversation," Penelope continued.
"So far as any information which he gave me or seemed likely to give me, I might as well
have talked in a foreign language. But in his house, the day before yesterday, in his own
library, hidden in a casket which opened only with a secret lock, I found two things."
"What were they?" the Ambassador asked quickly.
"A roll of silken cord," Penelope said, "such as was used to strangle poor Dicky, and a
strangely shaped dagger exactly like the picture of the one with which Hamilton Fynes
was stabbed."