The Kingdom of the Blind HTML version

Chapter 23
It was a queer little gathering in the drawing-room of Market Burnham Hall, queer and in
a sense ominous. Two soldiers guarded the door. Another one stood with his back to the
wide-flung window, the sunlight flashing upon his drawn bayonet. Granet, although he
looked about him for a moment curiously, carried himself with ease and confidence.
"How do you do, Sir Meyville?" he said. "How are you, Thomson?"
Sir Meyville, who was in a state of great excitement, took absolutely no notice of the
young man's greeting. Thomson pointed to a chair, in which Granet at once seated
"I have sent for you, Captain Granet," the former began, "to ask you certain questions
with reference to the events of last night."
"Delighted to tell you anything I can," Granet replied. "Isn't this a little out of your line,
though, Thomson?"
Sir Meyville suddenly leaned forward.
"That is the young man," he declared. "I took him to be the officer in command here and I
showed him over my workshop. Quite a mistake--absolutely a wrong impression!"
"It was a mistake for which you could scarcely hold me responsible," Granet protested,
"and you must really excuse me if I fail to see the connection. Perhaps you will tell me,
Major Thomson, what I am here for?"
Major Thomson seated himself before the desk and leaned a little back in his chair.
"We sent for you," he said, "because we are looking for two men who lit the magnesium
light which directed the Zeppelin last night to this locality. One of them lies on the lawn
there, with a bullet through his brain. We are still looking for the other."
"Do you imagine that I can be of any assistance to you?" Granet asked.
"That is our impression," Major Thomson admitted. "Perhaps you will be so good as to
tell us what you were doing here last night?"
"Certainly," Granet replied. "About half-past ten last night I thought I heard the engine of
an airship. We all went out on the lawn but could see nothing. However, I took that
opportunity to get my car ready in case there was any excitement going. Later on, as I
was on my way upstairs, I distinctly heard the sound once more. I went out, started my
car, and drove down the lane. It seemed to be coming in this direction so I followed
along, pulled up short of the house, climbed on the top of the bank and saw that