The Quest of the Sacred Slipper HTML version

33. How We Were Reinforced
Hilton, I learned, was living the simple life at "Uplands." The place was not yet decorated
and was only partly furnished. But with his man, Soar, he had been in solitary occupation
for a week.
"Feel better now?" he asked anxiously.
I reached for my tumbler and blew a cloud of smoke into the air. I could hear Soar's
footsteps as he made the round of bolts and bars, testing each anxiously.
"Thanks, Hilton," I said. "I'm quite all right. You are naturally wondering what the devil
it all means? Well, then, I wired you from Euston that I was coming by the 6:55
"H Post Office shuts at 7. I shall get your wire in the morning!"
"That explains your failing to meet me. Now for my explanation!"
"Surrounding this house at the present moment," I continued, "are members of an Eastern
organization - the Hashishin, founded in Khorassan in the eleventh century and
flourishing to-day!"
"Do you mean it, Cavanagh?"
"I do! One Hassan of Aleppo is the present Sheikh of the order, and he has come to
England, bringing a fiendish company in his train, in pursuit of the sacred slipper of
Mohammed, which was stolen by the late Professor Deeping - "
"Surely I have read something about this?"
"Probably. Deeping was murdered by Hassan! The slipper was placed in the Antiquarian
Museum - "
"From which it was stolen again!"
"Correct - by Earl Dexter, America's foremost crook! But the real facts have never got
into print. I am the only pressman who knows them, and I have good reason for keeping
my knowledge to myself! Dexter is dead (I believe I saw his ghost to-day). But although,
to the best of my knowledge, the accursed slipper is in the hands of Hassan and
Company, I have been watched since I left Euston, and on my way to "Uplands" my life
was attempted!"
"For God's sake, why?"