The Quest of the Sacred Slipper HTML version

7. First Attempt On The Safe
On the following morning I was awakened by the arrival of Bristol. I hastened to admit
"Your visitor of yesterday," he began, "has wasted no time!"
"What has happened?"
He tugged irritably at his moustache. "I don't know!" he replied. "Of course it was no
surprise to find that there isn't a Mohammedan who'll lay his little finger on Professor
Deeping's safe! There's no doubt in my mind that every lascar at the docks knows Hassan
of Aleppo to be in England. Some other arrangement will have to be arrived at, if the
thing is ever to be taken to the Antiquarian Museum. Meanwhile we stand to lose it. Last
night -"
He accepted a cigarette, and lighted it carefully.
"Last night," he resumed, "a member of P Division was on point duty outside the late
Professor's house, and two C.I.D. men were actually in the room where the safe is. Result
- someone has put in at least an hour's work on the lock, but it proved too tough a job!"
I stared at him amazedly.
"Someone has been at the lock!" I cried. "But that is impossible, with two men in the
room - unless - "
"They were both knocked on the head!"
"Both! But by whom! My God! They are not - "
"Oh, no! It was done artistically. They both came round about four o'clock this morning."
"And who attacked them?"
"They had no idea. Neither of them saw a thing!"
My amazement grew by leaps and bounds. "But, Bristol, one of them must have seen the
other succumb!"
"Both did! Their statements tally exactly!"
"I quite fail to follow you."