The Quest of the Sacred Slipper HTML version

22. The Light Of El-Medineh
Bristol and I walked slowly in the direction of the entrance of the British Antiquarian
Museum. It was the day following upon the sensational scene in my chambers.
"There's very little doubt," said Bristol, "that Earl Dexter has the slipper and that Hassan
of Aleppo knows where Dexter is in hiding. I don't know which of the two is more
elusive. Hassan apparently melted into thin air yesterday; and a1though The Stetson Man
has never within my experience employed disguises, no one has set eyes upon him since
the night that he vanished from his lodgings off the Waterloo Road. It's always possible
for a man to baffle the police by remaining closely within doors, but during all the time
that has elapsed Dexter must have taken a little exercise occasionally, and the missing
hand should have betrayed him."
"The wonder to me is," I replied, "that he has escaped death at the hands of the Hashishin.
He is a supremely daring man, for I should think that he must be carrying the slipper of
the Prophet about with him!"
"I would rather he did it than I!" commented Bristol. "For sheer audacity commend me to
The Stetson Man! His idea no doubt was to use you as intermediary in his negotiations
with the Museum authorities, but that plan failing, he has written them direct,
thoughtfully omitting his address, of course!"
We were, in fact, at that moment bound for the Museum to inspect this latest piece of
"The crowning example of the man's audacity and cleverness," added my companion, "is
his having actually approached Hassan of Aleppo with a similar proposition! How did he
get in touch with him? All Scotland Yard has failed to find any trace of that weird
"Birds of a feather - " I suggested.
"But they are not birds of a feather!" cried Bristol. "On your own showing, Hassan of
Aleppo is simply waiting his opportunity to balance Dexter's account forever! I always
knew Dexter was a clever man; I begin to think he's the most daring genius alive!"
We mounted the steps of the Museum. In the hallway Mostyn, the curator, awaited us.
Having greeted Bristol and myself he led the way to his private office, and from a
pigeon-hole in his desk took out a letter typewritten upon a sheet of quarto paper.
Bristol spread it out upon the blotting pad and we bent over it curiously.