The Vanished Messenger HTML version

Chapter 21
"To-day," Hamel declared, as he stood at the sideboard the following morning at
breakfast-time and helped himself to bacon and eggs, "I am positively going to begin
reading. I have a case full of books down at the Tower which I haven't unpacked yet."
Esther made a little grimace.
"Look at the sunshine," she said. "There isn't a breath of wind, either. I think to-day that I
could play from the men's tees."
Hamel sighed as he returned to his place.
"My good intentions are already half dissipated," he admitted.
She laughed.
"How can we attack the other half?" she asked.
Gerald, who was also on his way to the sideboard, suddenly stopped.
"Hullo!" he exclaimed, looking out of the window. "Who's going away this morning, I
wonder? There's the Rolls-Royce at the door."
Hamel, too, rose once more to his feet. The two exchanged swift glances. Moved by a
common thought, they both started for the door, only to find it suddenly opened before
them. Mr. Fentolin glided into the room.
"Uncle!" Gerald exclaimed.
Mr. Fentolin glanced keenly around the room.
"Good morning, everybody," he said. "My appearance at this hour of the morning
naturally surprises you. As a matter of fact, I have been up for quite a long time. Esther
dear, give me some coffee, will you, and be sure that it is hot. If any of you want to say
good-by to Mr. John P. Dunster, you'd better hurry out."
"You mean that he is going?" Hamel asked incredulously.
"He is going," Mr. Fentolin admitted. "I wash my hands of the man. He has given us an
infinite amount of trouble, has monopolised Doctor Sarson when he ought to have been
attending upon me - a little more hot milk, if you please, Esther - and now, although he
really is not fit to leave his room, he insists upon hurrying off to keep an appointment
somewhere on the Continent. The little operation we spoke of last night was successful,
as Doctor Sarson prophesied, and Mr. Dunster was quite conscious and able to sit up
early this morning. We telephoned at six o'clock to Norwich for a surgeon, who is now
on his way over here, but he will not wait even to see him. What can you do with a man
so obstinate!"
Neither Hamel nor Gerald had resumed their places. The former, after a moment's
hesitation, turned towards the door.
"I think," he said, "that I should like to see the last of Mr. Dunster."