Once we get hold of them and understand them and know what end they are to serve, we may get an idea of the kind of man obviously suitable for handling them." "Like B45," said Hillyard. "Yes! The search will be narrowed to one kind of man. Oh, we shall be much nearer, if only we get the tubes if only the Germans in Madrid don't guess this letter's gone astray to us."
Hillyard walked on quickly to his club. "Is Sir Charles Hardiman here?" he asked of the hall porter. "He is in the card-room, sir." Martin Hillyard went up the stairs with a sense of relief. His position was becoming a little complicated. Mario Escobar was B45, and a friend of Joan Whitworth, and a friend of the Splays. There was one point upon which Martin Hillyard greatly needed information.
Now, however, his face lit up. He shut the door and took a seat at the table. "I can tell you about B45." It was Hillyard's creed that chance will serve a man very capably, if he is equipped to take advantage of its help; and here was an instance. The preparation had begun on the morning when Hillyard took the Dragonfly into the harbour of Palma.
"Perhaps you can tell me," he said at length. "I hear nothing from England or very little; and naturally. Are we obtaining Spanish workmen, too, for our munition factories?" "Yes." It was clear now why B45 was especially suitable for this work. B45 was Mario Escobar, a Spaniard himself. "And filling the tubes! That is simple?" "A child could do it," answered Marnier.
Else it would never have been allowed to escape at all. Hillyard folded up the letter. He would be going home in any case. There were those tubes. There was B45. He had enjoyed no leave since he had left England. Yes, he would go down to Rackham Park, and take Harry Luttrell with him if he could. Two days later the Commandant Marnier came to see him at the Ritz Hotel.
He had not understood how much he had counted upon success. "Yes, it's damnably disheartening," he cried. "I thought these tubes might lead us pretty straight to B45." The exclamation came from José Medina, who was leaning against the doorpost of the saloon, half in the room, half out on the sunlit deck. He had placed himself tactfully aloof. The examination of the cases was none of his business.
"But I hadn't an idea that Mario Escobar was concerned in it." "That wasn't mentioned?" asked the Commodore. "No. I already knew, you see, of B45. If just a word had been added that it was Mario who was writing to Emma Grutzner we might have identified him months ago." "Yes," answered Graham soothingly and with a proper compunction.
"Not for nothing has the American tourist come to Spain," Hillyard murmured. "Then their voices dropped a little, and your B45 was mentioned once or twice. And a name in connection with B45 once or twice. I did not understand what it was all about." "But you remember the name!" Fairbairn exclaimed eagerly. "Yes, I do." "Well, what was it?" It was again Fairbairn who spoke.
But he took the photograph away from Medina and locked it up again. The rapturous reminiscences of Rosa Hahn's intelligence checked the flow of that story which was to lead him to B45. "So you know about her?" José said with an envious eye upon the locked drawer. "A little," said Martin Hillyard.
Hillyard leaned back in his chair. "B45," he cried in exasperation. "We get no nearer to him." "Wait a bit!" Fairbairn interposed. "We are a deal nearer to him through Zimmermann's very letter here. What are these tubes which have been so successful in France?