The Prince of Wurttemberg is a dog, a prize Dachshund. The Countess of Dashleigh bred him, and he is worth some 25,000 pounds in addition to the prize of 10,000 pounds offered at the Paris dog show. Can you wonder that " At that moment the Great Detective was interrupted by the scream of a woman. "Great Heaven!" The Countess of Dashleigh dashed into the room. Her face was wild.
What you say will damn or save him; and I have too good an opinion of you to think that any old grudge, though you might have cause for it, would stand in his way. Walsingham answered as usual, that his opinion and his evidence would be known on the day of trial. Dashleigh went away very ill-satisfied, and persuaded that Walsingham harboured revenge against his relation.
The face of the Great Detective showed the most profound sympathy. It ran up and down in furrows. "So," he muttered, "the sister of the Archbishop, the Countess of Dashleigh!" Accustomed as he was to the life of the aristocracy, even the Great Detective felt that there was here intrigue of more than customary complexity. There was a loud rapping at the door.
I suspected you yesterday morning of bearing malice against that coxcomb, who deserved to be laughed at, but not to be shot. By Jove, Walsingham, you're an honest fellow, I find. 'And have you but just found that out, admiral? said Walsingham, with a proud smile. 'Harkee, my lad, said Dashleigh, calling after him, 'remember, I'm your friend, at all events.
"When the day of trial came," pursued Mr. Walsingham "Don't forget Admiral Dashleigh," said Mr. Beaumont. "No; who can forget him that knows him?" said Walsingham: "a warm, generous friend, open-hearted as he is brave he came to Captain Walsingham the day before the court-martial was to sit.
In short, it was all done so properly and so plausibly, that even Walsingham never suspected any secret influence, nor did he find out the part Dashleigh had taken in the business till several months afterwards, when a discreet friend mentioned it by accident." "I was that discreet friend," said Mr. Beaumont. "Well, all this is very good, but there's no love in this Story," said Mr. Palmer.
There entered the Countess of Dashleigh. She was all in furs. She was the most beautiful woman in England. She strode imperiously into the room. She seized a chair imperiously and seated herself on it, imperial side up. She took off her tiara of diamonds and put it on the tiara-holder beside her and uncoiled her boa of pearls and put it on the pearl-stand.
Dashleigh understood this, for he now comprehended Walsingham's character perfectly. Immediately after the trial, Walsingham was made commander, in consequence of his having saved the Dreadnought, and his having taken l'Ambuscade. With this appointment Dashleigh had nothing to do.
Disguised as a choir-boy he took part in the offices of the church. He found nothing. Still undismayed, the Great Detective made his way into the home of the Countess of Dashleigh. Disguised as a housemaid, he entered the service of the Countess. Then at last a clue came which gave him a solution of the mystery. On the wall of the Countess's boudoir was a large framed engraving.
Take it as you will, I'll make you mine yet, before I've done with you. Walsingham knew that at this time Admiral Dashleigh's friends were in power, and that Dashleigh himself had great influence with the Admiralty; and he probably treated the admiral thus haughtily, to show that he had no interested views or hopes.