Half an hour later I posted the receipt to Rayne, and later we all three lunched together in the restaurant. We took our coffee upstairs in the private room, when Duperré said,
During our absence he had been occupied in removing the stolen jewels from their settings. "Yes," I laughed. "You seem to have been very busy, Vincent!" Beside the bent and broken articles of gold lay a little pile of glittering gems, none of them very large, but all of first quality. "Lady Norah wouldn't like to see her treasures in such a condition, would she?" laughed Duperré.
"We are going to the Continent by the morning service the day after to-morrow, George," Rayne told me. "Tracy leaves to-night. Lola will go with us as far as Paris, where Duperré will meet us, and we go south together." And he produced a batch of tickets, among which I saw coupons for reserved compartments in the wagon-lit. Afterwards he gave some peculiar instructions to Tracy.
Admiral Duperré, the Minister of Marine, served with great credit to himself throughout the war, and commanded the force which defeated our attempt to take the Isle of France, in 1810, and the naval portion of the expedition employed in the capture of Algiers, was placed under his orders.
Yet the fact that the locked suit-case only contained books and that nothing had been found in our possession thanks to the forethought of Duperré the police now found themselves in a quandary.
In consequence, everyone was turned out and searched, a woman searching the female passengers, Signorina Lacava waxing highly indignant. Rayne, Duperré and myself were also very closely searched, while every nook and cranny of the compartments and baggage were rummaged during the transit of the train from Lyons down to Marseilles.
We were invited to a picnic at Grand Trianon, given by the Emperor and Empress for the Archduke of Austria. The rendezvous was to be at St. Cloud, and we were asked to be there at four o'clock. On arriving we found the Metternichs, Edouard Delesert, Duperre, and Count Dehm, the Austrian Secretary. Their Majesties and the Prince Imperial joined us when we were all assembled.
Just before we went out to dinner Martyn called, and after taking a drink Duperré went out with him, remarking to me that he would be in soon after eleven. Hence I went to the theater, and on returning at midnight awaited him.
Moreover, I had Lola to consider, and if I defied her father he most certainly would not allow his daughter to marry me. Next morning we left Enderby by train and returned to Overstow in the late afternoon. Duperré had gone up to Glasgow upon some mysterious business crooked without a doubt so that night, after dining together, Rayne and I played a game of billiards.
At ten o'clock that night, after Lola had retired to bed, I was called to consult with Rayne and Duperré, who were smoking together in the billiard-room. Duperré had evidently related to him the result of his mysterious journeyings, and Rayne seemed in an unusually good humor. "Sit down, George, and listen," he said.