He thrust her sharply forward, then standing up, he took careful aim and fired. "Have you hit him?" cried Tuppence eagerly. "Sure," replied Julius. "He isn't killed, though. Skunks like that take a lot of killing. Are you all right, Tuppence?" "Of course I am. Where's Tommy? And who's this?" She indicated the shivering Kramenin. "Tommy's making tracks for the Argentine.
For a moment Kramenin stared blindly into the big automatic, then, with almost comical haste, he flung up his hands above his head. In that instant Julius had taken his measure. The man he had to deal with was an abject physical coward the rest would be easy. "This is an outrage," cried the Russian in a high hysterical voice. "An outrage! Do you mean to kill me?" "Not if you keep your voice down.
"Turn the car first, George. Then ring the bell, and get back to your place. Keep the engine going, and be ready to scoot like hell when I give the word." "Very good, sir." The front door was opened by the butler. Kramenin felt the muzzle of the revolver pressed against his ribs. "Now," hissed Julius. "And be careful." The Russian beckoned.
"What run?" demanded Kramenin, with a stare. "Down to Gatehouse, sure. I hope you're fond of motoring?" "What do you mean? I refuse to go." "Now don't get mad. You must see I'm not such a kid as to leave you here. You'd ring up your friends on that telephone first thing! Ah!" He observed the fall on the other's face. "You see, you'd got it all fixed. No, sir, you're coming along with me.
IN his suite at Claridge's, Kramenin reclined on a couch and dictated to his secretary in sibilant Russian. Presently the telephone at the secretary's elbow purred, and he took up the receiver, spoke for a minute or two, then turned to his employer. "Some one below is asking for you." "Who is it?" "He gives the name of Mr. Julius P. Hersheimmer." "Hersheimmer," repeated Kramenin thoughtfully.
His lips were white, and his voice was not very steady: "It is I Kramenin! Bring down the girl at once! There is no time to lose!" Whittington had come down the steps. He uttered an exclamation of astonishment at seeing the other. "You! What's up? Surely you know the plan " Kramenin interrupted him, using the words that have created many unnecessary panics: "We have been betrayed!
Though not particularly enjoying the American's free and easy manner of speech, Kramenin was devoured by curiosity. "Will your business take long to state?" "Might be an all night job if you caught on." "Very good, Ivan. I shall not require you again this evening. Go to the theatre take a night off." "Thank you, your excellency." The secretary bowed and departed.
"He knows everything and his vengeance is swift. Even I Kramenin! would not be exempt!" "Then you won't do as I ask you?" "You ask an impossibility." "Sure that's a pity for you," said Julius cheerfully. "But the world in general will benefit." He raised the revolver. "Stop," shrieked the Russian. "You cannot mean to shoot me?" "Of course I do.
He turned into an A.B.C. shop and ordered eggs and bacon and coffee. Whilst he ate, he read a morning paper propped up in front of him. Suddenly he stiffened. There was a long article on Kramenin, who was described as the "man behind Bolshevism" in Russia, and who had just arrived in London some thought as an unofficial envoy.
Would clear out at once. Still, they may have left something behind them that will be a clue. You say you've recognized Number 1 to be Kramenin? That's important. We want something against him badly to prevent the Cabinet falling on his neck too freely. What about the others? You say two faces were familiar to you? One's a Labour man, you think?