"My right is that I have the bill and the information, and I intend to understand the situation better before I give the information to anyone else." "But you recognized Senhor Poritol's handwriting on the bill," exclaimed the minister. "On the face of it, yes. He did not write the abbreviations on the back." "Abbreviations!" exclaimed Poritol.

But the secret of the bill still tantalized him. Blindfolded, he had played in a game at which the others saw. It seemed unfair as if he had some right to know the meaning of all these mysterious incidents. Why had Poritol wanted the bill so badly? Why had the desire to possess it driven the two Japanese to such extreme measures? Orme crossed the court and entered the lobby.

At the report of the conversation between Alcatrante and the Japanese concerning the commissions on ships, he had leaned forward with especial attention. And now, after a few moments of thought, he said: "The Japanese minister we can handle. As for Alcatrante, I must see to it that he is recalled and Poritol." "Poor little Mr. Poritol!" exclaimed the girl.

After all, he must make allowance; so he said: "Come back to-morrow with evidence that you are entitled to the bill, and you shall have it." He released Senhor Poritol. The little man had recovered his composure. He went back to the table and took up his hat and cane, refolding the handkerchief and slipping it into his pocket. Once more he was the Latin fop.

"If I find you hanging around, I'll have you locked up." Senhor Poritol whispered: "It is my secret. Why should I tell you the truth about it? You have no right to know." Orme retained his hold. "I don't like your looks, my friend," he said. "There may have been reason why you should lie to me, but you will have to make things clear." He considered.

Where his head bumped against the table, the board above him solid, as he had supposed rattled strangely. At the moment he could not investigate, but as soon as the cat had satisfied the suspicions of Poritol, and Alcatrante and the stranger had retired to their corner, he twisted his head back and examined the wood above him. The table had a drawer.

He must have been well paid, that burglar. But then," she mused, "they could afford it yes, they could well afford it. "When I got to the street, Poritol was just disappearing in my car! I can only think that he had lost his head very completely, for he didn't need to take the car. He could have mixed with the street-crowd and gone afoot to the hotel where " "Alcatrante?" "Yes, Mr.

"Senhor Poritol," he said, "why didn't you write the secret on a time-table, or on your ticket, before you gave the bill to the agent?" Senhor Poritol was flustered. "Why," he said uncertainly, "I did not think of that. How can we explain the mistakes we make in moments of great nervousness?" "True," said Orme. "But one more point. You did not yourself write your friend's secret on the bill.

Much as he longed to see the girl again, he was glad that they were not to make this adventure together, for the reputation of North Parker Street was unsavory. Orme found his way readily enough. There was not far to go, and he preferred to walk. But before he reached his destination he remembered that he had promised Alcatrante and Poritol to meet them at his apartment at ten o'clock.

The letters which you have just printed are differently made." Senhor Poritol said nothing. He was breathing hard. "On the other hand," continued Orme, turning the bill over and eyeing the inscription on its face, "your mistake in first writing the name instead of printing it, shows me that you did write the words on the face of the bill." He returned the bill to his pocket-book.