Barter was so good as to point out, among Steinberg's keys, those which were necessary for the purposes of investigation. He even went so far as to offer his assistance as guide; but this was declined with a chilliness singularly at variance with the solicitous warmth of the proposal.
Barter, in the exuberance of his heart, had exposed to the officer en route the whereabouts of the lost notes. He declared that to his knowledge they rested in a safe, the position of which he indicated, in Steinberg's Hatton Garden office. The Inspector before whom the charge was made deemed this intelligence worthy of being acted on at once. The two prisoners were searched, and Mr.
But he only said, "And after Bordell's, I suppose, will come Steinberg's?" His four visitors laughed in hearty unison, and the one whom they called Rex exclaimed in a sarcastic tone: "There's no harm in that, is there? A drink never hurts a gentleman." "But it doesn't always leave them gentlemen," remarked Joe emphatically.
There was a great deal of unnecessary motion in Steinberg's hand, and Barter, looking at its swift and resolute movements, got a blind sort of impression of strength out of it, and nullified the feeling with which it inspired him.
The men of Hawks' Boost talked pretty freely about each other in the absence of such of their fellow clubmen as were under discussion. Barter was spoken of as Steinberg's Mug, Berg's Juggins, Stein's Spoofmarker. It was generally admitted that Stein made a good thing out of him, and the wonder was where Barter got his money.
Philip gave these reflections but little time to grow distinct to Barter's mind. 'How many of those notes? he asked slowly, emphasising almost every word by a tap of his knuckles upon the table, 'have passed into Steinberg's hands? 'All, gasped Barter; 'every one of them!
Steinberg's bosom at this juncture must be imagined. He looked them all, but verbally expressed none of them. 'Get up, said Phil, addressing him. Steinberg obeyed. 'Take a seat in that corner. Steinberg obeyed again. 'Now you to Barter, 'take a place in that corner, behind the desk. 'With pleasure, Mr. Bommaney, said Barter, 'with the very greatest willingness.
'Now the best thing for you to do, said Phil, sternly regarding him, 'will be to make a clean breast of it. I have been tracking you since the second day of our acquaintance. Barter groaned, with a tremulous and hollow sound, but made no other answer. 'How many of those notes are in Steinberg's hands? Phil asked.
Tie him, Mr. Bommaney, before he comes round again. I'll hold him for you. One may get good advice from the most unexpected quarter, and whencesoever good advice may come it is worth while to follow it. Phil took a dandy scarf from Steinberg's own neck, and tied him tightly, wrist to wrist Then he helped him to his feet, and set him in a chair.
Barter, scared as he had been, and shaken to his centre, had begun to think again, and when he saw that Steinberg's chance in the enemy's hands was less than nothing, that fact formed as it were the last necessary plank for the raft of safety he desired to construct.