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The Return of Bull-Dog Drummond by H. C. McNeile (Sapper

The Return of Bull-Dog Drummond by H. C. McNeile (Sapper

Author:H. C. McNeile (Sapper
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: fiction, adventure, Film Adaptation
Publisher: Distributed Proofreaders Canada
Published: 1933-01-15T05:00:00+00:00


THE RETURN OF BULL-DOG DRUMMOND VI

For a moment or two there was dead silence in the room; then Hardcastle sprang to his feet.

“How the devil did you get in here, damn you!” he shouted.

Drummond held up a protesting hand.

“My dear sir, ladies are present. I will therefore remove my hat. Please take care of it: it isn’t paid for yet. How did I get in? you asked. Through an open window in the basement. And I must beg of you, Comtessa, to remonstrate with your cook. A table on which I inadvertently sat was covered with old tea-leaves.”

“How did you find this house, Captain Drummond?” said the Comtessa quietly.

“My heart smote me, dear lady, when you left the Custard Pot alone: there are so many rude men in London. So, waving my hand in sprightly fashion to that large beef-eater man at the door, I leaped into another taxi and told the driver to follow you. And he, scenting romance, and therefore a large tip, complied in masterly manner with my request.”

A faint smile was playing round his lips: the looks passing between the three men had not escaped him.

“I think it is the grossest piece of impertinence I have ever heard of in my life,” she said icily. “What is there to prevent me ringing up the police and giving you in charge for house-breaking?”

“Absolutely nothing,” said Drummond brightly. “There is the telephone in the corner.”

She bit her lip, and turned appealingly to Madame Saumur, who was staring thoughtfully at Drummond.

“Look here, young man,” said Penton aggressively, “are you going to clear out of your own free will, or am I going to pitch you out on your ear?”

“Not on my ear, Harold, I beg of you,” cried Drummond anxiously. “I shall probably have to consult an aurist anyhow to-morrow. The draught through that keyhole of yours is positively wicked.”

“You mean that you’ve been listening?” said Hardcastle softly.

“Yes, dear Tom. My ear has been glued to the orifice for quite a time. I heard you all being ticked off by Irma—I beg your pardon, Madame, Natalie—you naughty things.”

The three men began to crowd in on him, and Drummond’s smile grew more pronounced.

“Apropos of ringing up the police, Comtessa,” he remarked, “I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t one knocking about outside. There was when I got out of my taxi thirty or forty yards away. A charming young fellow: a credit to the Force. And the instant I saw him I felt impelled to give him my celebrated impersonation of a gentleman who has taken one over the eight. ’Ole friend of my youth,’ I hiccupped at him, ‘my name is Drummond, Captain Hugh Drummond. And I live at Queen Anne’s Mansions. What, then, you ask me, am I doing up here? I will tell you. I am visiting a lady—a very beautiful lady—the Comtessa Bartelozzi. But, my dear old officer, like so many beautiful ladies, she has a jealous husband. If therefore my dead body is found lying about the streets you will know where to start inquiries.



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