The Pagan Madonna (Chapter 9, page 1 of 12)


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Chapter 9

"If you will write the order I will execute it at once. The consulate
closes early."

"I'll write it, but how will I get it to you? The door closes below the
sill."

"When you are ready, call, and I will open the door a little."

"It would be better if you opened it full wide. This is China--I
understand that. But we are both Americans, and there's a good sound law
covering an act like this."

"But it does not reach as far as China. Besides, I have an asset back in
the States. It is my word. I have never broken it to any man or woman, and
I expect I never shall. You have, or have had, what I consider my
property. You have hedged the question; you haven't been frank."

The son listened intently.

"I bought that string of glass beads in good faith of a Chinaman--Ling
Foo. I consider them mine--that is, if they are still in my possession.
Between the hour I met you last night and the moment of Captain Dennison's
entrance to my room considerable time had elapsed."

"Sufficient for a rogue like Cunningham to make good use of," supplemented
the prisoner in Cabin Two. "There's a way of finding out the facts."

"Indeed?"

"Yes. You used to carry a planchette that once belonged to the actress
Rachel. Why not give it a whirl? Everybody's doing it."

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