115. termination of interest
"knowledge," opined mr barbourforth, "is a dangerous thing, especially when it may not be true."
ternwhistle, who had been set at his ease by the surprisingly affable barbourforth and offered a cup of tea on his arrival, nodded politely. his brain still fogged from his nocturnal descent into depravity, he was attempting to digest the startling information he had been greeted with - namely, that barbourforth was terminating his interest in the fotherinton inheritance.
"but what about the documents, sir?, " ternwhistle managed to ask.
116. a polite enquiry
"could you direct me to madwood, sir?" the orphan politely asked the little man. there was, she thought, no point in dissembling her destination. as it was almost certainly his destination also, whether he had actually been following her or not.
"do you mean can i actually point you in the direction?" the little man laughed, and the top hat on his head, which did not seem to fit him perfectly, wobbled slightly.
he looked around, and the orphan followed gaze.
all around was desolation - desolation, which, in the bleak morning light, carried not the slightest hint of romance.
"no need of that."
117. main force
"how are we to get the documents?" lieutenant valentine corgrave raised his eyebrows. "by taking them, of course. by main force, if need be."
"ah." gobbins looked around. "so that's it, squire."
"what else would it be? my dear fellow, you didn't think i was recruiting you for your strategic insights, did you?"
"'main force' sounds so genteel, squire." coggins lowered his voice. "are we talking murder here?"
"events take their course."
"no need of that, " the little man repeated. "i have no more idea of the direction than you do. but," he added, "i have a car coming to pick me up and take me there."
he looked around. "not that i see any sign of it. tell me, are you going to madwood to enquire after the inheritance - the treasure?"
what was the point of denying it? "i am," the orphan replied.
"get on with you, squire. it's not so easy as all that. or as commonly done as some seem to think."
"i'm aware of that."
120. a celebrated personage
"unless i am greatly mistaken, you must be the celebrated miss davis, from the new york federal-democrat."
"i beg your pardon?"
121. mistaken identity
"evidently you have mistaken me for someone else."
"really? who but a journalist would investigate this folly?"
"you take a deal for granted, lieutenant. a deal for granted, indeed."
"look here, are you game or not? if not, just say so, and we will be quits."
"oh, i'm game."
chapters 123 - 128
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