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Edgar Wallace
Jack O' Judgment

"Who engaged you?"

"Well–" the man hesitated. "I don't know whether it isn't betraying the confidence of a client," he waited for some encouragement to pursue the path of rectitude and honour, but received none. "Well, I'll tell you candidly, our firm has been engaged by a young lady. She brought me here to-night–"

"Miss White, eh?" said the colonel quickly.

"Miss White it was, sir," said Snakit.

"So that was why she was here? She wanted to show you–"

"Just where your rooms were, sir," said the man. "She also wanted to show me the back stairs by which I could get out of the building if I wanted to."

"What were your general instructions?"

"Just to watch you, sir, and if I had an opportunity when you were out, of sneaking in and nosing round."

"I see," said the colonel. "Crewe, just take Mr. Snakit downstairs and tell him where to report. Fix up his pay—you know," he gave a significant sideways jerk of his head, and Crewe escorted the gratified little detective from the apartment.

When the door had closed, the colonel turned on Silva.

"Pinto," he said and there was a rumble in his voice which betrayed his anger, "that girl is dangerous. She may or may not know where her father is—this detective business may be a blind. Probably Snakit was sent here knowing that he would be captured and spill the beans."

"That struck me, too," said Pinto.

"She's dangerous," repeated the colonel.

He resumed his promenade up and down the room.

"She's an active worker and she's working against us. Now, I'm going to settle with Miss White," he said gratingly. "I'm going to settle with her for good and all. I don't care what she knows, but she probably knows too much. She's hand in glove with the police and maybe she's working with her father. You'll get Phillopolis here to-morrow morning–"

The other's eyes opened.

"Phillopolis?" he almost gasped. "Good heavens! You're not going to–"

The colonel faced him squarely.

"You've had your chance with the girl and you've missed it," he said. "You've tried your fancy method of courting and you've fallen down."

"But I'm not going to stand for Phillopolis," said the other, with tense face. "I tell you I like the girl. There's going to be none of that–"

"Oh, there isn't, isn't there?" said the colonel in his silkiest tone.

Then suddenly he leaned forward across the table and his face was the face of a devil.

"There's only one Boundary Gang, Pinto, and this is it," he said between his clenched white teeth, "and there's only one Dan Boundary and that's me. Do you get me, Pinto? You can go a long way with me if I happen to be going that way. But you stand in the road and you're going to get what's coming. I've been good to you, Pinto. I've stood your interference because it amused me. But you come up against me, really up against me, and by the Lord Harry! you'll know it. Did you get that?"

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