“Take the door into the outer hall, Jean,” said M. Charolais, in a low voice. “Bernard, take that door into the drawing-room. Pierre and Louis, help me go through the drawers. The whole family is going to Paris, and if we’re not quick we shan’t get the cars.”
“That comes of this silly fondness for warning people of a coup,” growled Jean, as he hurried to the door of the outer hall. “It would have been so simple to rob the Paris house without sending that infernal letter. It was sure to knock them 长沙桑拿场子 all silly.”
“What harm can the letter do, you fool?”
said M. Charolais. “It’s Sunday. We want them knocked silly for to-morrow, to get hold of the coronet. Oh, to get hold of that coronet! It must be in Paris. I’ve been ransacking this chateau for hours.”
Jean opened the door of the outer hall half an inch, and glued his eyes to it. Bernard had done the same with the door opening into the drawing-room. M. Charolais, Pierre, and Louis were opening drawers, ransacking them, and shutting them with infinite quickness and noiselessly.
“Bureau! Which is the bureau? The place is stuffed with bureaux!” growled M. Charolais. “I must have those keys.”
“That plain thing with the brass handles in the middle on the left—that’s a bureau,” said Bernard softly.
“Why didn’t you say so?” growled M. Charolais.
He dashed to it, and tried it. It was locked.
“Locked, of course! Just my luck! Come and get it open, Pierre. 长沙桑拿洗浴会所 Be smart!”
The son he
had described as an engineer came quickly to the bureau, fitting together as he came the two halves of a small jemmy. He fitted it into the top of the flap. There was a crunch, and the old lock gave. He opened the flap, and he and M. Charolais pulled open drawer after drawer.
“Quick! Here’s that fat old fool!” said Jean, in a hoarse, hissing whisper.
He moved down the hall, blowing out one of the lamps as he passed it. In the seventh drawer lay a bunch of keys. M. Charolais snatched it up, glanced at it, took a bunch of keys from his own pocket, put it in the drawer, closed it, closed the flap, and rushed to the window. Jean and his sons were already out on the terrace.
M. Charolais was still a yard from the window when the door into the outer hall opened and in came M. Gournay-Martin.
He caught a 长沙桑拿会所glimpse of a back vanishing through the window, and bellowed: “Hi! A man! A burglar! Firmin! Firmin!”
He ran blundering down the hall, tangled his feet in the fragments of the broken chair, and came sprawling a thundering cropper, which knocked every breath of wind out of his capacious body. He lay flat on his face for a couple of minutes, his broad back wriggling convulsively—a pathetic sight!—in the painful effort to get his breath back. Then he sat up, and with perfect frankness burst into tears. He sobbed and blubbered, like a small child that has hurt itself, for three or four minutes. Then, having recovered his magnificent voice, he bellowed furiously: “Firmin! Firmin! Charmerace! Charmerace!”
Then he rose painfully to his feet, and stood staring at the open windows.
Presently he roared again: “Firmin! Firmin! Charmerace!长沙桑拿攻略 Charmerace!”
He kept looking at the window with terrified eyes, as though he expected somebody to step in and cut his throat from ear to ear.
“Firmin! Firmin! Charmerace! Charmerace!” he bellowed again.
The Duke came quietly into the hall, dressed in a heavy motor-coat, his motor-cap on his head, and carrying a kit-bag in his hand.