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Page 226

CHAPTER XXIV - ROYSTON GOES ABROAD

He was an old servant of the firm, and knew all the staff by sight. For this reason the police had not displaced him. But Gerry was not known to the stalwart old man, and he was determined to be sure of them. Whilst they were arguing, a big limousine came out, and the old man touched his hat respectfully to the occupant.
" Who was that ?" cried Gerry urgently. The old man looked at him in high dudgeon.
" That was Sir Robert Gill," he said, "though I don't see what it has to do with you."
" Sir Robert-hi, Brewer," Gerry cried urgently, " take this car and follow that man. I'll go inside and see what's happened. And as for you, you old fool," he said, turning to the gatekeeper, " you've prevented me catching one of the biggest scoundrels unhung i "
There was no need to tell Brewer a second time. He had gone in a flash, though the impossibility of the quest was pretty evident from the first.
The Devil's Apprentice had escaped them again !
Gerry made his way hurriedly to the office. Here he found a sergeant he knew. Briefly he told him all about Sir Robert's death.
" And now, Sergeant," said Gerry quietly, when he had finished. " Tell me what time this man arrived and what he did."
" You mean Sir Robert, sir? " the Sergeant asked. He was quite dazed at all the excitement Gerry had caused.
" Hell's fiends," cried Gerry, stung to impatience. " Haven't I told you that man was not Sir Robert. Sir Robert is dead-killed an hour ago . . . ! That man was the very person you were here to keep out."
The poor sergeant was silent. After all, he could not have told the real Sir Robert from the bogus one,

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