Next day Mara was quite her old indifferent self. With feminine craft,
she denied what she had said, even though five witnesses were ready to
repeat the words. “I didn’t know what I was saying,” said Mara
impatiently. “Of course, the heat was too much for me.”
“The heat?” repeated her father; “in January?”
“Beckleigh isn’t England. My nerves are out of order.–Count Akira had
some funny Japanese scent on his handkerchief.–Theodore was looking
at me, and that always upsets me.” And in this way she made idle
excuses, none of which would hold water. “I wish you would leave me
alone,” she ended, angrily.
As there was nothing else for it, she was left alone, and the queer
episode was passed over. Mara was polite to the Japanese and nothing
more; but her eyes were constantly following him about, and she came
upon him by design in unexpected places. Akira was too shrewd not to
notice that he was an object of interest to this pale, golden-haired
English maid, and inwardly was puzzled to think why she should pursue
him in this secretive fashion. Mara everlastingly inquired about
Japan, and about its people. She wished to know the manners and
customs of the inhabitants, and entreated the Count to draw
word-pictures of Far-Eastern landscapes. But he observed that she
never asked him questions when anyone else was present. With a
delicate sense of chivalry, he kept silent about this secret
understanding which her odd conduct had brought about between them.
For there was an understanding without doubt. Akira found himself
wondering at times if she was really English, for towards him, at all
events, she did not display the world-wide reserve for which the
island race of the West is famous.
Of course, Squire Colpster seized the first opportunity to question
his guest about the emerald. But Akira professed that he knew little
more than the facts that there was such a stone and that it had been
stolen some months before from the temple. “I have been to Kitzuki,”
said the Count, “as my religion is Shinto, and in Izumo is the oldest
of our shrines. A very wonderful building it is, and was built in
legendary ages by order of the Sun-goddess.”
“But the same temple surely does not exist now?”
“Oh, no. It has been rebuilt twenty-eight times, and—-”
The Squire interrupted him with an exclamation. “I remember! Lafcadio
Hearn says that in one of his books.”
“He was a very clever man, and loved our people,” replied Akira
“Yes! yes!” Colpster nodded absently. “It is strange that he did not
say anything about the Mikado Jewel.”
“It is not generally shown to strangers,” explained the Japanese. “I
have seen it myself, of course.”
“What is it like?”
“Like a chrysanthemum blossom of green jade with an emerald in the
centre, Mr. Colpster. I believe it was given to the shrine by one of
our Emperors, called Go Yojo.”
“It was; and he received it from Shogun Ieyasu.”
Akira fixed his sharp black eyes on the tired face of his host. “You
seem–pardon me–to know a great deal about this jewel,” he observed
“I ought to. The emerald belonged to our family centuries ago.”
“You astonish me.”
“I thought I would!” cried the Squire triumphantly. “Yes; an ancestor
of mine gave the emerald to Queen Elizabeth, and she sent it, through
an English pilot called Will Adams, to Akbar, the Emperor of India.
Adams, however, was wrecked on your coasts, Count, and presented the
jewel to Ieyasu.”
“How very interesting,” said Akira, his usually passive Oriental face
betraying his wonder. “Thank you for telling me all this, Mr.
Colpster. I must relate it to the priests of the Kitzuki Temple, when
I return to my own land. I do so in a month or two,” he added
“But the Jewel is now lost!”
“So I understand. I read the report of the death of your housekeeper.”
Colpster gazed in astonishment at the little man. “Did that interest
“Naturally,” rejoined Akira, unmoved, “seeing that her death was
connected with the Mikado Jewel.”
“Are you sure that it is the same?” asked Colpster breathlessly.
“Assuredly, from the description. I expect the thief, whosoever he
was, brought the emerald to London.”
“But who stole it from Miss Carrol?”
Akira shrugged his shoulders and spread out his small hands. “Alas! I
do not know. But you should, Mr. Colpster, seeing that the thief
proposed to transfer it to your housekeeper through Miss Carrol?” He
looked very directly at his host as he spoke.
The Squire reflected for a few minutes. “I will be frank with you,
Count,” he observed earnestly. “That emerald brought good luck to our
family, and since it has left our possession, we have had misfortunes
and losses. I wished to get back the jewel and gave Basil a sum of
“To offer to buy it back,” interrupted Akira, nodding. “Yes, I know.
You sent him on a dangerous errand, Mr. Colpster. But for me he would
have been murdered, as perhaps you know.”
“Basil told me the story,” said Colpster, drawing himself up stiffly;
“but I cannot really agree with you as to the danger. I merely offered
to buy back what belonged to an ancestor of mine.”
“Your ancestor parted with it,” said Akira, readily and rather dryly,
“so, as the stone has become a sacred one, it was impossible for the
priests to take money for it. I know Dane had nothing to do with its
“Ah!” the Squire became cautious. “I don’t know who had anything to do
with the theft. I wish I did.”
“I would seek out the thief and regain the jewel.”
“By your own showing the thief parted with the emerald to Miss
Carrol,” was Akira’s quiet remark. “That it was taken from her is
“Oh, I don’t think so, Count. Some thief saw Miss Carrol looking at
it–you remember, of course, the details given at the inquest–and
Akira was silent for a few moments. “Mr. Colpster,” he said earnestly,
“if you are wise, you will make no attempt to regain this stone. It
brought your family good luck centuries ago, but if it comes into your
possession again, it will bring bad luck.”
“How do you, know?”
“I don’t know for certain; I don’t even know why it was snatched from
Miss Carrol, or where it is now,” said Akira coldly, “but I do know,”
he added with great emphasis, “that since the emerald has been adapted
to certain uses in the Shinto Temple at Kitzuki, the powers it
possesses must be entirely changed.”
“Oh, I don’t believe it has such powers,” said the Squire roughly.
“Yet you believe that it will bring you good luck,” said Akira with a
dry little cough. “Isn’t that rather illogical, sir?”
Mr. Colpster could find no rejoinder to this very leading question,
and dropped the subject. It was very plain that Akira knew very little
about the matter, and also it was dangerous to speak to him on the
subject. If, indeed, the jewel was in the possession of a London
thief, it might be recovered sooner or later. And if Akira knew that
it had again passed into the possession of the Colpster family, he
might get his ambassador to claim it for Japan. The Squire rather
regretted that he had spoken of the matter at all, since his
explanation might arouse his guest’s curiosity. But as the days passed
away, and Akira did not again refer to the abruptly terminated
conversation, Colpster thought that he was mistaken. The Japanese
really was indifferent to the loss of the Jewel, and no doubt had
never given the subject a second thought. But the Squire determined,
should he learn anything from Harry Pentreddle, to keep his knowledge
“Akira doesn’t care,” he meditated; “but one never knows. If I can get
the emerald by some miracle, he may want it for Kitzuki again. I shall
hold my tongue for the future. I was a fool to speak of the matter.”
Having decided to act in this manner, he warned Theodore and Basil and
Mara not to refer in any way to the Mikado Jewel. Yet, strangely
enough, he did not warn the person who knew most to hold her tongue.
It therefore came about that one day, while Patricia was showing the
gardens to Akira, he abruptly mentioned the subject of the inquest and
incidentally touched on her adventure in Hyde Park.
“Were you not afraid, Miss Carrol?”
“Yes and no. I was not afraid until the emerald was taken from me,”
said Patricia frankly.
“Why?” asked the Count politely, and with seeming indifference.
She hesitated. “I fear you will think me silly.” Then in reply to his
wave of a hand that such an idea would never enter his head, she added
hastily: “When I held the emerald I felt a power radiating out from
“Ah!” the Japanese started in spite of his usual self-command. “Then
you have occult powers and sight and feeling and hearing?”
“I have not,” replied Patricia, vexed with herself that she had spoken
so freely. “I am a very commonplace person indeed, Count. I felt that
feeling because I was worried and hungry.”
“Naturally!” muttered Akira to himself; “you get in touch with it when
the physical body is weak.”
“Get in touch with what?” asked Patricia crossly, for she began to
think that this beady-eyed little man was making game of her.
“With what you felt; with what you saw.”
“I shan’t say anything more about the matter.” Patricia turned away
with great dignity. “I’m sorry I spoke at all.”
“Your secret is safe with me, Miss Carrol.”
“It isn’t a secret. Mr. Colpster and his two nephews know.”
“I don’t suppose they understand.”
“Mr. Theodore Dane does!” snapped Miss Carrol fractiously, for the
persistence of the man was getting on her nerves.
“Yes,” said Akira with a ghostly smile; “in a way; but he doesn’t know
enough. Pity for him that he doesn’t.”
“What are you talking about, Count?”
“Nonsense!” he replied promptly; “after all, Miss Carrol, I am here to
“I wonder you came here at all to such a quiet place.”
“Oh, I don’t care for orgies, Miss Carrol. But if you ask me, I wonder
also why I am here.”
Patricia felt that he was speaking truthfully and turned on him with a
look of amazement. From all she had seen of the small Japanese, she
judged that he was a man who knew his own mind. As she looked, by some
telepathic process he guessed what was in hers. “Sometimes I do,” he
answered; “but on this occasion I don’t–exactly”–and he drawled the
last word slowly.
Patricia almost jumped. “You are a very uncomfortable man,” she
“The East and the West, dear lady–they never meet without
This cryptic remark closed the conversation, and they went in to
afternoon tea. Akira said no more, nor did he explain his puzzling
conversation in the least. However, he still remembered it, for every
time he looked at Patricia he smiled so enigmatically that the mother
which is in every woman made her wish to slap him and send him to bed
without any supper.
That same evening in the drawing-room a strange thing took place,
which made Patricia wonder more than ever. Theodore had been
performing some conjuring tricks with cards at which Akira smiled
politely. Basil had sung, and she had played a sonata of Beethoven.
Feeling tired, no doubt, of Shakespeare and the musical glasses, Mr.
Colpster had stolen to his study to look at his beloved family tree.
The young people had the drawing-room to themselves. As all save
Mara–who invariably declined to contribute to the gaiety of any
evening–had done his or her part, it was the turn of the Japanese.
“Amuse us in some way, Count,” commanded Patricia, crossing to a sofa,
and throwing herself luxuriously on the silken cushions.
“Alas! I am so foolish, I know not how to amuse. I have told you so
much of my own country that you must be tired.”
“No! No! No!” cried Mara, with shining eyes and an alert manner. “I
never grow weary of hearing about Japan.”
“Why?” asked the Count, half-closing his eyes.
Mara’s face became strange and cold. “I don’t know,” she said, in a
hesitating manner. “I seem to know Japan.”
“But, Mara,” cried Basil, staring, “you have never been there!”
“All the same I know it, and especially I know the Temple of Kitzuki.”
“Ah! but you _were_ there!” put in Theodore, glancing at the Count,
whose eyes were curiously intent upon the girl’s pale face.
“How? When?” he asked suddenly.
“She went in her astral body in search for the Mikado Jewel, and—-”
“Don’t talk of these things,” interrupted Mara, in an angry tone. “The
Count doesn’t want to hear such rubbish.”
“Of course; it is all rubbish,” said Akira promptly; but Patricia,
mindful of his afternoon conversation, did not believe that he spoke
as he felt.
“Ah!” sneered Theodore quietly, “you are one of the scoffers. Yet I
thought that the East believed in such things.”
“We believe in much we never talk about,” replied Akira calmly. Then
there was a pause, until he suddenly produced from his pocket a bamboo
flute. “I can play this,” he said, with his eyes on Mara, as though he
addressed himself to her; “it is a simple Japanese instrument. Have
you a drum?”
Basil, who was addressed, laughed. “I don’t think so. There’s the
“That will do,” said Akira serenely. “Would you mind getting it and
beating it rhythmically like a tom-tom–softly, of course, so as not
to drown the notes of my flute. And a hand-bell,” he added, casting
his looks round the room.
“You are arranging an orchestra,” laughed Basil, going out to fetch
“Here is a bell!” cried Mara, taking a small silver hand-bell from a
table covered with nicknacks.
“Hold it, please.”
“But what am I to do with it?” asked the girl, bewildered.
“The music I play will tell you,” said Akira, somewhat grimly, and
then Patricia began to see that there was some meaning in all this
preparation. More, that the same was in some hidden way connected with
Mara. However, she said nothing, but waited events.
Presently Basil, tall and slim, returned, carrying the brazen gong and
sat down to flourish the stick. “Punch and Judy,” said Basil; “now for
Akira said nothing. He looked at Patricia and Theodore, who were
staring at him with astonishment, and at Basil laughing over the gong,
and finally at Mara, who held the hand-bell and appeared puzzled.
Suddenly the Japanese rose from his seat, and, crossing to the fire,
threw something into it. Immediately a thick white smoke poured into
the room, and a strong perfume came to Patricia’s nostrils, which
seemed to be familiar.
“The incense of Moses,” she heard Theodore mutter; “hang it, the
fellow does know something of these things!”
Mara also smelt the perfumed smoke. Her eyes grew fixed, her nostrils
dilated and–as Patricia had seen in Theodore’s room–she began to
make a shaking motion with both hands. And, as formerly, she closed
them together, holding the silver bell, mouth downward. As the
fragrant smoke was wafted through the room, the shrill piping of the
flute was heard, and Basil, according to his instructions, began to
beat a low, muffled, monotonous accompaniment on the gong. The music
sounded weird and Eastern, and was unlike anything Patricia had ever
heard before. The stupefying incense and the smoke and the sobbing
flute, wailing above the throbbing of the gong, made her head swim.
Suddenly Mara, as if she was moving in her sleep, rose slowly and
walked into the centre of the room. There she began to move with
swaying motion in a circle, shaking the silver bell with closed hands.
Her feet scarcely made any figures, as she only walked rapidly round
and round, but the upper part of her body swung from side to side, and
bent backward and forward. It was like an Indian nautch, weird and
uncanny. Basil seemed to think so, for he stopped his measured
beating, but the smoke still wreathed itself through the room in
serpentine coils, the flute shrilled loud and piercing, and Mara
danced as in a dream. All at once she reeled and the bell crashed on
the floor. Basil flung down the gong and sprang forward.
“She is fainting,” he cried angrily, catching Mara in his arms.
“Akira, what the devil does this mean? She is ill!”
“No! No!” said Mara, as the flute stopped and the scent of the incense
grew faint. “I am not ill, I am–I am–what have I been doing?” and
she looked vacantly round the room.
Akira laid aside his flute and spoke with suppressed excitement. “You
have been performing the Miko dance,” he said, trying to control
“Miko! The dance of the Miko!” cried Mara, stretching out her hand; “I
know, I remember. The Dance of the Divineress! At last. At—-”
“Mara, you are ill!” cried Basil roughly, and catching her by the arm
he hurried her, still protesting, out of the room.
“What does it mean?” asked Patricia, who had risen.
“Don’t _you_ know?” asked Akira, looking at Theodore.
“No,” said Dane, puzzled and a trifle awed. “When Mara smells that
scent, she always dances in that queer fashion. But I never saw her
keep it up for so long as she has done to-night. Where did you get
“It is an old Japanese incense,” said Akira carelessly; then he turned
to Patricia. “I now know why I have been brought here,” he said.
“I don’t understand,” stammered the girl nervously.
“I shall explain. I did not intend to come to Beckleigh, but I was
compelled to come. You, with your sixth sense, should know what I
mean, Miss Carrol. I wondered why I was brought to this out-of-the-way
place. _Now_ I know. It was to meet a former Miko of the Temple of
Kitzuki. Oh, yes, I am sure. I now know why Miss Colpster declared
that she remembered my country and loved to hear me talk about it. She
is a reincarnation of the dancing priestess who lived ages since in
the province of Izumo.”
“Do you believe that?” asked Patricia scornfully.
Akira nodded. “All Japanese believe in reincarnation,” he said, in a
decisive tone; “it is the foundation of their belief. You believe
Theodore, to whom he spoke, nodded. “Yes. And I wish–I wish—-” he
Akira looked at him imperiously. “Wish nothing,” he said; “she is not
for you; she is not for the West; she is for Dai Nippon.”
It was judged best by all concerned to keep the episode of the Miko
dance from Mr. Colpster, since he undoubtedly would have been very
angry had he known of the strain to which Mara’s nervous system had
been subjected. Not that the girl suffered any ill-effects, but she
was extremely tired, and remained in bed for the greater part of the
next day. Patricia attended to her tenderly, but could learn little
from her as to why she had acted in so strange a way under the
influence of the incense and the music. But she intimated vaguely that
the dance had re-awakened her recollections of a previous life, when
she was not Mara Colpster, but quite another person. Miss Carrol was
quite distressed by what she regarded as an hallucination, and
privately consulted Basil the next morning after breakfast.
“I am greatly annoyed myself,” said Dane, frowning. “Akira should not
have acted in the way he did without consulting me.”
“You would not have given your consent to the experiment,” said
“Certainly not. Mara is too highly strung to be subjected to these
things, and might easily lose her reason. It is just as well that we
have decided not to tell my uncle. He would be furious, and then there
would be trouble with Akira, who has not the best of tempers under his
cool exterior. But why do you call it an experiment?”
“Can’t you see?”
“No! I merely think that Akira wished to give us a specimen of
Japanese music, and it influenced Mara, as you saw. Perhaps we have
been too hard on Akira, and he did not know what she would do.”
“If he did not intend something to happen, why did he throw that
incense on the fire?” asked Patricia meaningly.
“I can’t say, unless it was to heighten the dramatic effect of his
silly nonsense,” retorted Basil, whose temper was still hot.
“It was to revive Mara’s memory.”
“About her past life in Japan.”
Basil stared at her. “Surely, Miss Carrol, you don’t believe in what
Akira said last night?” he observed, with some displeasure and
“Don’t you?” Patricia looked at him keenly, and the young sailor grew
“Well,” he said, at length, “there is no doubt that much common-sense
is to be found in the belief of reincarnation. I have been so long in
the East that I don’t scoff at it so much as Western people do. All
the same, I do not go so far as to say that I entirely believe in it.
But you–you who have never been east of Suez–you can’t possibly
credit the fact that Mara some hundreds of years ago was a priestess
Patricia looked straight out of the window at the azure sea, and the
bright line of the distant horizon. “I dislike these weird things,”
she said, after a pause. “They are uncomfortable to believe, and since
I have known your brother Theodore I dislike them more than ever, as
he makes bad use of what he knows. I am certain of that.”
“Does he really know anything?” asked Basil, sceptically.
“Yes,” said Patricia decidedly. “I really believe he has certain
powers, although they are not so much on the surface as mine.
Everyone–according to him–has these powers latent, but they require
to be developed. I don’t want mine to be brought to the surface, as my
own idea is to live a quiet and ordinary life.”
Basil’s eyes had a look in them which asked if she wished to live her
ordinary life alone. All he said, however, was: “I quite agree with
Patricia nodded absently, being too much taken up with her own
thoughts to observe his expression. “As I therefore have a belief in
such things,” she continued, “and a belief which has been more or less
proved to my mind, by the strange feelings I experienced while
holding the Mikado Jewel, I see no reason to doubt the doctrine of
reincarnation. That seems to me better than anything else to answer
the riddle of life. Mara is certainly, as you must admit, a strange
“Very strange indeed,” assented Basil readily; “unlike other girls.”
“She has always–so she told me,” went on Patricia steadily, “been
trying to remember her dreams, by which, I think, she means her
previous lives. She could never grasp them until last night. Then the
music and the incense brought back her memories. They opened the
doors, in fact, which, to most people–you and I, for instance–are
“Then you really believe she lived in Japan centuries ago?” asked
Basil, in rather an awed tone.
“Yes, I do,” replied Miss Carrol firmly; “although I know that many
people would laugh if I said so. This morning Mara is staying in bed
and will not speak much. But I gather that the past has all returned
to her. Remember how she loved to hear Count Akira’s stories, and how
she followed him about. He noticed that, and so acted as he did last
“But why did he think of the Miko dance in connection with Mara?”
“Theodore confessed to me–oh”–Patricia blushed–“I should not call
him by his Christian name.”
The young man suppressed a pang of jealousy. “I dare say you do so
because you hear us all calling one another by our Christian names. I
often wonder,” he added cautiously, “that you do not call me Basil.”
Patricia blushed still deeper, and waived the question. “I have to
tell you what your brother said,” she remarked stiffly. “He related to
Count Akira how Mara danced in that weird manner when she smelt
certain incense. That gave the Count a hint, and he acted upon it, as
you saw.” She paused, then turned to face Basil. “What is to be done
The sailor had already made up his mind. “In the first place, my uncle
must not be told, as he would make trouble. In the second, I shall
take Akira to Hendle to-day sightseeing, so that he may not meet Mara.
In the third, I shall hint that it would be as well, seeing the effect
his presence has on Mara, that he should terminate his visit. Do you
“Yes,” said Patricia, nodding. “You are taking the most practical way
out of the difficulty. There is one thing I am afraid of, however?”
“What is that?”
“Mara may fall in love with Count Akira, if, indeed, she is not in
love with him already.”
“What! with that Japanese?” cried Basil furiously, and his racial
hatred became pronounced at once. “That would never do. She must not
see him again.”
“He is bound to return here, so she must see him.”
“Can’t you keep her in her room until Akira goes?”
Patricia shook her head. “Mara is difficult to manage. However,
although she may love the Count, he may not care for her. Let us hope
so. All we can do is to act as you suggest. Now I must go and see
after the dinner.”
Basil would have liked to detain her, to talk on more absorbing
topics. But the question of Mara and her oddities was so very
prominent, that he decided against chatting about more personal
matters. With a sigh he watched her disappear, and then went away to
seek out Akira and take him out of the house for a few hours.
The Japanese, with all his astuteness, did not fathom the reason why
he was asked to drive round the country, and willingly assented. He
asked a few careless questions about Mara, but did not refer to the
scene of the previous night. Basil, on his side, was acute enough to
let sleeping dogs lie, so the pair started off about noon for their
jaunt in a friendly fashion. They talked of this thing and that, and
all round the shop–as the saying is–but neither one referred to the
scene of the previous night. Yet a vivid memory of that was uppermost
in Basil’s mind, and–as he very shrewdly suspected–was present also
in the thoughts of Akira. But judging from the man’s composure and
conversation he had quite forgotten what had taken place. Basil was
pleased with this reticence, as it saved him the unpleasantness of
explaining himself too forcibly.
Meanwhile, Patricia drew a long breath of relief when Basil drove away
with the Japanese diplomatist, and she went at once to see if Mara was
all right. The girl, feeling drowsy, was disinclined to chatter, but
lay back with a smile of ecstasy on her pale face. Her lips were
moving, although she did not open her eyes, and Patricia bent to hear
if she required anything. But all that Mara was saying amounted to a
reiteration that she had recalled the past. Doubtless, since the door
was now wide open, she was in fancy dwelling again in her Oriental
home. However, she was quite happy, so Miss Carrol, seeing that her
presence was not necessary to the girl’s comfort, stole on tip-toe out
of the room.
It was when she came downstairs that she chanced upon Theodore in the
entrance hall. The big man looked both startled and surprised, and
spoke to her in an excited tone.
“Come into my uncle’s library at once, Miss Carrol,” he said, touching
her arm. “It has come.”
“What has come?” naturally asked Miss Carrol, puzzled by his tone and
“It came by post,” went on Theodore breathlessly, “and was not even
registered. There is not a line with it to show who sent it.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about, Mr. Dane.”
“Uncle wants you to hold it again in your hand and see if you can feel
the drawing-power you spoke of. Come! Come quickly!”
At last Patricia knew what he meant and her face grew white. “Have you
the Mikado Jewel?” she asked, leaning against the wall, faint and
For answer Theodore unceremoniously led her into the library, and she
saw Mr. Colpster standing near the window, gloating over something
which he held in his hand. As he moved to face the girl, a vivid green
ray shot through the subdued light of the large room.
“Look! Look!” cried the Squire, stuttering in his excitement, and he
held up the jade chrysanthemum with the emerald flashing in its
centre, as the sunlight caught its many facets.
“The Mikado Jewel!” gasped Patricia, and her legs refused to sustain
her any longer. She sank into a chair. “How–how did you get it?”
“It came by post–by the mid-day post,” explained the Squire,
repeating what his nephew had said earlier. “Just carelessly wrapped
up in brown paper and directed to me. Not even registered, and packed
in a small tin box tied round with string. The postmark is London, so
it must have been sent through the General Post Office. No district
name is stamped on the covering. Oh, wonderful! wonderful! The luck of
the Colpsters has returned.”
“But who sent it?” asked Patricia, looking with ill-concealed
repugnance at the sinister gem, which had indirectly brought about the
death of Mrs. Pentreddle. “The man who committed the crime?”
“No, no!” struck in Theodore impatiently; “that’s impossible. The
assassin of poor Martha never had it in his possession, although, as
we know, he hunted the house to find it. The thief who snatched it
from you in the Park, Miss Carrol, must have repented and sent it to
its rightful owner.”
“And I am its rightful owner,” said the Squire, drawing up his spare
form to its full height. “This gem belonged to my ancestor, and it is
only fair that I should possess it.”
Patricia could not approve of this speech, as she knew from Colpster’s
own lips that Sir Bevis had given it to Queen Elizabeth in exchange
for his knighthood. But she knew, also, that it was useless to argue
with the Squire, as he appeared to be obsessed by the Jewel, to which
he ascribed such fantastical powers. Nothing, she was convinced, would
ever make him give it up, and she was confirmed in this opinion by his
“Say nothing to Basil, or Akira, about the arrival of the emerald,” he
said hurriedly to his companions. “I don’t trust that Japanese. He
thinks that the Jewel belongs to the Temple of Kitzuki.”
“So it does,” remarked Patricia quickly.
Colpster snarled, and his face became quite ugly and animal in its
anger, when he turned on her sharply. “It belongs to me! to me! to
me!” he cried vehemently, and pressed the Jewel close to his breast.
“I shall never give it up; never, never, never. Tell Akira at your
“I don’t intend to say a word to the Count,” said Patricia, retreating
a step before his malignant expression. “It is none of my business.
But if you are wise you will throw it away.”
“Why? Why? Why?” chattered Colpster, still angry at her opposition,
and perhaps pricked in his conscience by her words.
“I think it will bring evil upon you. You shouldn’t let it come into
the house,” she panted, and felt that what she said was true.
Theodore started and grew pale. Granny Lee had used almost the same
words when he had asked her about the possible danger. The old woman
had refused to say what the danger was, or perhaps–as she stated–she
could not put a name to it. But after hearing Patricia’s remark,
Theodore felt that perhaps the Mikado Jewel had been referred to as
“It.” Granny Lee had said plainly: “Don’t let It come into the house!”
And now this girl, who also possessed certain powers, declared that it
should not be allowed to remain under the roof lest it should bring
evil in its train.
“You are talking rubbish,” said Theodore roughly, and trying to
conceal his dismay. “How can that jewel hurt anyone?”
“I don’t know; I can’t say; but it should not be allowed to remain
Squire Colpster laughed and laid the lovely thing down on his desk,
where it flashed gloriously in a ray of sunshine. “It shall remain
here always and bring good fortune to the family,” he said
Patricia, impelled by some outside power, rose and went up to lay a
warning hand on the old man’s arm. “There is something wrong,” she
urged. “Consider, Mr. Colpster! How could the thief have sent the
jewel to you unless he knew more about the matter than we think? If an
ordinary tramp stole it, he would have pawned it; if a priest of the
temple took it, he would have carried it, as Mr. Theodore suggested,
back to Japan. Why is it sent to you?”
“I don’t know. That is what puzzles me,” said Colpster, and his mouth
grew more obstinate than ever. “But I’m going to keep it, anyhow.”
“What do you say?” Miss Carrol turned to Theodore.
The big man winced and grew a shade whiter, for the warning of Granny
Lee still haunted his mind. But the sight of the Jewel, and the
knowledge that he might one day possess it, awoke all his covetous
nature, and he could not make up his mind to suggest that it should be
sent away. And, after all, the “It” to which Brenda Lee referred might
not be this gem. “I say keep it,” he remarked, drawing a deep breath.
“The luck of the family is bound up in it, I am certain.”
“The bad luck of the family,” said Patricia bitterly.
“Oh, you have been listening to Akira,” said the Squire crossly. “He
declared that probably the power had been changed. How he could know
when he never set eyes on the jewel I can’t imagine. I admit that it
is very strange that it should have been sent to me, and I can’t
conceive how the thief either obtained my address, or how he knew that
I wanted his plunder.”
“He might read in the papers—-” began Theodore, only to be stopped
by his uncle, who looked at him sharply.
“You talk rubbish, my boy. I said nothing at the inquest about my
interest in the jewel, and no one outside our own family knew that I
“I shouldn’t wonder if Akira knew,” said Theodore quickly.
“Impossible. You have heard all he had to tell. All the same, it will
be as well to say nothing about our recovery of the gem while he is in
the house. I have your promise, Miss Carrol?”
“Yes. I shall say nothing.”
“And you, Theodore? Good. Don’t even tell Mara or Basil, else they may
let out something to that infernal Japanese. I shall lock the jewel in
my safe yonder,” and he pointed to a green-painted safe, standing in
an alcove of the room. “Now we shall see the luck returning! I shall
win that lawsuit; I shall sell that ruined hay to advantage; I
Patricia stopped him. “I believe everything will go wrong with you.”
“How dare you say that, girl!” exclaimed Colpster furiously.
“Because I feel that I must. That jewel has been sent to you for no
good purpose, I am convinced.”
“Your sixth sense again, I suppose,” scoffed the Squire angrily.
“Perhaps,” said Patricia simply. Privately she believed that the Jewel
was already beginning to do harm, since the old man behaved so rudely.
As a rule he had always treated her with politeness, but now he
revealed a side to his character which she had not seen. His eyes
shone with greed, and he showed all the instincts of a miser. Looking
at her and then glancing at his nephew, he continued to speak to her.
“Hold this in your hand and see if you still feel the drawing-power you
In silence Patricia took the cold jade blossom, and it lay
outstretched on her pink palm. She did not speak, but a bewildered
expression gradually took possession of her face. The two men, who
were watching her closely, both spoke together, moved by a single
“What do you feel?”
Patricia did not reply directly. “This is not the Mikado Jewel,” she
said in breathless tones. “I am sure it is not.”
The Squire became pale and Theodore looked amazed. “What makes you
think that?” demanded the latter, who was first able to command his
“The drawing-power is reversed in this jewel,” said Patricia. “Yes!
oh, yes! I feel it quite plainly. Instead of the power radiating and
keeping away evil, it is drawing danger towards itself.”
“Danger?” gasped the Squire, and his nephew, mindful of Granny Lee’s
warning, winced visibly. “Danger and darkness. Wave after wave of fear
is coming towards me, while I hold the stone, and the darkness is
swallowing me up. Oh!” Patricia shivered and deliberately dropped the
jewel on the floor. “Take it away! I don’t like it at all.”
Colpster picked up the gem. “Are you sure?”
“I wouldn’t have let the emerald fall otherwise,” said Patricia, who
was now trembling as if with cold. “When I last held it waves of light
went out, and I felt absolutely safe. Now tides of darkness press in
on me on every side, and there is a sense of danger everywhere.”
“What sort of danger?” asked Theodore nervously.
“I can’t say; I can’t put my feelings into words. It looks like the
Mikado Jewel, but it can’t be, when it feels so different.”
“I am certain that it is the Mikado Jewel!” cried Colpster angrily.
“Whether it is or not I can’t say,” retorted Patricia, backing towards
the library door, “but it is dangerous. Get rid of it, or suffer.” And
she went quickly out of the room, leaving the two men staring at one
Squire Colpster locked the recovered emerald in his safe and again
repeated his orders that Theodore was to say nothing about it.
Notwithstanding Patricia’s doubts–founded upon the different
sensations felt by her when holding the stone–the master of Beckleigh
Hall really believed that he possessed the Mikado Jewel. But he could
not comprehend why it had been forwarded to him, or how the thief had
obtained his address, or why the thief should think that he wanted it.
Had the Squire been less obsessed by the ornament, he might have taken
Patricia’s advice with regard to getting rid of it. And in this,
perhaps, he would have been supported by Theodore, who was feeling
uncomfortable, since Granny Lee’s statement was always in his mind.
But, as it was, he said nothing to urge his uncle to take such an
extreme course, and the Squire certainly never suggested that the gem
should be sent away. So there it lay in the safe, with its influence,
either for good or bad, ready to become apparent.
Patricia, on her side, put the matter of the emerald out of her mind,
as she did not like to think about occult matters, and, moreover, had
to attend to her duties as housekeeper. A visit to Mara’s room in the
afternoon showed that the girl was up and dressed, and apparently
quite her old indifferent self. She said nothing about the Miko dance
in which she had figured, so Patricia did not remind her of it in any
way. Once or twice she asked where Akira was, but on learning that he
had gone sightseeing with Basil, she appeared to be satisfied.
The two gentlemen returned in time for dinner, tired and rather damp
from the moisture of mists they had encountered on the moors. Akira
expressed himself as pleased with the English country, although he
shivered when he mentioned the absence of the sun. Yet, as Basil
reminded him, Japan did not possess a particularly tropical climate.
The conversation took place when the soup arrived, and, as usual, when
any mention was made of the East, Mara grew a delicate rose-pink, and
fixed her eyes eagerly on the diplomatist. Akira gave her an
indifferent glance and answered the sailor’s speech.
“In the north of Japan we have very cold weather, but it is
sufficiently warm in the south. But in any case, there is nothing
depressing in my country, such as a foreigner finds in England.”
“It is the English climate, to a great extent, which has made us what
we are, Count,” observed Colpster seriously.
“I can say the same of Japan. Hardy climates make hardy men, sir. Do
not think that I don’t admire your country, for I do; but oh, these
swathing mists and damp fields!” He shivered smilingly.
“At least, we have no earthquakes,” put in Patricia with a nod.
“Ah, there you have the advantage of us,” answered Akira, wiping his
mouth; “but in some places we can keep earthquakes away.”
“What do you mean?” asked Theodore, scenting something occult.
“Yes.” Akira guessed what he vaguely felt. “There are laws which
control earth waves.”
“Scientific laws?” said Basil quickly.
“You might not call them so,” said Akira quietly; “but in the East,
you know, we are aware of natural laws which the West has not yet
“Well, then, tell us how to control earthquakes,” said the Squire,
with a sceptical look on his face.
“Curious you should ask me that, sir. You should ask Miss Carrol.”
“Ask me?” Patricia looked amazed.
“You held the Mikado Jewel in your hand,” said Akira coolly.
Theodore, Colpster and Patricia exchanged looks, and wondered if the
Japanese was aware that the gem reposed in the library safe. It was
impossible, of course, since he had been absent all day with Basil.
Yet it was strange that he should refer to an object which was
uppermost in their minds. “I don’t understand,” said Patricia
“I can explain, Miss Carrol. Had you examined the emerald you would
have seen the sign of the Earth-Spirit graven thereon. That sign shows
that a power to control earth-forces lies in the stone.”
“Oh, I can’t believe that, Count.”
“Yet you felt–so you told me–the radiating rays, which keep back all
earth tremors–steady them, as it were.”
Colpster looked up suddenly. “I thought you knew nothing about the
Mikado Jewel, Count,” he said sarcastically.
“I know very little, and told you what I did know,” replied Akira
quietly; “but this conversation about climates revived a memory of
what one of the Kitzuki priests told me. The emerald has had certain
ceremonies said over it, and has been set on the radiating petals of a
jade chrysanthemum. Thus it possesses a repelling power, and was kept
in the temple to repel earthquakes from shaking the ground upon which
the temple stands.”
Theodore stole a glance at Patricia, who looked sceptical. “If,” he
suggested in a low voice, “if the power, instead of radiating, was
drawn to the emerald you speak of, Count, what would happen?”
Patricia was not quite sure, but she fancied that she saw a subtle
smile on the bronzed face of her neighbour. But it might have been her
fancy or the tricky light of the candles glimmering through their
rosy-coloured shades. However, he replied courteously enough: “In that
case, Mr. Dane–according to occult law, about which I confess I know
little–the earthquake danger, instead of being repelled, would be
drawn to the place where the jewel lay.”
“Oh, we never have earthquakes here,” said Mara, with a gay laugh.
“If the Mikado Jewel were here, and the power was reversed, as is
suggested by Mr. Dane, you would soon feel an earthquake, or else this
mighty cliff at the back of the house would fall and overwhelm the
Theodore shivered. Granny Lee had mentioned that she had seen him
crushed as flat as a pancake, and he wondered if what Akira so idly
said could really be true. It seemed so, for should the jewel have the
in-drawing power–and that it assuredly had, if Patricia was to be
believed–there was a great chance that Mrs. Lee’s prophecy might be
fulfilled. For was not the fatal gem in the house at this moment? Yes,
Theodore shivered again, as he became more certain of belief. The
Mikado Jewel was the “It” which the sibyl had warned him should never
be allowed to enter Beckleigh Hall.
“Oh, it’s all rubbish,” said the Squire, who, not knowing anything
about the occult, refused to believe what Patricia had told him,
and what Akira had so strangely affirmed. “And even if such is the
case–which I don’t believe–the jewel is not here.”
Akira laughed and nodded. “Now you can understand why I warned you not
to seek for your family emerald again,” he said.
“I’m afraid I’ll never see it,” said Colpster, lying with great ease.
“From what Theodore thinks, it must be now on its way back to Japan.”
“Let us hope so,” said Akira politely. “As a native of that country,
and because my religion is Shinto, I regret very much that the gem
should have been stolen. In the hands of ignorant persons it may well
bring about deaths. You understand,” he looked at Patricia.
“Not at all,” she confessed, and really in her heart she scouted the
idea that the emerald should be endowed with such malignant powers.
“Please do not talk any more about these horrid things. I hate them!”
“So do I,” said Basil, who was growing restless at the way in which
his brother eyed Patricia. “Let us change the subject,” which was
After dinner the Squire went into the drawing-room with his family,
but scarcely had he seated himself, to digest his meal, when the
butler entered with the whispered information that a man wished to see
“Who is it, Sims?” asked the old man, impatiently.
“Harry Pentreddle, sir,” said Sims, who was an old retainer, and knew
as much about members of the family as they did themselves.
Colpster bounded to his feet, and Theodore, who was standing before
the fire, came hastily forward. Basil and Patricia also looked
startled, as they knew the suggested connection between Pentreddle and
the giving of the jewel. Only Akira and Mara, who were talking quietly
in a corner, appeared unmoved, and continued their conversation. “I’ll
go at once,” said the Squire, eagerly advancing towards the door.
“Let me come too, uncle,” asked Theodore, following.
“No; I shall hear his story–if he has any to tell–myself, and then
can repeat it to you. Stay where you are, Basil, and you, Patricia. I
shall see Harry alone.” And he went out hastily, while those left
behind, with the exception of the Japanese and Mara, looked greatly
Mr. Colpster walked quickly into the library, and found seated there
before the fire a thick-set young man, blue-eyed and fair-haired, with
the unmistakable look of a seaman. He rose as the Squire entered the
room, and twisting his cap in his strong brown hands, looked bashful.
In fact, he was a trifle nervous of his reception, and had every
reason to be, for Mr. Colpster, who had known him from babyhood, fell
on him tooth and nail.
“So here you are at last, Harry,” he said, with a frown. “You have
given me a lot of trouble to hunt you out. What do you mean? Just tell
me that. I didn’t expect this behaviour from you, Harry. Your mother,
my old servant, has been murdered in a most abominable manner, and
instead of coming to assist me in hunting down the scoundrel who did
it, you go away and hide. Are you not ashamed of yourself?”
Colpster thundered out the words largely, but they did not seem to
produce much effect on the young man. Harry Pentreddle stood where he
was, still twisting his cap, and stared at the Squire with steady blue
eyes. This composure seemed to be not quite natural, nor did the
silence. “Can you not sit down and speak?” demanded Colpster, throwing
himself into his usual arm-chair and getting ready to ask questions.
Harry sat down quietly, and still continued to stare steadily. “I am
not ashamed of myself, sir, because I can explain my conduct fully.”
“Then do so,” snapped the Squire. “Your mother and father were both my
servants, and you were born at Beckleigh. As your parents are dead, I
have a right to look after you.”
“Do you think that I need looking after, sir?” asked Pentreddle, with
a faint smile and a glance at his stalwart figure in the near mirror.
“You know what I mean, Harry. I wish to see you married to Isa and
commanding a ship of your own. I intend to help you to get one.”
“It is very good of you, sir.”
“Not at all. You were born on the estate. And now that your future is
settled, suppose you tell me why you didn’t come back before?”
“If I tell you, sir, will you promise to keep what I say secret?”
“Yes–that is, in a way. I may tell my nephew Theodore, perhaps my
other nephew–I can’t say.”
“I don’t mind anyone in Beckleigh knowing,” said Harry hastily, “but I
do not wish the whole world to know.”
“I am not acquainted with the whole world,” said Colpster dryly, “so
there is no chance of what you say being told to the entire
inhabitants of this planet. Are you satisfied?”
“Quite. Well, then, sir, I went to Amsterdam to wait for a ship which
I know is going to Japan. She is coming from Callao and is late.”
“How do you mean late?”
“She is a tramp steamer, and I know her captain. She comes to
Amsterdam to discharge a cargo, and then proceeds to Japan. I can get
an engagement as second mate when she arrives. She is expected every
day. I heard from Isa that you wished to see me, and so I came over.
But I shall go back in two days, as I can’t afford to lose the chance
of getting to the Far East.”
“Why do you want to go there?”
Harry looked down. “I can’t exactly say,” he observed in a low voice.
The Squire looked at him keenly, then leaned forward. “Do you go to
Japan to punish the priest who murdered your mother.”
The young man dropped his cap and half rose from his chair, only to
fall into it again. He seemed utterly taken by surprise. “What
priest?” he faltered.
“You heard me,” said Colpster impatiently. “The one who murdered your
mother–a priest of the Temple of Kitzuki.”
“How did you know, sir?” Pentreddle stared open-mouthed.
“By putting two and two together. Martha–your mother, that is–sent
Miss Carrol to get the emerald, and she could only have got it from
you, who had–as you told Theodore–just returned from Japan. By the
way, do you know all about the death?”
“Yes,” said Pentreddle, stooping to pick up his cap and thus hide his
emotion, for his lips were trembling. “I read everything in the
papers, and I did not come over because I wished to return to Japan
and to kill the priest who, I believe, is the assassin.”
“Are you sure that a priest of Kitzuki killed her?”
“Yes, I feel sure.”
“And to obtain possession of the emerald?”
“Yes. I am certain that was the motive for the crime.”
“You stole the emerald?”
“Yes,” said Pentreddle boldly. “I did.” He laughed softly. “It is very
clever of you to guess, unless my poor mother told you.”
“She told me nothing,” snapped the Squire, with a glare. “All she did
was to ask me for a London holiday. She got it and went to her death.
It was Miss Carrol–you must have read about her in the papers–who
suggested that possibly you might have passed her the emerald.”
“I did, although at the time in the fog and darkness I believed it was
my mother. Only when reading about her death did I know that she had
been kept at home with a sprained ankle. She—-”
“Wait a bit,” said Colpster, throwing up his hand; “you are confusing
me. I want to hear all from the beginning.” He paused, and seeing that
Pentreddle looked nervous and was beginning to twist his cap again,
swiftly made up his mind to a course of action to suggest confidence.
“Wait a bit,” said Colpster again, and went to the safe. When he
returned to the table he placed the Mikado Jewel under the lamp.
Harry rose and bent over it quite speechless with astonishment. “I
thought it was snatched from Miss Carrol in the Park,” he gasped.
“So it was. But someone–the thief, I presume–sent it to me. It
arrived here without details. You are sure that it is the Jewel?” he
“Yes, it’s the Jewel right enough,” answered Pentreddle, returning to
his seat. “But how did the thief know you wanted it?”
“I can’t say, and I am not even aware if the thief sent it. All I know
is that there lies the Luck of the Colpsters, and that I have shown it
to you, so that you may see I repose confidence in you. And in return,
Harry,” the Squire leaned forward and touched the young man’s knee, “I
wish to hear all about the theft of the emerald from the Kitzuki
Pentreddle thought for a few moments, while he looked at the winking
green ornament under the lamplight. Then he glanced at his watch and
nodded. “I must get away soon,” he said briskly. “I am staying at
Hendle and a friend of mine is waiting on the Moor Road with a trap.
It won’t take me long to tell you everything, sir.”
Colpster leaned back and placed the tips of his fingers together. “I
am ready to hear you,” he said quietly and bending his head.
Harry began his story in a hurry. “My mother, as you know, sir, nursed
your nephews. Mr. Basil was always her favourite, but she never could
abide Mr. Theodore. She learned from you, sir, that you intended to
leave the estates to the nephew who got back the emerald, which is the
“Yes. Such was my intention. Well?”
“My mother,” went on the sailor, twirling his cap, “was determined
that Mr. Theodore would never inherit, so, as she knew that I was
going to Japan, she asked me to steal the emerald.”
“You had no right to steal it. I would have forbidden Martha
suggesting such a thing,” said the Squire angrily.
Pentreddle nodded. “I know. For that reason my mother kept the affair
a secret. I readily agreed to do what she wanted, as Mr. Basil has
always been kind to me, whereas Mr. Theodore—-” he halted.
“Oh, go on,” said Colpster, with a cynical smile. “I know that Mr.
Theodore is not a favourite with anyone.”
“How can he be, sir, when he behaves so badly? He insulted me and–but
that is neither here nor there, sir, and I have no time to talk of
that matter. I told my mother that I would get the emerald somehow,
and when I landed at Nagasaki, I set about looking for it.”
“But in what way?”
“Well, you see, sir, my mother learned from you all about the giving
of the emerald to that Shogun chap, and then she told me how Miss
Mara, in some funny way, knew that it was at the Temple of Kitzuki. I
went there on the chance, and a man who kept a tea-shop told me all
about the jewel. He said that it had been given to the temple by a
Mikado. I thought it was a Shogun.”
“The Shogun, who got it from Will Adams, gave it to the Mikado, and he
presented it to the temple,” explained Colpster. “Go on.”
“Oh, that’s it, is it, sir? Well, then,” he went on, twirling his cap,
“I got a sight of the Jewel in the temple and stole it.”
“But how, when it was so carefully guarded?”
“I don’t think it was guarded over-much,” said Pentreddle
thoughtfully. “You see, sir, the tea-shop man told me that the emerald
was under the spell of the Earth Spirit–he called him some queer name
I can’t remember–to keep away earthquakes. No Japanese would dare to
touch the jewel, and it lay–as I saw–on a small altar near the
shrine. I managed to stop inside the temple after dark, and stole it.”
“How did you get away?” said the Squire, wondering at this daring.
“I’ll tell you that another day, sir, as it is getting late. I did
manage to get away and stow the Jewel on board my ship; but I was
“Followed? By whom?”
“Japanese. I suppose they were priests. I was nearly knifed at
Nagasaki and once I was drugged. But I had hidden the emerald away,
and they could not find it. When I got to the Port of London I thought
that I was safe; but I soon found that I was dogged there also.”
“By whom?” asked Colpster once more.
“Japanese,” said Pentreddle again. “Wherever I went I met Japanese.
They swarmed all round me. I had written to my mother saying that I
would give her the emerald if she came to London. She did, and wrote
asking me to go to The Home of Art. But I knew better than to do that,
sir. I felt certain that if I gave the jewel to my mother she would
run a chance of being killed. There was one big chap with a scar
across his cheek. I believe he killed my poor mother.”
“What makes you think that, Harry?” asked Colpster eagerly.
“Because I was loafing round The Home of Art one evening trying to
catch a glimpse of my mother, when I saw the beast watching me and the
“Was the man with the scar a priest?”
“He just was,” said the sailor vigorously; “a Shinto priest. I saw him
in the temple at Kitzuki. Then I was certain that I was being followed
by the priests, and wrote and told my mother that I could only give
her the emerald secretly. She replied, saying that the whole household
at The Home of Art had an appointment to see some play—-”
“I know all that,” said the Squire impatiently. “Skip that.”
“Well, then, sir, my mother said, that being alone she could leave the
house at night without suspicion being aroused. She told me to meet
her at nine o’clock at the right-hand corner of the Bayswater side of
the Serpentine Bridge, and to look for a red light. But, of course, as
I learned later, she was kept in by her sprained foot, and sent Miss
“Why did you not speak to Miss Carrol?”
“I hadn’t a chance,” said Harry simply. “I guessed that I was being
“By the priest with the scar?”
“No. By a smaller and slighter-built chap. He dodged at my heels in
the fog, so I had just time to shove the box into Miss Carrol’s
hand–into my mother’s hands, as I thought–and then run off in the
hope the little beast would follow me.”
“He did, didn’t he?”
“For a time. Then I fancy his suspicions must have been aroused by the
red light, and by my stopping for a moment. I lost him, or he lost me
in the fog, and then, instead of returning to my lodgings in Pimlico,
I made for Limehouse Docks. I heard next morning of the death.”
“Why didn’t you then come to The Home of Art?”
“What was the good, sir,” remonstrated Pentreddle. “I should only have
been knifed by those Japanese, and there would have been two murders
instead of one. No, sir; I wasn’t such a fool, as my going to The Home
of Art wouldn’t have brought my mother back to life. I bunked over to
Amsterdam and lay low. Then I read in the papers how Miss Carrol had
been robbed of the gem.”
Colpster nodded. “You should have returned then.”
“It was of no use, sir,” said the sailor gloomily. “I knew that the
emerald must have got back into the hands of the priests, and that
they would return to Kitzuki, in Japan. I was certain, and I am now,
that the big man with the scar on his cheek stabbed my mother, so I
waited for the ship I told you about to go back to Japan and kill him.
Then Isa wrote me and said if you saw me you could help me. But,”
Pentreddle looked at the emerald, “it seems to me that things are more
muddled up than ever. Here is the Mikado Jewel, but where are the
Colpster pinched his nether lip and looked perplexed. “I can’t say. By
the way, Theodore met you in London?”
“Yes, sir. By chance in Pimlico.”
“Why didn’t you give him the emerald?”
“Why?” Harry looked astonished. “Because it was to prevent Mr.
Theodore becoming your heir that my mother took all this trouble, and
so met with her death.” He rose to his feet. “I’ll go now, sir.”
The Squire rose also, “Yes, unless you prefer to stay here for the
“No, sir. I want to get back to Hendle. I’ll come and see you again if
you want to hear more.”
“I think it will be as well. I should like you to repeat this story in
the presence of my nephews. Meanwhile, good-night,” and the Squire,
having shaken hands with the sailor, sent him away. He wished to be
alone to think over things, and while doing so he put away the Mikado
Jewel in the safe.
Ten minutes later he returned to the drawing-room. “Where is Count
“Akira was tired and went early to bed,” said Basil. “I’m off too,