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Peter Ruff and the Double Four
written by "Oppenheim, E. Phillips (Edward Phillips), 1866-1946"
...him. "My friend," he said, "this is not the same packet." The ambassador stared at him incredulously. "You are jesting!" he exclaimed. "Miracles do not happen. The thing is impossible." "It is the impossible, then, which has happened," De Grost replied, swiftly. "This packet can scarcely have gained two ounces in the night. Besides, the seal is fuller. I have an eye for these details." De Lamborne leaned against the back of the table. His eyes were a little wild, but he laughed hoarsely. "We fight, then, against the creatures of another world," he declared. "No human being could have opened that safe last night." The Baron hesitated. "Monsieur de Lamborne," he said, "the room adjoining is your wife's." "It is the salon of Madame," the ambassador admitted. "What are the electrical appliances doing there?" the Baron demanded. "Don't look at me like that, De Lamborne. Remember that I was here before you arrived." "My wife takes an electric massage every day," Monsieur de Lamborne answered, in a hard, unnatural voice. "In what way is Monsieur le Baron concerned in my wife's doings?" "I think that there need be no answer to that question," De Grost said, quietly. "It is a greater tragedy which we have to face." Quick as lightning, the Frenchman's hand shot out. De Grost barely avoided the blow. "You shall answer to me for this, sir," De Lamborne cried. "It is the honor of my wife which you assail." "I maintain only," the Baron answered, "that your safe was entered from that room. A search will prove it." "There will be no search there," De Lamborne declared, fiercely. "I am the Ambassador of France, and my power under this roof is absolute. I say that you shall not cross that threshold." De Grost's expression did not change. Only his hands were suddenly outstretched with a curious gesture—the four fingers were raised, the thumbs depressed. Monsieur De Lamborne collapse...

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