He put the notes back in the case, buckled it, jumped up like a released spring, flung the wallet on top of the deed-box and closed the safe with a snap.


Then he stood, hands in pockets, examining the pattern of the Turkey carpet.


At this moment a knock came to the door and a junior clerk appeared.


"What the devil do you want?" asked Simon.


The clerk stated his case. A Mr. Smith had called, craving an interview.


"Ask Mr. Brownlow to see him," replied Simon; "but ask Mr. Brownlow to step in here first."


In a moment Brownlow appeared.


"Brownlow," said Simon, "look up Dr. Oppenshaw's telephone number and ask him can he give me ten minutes' interview before luncheon. Say it is most urgently important. 110A, Harley Street, is his address—and, see here, have a taxicab called—that's all."


Whilst Brownlow was away on his mission Simon put on his overcoat, put on his hat, blew his nose lustily in the red bandanna handkerchief that was part of his personality, opened the safe and took another peep at the wallet, as if to make sure that the fairy hand that had placed it there had not spirited it away again, and was in the act of locking the safe when the senior clerk entered to say that Dr. Oppenshaw would be visible at a quarter to one, and that Morgan, the office-boy, had procured the cab.


Brownlow, though he managed to conceal his feelings, was disturbed by the manner of his chief and by the telephone message to the doctor; by the whole affair, in fact, for Simon never left the office till the stroke of one, when[Pg 19] the brougham called to take him to Simpson's in the Strand for luncheon.


Was Simon ill? He ventured to put the question and nearly had his head snapped off.