"Oh, dear!" said Helen, "how unfortunate! Then I fear I cannot reckon on your services."
"Why not, miss? What, do you think I hold spite against a poor fellow for defending himself? Besides, Mr. Penfold wrote me a very proper note. Certainly for a parson the gent is a very quick hitter; but he wrote very square; said he hoped I would allow for the surprise and the agitation of an innocent man; sent me two guineas, too, and said he would make it twenty but he was poor as well as unfortunate; that letter has stuck in my gizzard ever since; can't see the color of felony in it. Your felon is never in a fault; and, if he wears a good coat, he isn't given to show fight."
"It was very improper of him to strike you," said Helen, "and very noble of you to forgive it. Make him still more ashamed of it; lay him under a deep obligation."
"If he is innocent, I'll try and prove it," said the detective. He then asked her if she had taken notes. She said she had a diary. He begged to see it. She felt inclined to withhold it, because of the comments; but, remembering that this was womanish, and that Robert's orders to her were to be manly on such occasions, she produced her diary. Mr. Burt read it very carefully, and told her it was a very promising case. "You have done a great deal more than you thought," he said. _"You have netted the fish."_
"I NETTED the fish! what fish?"
"The man who forged the promissory note."
"The same man that forged the newspaper extracts to deceive you forged the promissory note years ago, and the man who is setting spies on you is the man who forged those extracts; so we are sure to nail him. He is in the net; and very much to your credit. Leave the rest to me. I'll tell you more about it to-morrow. You must order your carriage at one o'clock tomorrow and drive down to Scotland Yard; go into the Yard, and you will see me; follow me without a word. When you go back, the other spies will be so frightened they will go off to their employer, and so we shall nail him."
Helen complied with these instructions strictly, and then returned home, leaving Mr. Burt to work. She had been home about half an hour, when the servant brought her up a message saying that a man wanted to speak to her. "Admit him," said Helen.