the morning the butler took away the dinner-suit and brought me
some other clothes.
I went down to breakfast and found Sir Walter at the table.
There was a telegram in his hand.
been busy during the night,' he said. 'I spoke to the
Secretary and to the Secretary for War. They telephoned to the
First Lord of the Admiralty, and they're bringing the Frenchman
to London today instead of tomorrow. His name's Royer, and he'll
be here at five o'clock this evening. This telegram is from the
First Lord of the Admiralty.'
He pointed to the hot food on the table, and I began to eat. It was
a very good breakfast.
don't think that this change is going to help us,' he continued.
'Our enemies found out the first date, so they'll probably find
out the new one too. There must be a German spy in the Foreign
Office or in the War Office. Only five men knew that Royer was
coming. We believed so, but someone told Scudder and the
you change your plans for war?' I asked.
can but we don't want to. We've thought a lot about these plans
and they're the best possible ones.'
if it's necessary, you will change them.'
It's a difficult problem, Hannay. Our enemies aren't children.
They're not going to steal any papers from Royer. They want to
know our plans, but they want to get them in secret. Then Royer
will go back to France and say, "Here are the British plans
for war, and they're completely secret. The Germans don't know
anything about them."
you must give the Frenchman a special guard,' I said, 'who will
stay by his side all the time.'
is having dinner with the Foreign Secretary tonight. Then he's
coming to my house where he'll meet four people. They are Sir
Arthur Drew, General Winstanley, Mr. Whittaker and me.
The First Lord hasn't been well for a few days, so Whittaker is
coming instead. And he's bringing the plans from the First
Lord's office at the Admiralty. We'll deliver them to Royer who
will then leave for Portsmouth. A warship is waiting there to
take him to France. He'll have a special guard all the time.'
breakfast we left for London by car.
Walter said!, 'I'm taking you to Scotland Yard, Hannay.
I want you to meet the Commissioner of Police.'
was half past eleven when we reached Scotland Yard. We walked
into the great dark building, and I met the Commissioner. His
name was MacGillivray.
brought you the murderer,' Sir Walter said.
officer smiled. 'I'd be very happy if you had brought the real
murderer, Bullivant. Good morning, Mr. Hannay. You must be a
very interesting man.'
he's going to tell you some interesting things,' Sir Walter
said, 'but not today. You have to wait for twenty-four hours,
I'm afraid. Mr. Hannay is a free man now, isn't he?'
of course,' the Commissioner said. Then he turned to me. 'Do
you want to go back to your old flat? It's ready for you, but
perhaps you'd like to move.'
was thinking about Scudder and could not reply.
Sir Walter said, 'I must go now. Perhaps we'll need some of
your men, MacGillivray, tonight or tomorrow. There may be some
we were leaving, Sir Walter took my hand.
all right now, Hannay,' he said. 'You'll be quite safe in
London. Come and see me tomorrow. But don't talk about these
spies, will you? It's best to stay in your flat today.' He
laughed suddenly. 'If these Black Stone people see you,
they'll kill you.'
Sir Walter had gone, I felt quite alone. I was a free man, and
everything was all right. But I was very nervous. I went to
the Savoy Hotel and ordered a fine meal. But I did not
enjoy it. People were looking at me, and I thought, 'Do they
recognize me? Have they seen my photograph in the newspapers?'
I soon left the hotel.
the afternoon I got a taxi and rode several miles to North
London. I paid the taxi-man and then began to walk back. I
walked for several hours and at last came to the centre of
London again. I was feeling very unhappy.
was six o'clock, and great things were happening in London.
Royer had already arrived. Sir Walter was busy at
Foreign Office or making plans for the meeting. The Black
Stone spies were watching and waiting quietly. But what was I
doing? I was walking about the centre of London.
a strange thought came into my head. I believed that there was
great danger in London that day. And it was such a danger that
only I could fight against.
what could I do? Sir Walter did not need me. I could not walk
into a meeting of important officers and Ministers. I could
look for the German spies of course. And if I found them, I
would fight them. I was quite sure of one thing: my country
needed me in this trouble. If I did not destroy their plans,
the German spies would win.
is that true, Hannay?' I said to my-self. 'Can't Sir Walter
and his friends easily look after Britain? Doesn't the First
Lord of the Admiralty know his business better than you do?
Can a few. German spies do anything against all this power?'
was not sure. There was a little voice in my ear which
repeated the same words: 'Do something, Hannay. Get up and do
something now, or you'll never sleep well again.'
half past nine I was walking along Jermyn Street. And I
decided what to do. I would go'to Sir Walter's house. I knew
the address and I could easily find it. He did not want to see
me, but I had to do something.
came to Duke Street and walked past a group of young men. They
were wearing dinner-suits and had just come from a hotel. One
of the young men was Mr. Marmaduke Jopley.
saw me and recognized me at once.
he cried. 'It's the murderer! Hold him! Hold him! That's
Hannay the murderer!'
caught my arm, and the others rushed to help him. A policeman
ran across the street. I hit Jopley hard with my left hand and
saw him fall. But then the crowd held me and I could not move.
the matter here?' the policeman said.
Hannay the murderer,' Jopley shouted.
be quiet,' I said. 'I'm not a murderer. Listen, officer. Take
my advice and don't arrest me. The Commissioner knows all
about me. I was at Scotland Yard this morning.'
young man, come along with me,' the policeman said. 'I saw you
begin this quarrel.' He pointed at Jopley who was still on the
ground. 'That gentleman didn't do anything to you, but I saw
you hit him. Now come along quietly to the police station.'
felt very angry indeed. I heard the little voice in my ear
again. 'You must escape,' it said. 'Don't waste a minute
I felt as strong as an elephant. I turned quickly and threw
the policeman to the ground. I pushed the other men away and
ran along Duke Street.
can run very fast when I want to. And that evening I almost flew. In a few minutes I reached Pall Mall and
towards St. James's Park. I ran between the taxis in the Mall
and crossed the bridge. There were very few people in the park
and no one stopped me. Sir Walter's house was at Queen Anne's
Gate and there I began to walk.
or four motor-cars were standing in the street outside the
house. I walked up to the door and rang the bell.
butler opened the door at once. I could hear cries in the
distance, but the street was empty.
must see Sir Walter,' I said. 'My business is very important.'
in, sir,' he said. 'I'm afraid you can't see him immediately.
But you can wait in the hall until the meeting is over.'
was an old house with a large square hall. Doors led into
several rooms on each side. A guard who was dressed in plain
clothes stood outside one of the doors. I sat down in a corner
near the telephone.
made a sign to the butler. 'I'm in trouble again,' I said.
'But I'm working for Sir Walter, and he knows all about it.
The police and a crowd of people are following me and may come
here. Please don't tell them that I'm here. And don't let them
right, sir,' he replied.
minute or two later I heard voices outside. The door-bell rang
and the butler went to answer it. Someone spoke to him from
outside, and he suddenly stood up very straight.
'I am sorry,' he said. 'This is Sir Walter Bullivant's house,
and Sir Walter is Chief Secretary at the Foreign Office. I'm
afraid that I don't know anything about a murderer. Now please
go away, or I shall call the police myself.'
he shut the door and walked back through the hall.
minutes later the bell rang again, and a gentleman came in.
While he was taking off his coat, I saw his face. It was a
famous face, and I had often seen his photograph in
newspapers. The gentleman was Lord Alloa, the First Lord of
the Admiralty. He was a big man with a large nose and bright
walked past me, and the guard opened the door of the room for
waited in the hall for twenty minutes. And during this time
the little voice was still speaking in my ear. 'Don't go
away,' it said. 'You'll soon be needed.' A little bell rang at
the back of the house. And the butler immediately came into
the hall. The First Lord left the meeting-room, and the butler
gave him his coat. I looked at the gentleman for a moment, and
he looked straight at me. It all happened very quickly. My
heart jumped suddenly because I noticed a light in his eyes. I
had never met the First Lord before, and he had never met me.
But there was no doubt at all about that sudden light in his
eyes. It meant that he had recognized me. He looked away at
once and walked to the door. The butler opened it for him and
closed it behind him.
picked up the telephone-book and quickly found Lord Alloa's
telephone number. I rang and the butler answered.
the First Lord at home?' I asked.
sir,' the voice said. 'But he's not very well. He's been in
bed since this afternoon. Can I give him a message, sir?'
thank you,' I said, and I put the telephone down.
crossed the hall quickly to the meeting-room and went in
surprised faces looked up from a round table. Sir Walter was
there and Drew, the War Minister. I easily recognized Sir
Arthur Drew from his photographs in the papers. I had seen
General Winstanley before, and an older man who was probably
Whittaker stood next to him. The fifth man was short and fat
with a dark grey moustache.
Walter looked quite angry.
is Mr. Hannay, gentlemen,' he said. 'I've already told you
something about him. But why have you come here, Hannay? You
know that we're very busy.'
enemies are busy too, sir,' I said. 'And one of them has just
left this room.'
Walter's face grew red as he said, 'But that was Lord Alloa.'
was not,' I cried. 'Lord Alloa has been in bed since this
afternoon. I have just spoken to his butler on the telephone.
The gentleman who was.here recognized me. And Lord Alloa doesn't
'Then... who... who...?'
Black Stone,' I cried. I looked around the table and saw doubt
and fear in five pairs of eyes.