“How did he know?” Christophe was still marvelling at the robbery two minutes later.
“Know what, Christophe?” Alexandra asked, after the Inspector had been briefed about the situation of the sceptre.
“Where the sceptre was disguised. Now, how did he know of its general existence too?”
“Well. How awfully queer. We were the only ones who found and knew it. I thought that right was owned by us solely.”
“I suppose so, but we could easily have been watched. The grounds are a very large place, full of hiding spots.”
Alexandra blushed deeply at the thought of any person being present during the moments when she had related her deepest feelings, as though in a dream.
“And if we were being watched, Mr. Mahalle could have followed us to this location, and spotted myself hiding the cane,” Christophe continued.
“Yes, he was late! Why?”
“If we continue with the theory that Mr. Mahalle had followed us, I can see that he would have had to leave the estate again, I suppose. He didn’t want to seem suspicious by being here already. It must have been that he snuck over the bordering wall behind the guesthouse. I see.”
Alexandra all but stared at him, but she could see that Christophe’s words were very much close to the truth.
“All just for a cane?”
“It’s special to him, it must hold some special power over him; he must want it for a great reason…”
“The diamonds! They must be of some value after all! Golly!” Alexandra exclaimed.
“Indeed. I did tell you, my love, that that mystery was well on its way to being solved.”
“Soon? I certainly hope so.”
Inspector Whitting glanced between the two, obviously disgruntled that he was being ‘excluded’ from the conversation.
“I should dispatch a faction of officers to search for the man, but there are only two, both guarding the exit, and to call for another group to arrive from the Yard would take too long, wasting only our time.
“I suggest that the lady of the house should stay here, but Mr. Stones could become part of our search. Mr. Newton too, if he is so wishing.”
Alexandra quickly turned at the mention of Joshua’s name; Inspector Whitting glanced at her frown, but he ignored the apprehensive look Alexandra had shot him.
The Inspector walked over to his character’s brother.
“Sir, stop your emotional languishing. Some work will absolve you of this pain.
“And you too, Butler. I think your assistance will be invaluable,” he added to Christophe.
“Of course,” Christophe said to him, before turning to Alexandra. “Ally, this Rhaïd could be dangerous. We’re going to clear the guesthouse, so I’d like you to return to the servant’s quarters.”
Alexandra frowned, seeing his point. She made her way over to the seated Mr. Winters, who was just coming out of conversation with his wife. The man guided her out of the seat beside him, but stopped before he could collide with Alexandra.
“Maid? Can I help you?”
“Please, what appears to be the problem?” (She meant in relation to Mrs. Winters, even when it seemed like a silly question). “Is there anything I can do?”
“Hmm, not as though a maid can lend a mind to solve it.”
Alexandra scowled again, but she knew that they both meant well. So, she did as they had suggested and walked back over the flat plot of land to her living quarters.