فصل 17

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Extract from the diary of Sir Eustace Pedler, Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town.

To begin with, where is Rayburn? We have not seen him since we arrived in Cape Town. To make everything worse, Guy Pagett decided to have a fight on the last night on the ship. He has a lump the size of an egg on his head! The whole thing is very annoying. One of my secretaries has disappeared and the other looks like a bad boxer. I can’t take him out with me - everybody in Cape Town would laugh at me. He’s a mad man!

I am in a very bad temper. I had a terrible breakfast with terrible people: Dutch waitresses with thick ankles who took half an hour to bring me a bad bit of bacon.

And a very serious thing has happened. I went to my appointment with the Prime Minister, taking Milray’s letter. It looked perfectly normal - but inside was a blank sheet of paper!

Now I’m in real trouble. And Pagett, helpfully reminding me what went wrong, makes it worse. However, in the end I had to listen to him.

‘Remember, Sir Eustace, Mr Milray did not give you anything formal. You accepted Rayburn because of what he said about himself.’

‘You think Rayburn is a criminal, then?’ I said slowly.

Pagett did.

My idea was to do nothing. A man who has been made to look a fool is not keen to broadcast the fact. But Pagett hurried to the police station, then sent telegrams. We got Milray’s answer that evening. He knew nothing about Rayburn!

Pagett is now full of bright ideas. He believes that Rayburn is the famous ‘Man in the Brown Suit’. He is probably right. He usually is. But all this is getting unpleasant. The sooner I go to Rhodesia, the better. I have explained to Pagett that he will not be coming with me.

‘My dear fellow,’ I said, ‘you know what Rayburn looks like, so you must stay here to identify him for the police. Besides, I cannot go about with a secretary who appears to have been fighting in the street.’

Looking as if he had just eaten a lemon, Pagett remained focussed on his work.

‘Your private carriage will be joined to the eleven o’clock train tomorrow morning. But what will you do about a secretary, Sir Eustace?’

‘There’s Miss Beddingfeld,’ I said thoughtfully. ‘I will offer her a job.’

Pagett was against this idea. He does not like Anne Beddingfeld. Ever since the night of the lump on the head, he has shown uncontrolled emotion whenever she is mentioned. Just to annoy him, I shall ask her. As I said before, she has extremely nice legs.

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