Inspector Jacks was in luck
at last. Eleven times he had
called at St. Thomas's Hospital
and received the same reply.
Today he was asked to wait. The
patient was better--would be
able to see him. Soon a nurse
in neat uniform came quietly
down the corridor and took charge
"Ten minutes, no more," she
The Inspector nodded.
"One question, if you please,
nurse," he asked. "Is the man
going to live?"
"Not a doubt about it," she
" A matter of depositions," the
Inspector exclaimed. "I'd rather
let it go, though, if he's sure
"It's a simple case," she answered, "and
his constitution is excellent.
There isn't the least need for
your to think about depositions.
Here he is. Don't talk too long."
The Inspector sat down by the
bedside. The patient, a young
man, welcomed him a little shyly.
"You have come to ask me about
what I saw in Pall Mall and opposite
the Hyde Park Hotel?" he said,
speaking slowly and in a voice
scarcely raised above a whisper. "I
told them all before the operation,
but they couldn't send for you
then. There wasn't time."
The Inspector nodded.
"Tell me your own way," he
said. "Don't hurry. We can get
the particulars later on. Glad
you're going to be mended."
"It was touch and go," the
young man declared with a note
of awe in his tone. "If the omnibus
wheel had turned a foot more,
I should have lost both my legs.
It was all through watching that
chap hop out of the taxicab,
The Inspector inclined his
"You saw him get in, didn't
you?" he asked.
"That's so," the patient admitted. "I
was on my way--Charing Cross
to the Kensington Palace Hotel,
on a bicycle. There was a block--corner
of Pall Mall and Haymarket. I
caught hold--taxi in front--to
The nurse bent over him with
a glass in her hand. She raised
him a little with the other arm.
"Not too much of this, you
know, young man," she said with
a pleasant smile. "Here's something
to make you strong."
He drained the contents of
the glass and smacked his lips.
"Jolly good stuff," he declared. "Where
was I, Mr. Inspector?"
"Holding the back of a taxicab,
corner of Regent Street and Haymarket," Inspector
Jacks reminded him.
The patient nodded.
"There was an electric brougham," he
continued, drawn up alongside
the taxi. While we were there,
waiting, I saw a chap get out,
speak to some one through the
window of the taxi, open the
door, and step in. When we moved
on, he stayed in the taxi. Dark,
slim chap he was," the patient
continued, "a regular howling
swell,--silk hat, white muffler,
white kid gloves,--all the rest
"And afterwards?" the
"I kept behind the taxi," the
youth continued. "We got blocked
again at Hyde Park Corner. I
saw him step out of the taxi
and disappear amongst the vehicles. "A
moment or two later, I passed
the taxi and looked in--saw something
had happened--the fellow was
lying side-ways. It gave me a
bit of a start. I skidded, and
over I went. Sort of had an idea
that every one in the world had
started shouting to me, and felt
that I was half underneath an
omnibus. Woke up to find myself
"Should you know the man again?" the
Inspector asked. "I mean the
man whom you saw enter and leave
"I think so--pretty
The nurse came up, shaking
her head. Inspector Jacks rose
from his seat.
"Right, nurse," he said. "I'm
off. Take care of our young friend.
He is going to be very useful
to us as soon as he can use his
feet and get about. I'll come
and sit with you for half an
hour next visiting day, if I
may?" he added, turning to the
"Glad to see you," the youth
answered. "My people live down
in the country, and I haven't
Inspector Jacks left the hospital
thoughtfully. The smell of anaesthetics
somehow reminded him of the library
in the house at the corner of
St. James' Square. It was not
altogether by chance, perhaps,
that he found himself walking
in that direction. He was in
Pall Mall, in fact, before he
realized where he was, and at
the corner of St. James' Square
and Pall Mall he came face to
face with Prince Maiyo, walking
The meeting between the two
men was a characteristic one.
The Inspector suffered no signs
of surprise or even interest
to creep into his expressionless
face. The Prince, on the other
hand, did not attempt to conceal
his pleasure at this unexpected
encounter. His lips parted in
a delightful smile. He ignored
the Inspector's somewhat stiff
salute, and insisted upon shaking
him cordially by the hand.
"Mr. Inspector Jacks," he said, "you
are the one person whom I desired
to see. You are not busy, I hope?
You can talk with me for five
The Inspector hesitated for
a moment. He was versed in every
form of duplicity, and yet he
felt that in the presence of
this young aristocrat, who was
smiling upon him so delightfully,
he was little more than a babe
in wisdom, an amateur pure and
simple. He was conscious, too,
of a sentiment which rarely intruded
itself into his affairs. He was
conscious of a strong liking
for this debonair, pleasant-faced
young man, who treated him not
only as an equal, but as an equal
in whose society he found an
"I have the time to spare,
sir, certainly," he admitted.
The Prince smiled gayly.
"Inspector Jacks," he said, "you
are a wonderful man. Even now
you are asking yourself, What
does he want to say to me--Prince
Maiyo? Is he going to ask me
questions, or will he tell me
things which I should like to
hear?' You know, Mr. Inspector
Jacks, between ourselves, you
are just a little interested
in me, is it not so?"
The detective was dumb. He
stood there patiently waiting.
He had the air of a man who declines
to commit himself.
"Just a little interested in
me, I think," the Prince murmured,
smiling at his companion. "Ah,
well, many of the things I do
over here, perhaps, must seem
very strange. And that reminds
me. Only a short time ago you
were asking questions about the
man who travelled from Liverpool
to London and reached his destination
with a dagger through his heart.
Tell me, Mr. Inspector Jacks,
have you discovered the murderer
"Not yet," the
"I have heard you speak of
this affair," the Prince continued, "and
before now I expected to read
in the papers that you had put
your hand upon the guilty one.
If you have not done so, I am
very sure that there is some
"It is better sometimes to
wait," the detective said quietly.
bowed as one who understands.
"I think so," he assented, "I
think I follow you. On the very
next day there was another tragedy
which seemed to me even more
terrible. I mean the murder of
that young fellow Vanderpole,
of the American Embassy. Mr.
Inspector Jacks, has it ever
occurred to you, I wonder, that
it might be as well to let the
solution of one await the solution
of the other?"
Inspector Jacks shrugged his
"Occasionally," he admitted
reluctantly, "when one is following
up a clue, one discovers things."
"You are wonderful!" the Prince
declared. "You are, indeed! I
know what is in your mind. You
have said to yourself, Between
these two murders there is some
connection. They were both done
by the hand of a master criminal.
The victims in both cases were
Americans.' You said to yourself,
First of all, I will discover
the motive; then, perhaps, a
clue which seems to belong to
the one will lead me to the other,
or both?' You are not sure which
way to turn. There is nothing
there upon which you can lay
your hand. You say to yourself,
I will make a bluff.' That is
the word, is it not? You come
to me. You tell me gravely that
you have reason to suspect some
one in my household. That is
because you believe that the
crimes were perpetrated by some
one of my country. You do not
ask for information. You think,
perhaps, that I would not give
it. You confront me with a statement.
It was very clever of you, Mr.
"I had reason for what I did,
sir," the detective said.
"No doubt," the Prince agreed. "And
now, tell me, when are you going
to electrify us all? When is
the great arrest to take place?"
The detective coughed discreetly.
"I am not yet in a position,
sir," he said, "to make any definite
"Cautious, Mr. Jacks, cautious!" the
Prince remarked smilingly. "It
is a great quality,--a quality
which I, too, have learned how
to appreciate. And now for our
five minutes' talk. If I say
to you, Return home with me,'
I think you will remember that
unpleasant room of mine, and
you will recollect an important
engagement at Scotland Yard.
In the clubs one is always overheard.
Walk with me a little way, Mr.
Jacks, in St. James' Park. We
can speak there without fear
of interruption. Come!"
He thrust his arm through the
detective's and led him across
the street. Mr. Inspector Jacks
was only human, and he yielded
without protest. They passed
St. James' Palace and on to the
broad promenade, where there
were few passers-by and no listeners.
"You see, my dear Inspector," the
Prince said, "I am really a sojourner
in your marvellous city not altogether
for pleasure. My stay over here
is more in the light of a mission.
I have certain arrangements which
I wish to effect for the good
of my country. Amongst them is
one concerning which I should
like to speak to you."
"To me, sir?" Inspector
The Prince twirled his cane
and nodded his head.
"It is a very important matter,
Mr. Jacks," he said. "It is nothing
less than a desire on the part
of the city government of Tokio
to perfect thoroughly their police
system on the model of yours
over here. We are a progressive
nation, you know, Mr. Jacks,
but we are also a young nation,
and though I think that we advance
all the time, we are still in
many respects a long way behind
you. We have no Scotland Yard
in Tokio. To be frank with you,
the necessity for such an institution
has become a real thing with
us only during the last few years.
Do you read history, Mr. Jacks?"
The Inspector was doubtful.
"I can't say, sir," he admitted, "that
I have done much reading since
I left school, and that was many
"Well," the Prince said, "It
is one of the axioms of history,
Mr. Jacks, that as a country
becomes civilized and consequently
more prosperous, there is a corresponding
growth in her criminal classes,
a corresponding need for a different
state of laws by which to judge
them, a different machinery for
checking their growth. We have
arrived at that position in Japan,
and in my latest despatches from
home comes to me a request that
I send them out a man who shall
reorganize our entire police
system. I am a judge of character,
Mr. Jacks, and if I can get the
man I want, I do not need to
ask my friends at Downing Street
to help me. I should like you
to accept that post."
The Inspector was scarcely
prepared for this. He allowed
himself to show some surprise.
"I am very much obliged to
you, Prince, for the offer," he
said. "I am afraid, however,
that I should not be competent."
"That," the Prince reminded
him, "is a risk which we are
willing to take."
"I do not think, either," the
detective continued, "that at
my time of life I should care
to go so far from home to settle
down in an altogether strange
"It must be as you will, of
course," the Prince declared. "Only
remember, Mr. Jacks, that a great
nation like mine which wants
a particular man for a particular
purpose is not afraid to pay
for him. Your work out there
would certainly take you no more
than three years. For that three
years' work you would receive
the sum of thirty thousand pounds."
The detective gasped.
"It is a great sum," he
The Prince shrugged his shoulders.
"You could hardly call it that," he
said. "Still, it would enable
you to live in comfort for the
rest of your life."
"And when should I be required
to start, sir?" the Inspector
"That, perhaps," the Prince
replied, "would seem the hardest
part of all. You would be required
to start tomorrow afternoon from
Southampton at four o'clock."
The Inspector started. Then
a new light dawned suddenly in
"Tomorrow afternoon," he
The Prince assented.
"So far as regards your position
at Scotland Yard," he said, "I
have influential friends in your
Government who will put that
right for you. You need not be
afraid of any unpleasantness
in that direction. Remember,
Mr. Inspector, thirty thousand
pounds, and a free hand while
you are in my country. You are
a man, I should judge, of fifty-two
or fifty-three years of age.
You can spend your fifty-sixth
birthday in England, then, and
be a man of means for the remainder
of your days."
"And this sum of money," the
detective said, "is for my services
in building up the police force
"Broadly speaking, yes!" the
"And incidentally," the detective
continued, glancing cautiously
at his companion, "it is the
price of my leaving unsuspected
the murderer of two innocent
The Prince walked on in silence.
Every line in his face seemed
slowly to have hardened. His
brows had contracted. He was
looking steadfastly forward at
the great front of Buckingham
"I am disappointed in you,
Mr. Jacks," he said a little
stiffly. "I do not understand
your allusion. The money I have
mentioned is to be paid to you
for certain well-defined services.
The other matter you speak of
does not interest me. It is no
concern of mine whether this
man of whom you are in search
is brought to justice or not.
All that I wish to hear from
you is whether or not you accept
The Inspector shook his head.
"Prince," he said, "there
can be no question about that.
thank you very much for it, but
I must decline."
"Your mind is quite made up?" the
Prince asked regretfully.
Inspector said firmly.
"Japan," the Prince said thoughtfully, "is
a pleasant country."
"London suits me moderately
well," Inspector Jacks declared.
"Under certain conditions," the
Prince continued, "I should have
imagined that the climate here
might prove most unhealthy for
you. You must remember that I
was a witness of your slight
indisposition the other day."
"In my profession, sir," the
detective said, "we must take
The Prince came to a standstill.
They were at the parting of the
"I am very sorry," he said
simply. "It was a great post,
and it was one which you would
have filled well. It is not for
me, however, to press the matter."
"It would make no difference,
sir," the detective answered.
The Prince was on the point
of moving away.
"I shall not seek in any case
to persuade you," he said. "My
offer remains open if you should
change your mind. Think, too,
over what I have said about our
climate. At your time of life,
Mr. Inspector Jacks, and particularly
at this season of the year, one
should be careful. A sea voyage
now would, I am convinced, be
the very thing for you. Good
day, Mr. Jacks!"
The Prince turned towards Buckingham
Palace, and the Inspector slowly
retraced his steps.
"It is a bribe!" he muttered
to himself slowly,--"a cleverly
offered bribe! Thirty thousand
pounds to forget the little I
have learned! Thirty thousand
pounds for silence!"