The Thirty-Nine Steps
NONSENCE!" SAID the official from the Admiralty.
Sir Walter got up and left the room, while we looked blanky at the table. He came back in ten minutes with a long face. "I have spoken to Alloa," he said. "Had him out of bed-very grumpy. He went straight home after Mulross's dinner."
"But it's madness," broke in General Winstanley. "Do you mean to tell me that that man came here and sat beside me for the best part of half an hour, and that I didn't detect the imposture? Alloa must be out of his mind."
"Don't you see the cleverness of it?" I said. "You were too interested in other things to have the use of your eyes. You took Lord Alloa for granted. If it had been anybody else you might have looked more closely, but it was natural for him to be here, and that put you all to sleep."
Then the Frenchman spoke, very slowly and in good English.