orate explanation on the part of Maria Delahay for him to know that,
in some way, the danger came from the man whom he knew as Valdo. Walter did not doubt that this was not the first time that the Corsican had visited the studio, though, as yet, he was utterly unable to grasp how it was that the attempt had been so successful.
There was danger here, and Walter knew it perfectly well, but he was too filled with indignation to think of anything else. So far as he could see, nothing had as yet taken place. The studio was absolutely empt
y, and the full blaze of the electric lights disclosed no danger.
atching eyes were probably not far off, and it behooved Walter to be circumspect. He whistled an air. He strolled from place to place, ever and again glancing upwards to the roof. He felt quite convinced that it was the roof from which danger threatened, but there was nothing to be seen, no sign of movement in the branches of the acacia.
Still, the miscreant must be near at hand. He might even be watching the solitary occupant of the studio at that moment. Walter mad
e up his mind what to do. He switched off all the lights a
nd shut the door of the studio, at the same time affecting to turn the key in the lock. If Valdo were hiding close at hand, he would take this for an indication that the studio was locked and closed for the night.
This being done, Walter crept back again and took up a position at the foot of an acacia. If Valdo entered the studio at all he was bound to come that way. Doubtless he had made his way over the roof, and presently it would be an easy matter to flutter from
the dome on to the top of the acacia. Such a plan as this
would present no difficulties to the flying man. Therefore, Walter braced himself for the effort which would be required of him presently.
He had not much doubt as to the issue. From the point of physical strength he was a match and more than a match for the Italian. There was just the chance that the latter might make use of his knife, but that had to be risked. A quarter of an hour passed slowly, and Walter was beginning to get impatient. What he most feared now w