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Chapter 2 (continued)
'You aren't losing much time. By the way, as you're going to New York you might as well use my flat.'
'It's awfully good of you.'
'Not a bit. You would be doing me a favour. I had to leave at a moment's notice, and I want to know what's been happening to the place. I left some Japanese prints there, and my favourite nightmare is that someone has broken in and sneaked them. Write down the address--Forty-blank East Twenty-seventh Street. I'll send you the key to Brown's to-night with those letters.'
Bill walked up the Strand, glowing with energy. He made his way to Cockspur Street to buy his ticket for New York. This done, he set out to Brown's to arrange with the committee the details of his departure.
He reached Brown's at twenty minutes past two and left it again at twenty-three minutes past; for, directly he entered, the hall porter had handed him a telephone message. The telephone attendants at London clubs are masters of suggestive brevity. The one in the basement of Brown's had written on Bill's slip of paper the words: '1 p.m. Will Lord Dawlish as soon as possible call upon Mr Gerald Nichols at his office?' To this was appended a message consisting of two words: 'Good news.'
It was stimulating. The probability was that all Jerry Nichols wanted to tell him was that he had received stable information about some horse or had been given a box for the Empire, but for all that it was stimulating.
Bill looked at his watch. He could spare half an hour. He set out at once for the offices of the eminent law firm of Nichols, Nichols, Nichols, and Nichols, of which aggregation of Nicholses his friend Jerry was the last and smallest.
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