CHAPTER XXIII A RACE AGAINST TIME AFTER ringing up Sir James, Tommy's next procedure was to make a call at South Audley Mansions. He found Albert discharging his professional duties, and introduced himself without more ado as a friend of Tuppence's. Albert unbent immediately. "Things has been very quiet here lately," he said wistfully. "Hope the young lady's keeping well, sir?" "That's just the point, Albert. She's disappeared." You don't mean as the crooks have got her?" "In the Underworld?" "No, dash it all, in this world!" "It's a h'expression, sir," explained Albert. "At the pictures the crooks always have a restoorant in the Underworld. But do you think as they've done her in, sir?" "I hope not. By the way, have you by any chance an aunt, a cousin, a grandmother, or any other suitable female relation who might be represented as being likely to kick the bucket?" A delighted grin spread slowly over Albert's countenance. 310
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