gnantly. "I've been here three nights now, and I know something about mechanics, too. If you think that wires are used you are just mistaken. A friend of mine is stage carpenter here, and he told me all about it. Depend upon it, that chap has got the knack right enough."
The performer fluttered down again from the wings as lightly and easily as he had risen, and a tremendous outbreak of applause followed. When the din had died away, the st
age manager came forward and invited any of the audience who chose to come up and see for themselves that everything was fair and legitimate, and that no mechanism had been employed. The intelligent mechanic turned to Venables with a defiant smile.
"Now is your chance, guv'nor," he exclaimed. "You go and smell it out for yourself."
Venables would have declined the offer, but already Walter had risen eagerly from his seat. The opportunity was too good to be missed. Though he did not associate this man Valdo with the mysterious attack on Lord Ravenspur's life, he felt quite convinced that the artist was indirectly concerned in it. To waste a chance would be the height of folly. A moment or two later the two friends were on the stage. They stood there whilst the performer went through another series of graceful performances,
with which he had learnt to move his arms. So far the thing was effective enough, but the strain was so great that, hitherto, he had found it impossible to rise to a height of more than forty feet. This naturally prevented him from obtaining engagements in the larger theatres and halls where so limited a flight would have been far less imposing than it appeared to be when performed in a place like the Imperial Palace. There was nothing more to be said, and the two friends were turning away when a woman put her head into the door, and looked inquiringly at Valdo. He muttered something to the effect that he would be ready in a moment or two, and the woman vanished.
Walter caught his lip in his teeth. It was hard work to conceal his surprise. There was no doubt whatever about it, no question as to the identity of the intruder. Strange as it appeared to be, Walter recognised the features of Mrs. Delahay. There was no mistaking that white, stern face. It was only for a moment, but that moment had been enough for Lance.
CHAPTER IX. THE CONFIDENTIAL AGENT.
All that evening and most of the next day Walter brooded over his startling discovery. He said nothing to anybody about it, though he had attempted the night previously to follow up the clue. The attempt had failed, however, for though Walter had waited outside the theatre, he saw no more of Mrs. Delahay. And as to the man Valdo he eventually went off by himself. There was nothing for it now but to wait and see what was going to happen.
Meanwhile, public interest in the Fitzjohn Square tragedy had not abated in the least. Everybody was waiting eagerly enough for the inquest, which was to open at four o'clock on the day following the mysterious attack upon Lord Ravenspur. The latter had come down somewhat late in the morning, looking but little the worse for his adventure. It was not expected that
the inquest would be more than formally opened, and it