In this story the author makes clear the sinking of the English fishing schooners by the Baltic fleet of Russia and brings in all kinds of events that seemed hallucinations when the story appeared serially, but which have since come true in startling manner.
"But we should not dream of attacking her--without provocation," he returned, bewildered.
"I fancy you will have a good deal of provocation," I retorted.
"Why? What makes you think that?" he demanded.
I suspected that Lord Bedale was either sounding me, or else that he had not been taken into the full confidence of those for whom he was acting.
I responded evasively:
"There are two personages in Europe, neither of whom will leave one stone unturned in the effort to involve you in war with Russia."
"And they are?"
Even as he put the question, Lord Bedale, as though acting unconsciously, raised one hand to his mustache, and gave it a pronounced upward twirl.
"I see your lordship knows one of them," I remarked. "The other----"
He bent forward eagerly.
"Yes? The other?"
"The other is a woman."
He fell back in his chair in sheer surprise.
"The other," I repeated in my most serious ton