or certain that the MS. had been read than be left in utter doubt on the point. In the one case I should know what I had to contend against, and could take proper precautionary measures; in the other, I am left to do battle with a shadow that may or may not be able to work me harm."
"Would possession of the information that is contained in the MS. enable anyone to work you harm?"
"It would to this extent, that it would put them in possession of a cherished secret, which--But why talk of these things? What is done cannot be undone. I can only prepare myself for the worst."
"One moment," said Ducie. "I think that after the thorough search made by me the chances are twenty to one against the MS. ever being found. But granting that it does turn up, the finder of it will probably be some ignorant navvie or incurious official, without either inclination or ability to master the secret of the cipher."
* * * * *
Ten days later M. Platzoff was sufficiently recovered to set out for Bo
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