"Ay, true enough!" nodded Sam. "I've run athwart 'em, men and women in every port half round the world, so I've learned enough to keep 'em in my lee, give 'em a wide berth, d'ye see--steer clear of 'em, if you know what I mean, sir."
"Ah but," said Mr. Joliffe, leaning nearer, "there is an even greater danger threatens you, closer ... more insistent, a ... cold and deadly menace that, given opportunity, may strike unseen ... swiftly and without ... mercy!" Now as he listened Sam was amazed to hear Mr. Joliffe's voice sink to a hissing whisper, to see his brows knit above fierce or anxious eyes while the hand that had grasped his sleeve was shaking.
"Sir," questioned Sam, laying his own large, vital hand upon these clutching fingers, "what is this menace?"
"Your paternal uncle, Lord Julian Scrope."
"Uncle, eh?" murmured Sam. "Never knew I had one, but since I have--what about him?"
"He is your father's only brother and would have succeeded to this