Before he had even time to stand on the defensive, Rudolf Kesselbach was tied up in a network of cords that cut into his flesh at the least attempt which he made to struggle. His arms were fixed behind his back, his body fastened to the chair and his legs tied together like the legs of a mummy.
"Search him, Marco."
Marco searched him. Two minutes after, he handed his chief a little flat, nickel-plated key, bearing the numbers 16 and 9.
"Capital. No morocco pocket-case?"
"It is in the safe. Mr. Kesselbach, will you tell me the secret cypher that opens the lock?"
"Place the barrel of your revolver against the gentleman's temple."
"Now put your finger to the trigger."
"Well, Kesselbach, old chap, do you intend to speak?"
"I'll give you ten secon