"Well," replied Desmond shortly, "what are you going to do about it?"
"I'm going to utilize my advantage to the best I know how," retorted Strangwise, snapping the words, "that's good strategy, isn't it, Desmond? That's what Hamley and all the military writers teach, isn't it? And I'm going to be frank with you. I suppose you realize that your life hung by a thread in this very room only a minute ago. Do you know why I intervened to save you?"
Desmond smiled. All his habitual serenity was coming back to him. He found it hard to realize that this old brother officer of his, blowing rings of cigarette smoke at him across the table, was an enemy.
"I don't suppose it was because of the love you bear me," replied Desmond.
And he rubbed the bump on his head.
Strangwise noted the action and smiled.
"Listen here," he resumed, planking his hands down on the table and leaning forward, "I'm ready and anxious to quit this spying business. It was only a side line with me anyway. My main object in coming to this country was to recover possession of that diamond star. Once I've got it back, I'm through with England..."
"But not with the army," Desmond broke in, "thank God, we've got a swift way with traitors in this country!"