"Are you sure that is all you have to say to me?" he asked.
Strangwise had stood up as well.
"Why, yes!" he said, "I think so!"
"Well, then," said Desmond firmly, "just listen to me for a moment! Here's my answer. You've lost the jewel for good and all, and you will never get it back. Your offer to betray your accomplices to me in exchange for the Star of Poland is an empty one; for your accomplices will be arrested with you. And lastly I give you my word that I shall make it my personal duty to see that you are not shot by clean-handed British soldiers, but strung up by the neck by the common hangman--as the murderer that you are!"
Strangwise's face underwent an extraordinary change. His suavity vanished, his easy smile disappeared and he looked balefully across the table as the other fearlessly confronted him.
"If you are a German, as you seem to be," Desmond went on, "then I tell you I shall never have guessed it until this interview between us. But a man who can murder a defenceless old man and torture a young girl and then propose to sell his pals to a British officer at the price of that officer's honor can only be a Hun! And you seem to be a pretty fine specimen of your race!"
Strangwise mastered his rising passion by an obvious effort; but his face was evil as he spoke.
"I put that Malplaquet woman off by appealing to her avarice," he said, "I've promised her and Bellward a thousand pounds apiece as their share of my reward for recovering the jewel. I only have to say the word, Okewood, and your number's up! And you may as well know that Bellward will try his hand on you before he kills you. If that girl had known where the Star of Poland was, Bellward would have had it out of her! Three times a day he's put her into the hypnotic sleep. I warn you, you won't like the interrogatory!"