his moods, and my suspicions were confirmed when he set my breakfast plate down in front of me.

'A two-egg omelet for monsieur,' he said coolly.

'Not three?'


'No champignons?'


'No fromage?'


'Not even toast and jam?'


I turned the matter over in my mind. 'Has Barker said anything about my weight?'

'He has not.'

'Have I done something to offend you, then?'


'And you're not going to tell me what this is about?'


'Very well, then,' I said, the aggrieved party. I played my trump card. I cut the pathetic little omelet in half, folded it over, and ate it in two quick bites. Then I washed it down with coffee and patted my mouth with a napkin. Dummolard's eyes grew large, and the corners of his mouth quivered at the insult. For a moment, I hoped he would drop his cigarette entirely, but somehow, it stayed in the corner of his mouth. I rose, bowed to the fellow, and took myself off with as much dignity as my spare Welsh frame could carry.

'You cut a splendid figure today, Mr. Llewelyn,' my employer said. He was standing in the entranceway, putting on his gloves.

'I can't wear gloves, I'm afraid,' I said, holding up my slings. 'Or at least, I can't put them on.'

'Don't. I need you to strike a pathetic note. We have our hardest battle ahead of us today. We are going to attempt a reckoning of accounts with Lord Rothschild, and he drives a very hard bargain, indeed.'

Outside, it felt strange to see a different cab at our curb and a perfect stranger atop it. Even now, I found it hard to believe that Racket was the murderer, and that I was almost his last victim. I half expected to look up and see his long, fiery beard through the trap and hear him give me a brisk greeting.

'What's to become of Juno and the cab?' I asked Barker.

'I made an offer on both, contingent on whether any relative of Racket is found. Juno's been boarded in another stable, and the cab is locked up at the murder scene.'

'A private cab, eh?'

'I thought I might advertise on the side. Something small, but tasteful. The name of the agency in discreet gold letters, perhaps.'

'The name of the agencyЕ You mean your name, don't you?' I said.

'Well, it is a name to be reckoned with.'

'That it is. Wouldn't it be easier just to paint a target, instead?'

'Spare me your humor this morning, Thomas.'

Sir Moses was glad to see us again. He was serene and joyful, shaking hands with Barker, clucking over my injuries, and congratulating us both. Not so his nephew, Lord Rothschild, a small, bald man with a spade beard.

'Tempest in a teapot,' he said, sourly. 'A total false alarm. They were a bunch of drunken cowards, who turned and ran at the first sign of a real fight. There was no real danger at all.'

'Tell that to the dozen or so who went to hospital, or to my assistant here,' Barker replied to the baron. 'He has been shot at, barely missed by a dagger, physically beaten, strangled, and nearly crucified.'

Lord Rothschild gave me a look, as if to say, 'He looks all right to me.'

'Of course, we are so glad of your assistance,' Sir Moses said, trying to keep the peace. 'I don't know what would have happened had you not been there. A 'Golem Squad!' What an incredible idea.'

I turned to my employer. 'Your idea, sir?'

'You'll recall the letter I wrote, suggesting the Jews have some of their young men watching the public houses? After a little thought, I wondered if they might be able to do a bit more. But it was they who formed the Golem Squad and forged the swords.'

'I shall ring for tea,' Sir Moses continued.

'No, sir,' Barker insisted. 'We are businessmen here, are we not? Pray, let us get down to business.'

'Spoken like a businessman, indeed, sir,' Rothschild said, rubbing his hands together briskly. 'Now, I understand that there was no actual fee proposed.'

'That is so,' Barker stated. 'Would you like to make an estimate for my services?'

'We would rather you gave us an evaluation of your time and expenses.'

'Certainly,' my employer continued. He flashed one of his rare smiles. The devil was enjoying this. 'Before I start, I wish two things be understood. The first is that our investigation has helped avert what could have been a major crisis among the Jews in London.'

'I contest that!' his lordship said. 'That cannot be proven.'

'The second factor was the injury to my assistant, which included a week under a doctor's care and round- the-clock nursing. He nearly died in the performance of his duties.'

Rothschild began to speak again, but checked himself. Was he going to somehow refute the fact that I had nearly been crucified trying to protect his people? I looked straight into the eye of one of the most powerful men in England and did not blink.

'I'll concede that he was injured during the course of the investigation,' His Lordship said, finally.

Barker cleared his throat. 'I am now prepared to offer a fee for my services. My fee isЕ one hundred poundsЕ'

Both men raised an eyebrow.

'For each of us.'

'A hundred pounds? One hundred pounds, did you say?' Sir Moses asked. Rothschild smiled into his beard. I myself couldn't believe the lowness of the offer. It barely covered the two weeks' expenses, with cab rides and meals, and the nursing. 'Are you sure?'

'Yes, sir, with one stipulation.'

'Name it,' Rothschild stated.

'That the money be kept with Your Lordship's own accounts, to invest and reinvest along with your own business accounts for a period of one year.'

'Now, wait a minuteЧ' Rothschild began.

'And that a tenth of the interest from the account be given over at the end of that year for the benefit of the Jews' Free School in memory of Louis Pokrzywa. If that is agreeable to Mr. Llewelyn.'

'Absolutely, sir,' I said.

'See here!' Lord Rothschild blustered. 'Of all theЧ'

'Done!' the old patriarch decided, slapping his hand on the table.

'Sir Moses!' his nephew remonstrated.

'Now, Nathan, he's done us a remarkable service and shall do so in the future again, I am certain.'

'Very well,' he conceded, with ill grace. 'But only as a favor to you, Uncle.'

Barker pulled two contracts from his coat pocket. The crafty fellow had typed them himself, in the presence of his solicitor. For one who made such a public display of shunning finances, he proved himself shrewd enough when necessary.

The contract concluded, Lord Rothschild nodded to us all and left the room, no doubt to return to the bank with his copy, to begin looking for loopholes.

As for Sir Moses, he was inclined to linger and talk. Tea and biscuits were brought in, and we discussed the school, our agency, my health, and the future of Anglo-Jewry. It was an hour before we got away again. The old man shook my injured hand gently.

Finally, we took our leave. Outside, Barker looked quite pleased with himself. His sitting in the cab with a smile on his face was like any other man's doing a jig in the street.

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