"But whey shall I see you again?"
"Depends entirely on yourself, Okewood," he retorted. "When you're through with your job, I expect. In the meantime, Miss Mackwayte will act between us. On that point also you will be fully instructed. And now I must fly!"
"But I say, sir," Desmond interposed hastily. "You haven't told me what I am to do. What part am I to play in this business anyway?"
"To-morrow," said the Chief, buttoning up his goat, "you become Mr. Basil Bellward!"
CHAPTER VIII. THE WHITE PAPER PACKAGE
A taxi was waiting in Pall Mall outside the club and Desmond hailed it, though secretly wondering what the driver would think of taking him out to Seven Kings. Rather to his surprise, the man was quite affable, took the address of the house where Barbara was staying with her friends and bade Desmond "hop in." Presently, for the second time that day, he was heading for the Mils End Road.
As they zigzagged in and out of the traffic, Desmond's thoughts were busy with the extraordinary mission entrusted to him. So he was to sink his own identity and don that of an Anglo-German business man, his appearance, accent, habits, everything. The difficulties of the task positively made him cold with fear. The man must have relations, friends, business acquaintances who would be sufficiently familiar with his appearance and manner to penetrate, at any rate in the long run, the most effective disguise. What did Bellward look like? Where did lie live? How was he, Desmond, to disguise himself to resemble him? And, above all, when this knotty problem of make-up had been settled, how was he to proceed? What should be his first step to pick out from among all the millions of London's teeming populace the one obscure individual who headed and directed this gang of spies?
Why hadn't he asked the Chief all these questions? What an annoying man the Chief was to deal with to be sure! All said and done, what had he actually told Desmond? That there was a German Secret service organization spying on the movements of troops to France, that this man, Basil Bellward, who had been arrested, was one of the gang and that the dancer, Nur-el-Din, was in some way implicated in the affair! And that was the extent of his confidence! On the top of all this fog of obscurity rested the dense cloud surrounding the murder of old Mackwayte with the unexplained, the fantastic, clue of that single hair pointing back to Nur-el-Din.