Gideon Morse still had the little steel-blue automatic pistol in his hand. He was actually smiling and humming a little tune when he turned and saw Juanita and myself coming out of the alcove.
In a flash his hand dropped the pistol into the pocket of his dinner jacket and his face changed.
"Santa Maria!" he said in Spanish, and then, "Juanita, Sir Thomas Kirby!"
"You remember you gave me an appointment to-night, Mr. Morse," I stammered.
"Of course, of course, then—"
He said no more, for with a little gasp Juanita sank into a heap upon the floor. We had loosened hands directly the millionaire turned towards us and I was too late to catch her.
Morse was at her side in an instant.
"The bell," he said curtly, and I ran to the side of the room and pressed the button hard and long.
Wow! but these money emperors of the world are well served! In a second, so it seemed, the room was full of people. The young secretary, a couple of maids, a dark foreign-looking man in a morning coat and a black tie whom I took to be the valet, and finally a gigantic fellow in tweeds with a battered face as big as a ham and arms which reached almost to his knees.
The maids were at the girl's side in a moment, applying restoratives. Morse rose, just as another door opened and in sailed a stout elderly lady in a black evening dress with a mantilla of black lace over her abundant and ivory white hair. Morse said something to her in Spanish and I wished I had been Arthur Winstanley to understand it. Then I felt my arm taken and Morse drew me away.
"It is nothing serious," he said, "just a little shock," and as he said it he made a slight gesture with his head.
It was enough. The secretary, the valet, and the huge, vulgar-looking man in tweeds faded away in an instant, though not before I had seen the latter spot the broken mirror, and a ferocious glint come into his eyes. Nor did he look surprised.