The manager of the new Imperial Restaurant on the Thames Embankment went into his luxurious private Office and shut the door. Having done so, he first scratched his chin reflectively, and then took a letter from the drawer in which it had reposed for more than two months and perused it carefully.
Though he was not aware of it, this was the thirtieth time he had read it since breakfast that morning. And yet he was not a whit nearer understanding it than he had been at the beginning. He turned it over and scrutinised the back, where not a sign of writing was to be seen; he held it up to the window, as if he might hope to discover something from the watermark; but there was evidently nothing in either of these places of a nature calculated to set his troubled mind at rest.
Then, though he had a clock upon his mantelpiece in good working order, he took a magnificent repeater watch from his waistcoat pocket and glanced at the dial; the hands stood at half-past seven. He immediately threw the letter on the table, and as he did so his anxiety found relief in words.