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XIII 


From Mr. de Bleriot to Mrs. Lecount.

"Dark's Bui ldings. November 1st.

"DEAR MADAM -- I have the pleasure of informing you that the discovery has been made with far less trouble than I had anticipated.

"Mr. and Mrs. Noel Vanstone have been traced across the Solway Firth to Dumfries, and thence to a cottage a few miles from the town, on the banks of the Nith. The exact address is Baliol Cottage, near Dumfries.

"This information, though easily hunted up, has nevertheless been obtained under rather singular circumstances.

"Before leaving Allonby, the persons in my employ discovered, to their surprise, that a stranger was in the place pursuing the same inquiry as themselves. In the absence of any instructions preparing them for such an occurrence as this, they took their own view of the circumstance. Considering the man as an intruder on their business, whose success might deprive them of the credit and reward of making the discovery, they took advantage of their superiority in numbers, and of their being first in the field, and carefully misled the stranger before they ventured any further with their own investigations. I am in possession of the details of their proceedings, with which I need not trouble you. The end is, that this person, whoever he may be, was cleverly turned back southward on a false scent before the men in my employment crossed the Firth.

"I mention the circumstance, as you may be better able than I am to find a clew to it, and as it may possibly be of a nature to induce you to hasten your journey.

"Your faithful servant,

"ALFRED DE BLERIOT."

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