It was the sheet upon which I had scrawled the enigmatic message.
The selection of words would hardly lend itself to the sending of general messages. We will eliminate Bradshaw.
"No, I don't care for any more of it," Lute said, when the message was completed.
You always say I am so sanely rooted to the earth and reality and all that, but--perhaps it's superstition, I don't know--but the whole occurrence, the messages of Planchette, the possibility of my father's hand, I know not how, reaching, out to Ban's rein and hurling him and you to death, the correspondence between my father's statement that he has twice attempted your life and the fact that in the last two days your life has twice been endangered by horses--my father was a great horseman--all this, I say, causes the doubt to arise in my mind.
This message makes it even more essential that we should not lose an hour in letting Hilton Cubitt know how matters stand, for it is a singular and a dangerous web in which our simple Norfolk squire is entangled."
The object of those who invented the system has apparently been to conceal that these characters convey a message, and to give the idea that they are the mere random sketches of children.
The first message submitted to me was so short that it was impossible for me to do more than to say, with some confidence, that the symbol XXX stood for E.
Hilton Cubitt he was able to give me two other short sentences and one message, which appeared--since there was no flag--to be a single word.
On examination I found that such a combination formed the termination of the message which was three times repeated.
So now I was in possession of C, O, and M, and I was in a position to attack the first message once more, dividing it into words and putting dots for each symbol which was still unknown.
I had so many letters now that I could proceed with considerable confidence to the second message, which worked out in this fashion:
Then would he lead an expedition back, and, although the entire population of Guadalcanal he destroyed, extract from the heart of the Red One the message of the world from other worlds.
He knew the end was close; knew that in all truth he had with his eyes beheld the Red One, the messenger between the worlds; knew that he would never live to carry that message to the world--that message, for aught to the contrary, which might already have waited man's hearing in the heart of Guadalcanal for ten thousand years.
Ever he struggled to combat the fever, to live, to continue to live, to grow strong and stronger against the day when he would be strong enough to dare the grass-lands and the belted jungle beyond, and win to the beach, and to some labour-recruiting, black-birding ketch or schooner, and on to civilization and the men of civilization, to whom he could give news of the message from other worlds that lay, darkly worshipped by beastmen, in the black heart of Guadalcanal's midmost centre.
Clements (feeling a natural confidence in the Count, as a person trusted with a secret message
from Lady Glyde) gratefully accepted the offer, and they went back together to the cottage.