"Must I?" said Jane. "That hardly seems right or fair."
"Of course it's right," cried Mr. Fleck warmly. "Think of the lives of our soldiers that are at stake. The devilish ingenuity of these German spies must be thwarted at all costs. They seem to be able to discover every detail of our plans. Only two days ago one of our transports was thoroughly inspected from stem to stern. Two hours later twenty-six hundred soldiers were put aboard her on their way to France. Just by accident, as they were about to sail, a time-bomb was discovered in the coal bunkers, a bomb that would have sent them all to kingdom come."
"Somebody aboard is a traitor. Somebody knew when that inspection was made. Somebody put that bomb in place afterward. That shows you the kind of enemies we are fighting."
Jane shuddered. She was thinking of the sailing of another transport, the one that had carried her brother to France.
"Anything seems right after that," she said simply.
"Yes," said Mr. Fleck, "there is only one effective way to fight those spying devils. We must stop at nothing. They stop at nothing--not even murder--to gain their ends."
"I know that," said Jane hastily. "I saw something myself you ought to know about."
As briefly as she could she described the scene she had witnessed in the early morning hours from her bedroom window, the man following the younger Hoff, Hoff's discovery and pursuit of him around the corner and of his return alone.
"And in the morning," she concluded, "they found a man's body in the side street. He had a bullet through his heart. There was a revolver in his hand. The newspapers said that the police and the coroner were satisfied that it was a suicide. I caught a glimpse of Mr. Hoff's face when he came back from around that corner. It was all convulsed with hate, the most terrible expression I ever saw. I'm almost certain he murdered that man. I'm sure it wasn't a suicide."
"I'm sure, too, that it was no suicide," said Mr. Fleck gravely. "The man who was found there was one of my men, K-19, the man whose badge I have just given you. He had been detailed to shadow the Hoffs."