“ It looks to me,” said the police inspector, “as if some one had been trying to take out the stones.”
“ My fear is,” said Mortimer, “that he not only tried, but succeeded. I believe these four stones to be skilful imitations which have been put in the place of the originals.”
The same suspicion had evidently been in the mind of the expert, for he had been carefully examining the four stones with the aid of a lens. He now submitted them to several tests, and finally turned cheerfully to Mortimer.
“ I congratulate you, sir,” said he, heartily. “I will pledge my reputation that all four of these stones are genuine, and of a most unusual degree of purity.”
The colour began to come back to my poor friend’s frightened face, and he drew a long breath of relief.
“ Thank God!” he crie