The DeFiorini sisters – three of them – waited anxiously by the rail, scanning the crowd, hoping to glimpse a familiar face. The sun was setting and the ship was set to sail on the evening tide.
On every deck, crew members scurried to ready the liner for departure. A steward slipped into one stateroom and delivered three envelopes, addressed in spiky handwriting that would have been instantly recognizable to Francesca and Michaelina and Puff. It would be sometime yet before the missives were discovered.
In a salon at the Hotel Garamond, Montgomery Fortescue McTavitt gave up his wait. It would be sometime yet before he opened the safe in his suite to find it now contained a pair of snakeskin boots in place of a stack of negotiable securities.
In the square, only Clarice and Neville were present when the cloaked figure appeared, gave one backward glance in the direction of the harbor, crossed to the auto, and slid into the passenger compartment. It would be sometime yet before they noticed anything but each other.
The thrum of the powerful engine stirred the starlings from their nighttime roosts, but soon it faded as the car headed away from the ship, the hotel, and the old port town.