Walker and I met two days later for coffee and pastries at the salon owned by the two Negroes. At this occasion we were served by the taller of the two, who persistently and cryptically made remarks about "that play about which everyone is talking," "that popular book," and "the famous singer who sings that song."
"So you have a plan," said Walker.
"Indeed I do. It took some doing, but I managed to contrive a scheme fully capable of taking Sir Julius for all he is worth."
"Most excellent!" exclaimed Walker.
"True, but I have a scheme of my own with which I shall require help. I hope you are up to it."
"By all means," Walker said. “Since you are so kind as to assist me in my matter, I will assist you in yours.”
"Capital." I leaned in close. "We shall need a number of specialty items and a modestly sized contingent of confederates."
"That shall not be a difficulty; my funds run exceedingly ample, and I am certain that we may be able to find what you need here in London."
"Very well. But I shall need you to play a role or two, here and there."
"I have no objection," Walker said. "All visible gentlemen, man, are but as pasteboard masks, after all."
"Then it is settled. We shall need a gentleman of distinguished features, two cocky gamblers, a pair of buxom wenches, a master forger, three young rapscallions, a crooked casino, an old priest, a young priest, and the address of a reputable but slow-witted banker."
Walker settled back in his chair, an expression of bemused admiration on his face. "That is quite the list," he said.
"Yes, yes it is," I said with a laugh. "Now, here is what we do..."
The Life, Times, and Misadventures of Dennis St. Michel, Viscount of Stokington, Soldier, Gambler, Diplomat, Scoundrel, Notorious Rakehell, and Lord of Menacing House, in his Own Words.