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A car drew up outside the Swan Hotel and a young man got out. Pausing only for an instant to see that he had come to the right place, he went into the hotel and rang the bell on the counter of the bar.
Mrs Crump, the landlady, who was busy in the kitchen at the time, hurried out, wiping her hands. The young man raised his hat.
'Excuse me,' he said. 'I'm looking for my uncle, Mr White. I believe he is staying here.'
'He was staying here,' Mrs Crump corrected him. 'But I'm afraid that he went back to London yesterday.'
'Oh dear,' said the young man, looking disappointed. 'I understood that he was going to stay here until the end of the month. At least, that is what his servant told me when I rang up his house.'
'Quite right,' said Mrs Crump. 'He intended to stay here the whole of July, as he always does. But yesterday he got a telegram to say that one of his relatives was ill. So he caught the train back to London immediately.'
'I wish he had let me know,' the young man said. 'I wrote him a letter saying that I was coming. I've had all this trouble for nothing. Well, since he isn't here, there is no point in waiting.'
He thanked Mrs Crump and went out. Mrs Crump went to the window and watched him drive off. When his car was out of sight, she called out:
'You can come out now, Mr White. He's gone.'
'Mr White came out of the kitchen, where he had been waiting.
'Many thanks, Mrs Crump,' he said, laughing. 'You did that very well. These nephews of mine never give me any peace. That young man is the worst of them all. As you see, when he needs money, he even follows me into the country. Well, perhaps next time he won't warn me by writing me a letter.