The Untamed Bride Plus Black Cobra 02-03 and Special Excerpt

Read The Untamed Bride Plus Black Cobra 02-03 and Special Excerpt for Free Online

Book: Read The Untamed Bride Plus Black Cobra 02-03 and Special Excerpt for Free Online
Authors: Stephanie Laurens
quite a show of his lineage and its accoutrements. The whole office knows about his seal ring—and there’s not another like it in all of India.”
    “Could it have been duplicated?” Logan asked.
    Gareth handed him the letter. “See what you think. And anyway, why would anyone bother?”
    Examining the imprint, Logan grunted. “I suppose that’s why people use seals, but you’re right—this has curlicues, swirls, and they look like they’re cut to different depths. It wouldn’t be easy to duplicate.”
    “It doesn’t matter,” Rafe said. “What matters is that we know that’s real—and so does the Black Cobra.” He met the others’ eyes, excitement plain in his. “And I’ve just realized the true beauty of Wolverstone’s plan.”
    Del frowned. “What? Beyond being the most effective way for us to get this back to England.”
    Rafe checked their surroundings, then leaned in, forearms on the table. He spoke soft, low, quickly. “He told us to makecopies, and then separate and head home. What do you think Ferrar’s going to think—and do—once he learns we’ve done that, as of course he will? You said it yourself—he knows we’re investigating him. Suddenly, without warning—worse, immediately after James’s death at the hands of the Black Cobra—we up stakes and resign, something we’ve been thinking of, but no one else knows that. And, to cap it off, we all head home by different routes. What will he think? What will he do?”
    Logan had caught his enthusiam. “He’ll think we’ve found something that incriminates him.”
    “And he’ll come after us, and by that very action prove the validity of our evidence.” Del nodded. “You’re right.” He looked at the others, met each gaze. “Gentlemen, thanks to James, we have our proof. Thanks to Devil Cynster and Wolverstone, we have a plan and know what we have to do. Thanks to Hastings, we have the freedom to do as we wish. I vote we follow the plan, carry out our last orders, and bring the Black Cobra to justice.”
    While Del had been speaking, Rafe had recharged their glasses. They each claimed theirs.
    “To success,” Del said, raising his glass.
    “To justice,” Gareth offered, putting his glass alongside.
    “To James MacFarlane’s memory.” Logan raised his glass to the other two.
    They all looked at Rafe.
    Who raised his glass to theirs. “To beheading the Black Cobra.”
    They clinked, then drained their glasses.
    Setting them down with a snap, they rose and left the bar.
    September 14, twelve days later
    They met in the back room of the Red Turkey Cock, a smoke-filled tavern down a minor side street in one of the seedier native quarters of Bombay.
    The tavern’s back room was a small square chamber with no window, the only entrance the doorway behind the scarred bar through which they’d entered. Logan, the last to arrive, let a bamboo screen rattle down to the floor behind him, a sufficient impediment to interested eyes. With Gulah, a massive ex-sepoy, manning the bar, and the otherwise flimsy walls reinforced by countless boxes and crates stacked against them, they weren’t too worried about interested ears.
    “I don’t think I was followed.” Logan sounded disappointed as he slipped onto the last of the four rickety chairs set about a square wooden table.
    “I don’t think I was either,” Gareth said. “But in this district, four anglos like us will be noticed and remembered—the Black Cobra will hear about our meeting without a doubt.”
    “Ferrar knows something’s up.” A grim smile curved Del’s lips. “He knows we’ve resigned, and isn’t swallowing the gossip that we’re all devastated because of what happened to James. He’s been asking questions about our plans for the future.”
    “Perhaps he’d like to recruit us?” Rafe said. “Come to think of it, that’s a tack we never tried.”
    “Because he’d never believe it. The man isn’t just a cold-blooded

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