"One thing, My Lord," said Sir Principle MacFarlane. in a key-cold voice, heavy with sarcasm, "a small boy in Denholm, Jeemy Murray, I believe you know him and have been one of the contributors to his extensive library?" and cautiously the earl confirmed this truth, "well one of the volumes he showed to Darcus here, was entitled The Scottish Nobility and in it's entry on your family it states that your father passed away in '14 and in '15 you succeeded him as the Earl of Minto, is that corrects?" and Minto cautiously agreed, at which MacFarlane then said: "so the Earl of Minto whose syndicate of investors, under the Company name of The Mint Imperials, owned The Hesperus in '26 at the time of Tom Jenkins disappearance was you and not your late father?" and hesitantly Lord Minto acknowledged that this must indeed be true: "when we were speaking earlier I had not calculated the dates, you must remember that as a Member of Parliament I am a very busy man and without access to my official Diaries it is easy to get dates wrong, so when you referred to the incident as 20-odd years ago, I miscalculated and anyway, I was only one of a large group of investors in many vessels," which MacFarlane waved aside: "one of many, yes, but in Lloyd's List which we examined in London a few weeks ago, to satisfy us on the ownership of the Slaver our informant said he saw Tom Jenkins being led on to, we saw that the Principal Sharer was yourself, with 51% although we concede that the owners would not themselves personally supervise the cargo manifests for any particular voyage, but after the Abolition in '07 it would take some inside knowledge to successfully transport slaves to the American States after that date, to safely negotiate the Royal Navy blockades, the Stops and Searches which were a necessary part of ensuring the Laws were being upheld, would it not?" and the earl was silent, for he could see where this was going; then Darcus spoke: "can you direct us to the Shipping Agent who managed The Hesperus? while we cannot doubt your assurances that you yourself and probably the rest of your syndicate knew nothing of the 'special cargoes' which the ship seems to have taken from the Gold Coast to America, the Agent should have sufficient information for us to discover the destination of the ship in the period when Tom Jenkins disappeared, yes?" and Minto, give him his due, nodded; he must have realised that Doubleday's was more than a panegyric, it was an offer to discount his involvement in or even knowledge of the contraband being shipped from Africa to the great Cotton Capital of the world, that had been tacitly made and he accepted it, feeling rather like the man must who, having just been accused of nepoticide suddenly sees the supposed victim, his own nephew, returning from a morning stroll in the woods: "his name is Magnus Wheelwright, of Liverpool – see," he produced a letter: "this came from him just a week or so ago, it was the first intimation I had that The Hesperus had sunk a month earlier, after running onto rocks just off the coast of Massachusetts, causing the deaths of the Captain and his daughter!" at which MacFarlane gasped: "no! it cannot be – someone knows we are on the trail and has disposed of a key witness! there is a napoleonizer at work!" he leaped to his feet, "come Darcus, we have no time to lose! we need to get to Liverpool before Mr Wheelwright suffers the same fate!" and remembering to seize his cane, he cast a stiff grunt of thanks to the astonished earl, limped from the study and was already out of the front door by the time Doubleday caught up with him!