|Chapter Number||1. XI.|
|Newspaper Title||Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932)|
|Trove Title||Hand and Ring|
HAND AND B1NG.
By A. K. Green.
BOOK T. THE GENTLEMAN FROM TOLEDO. Chapter XI. DECISION.
' Who darea ? To *-ay that ho alone lias found the truth ?' — LONGS'ELLOW. Thb neat moaning Mi?. Femo r/ao startled by the appeiranoe in hie office o£ Mr. Byzd, looking wretchedly ansiono and ill. ' 'I have oome,' odd tho detective, 'to a9k you what you think o£ Mr. Hildroth'a prospects. Hove yon made ap youE mind to have him ar rested for thia CFimo P' * Yep,' woo the roply. ' The evidence againat Shim ifl paualy ciycumotont'al, but it io vory ots-onR and i£ ao fresh developments oocor, I think tbhe?© enn be no doubt about my duty, Eoch and ©vozy foot that comeo to light only
strengthens tho case o^oicsb him. Whon he ootae to be osaznined loot night, 0 I'ing woa fonnd on hia peroon, V7hich be acknowledged io having worn on the day of the murder.' 1 He took ifc off daiiogths inquest,' mui'mui'ad Mr. Byrd ; ' I bqv? him.' ?It is said by Hickory— the somewhat ques tiotable cognomen of youv fellow-dotactive fiom New York — that the joung man monifeoted the most intense BneoQinets daring the whole inquiry. That in £aet bio attention was first drawn to bim by the many fcokeno which he gave of suppressed agitation and olapm. Indeods Me. Hickory at one time thought ho Qhotsld be obliged to opoak to thia DtEDOgeii1 io order to prevent 0 acone. Onoe Mr. HildreA got tip dd if to go, oa-3, indeed, if ho hot! been loss hemmed in by the o?owd, thevo io every foqsoq to behove ? he would have attempted on eocope.' ' Is tbio Me. Bicko?y o man of good ]udg snent P' inquiyed Mr. Bypd, ansionsly. * Why, yfoo,8 1 shoald nay do. He ooems to anderotond hia baoiaeos. The way he procured U9 the tsfitimony of Me. Hildeetk 20 cestoinly satisfcotoffy. ' I moh that, without Me knowing it, I eould heor bim give his opinion of this mattes1,' inti Enated the other. 4 Well, yoa eaa/ replied Mr. Fophp, oftss a quick and oomprehenoivQ tmrvoy o£ Mr. Byyd'o ooantoaDaoo. ' I am expecting hira hoi1© any moment, and if you oee fit to sit down behind that screen, you odd, without the Iea9t difficulty to joupoelf of him, hear all he baa to isBpcs-t/ ? I will, then,' the detective decked, a gloomy frown ouddoaly eopmRoting his brovz ; 'and he stepped aetoaa to tho 3oj?qqd which had been indicated to Mm, and quietly' withdEew horn view. He land neoveely done tbio, when a obort, quick ofcep v;ao heard at the doop, ond. a wide awake voice eollod ouf, eheeuily :
'Are you alone, eir P 'Ah !' ejaculated Mr, Ferris, 'come io,' come in. I hove been owoiting you for tome minutes,' ho dsclored, ignoring tho look tfhich the man th?ew hastily Ground the room. ' Any aewo this morniog P' ' ~No,' returned tho other, in 0 tone 0? complete self-oatiafaction. ' We've caged the bird and mtSBtn't espoefc jaaoh moso in the woy of news. I'm on say way to Albany now, to pick up such facto about hira ds may bo lying arcund there Ioodg, and oholl bo rondy to otast for T.I. do ony day nest week that you may think proper.' 1 You are, thorn, convinced that Ms?. Hildreth is undeniably the guilty pasty in thia eaoep1 eselpimed tho District-Attoraey, taking d whiff ? - at bio oigcPo 4 Convinced P That io a atroog word, dip, A dotoefcivo io aevci? oon\?inced,' protected tho sno'n, ' He leaveo that io? the judge and jury. But ile you ask me if ther-e is any doubfa- about the direction in which all tho circumotantid .©videoeo in fchia eace pointo, I sauot retort by .aokiog you 9ov a clue, or the tog-end o£ d clue, guiding mo elaewhese. i know,' he went on with *the volubility of a man who9e work io done and *who feelo he hoo the right to a momentary in dulgence in converaotioD, 'that it io not an agree able thing to Dubject a gentleman like Me. Hil dreth to the shame o£ a public arreot. But facto are not paitiol, sir ; and the gentleman has no more right in law than the coaroeBt fellow that t?e take up for butchering his mother. But yen ? know oil thia without my telling you, and I only mention it to escnoe any obotinacy I may have snanifeofced on tho oubjoct. He io mightily out up about it,' he again proceeded, ao he found Mr. Fema forebosro to reply. 'I am (old he didn't deep a wink all night, but opent his timo alternately in pacing the flooe liko a coged lion, and in a wild totb cf otupor that had something of the hint of madneos in it. 'If my grand father had only known !' wao tho burden of his Bong ; ond when anjone approached him he either told them to keep their eyea off him, or q'Iqo buried hia face in hio hands with Gn entreaty for them not to distorb the Ia9t hourc of a dying man. Ho evidently hoo no hope of escaping tho indignity of arroot, and ao soon ao it woo light enough fo? him to 000, he aokod for papes.1 and pencil. They were brought to him, and a man otood over hira while ho wrote. It proved to be 0 letter to hio oiotoro enjoining thorn to boliovo in hia innocence, and wound up with what wao very ebuoq like an attempt at a will. Altogether, ifc looked as if he meditated suicide, ond we have been careful to toko from him every possible means for hio effecting hio rolea,3o in thia way, ao well as oot 0 otrict though cooyot watoh upon Mm.' A olighfc noise took pIgco bohind the ooroon, which at mj otbep timo Mi'* Hickory would
have been tho fusfc to Bofico and inquira into. Ab it was, it had only tho ofEoct of wnoonociouoly severing hio train of thought nnd s'affcinp, him alertly to bis feet. ?Wei),' tad ho, feeing tho Diotriet Attorney with cheerful vivacity, £ any order 0 P' ' No/ reDpondod Ml1. Forrio. ' A Eun down to Albany Qooran to be tho boat tiling for you at proaent. On you? rotnrn wo will oonsalt again.' ' Yeiy uoll, dip. I shall Hot bo absent more thaa two dayp, and, in the meantimo, you will let me know if anything irapoEtnni' occarsP' And, handing ovoe hia now addceoo, Hickory spoedily took hio leave, ? Well, Byi?d, what do you think of him ?' For reply Mr. Byrd Gteppod forth and took hio atand bofo;e the Di&trict Attorney. 6 Hcs Coroner Tredwell informed yon/ oaid he, ' that the superintendent hos left ib to my dio cretion to interfere in thio matter if I thought that by doing S3 I could further the ends of jaofcioe P' 4 Yea,' woa the language of the quick, ohoi't nod he received. 'Very well/ continued the other, 'you will pardon me, then, if I atjk you to convey to Mr. Hildretfa tho following meooago :— That if he io guiltleoo of thio ci-ime he need have no fear of tho ciPfeot to which he may be oubjeeted ; that a man has interacted himself in thia matter who pledges hia word not to reot till he hao discovered tho guilty party and freed the innocent from ouopicion.' ' What !' cried Mr. Ferric, aotonisbed at the oevero but determined bearing of the young man whoan, up to thio time, he had only Deen under hie lighter and more indifferent aspect. 'You don'c agrso with this fellov/, thsr), iu his conclusions regarding Mr. Hildreth P' ' No, oir. Hickory, as I judge, is an egotist. He diooovei'sd Mr. Hildveth and brought him to the notice of the jury, therefore Mr, Hildreth is guilty.' 'And yoraP' ' I am open to doubt about it. Not tact I would acknowledge it to anyone but you, sir.' 'Why.' 5 Beoauoe if 1 work in this caoe at all, off make any efforts to follow up the olue which I believe myself to have Eoceived, it muot be done oecretly, and without raiding the Guopieion of any one in this town. I am not in a position, as 50a know, to wo?k openly, even if it were advisable to do 00, which it certainly io not. What I do muot ba accomplished under cover, and I ask you to help sue in my aelf-impoQed and by no meass agreeable task, by trusting me to pursue my inquiries alone, until such time aQ I assure myself beyond a doubt that my own convictions are just, and that the man who muruered Mrs. Clammono ia oonae oas entirely oeporated from Mr. Hildreth and any interests that hs repre Gonto.' 6 You are, then, going to take iap this ev.se ?' The anower given was short, but it meant the deliberate obivenng of the fairest dream of love that had even? vioited Mr- Byrd'o imagination.. ' I' am/