Chapter 115571945

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Chapter Number3. XXX.
Chapter Url
Full Date1891-10-17
Page Number4
Word Count3084
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleFreeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932)
Trove TitleHand and Ring
article text


By A. K. Green.


*' Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable ; if it be Bo, I shall do that that is reason.'-— Merry Wiveb of Windsor. * Bybd, you. look dozed.' ' I am.' Hickory panned till they were well clear o? the croud that waa poudng from the court room ; then ho said : l Well, whcst do yots think

ok tnia as o QQienoe r ? I am beginning fco tfoialr it io good,' woo the slow, almost heoitating, reply. ' Beginning fco think P' ' Yeo. At first it seemed puerile. I bad sach a steadfast belief io Manaell's gnilt, I could not give mack credit to oay argument tending to shako me loooo worn my eoavictioao. Bub the longer I think o? it the more vividly I remember the difficultieo of the road he hod to take in hio flight. I have travelled it myself, you vemem be?, and I don't ae© hov; he could have got over tike ground io ninety minutes/ Hickory's face aosomed o comowfoot qaiasical ?azpression. ' Bytfd/ said ho, 5whom we?e yon looking ofc daring the time Mr. Qrcutfc wao imaking bio speech ?' ? At the speaker, o? eourae/ 'Boh!' ? Whom were you looking at ?' ? -..' Afc the peroon who wonld be likely to give me some return for mj paino/ ' The psisoaoE ?' ??No.' ? Whom, then Pp ? Miso Daw.' Byrd shifted aneagily to the othef side of his oomponioQ. ? And what did you discover from hep, Hie feoEy P° he pskod. 6 Two thiogo, First, that she kn©w no more than the rest o£ us what the defence wao goiog to be, Secondlys fcbat she regarded it ao o piece of geeat cleveraesa oq the part of Mr. Oi'omtt, bat thofc she didn't believe ia it any more— well, any more thaa I do.1 ' Hickory !' 4 Yec, sir ! Miss Dave ia g smart womaa, and a yeoolutQ ono, and cotsld have baffled the penetratioa o£ oil concerned i£ ohe had only semembeEed to toy. Bat she forgot that others snight bo more interested in making out what was going oa ia her mind ot this'ori&ic&l moment than its watching the opeokei? oe noting the effect o2 his wordo tspon the Ooust, In fact, ohe wqq too eager hepoeli to heap whas he had to soy to gemember hop solo, I fancy.' ?But I don't see— ' begon By?d. 'Wait,' interrupted the other. ' You believe Mioo Dnye loveo Craik Monoell P' 'Moot certainly/ wao the gloomy respoase. 'Very well, then. If she had known what the defence was going to be she would have been acutely olive 4o the effect it wao going to have upon the juuy. That woald have been her first thought and hep only thought all the time Me. Greats was opeaking, and ohe would have sat with hev eyes fised upon the eesq njpoB whona acceptance or aon-aceeptance of She truth of this argument her lovet'a life ulti mately depended. Bat bo ; bee gaze, like yoarp, remained fised upoo Me. Orcutt, and she scarcely breathed or stisseS till he had fully uevealed what hfa argument woo going to be. Thea — -' 'Well, tfseaP' ? ' 'Instead o£ flashing witla the joy of relief which aay devoted woman would experience who O9QQ io thio argument o proo£ of lie? lovey'o ioaoeene©, ohe raoeely di'oppQol hev ©yea and meaumed her old mook of impassive nesD.' ' Froiaa all o£ wlaicli you gotli0ff==»° 'That; to faQliogs wora aofc thooa of relief, fbut doubt. In othei1 woi'do, that the knov/ledge -she pooaesaes is of c, eharactoe whieii laueho to acoPE any auoh subteEfugo o£ defeaco gg Oi'cutt ©dvanees.' 'Hickosy/i'Qturaefl Bysds aftoa loagoilence, * it is iisao we undoffsfcoofl occh otluoi1. What is youj? oeoeet thought ia ralntioa to Mi£fG DareP' 4 My secret thought P Woll,' dsawlod the othe?, lookiag away, ' I tbink aho kaowo ajo?e ©boot this oriffio thos she has yot cIjosgh to reveal,' 'Moeo tlson oho ©viacecl to-doy in Ijqe UstU mons P' ? Yes.' ?I ahould liko to know why you think so. What opeoial reaooao have you foe drawing ony Buoh coaclnsiona P' ' Well, one reoGon io that slie was ho more shaken by ttso plcuoible argument Qdvaaood by Ml1. Oi'etsfct. It hos knowledge of the crime woa limited to wliiv'; alio nckaowlodged ie hoi' tQDti snony, end iioi1 eo^olcoions as to MonoeH'o guilt we.?e Eoally. aonndocl 'apoh ouch facto dd she gave no in coast to-'iay, why didn't oho gL'oop at the probability ot liot1 lovor'a innoconco which wao held out to iiot' by\his ooaeaol ? No facto that she had testified to^aofc ovan tho fact of hio riag having bsoo foautlQii'f'ho tie: no o1*: fcho saavcles1, cOBld sfcaad boi;o^., Loj^ t;:-3ol;v'i|ia(; Iio left the I'ogioa o£ Mk'o. Olo, n ..'o'o hooVo hdovo tho ? asomoai; o£ aoaoult ; yot, \/mlo oviatf.fofi iutj^eat m the cipgwmeat, cad oasau ooyirulcnn^-?^ it, 'coo, ao oqo that v/onlcl bo likoly to fj^iinJy b{\o 30:7, -iho gayo no tokoa of being oaepuuocl by iuJuto a seooBoiiioL'Liiiio.'3 o£ kok1 o\/u cqqoIulIouc, nsV^uofc lisvo fecpgoBccl it olio talcl tko feeatb, uho \7lk?fo i ? ?

trntb, and nothing but the toutb, when aho wod on the stand to-day.' ? ' I bop,' remarked Bypd, ' that yon uro pve 6uming to underotand Miss Daro alt tor all,' Hickory omilod, ' You call thia woman a myotory,' pi'oeeGdod j Byrd ; ' hint at groat poooibilitioo o£ acting on her port, nnd yot in a h20B2gb£3 oo it wore, pso* fesa youvoelf tho soadoE of hes? inmoat though to, and the intorpvotoE o? loolco and espreoaiono she has manifoatly naoumod to hido thoos thoughts.' Hickory's omile broadened into q laugfa. 'Just so,' ho cried. 'Ono'o imbecility hao to stop ooraewhoi.'o.' Then, as he aaw Bysd Icok grave, added : ' I haven't a Dingle fact at my command thatitm't cha?G«3 by you. My conelu= Biono^oro diffeEeat, that io all.' Horace By?d did not onowes1. Perhapo if Hickos?y could have sounded his thougfeto ho would have diocovered that theis concluoion3 were not do far opart ao he imagined. 'Hickory/ Byrd at last demanded, ! what do yon propose to do with your conelusioBsP' ' 1 propose to wait and_S30 if Mt\ Otcutt proven his coso. If he don't, I have sothiag more to oay ; but if ho doea, I think I oh all call tho at tention of Mr. FoEris to on© question bo has omitted to aok Misa Dg?9.' ' And what io that?' 6 Where aho was on tho morning of Mm. Oleramene's murder. You remember you took Gome interest in that question yourself a while ago.' ?Bui—' * Not that 1 think anything will come of it, only my conccieocG will be oet at Eeot.' 5 Hickory ' — Byrd 'a face had quite altered aow— * where do you think Mies Dors was at that time P' 4 Where do I think oho was P' repeated Hickory. 'Well, I will tell you. I think she was not in Professor Darling's oboei'va» toj?y.' ' Do you think oho was in the glade back of Widow Clemmeni/s house P1 'Now yon atk me conundrums.' ' Hickory !' Byrd spoke almost violently, ' Mi1. Orcutt shall not prove his cose.' 'No?' ' I will make a run over the ground supposed to have been taken by Monsell ia hio flight, and show in my own proper person that it can be done in the time specified.' Hickory's eye which had takes o ?apic5 sur vey of hio cosmponion'o form during the utter ance of the above darkened, then he slowly shook big head. ' You couldn't/ ho rejoined laconically. s Too little staying power ; you'd give out before you got clear of tho wood. Better delegate tlie job to Hie.' 'To you P' ' Yge-. I'm of the make to otaiact long ?uas ; besides, I am no novioe at athletic sports of any kind. More than one race has owed its interest to the efforts of your humble servant. Tie my pet amusement, you see, as off-hand drawing is yours, and is likely to be of as much use to me, ehP* ' Hickory, you are chaffing me.' 4 Think so P Do you see that five-barred gate over there P Well, aow keep your eye on tho top rail and seo if I clear it without a gn'oao or not/ 'Stop!' exclaimed Mi1. Byrd, 'don't make a fool of yoursdE in the public street. I'll believe you if you say you understand such things.' ' Well, I do, and what is more, I'm en adopt at them. If I can't make that run in the time requisite Io show that Mauuoll could have com mitted the murder, and yet arrive at the station the moment ho did, I don't know of a chap who can/ 5 Hickory, do you mean to aoy you will make this run P' ' Yea/ ?With a eonGcientious effort to prove that Orentt's scheme of defence is false P' fiYos/ 3WhenP' ' To-mora-V7.' e While we ore in court P' e Yeo.' Byrd turned pqaore aronnd, gave Hicboffy o look and offered his hand. ' You are a good fellow/ he declared. ' Moy luck go with you.' Hickory ouddenly become asraoually thoagbi fnl. SA little while ago/ ho reflected, ' thia fellow's sympathies were oil with Mansell ; now he would risk my liraba and aock to have the man proved guilty- He does ao£ wish Mios Dare to be queotioaed again, I see/ 'Hickory/ resumed Byrd, q few Eaieuteo later, 8 Ofcutt has not rested the defence upon this one point vpitkrafc being very oura of its being unassailable/ 5 1 know that.' ' If you succeed then, in doing what aoao o£ these others have, it must be by dint of a better understanding of the route you have to toke and tho difficulties you will have to overcome. Now, do you undcEatand the route P' ' I think so/ { You will have So stavfc from the widow'o -3oos?, you know P' ' Certain/ ' Cross the bog, eater the woods, okh't the hut —but I won't go into details. The best way to prove you know oscctly what you have to do is to see if you can describe the route yourself. Como into my room, old follow, and lot us see if you can givo me a sufficiently esaot account of thG ground you will havo to pass over, foi1 mo to draw up a ohart by it. An hour oponfc with pope? ond poncil to-night may savo you h'om an uncertainty to-morrow that would looo you n good ton minutes/ ' Good ! that'o an idea ; lofc'a try it-/ yojoinod Blokory. Avjd boiag by Shio ilmo d tho Iiofeol, Shoy wont ia. In oaothog momoaf; tlsoy \70^o ohwfc Bp m

Mr. Byi'd'o room, with a large oheot of foolscap before thoaa. 'Now/ cried Horace, taking up a pencil, ' be gin with your description, nn& I will fol!o77 with my 3 rawing/ s Very well/ aoid Hickory, sotting himoolf £op wai'd in o way to watch bis colleague's pencil. ' I leave the widow's house by the dining-room door— a square for tho house, Byrd well down in the left-hand corner of the popar, and a dotted line for tho path I take — Kan down the yard 4o tho fence, leap it, croos the bog, and make straight for tho woods.' 'Very good/ commented Byrd, sketching rapidly as tho other opoke, ' Having tokora earo to enter whero the trees ove thinnest, I find a path along which I rush in a bee-liuo till I come to tho glade— an ellipse for the glade, Byrd, with o dot in it for the hut. Merely stopping to dash into the hut and out again ? ' 6 Wait !' put in Byrd, pausing with his pencil in mid air ; 'what did you want to go into the hut for ?' ' To get the bag whicla I propose to loavo these to-night/ . 8 Bag P' 6 Yes ; Manooll carried a bag, didn't he P don't you remember whafe the ptGtion-mQQfcee said about the curious portmanteau tho fallow had in hio bond when he camo to the sta tion P' 5 Yes, but—' 5 Byi'd, if I run that fallow to his death it must bs fairly. A man with an awkward b3g in his hand cannot run like a man without one. So I handicap myself in the same way he did, do; yOU S96 P' 'Yes/ 5 Very well, then : I rash into the hut, pick up 6he bog, corny it out, and dash immediately into the woods at the opening behind the hat. —What are you doing P' ' Jaot patting ia r, few landmarks/ explained Byrd, who had run hio peneil off in a& opposite direction. ' See, that is the path to West Side, ^liicli I followed ia my fivst expedition through the woods— tho path, too, which Miss Dare took when she came to the hut at the time of the fearful fchunderGtorm. And wait, let me put in ProfesBo? Dariing's house, tco, and the ridge froaa which you can see Mrs. Clemmens'o cottoge. It will help us to understand—-' s What P' cried Hickory, with quick ottopieiono aess, os the other pauaod. ' Bat Byi'd, impatiently shaking Mo head, on owered : ' The whole situation, of course/ Then, point ing hastily back to the' hct, exclaimed : ' So you have entered the woods ogain at this pices P Very well : what then P' '. Well5 then/ reoumed Hickory, 'I make my way along the path I find there— ran it at right angles to one leading up to the glade— till I come to a ? stony ledge covered with blackberry bushes — o very cleverly drawn blackberry patch that, Byrd. Here I fear I shall have to paune/ - Why P' 'Because, deuce take me if I can remember uhoi'Q the path subs after that.' 1 Bat I can. A big hemlock-tree Gtands just at the point where the woods open again. Moke for that and yon will be all right/ ' Good enough ; but it's mighty rough travel ling over that ledge, and I shall have to go at a foot's pace. The stones are slippery aa glass, and a fall would scarcely be conducive to the final sueeeos ot my scheme/ 5 1 will make the path serpentine.' ' That will be highly expressive.' ? And bov7, what nest P' ' The Foresters' Eoad, Byrd, upon which I ought to. como about this time. Ran it due ©flgt and west— not that I have surveyed the ground, but ifc looks more natural so— end let tho Sotted Hue traverse it toward the right, for that ia the direction in which I shall go/ 'It's doHo/ said Byrd. 'Well, description fails me now. All I know ig9 I come out oq a hillside runniag straight down to the river bank, and that the highway is visible beyond, leading directly to the station ; but tho way to get to it—-' I will show you/ interposed Byrd, mopping out the station and the intervening siver with a few quick Dtrokeo of his dexterous pencil. ' You oee this point where you issue from the woo^sP Vei^ good ; it is, aa you qdv, on a hillside over looking the ssver. Well, it seema unfortunate, but then© ia no way of crossing that river at this pointo The falls above and' below make it no place for boats, and you will have to go back along its banks for oome distance before you come to a bridge. But there is no use ia hesitat ing or looking about for o shorter path. The woods just here aro oncurabered with a maso of tangled radei'gi'owfch, which mokoo them simply iospaQsablOs, except as you keep in the soad, whilo the river ourveo do frequently, and with 00 much abruptness— oee, I will endeavour to give you some notion of it here— that you would only waato time in attempting to make any short cuts. Bat, once over the bridge——' ' I have only to foot it/ burst in Hickory, tak ? iug up the sketch, which the other had now com pleted, and glancing at it with a dubious eye. 8 J)o yoH know, Byrd/ ho remarked, in another moment, 'that it strikes mo Mansell did not take this 'roundabout road to the station ?' ' Why P' ' Beeauoo it is do roundabout, and he is such o clear-headed follow. Couldn't he have got there hrj some shorter cut P' ' No. Don't you remember hov/Qreatt eKisg esomined the stationKEaotor about tho appear ance which Maaaell presented when lie como upon the platform, and kn7 that porcon wao forced to acknowledge that, although tho priao hql' looked heated and osfeaustod hio clothes wore noitbos muddied nor torn P Now, I did sot £hiDfc of ifc at tho time, I)ufc fcbfs waa gSohg by Oroutfc to prove that Manooll did toko fcho i^ond 1 havo jotfcod dowa hero, ointio r,nv ofcfeoi.1 would hove oaBEiod him fchroigla Dv/omnn Laoo-doop

wiJh mud, or amongst atones and briars which would have put him in a state of disorder totally unfitting him for travel/ ' That is so, acquiesced Hickory, after a mo ment's thought. ' Mansell muo be kept in the path. Well, well, we will see to-morrow if wit aad a svtft foot can make anything out of this problem.' 'Wit? Hickory, it will ho wit and not a owiffc foot, Of luck, moybo, I should call it, os satfaor providence. If a waggon should bo going along the highway, now— 'Let mo alone for availing myself of it,' laughed Hickory. s Waggon ! I would jump on the back of a mule Boones than lose the chance o£ gaining a minute on these experts whose tes timony we are to hear to-morrow. Don't lose confidence in old Hickory yet. He's the boy for thio job if he isn't for any other/ And go the mattes.1 woo settled. , (To be continued.) I