|Chapter Title||THE UNFINISHED LETTER.|
|Newspaper Title||Cairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893)|
|Trove Title||Hand and Ring|
limul s».nd liing.
Uv -ANSA KATII.\KI:;E GKKK.\. j
.' . CHAPTER III. j
THK UNFINISHED LETTES. I
«» -Failli, tilo,» lin^t í.oiui cratcüats ia thy heutl «ow.**-Morry Svive-i of VVimL-j.ir.
" JV. Tredwcll,'\ he suggested, " you must have men in this town nn>p)ynMe tu manage such a- matter as tin's. A woman struck in broad daylight ami a man already taken up on suspicion ! ' Tis simple," surely : intricate measures
are not wanted here."
.'So you still think it is the tramp that struck her?" quoth the-coroner, a trille baffled by the other's careless
" 1 still think it was not thc man who «at in court all tim morning and held me fascinated by his eye."
" Ah, he held you fascinated, did he?" repeated the other, a trifle suspieiouslv.
" Well, that is," Mr. Bryd allowed, with thc least perceptible loss of his easy hearing, '"he made me look at him more than once. A wandering eye always attracts me, and his wandered constantly."
" Humph? and you are sure he was in tho court every minute nf the morn- ing ?"
" There must bc other witnesses who eau testify to that." answered the detective, with thc perceptible irritation of one weary of a subject which he feels he has already amply discussed.
" Well," declared thc other, dropping his eyes from the young man's counten- ance to a sheet of paper he w:'is holding in his hand, " whatever rule this hump- back has played in the tragedy now occupying us, whether he be a wizard, a secret accomplice, a fool who cannot keep Iiis own secret, or a traitor who cannot preserve that of his tools, this affair, as you call it, is not likely to provo thc simple -matter yon seem to consider it. Thc victim, if not her townsfolk, knew she possessed an enemy, and this half-finished letter which 1 have found on her table, raises the question whether a common tramp, with no motive but that of theft or brutal reviuigc, wa* thc one to meditate the fatal blow, even if he were the one
to deal it."
A perceptible light flickered into thc eyes of Mr. Hy rd, and he glanced with a new but unmistakable interest at the
letter, though lie failed to put out lr* hand for it, even though the coronel
held it toward him.
''Thank you," said he; but if I di not take the ease, it would bc bett ci for mo not to meddle anv further witl it." - ,
" Bat von arc going to take it," in- sisted, tlic other, with temper, hi: anxiety to secure this man's service: increasing with the opposition ho si unaccountably received. "The oliii-er. at thc detective-bureau iii New 1'orli we nut going to send another, niau u¡ ' W'hen there is already one on the sput
And a man from New York 1 am deter mined to nave. A crime like this »hal not go unpunished in this town, what evor it may do in a great city like yours AVc don't have so many murder case: that we need to stint ourselves in tin
luxury of professional assistance."
" lint," protested the young man still determined to hold hack, whatcvei arguments might bc employed or in- ducements offered him, "how do yoi know 1 am the man for your work i AVc have many sorts and kinds o detectives in our bureau. .Some for om kind of business, sonic for another the following up of a criminal is no
"AVhat, then, is yours?" asked tia coroner, not yielding a jot to his deter
The detective was silent.
" Head the letter," persisted Dr Trcdwell, shrewdly conscious that i once the young man's professional in stinct was aroused, all the pueril objections which influenced him wouh immediately vanish.
There was no resisting that- air o command. Taking thc letter in ham! the young man read :
" DESK EMILY:-1 don't know why sit down to write to you to-day.
have plenty to do, and morning is n time for indulging iii sentimentalities but L feel strangely anxious. Nothin goes just to my mind, and somehow th many causes for secret fear which
have always had, assume au undue prc imuenee in my mind, lt is always s when I am not well. In rain I reaso
with myself, saying that respeetabl people do not lightly enter into erinn But there are so many to whom ni death would bc more than welcouu
that I constantly sec myself in the ac of being-"
" Struck, shot, murdered," snggeste Dr. Tredwell, preeeiving thc youn man's eye lingering over tho broke
" The words are not there," remoi Btrated Mr. Byrd ; but the lone of hi voice showed that Iii« professional cou plaeency had been disturbed at last.
Thc other did not answer, hu waited with the wisdom of thc trappe who sees tho quarry nosing round th
"There is evidently' some fainil mystery," the young man contini'ci glancing again lit thc letter. "Hut, lie remarked, "Mr. Orcutt is a.goo friend of hers, and can probably tell i
what it all means."
'"Arery likely," thc other admittei
" if wc choose to ask him."
Quick ns lightning thc young man glance flashed to thc coroner's face.
" You would rather not put tl question to him ?" he inquired.
" No. A 8 bc ia the lawyer who, i all probability, will bc employed by tl criminal in this case, 1 nm sure 1 would rather not be mixed up in ai preliminary investigation of the affair
The young man's eye did not wave He appeared to take a secret resolve.
" Has it not struck vou," he ingini
ated, " that Mr. Orciitt might ha
oilier reason» fur not wishing to give j any expression ol' opinion in regan! to 1 it r
The surprise in tho coroner's eve was ¡ his best answer. |
" Xo.'' he rejoined. i Mr. Byrd at once resinned all his (dd
" The vonng lady who was here appeared to show such agitated interest in ibis horrible clinic, Î thought thar, in kindness fi> her, he might wish to keep out ul (ho affair as much as possible."
li Miss Dare ? Bless your heart, she would not restrict him in any way. Her interest in the matter is purely one if c. riosit;. lt has been cani-'d, perhaps-, to a somewhat unusual'length for a woman of her position and breed-
ing. 15ut that is all, I assure von. Mis.* Hare's eccentricities are well known in thic ¡own."
.io rn: CONUXUKH.