|Chapter Title||AMONG TELESCOPES AND CHARTS.|
|Newspaper Title||Cairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893)|
|Trove Title||Hand and Ring|
Hand and King.
BY ANNA KATUABINE GHEEN.
AMONG TELESCOPES AND CHARTS.
" Tarry a littio-there is something elae."
HlBÇBMBT OF TlXICE.
" I mean," corrected the other, " withoti entering the main part of the buildinj The professor's house has a tower, you knov at the upper angle toward the woods, and i is in the top of that tower he keep's Hs tel( scopes and all that kind of thing. Th tower has a special staircase of its own. I is a spiral one, and opens on a door belo' that connects directly with the garden. W went up these stairs."
" You dared to ?"
"Yesj the girl assured me everyone wa oat of the honse but tho servants, and
believed her. We went up these stairs entered the observatory-"
" It is not kept locked, then ?"
" It was not locked to-day-saw the room which is a curious one-glanced out ove: the view, which is well worth seeing, an<
" I believe I stood still and asked the gir a question or two more. I inquired," hi went on, deprecating the other's impatiens by a wave of hift nervous hand, " when Mis Dare came down from this place on th morning- you remember. She nnswerei that she couldn't quito tell ; that sh wouldn't have remembered anything abou it at all, only that Miss Tremaine carno tc the house that morning, and wanting to se. Miss Dare, ordered her to go up to thc ob srrvatory and tell that lady to come down and that she went, but to her surprise di( not find Miss Dare there, though she wa sure she had not gone home, or, at least hadn't taken any ot the cars that star from the front of the house, for she ha( looked nt them every one as they went bj the basement window where she was a'
" The girl said this ?"
" Yes, standing in the door of this sinai room, and looking me straight in the eye."
" And did you ask ber nothing more i Say nothing about the time, Hickory, or or inquire where she supposed Miss Dare t< have gone ?"
" Yes, I asked her all this. I am not without curiosity any more than you are Mr. Byrd."
"And she replied ?"
" Oh, as to the time, that it was some- where before noon. Her reason for being sure of this was that Miss Tremaine de- clined to wait till another effort had been made to find Miss Dare, saying she had an engagement at twelve which she did not
wish to break."
"And the girl's notions about where Miss Dare had gone ?"
" Such as you expect, Byrd. She said 8he'did not know anything about it, but that Miss Dare often went strolling in the garden, or even in the woods when she came to Professor Darling's house, and that she supposed she had gone off on some such walk at this time, for, at one o'clock or thereabouts, she saw her pass in the horse car on her way back to the town."
"Hickory, I wish you had not told me this just as I am goint' back to tho city."
" Wish I had not told it, or wish I had not gone to Professor Darling's house as you requested ?"
" Wish you had not told it. I dare not wish the other. But you spoke of seeing Miss Dare ; how was that ? Where did you
run across her ?"
i " Do you want to hear ?"
" Of course, of course." " But I thought-"
" Oh, never mind, old boy ; tell me the whole now, as long as you have told me any.
Was she in the house ? "
" I will tell you. I had asked the girl all these questions, as I have said, and was about to leave the observatory, and go below, when I thought I would east another glance around the curious old place, and in doing so caught a glimpse of a huge portfolio of charts, as I supposed, standing upright in a rack that stretched across the further portion of the room. Somehow my heart misgave mc when I saw this rack, and, scarcely conscious what it was I feared, I crossed the floor and looked behind the portfolio. Byrd, there was a 'woman crouched there-a woman whose pallid cheeks and burning eyes lifted to meet my own, told me only too plainly that it was Miss Dare. I have had many experiences," Hickory allowed, after a moment, '* and some of them anything but pleasant to myselt, but I don't think I ever felt just as I did ut that instant. I believe I attempted a bow I don't remember ; or, at least, tried to mur- mur some excuse, but the look that came into her face paralyzed me, and I stopped before I bad got very far, and waited to hear what she would say. But she did not say much ; she merely rose, and, turning toward me, exclaimed .- ' No apologies ; you are a detective, I suppose ? ' And when I nodded,
or made some other token that she had guessed correctly, she merely remarked, flashing upon me, however, in a way I do not yet understand : ' Well, you have got what you desired, and now can go.' And I went, Byrd, went ; and I felt puzzled, I don't know why, and a little bit sore about the heart, too, as if-Well, I can't even tell what I mean by that if. The only thing I am sure of is. that Mansell's cause hasn't been helped by this day's job, and that if this Lady is asked on the witness stand where she was during the hour everyone believed her to be safely shut up with the telescopes and charts, we shall hear-"
" Well, that she teas shut up with them, most likely. Women like her are not to be easily disconcerted even on the witness