Chapter 39423022

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Chapter NumberXXV
Chapter Url
Full Date1888-05-30
Page Number4
Word Count751
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleCairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893)
Trove TitleHand and Ring
article text



" Tarty a little-there is something elĀ«!."->


Gouverneur Hildreth wns discharged and Craik Mansell committed to prison to await

his trial.

Horace Byrd, who no longer bad any motive for remaining in Sibley, had com- pleted all his preparations to return to New York. His valise was packed, his adieus made, and nothing was left for bim to do but to step around to the station, when he be- thought him of a certain question he had not put to Hickory.

Seeking him out, he propounded it.

" Hickory," said he, " have you ever dis- covered in the course of your inquiries where Miss Care was on the morning of the


The stalwart detective, who was in a very contented frame of mind, answered up with great cheeriness :

" Haven't I, though ! It was one of the very first things I made sure of. She was at Professor Darling's house _on Summer Avenue."

" At Professor Darling's house ?" Mr. Byrd felt a sensation of dismay. Professor Darling's house was, as you remember, in

almost direct communication with Mrs.

Clenimens's cottage by means of a path through the woods. As Mr. Byrd recalled his first experience in threading those woods, and remembered with what suddenness he had emerged from them only to find himself

in full view of the West Side and Professor

Darling's spacious villa, he stared uneasily at his colleague and said :

" It is train time, Hickory, but I cannot help that. Before I leave this town I must know just what she was doing on that morn- ing, and whom she was with. Can you find

out ?"

" Can I find ont ?"

The hardy detective was out of the door before the last word of this scornful repe- tition had left his lips.

He was gone an hour. When he returned he looked very much excited.

" Well !" he ejaculated, breathlessly, " I have had an experience."

Mr. Byrd gave him a look, saw something he did not like in his face, and moved un- easily in his chair.

"You have?" be retorted. "What is it? Speak."

: " TJo'' you' lraow," "the ' "other resumed; " that the hardest thing I ever had to do was to keep my head down in the hut the other day, and deny myself a look at the woman who could bear herself so bravely in the midst of a scene so terrible. Well," he went on, " I have to-day been rewarded for my self-control. I have seen Miss Dare."

" Where ?" he demanded. "How? Tell a fellow, can't you ? "

"I am going to," protested Hickory. " Cannot you wait a minute ? /had to wait forty. Well," he continued more pleasantly as he saw the other frown, "I went to Professor Darling's. There is a girl there I have talked to before, and I had no diffi- culty in seeing her or getting a five minutes' chat with her at the back gate. Odd how such girls will talk ! She told me in three

minutes all I wanted to know. Not that it

was so much, only-"

"Do get on," interrupted Mr. Byrd.

" When did Miss Dare come to the house on the morning Mrs. Clemmens was murdered, and what did she do while there ? "

" She came early ; by ten o'clock or so, I believe, and she sat, if she did sit, in an observatory they have at the top of the house : a place where she often used to go, I am told, to study astronomy with Professor Darling's eldest daughter."

"And was Miss Darling with her that morning ? Did they study together all the

time she was in the house ?"

" No j that is, the girl said no one went up to the observatory with Miss Dare; that Miss Darling did not happen to be at home that day, and Miss Dare had to study alone. Hearing this," pursued Hickory, answering the look of impatience in the other's face, " I had a curiosity to interview the observa- tory, and being-well, not a clumsy fellow at softsoaping a girl-I at last succeeded in prevailing upon her to take me up. Byrd, will you believe me when I tell you that we did it "without going into the house ?"

" What?"