Chapter 39425843

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter TitleTHE UNFINISHED LETTER.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39425843
Full Date1887-12-31
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count789
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleCairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893)
Trove TitleHand and Ring
article text

CHAPTER III.

- TBK UKFtMUHED LETTES. ' ' "

" tutu, tuon turnt nomo crotcbeta ia tlijr noua now."-Merry Wives of Wiutlaor.

" Would there he an; indiscretion in my asking who that young Indy is ?" inquired Mr. Byrd of Mr. Ferris, ns, nf ter ascertaining that the stricken sufferer still breathed, they stood together in a distant corner of the dining-room.

"No," returned the other, in a low tone, with a glance in the direction of the lawyer, who was just re-entering the house, after an unsuccessful effort to rejoin the per. on of whom thsy were speaking. " She is a Miss Dare, a young lady much admired in this town, and believed by many to be ou the verge of matrimony with--" He nodded towards Mr. Orcutt, and discreetly forbore to finish the sentence.

" Ah !" exclaimed the youthful detective, " I understand." And he cast a look of suddenly-awakened interest at the man whom, up to this time, he bad merely regarded us a wore than usually acute criminal lawyer.

He saw a small, fair, alert man, of tome forty years of age, of a good carriage, easy manner, and refined cast of countenance, overshadowed now by a secret aniiety-.he vainly tried to conceal. He was not as handsome as Coroner Tredwell, nor as well built as Mr. Ferrip, yet he was, without doubt, the most striking-looking man in t . room, and, to the masculine eyes of the detective, seemed at first glance to be a person to win the admiration, if not the

affection, of women. ; - ' ?

" She appears to take a great inteiest in this affair," he ventured again, looking back at Mr. Ferris.

" Yes, that is woman's way," replied tb« other, lightly, without any hint of secret feeling or curiosity. " Besides, she is on in- scrutable girl, always surprising you by her emotions-or by her lack of them," he added, dismissing the topic with a wave of his

hand.

" Which is also woman's way," remarked Mr. Byrd, retiring into his shell, from which be had momentarily thrust his head.

.. Does it not strike yon that there are rather , more persons present than are necessary for the purposes of justice ?" asked the lawyer, now coming forward with a look of rather pointed significance at the youthful stranger.

Mr. Ferris at once spoke up. '* Mr. Orcutt," said he, " let me introduce to you

Mr. Byrd, of Kew Jork. He is a member of the police force, and baa been rendering ne assistance in the ease just adjourned."

" A detective !" repented the other, eyeing the yoting man with a critical eye. " lt is à pity, sir," he finally observed, "that your present duties will not allow yon to rengar, service to justice in this case of mysterlow assault." And with a bow of more kindness than Mri Byrf'had reason to look for, he went slowly back to his former place near the door that hid the suffering woman from sight.

However l¡n<l!y expressed, Mr. Byrd felt thnt lie hud received his dismissal, nnd was about to withdraw, when the coroner, who .bad Wu absent from their midst for the

|last few minutes, approached them from the foot of tho stairs, and tapped the detective

on the arm.

" I want yon," said he.

Mr. Byrd bowed, and with a glince toward the District Attorney, who returned him a

nod of approval, went quickly out with the

coroner.

" I hear yon are a detective," observed the latter, taking him upstairs into a room which he carefully locked behind them.. "A detective on the spot in a case like this is valuable ; are you willing to assume the duties of your profession and act for justice

in this matter ?"

" Dr. Tredwell." returned the young man. instantly conscious of a vague, inward shrinking from meddling further in the affair, " F am not at present master of my proceedings. To say nothing of the obedi- ence I owe my superiors nt home, I am just now engaged in assisting Mr. Ferris in the somewhat pressing matter now before the court, and do not kno-» whether lt would meet with his approval to have me mix up matters in this way."

" Mr. Fern« is.a reasonable man," said the coroner. "If his consent is all that is necessary-"

" But it is not, sir. I must have orders from New York."

" Oh, as to that, I will telegraph at once." I But still the young man hesitated, loung-

ing in his easy way against the table by which he had taken his stand.

TO BE CONTISUKD.