|Newspaper Title||The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957)|
|Trove Title||The Last Fare: A Melbourne Detective Story|
THE LAST FARE.*
A MFLJO fi-*-"- CrTECTIAi: STOKY.
By C. H. ClIOMLEY.
I lit mv pipe and looked around nie The New \ork Police Civette ' was a little ov erpovv ernig in mv present frame of mind, so I glanced ovei the library, a small affin occupying two hanging shelves which I forgot to mention Itvvis ill piofessional, directories police reports, volumes upon volumes of villainous looking portrait«, fiom ever} prison in Vustrnbi and mini in 1 urope, lets of Piilnmcnt detective stones md recouls ot celebrited crime
Its influence w is distmctl} depressing, and 1 was leheved when Sinclair put down his letters mel turned to mc siving, ' Vow Air YA intoii, I will light up and we 11 talk the mittei out, I feel is if we wcie quite old
\ ci} good of lou, Im suie," I an
Xot it all ¡Now, what exactly do von wini to knowr ' and he »it 'o n in the ot'ioi easy chiir opposite to me, pipe in mont ii, wnh his hands clasped behind his
'I want to know, T said, 'how, b} whom, and why }ou think this murdei
waa committed "
"A big ordci at this stige, ' lie s «id -mil mg ' How ey cr, I w ill tr} to oblige v ou I irse let ino get all the properties and put them undei our eve, it helps wonderful)}
ni nu iiffnu like this '
I He unlocked the safe, md pla _d seienl
Ih.ngs from it on the tibio
' This," ne sai !, is tho handkerchief
[vvnicli }ou In o '< ' ese pcails }oti
have seen also- be worth i lot ot money-a lot olmo 111 S n-o v tillable as to motive, shows it vvas not mbboiv
and this is the ehlorofoim bottle, which }ou hive not sceu, iii-I love tint ehlorofoim bottle, ' and he Ii nulled it is if he did
These letters he said, tiling them frciu the desk, ' ilso bear upon the case mtcllii-Kce I have just leeeived Thev confín , he continuevi, glancing it one ot them, "what I hive heard fiom Coi held Cunningham, it appear* was also it the theatre list night, the Bijou He anne 1 lite w ith a friend and took a y ncint s ., next but two to the Corfields It iras IK. «we-n th first and second acts that Cun in gb em uni the othei ir it entei ed, w hilo Corfield v.as having i di .k nt the dress
circle bar Cunningham s compani from I whom I have the inform -"ion, tells me tlu. Cunningham did not bee Alis Corfield nt first, but after ii time their c} es met She beckoned lum to come to hei At first ho re -sed, but afterwards x "nt ovei and took CorfWd s near
' She sud bom-Jii ,-s to lum, which ni\ m formint did not hear, and he replied lhc} spoke together foi some time, little above a whisper, and both seemed excited din ningham returned to his own seat just as
Corfield carne bick
' He spoke to his friend in i voice that was l tiber loud and excited, siuni, that he ' id just lemembered an ippomt lient he hid iraile with Al Intyre, the man at whose hcusc he spent the rest «f the evening in St Kilda, md that he nuts be 2 inline diuteli, md wou'd ca'e ihe ' st bus
Had he an} such appoii'a.«. »." I
' M Int} re tells me he had noc " ' Did Coi field make any remark' '
' Aly informant - I hive not seen him personally, but he has told all this to the police-ba\s tint Corfield appeared not *o notice lum, and to sav nothing about the mattei to Ins wife Corfield himself tells mc that he did see them speaking together md thought it odd,nnd ti Huswife coined consideiabh upset, but nothing fin thor"
"He said nothing about know ing Cunning
bim s intentions '
' No, nothing '
' And now for v oin explanation " I sud
' Well,' sud Sinclair, 'until we lind the cabman, Paikor, theie is n decided hitch But still we have these facts Theie is no doubt that Mrs Coi field vns murdered the presumption is, killed v itlt chloroform, ann a scaif tied round her nock to mike the job secure Cunningham vv as the last per son know n to be in tim omnibus with hei it seems, indeed, that he was til« onl} f u son An empty chloroform bottle is found in his pocket, he was ur-e « 1 en I «* seft tue omnibus, and the évidence 'oints almost conclus« el} to the scarf vised being Ins Then vv e hav e to consider t» >tive It vv as not gun, ns these pearls," ar_ he pushed them ovei t" eve, shoi it was probiibl} then, jealousy oi revenge. Cunningham i the onl} person like)} to be actuated b} thece motiv cs AA'o know that he spoke to her Miit 'i. th» first tune foi }ears since her mannge in fact Abe} probably lepronched each othei and quarrelled, at an} rate i j were both excited, and ii milli, m his own extraordinary story, he admitsiiiat he travelled with hei in the oib us far ns AA llhams road "
' Wheie the omnibus driver distinctly svvcais that she did not get in," _ inter jected
"01, dam1 that dnv cr," snappi d Sinclair, getting u¡ from his »cul mid pacing the room ' He must be mistaken "
"" a is Cunningham's stor} true ."' 1 asked \
' Parti}," he said, "so far as it fits in w ith Corfields _h_j both agree that she was in Pirl ei s cab, and no doubt he did travel with Iel as far H> A\ illmms load, but I should gu -s.S. inside the w iggonette, md nrt on the driers seat He drugged her there _\uln, til , ho admits is i croll} of his bholgunid dis bipatcd days w is in accomplice, md stood bv to see bun ¿et bei safeh into the omul
lint is i lgcmousl} fabncited, ' I sud But if tel til the on)} things you luve igiiiist Cunningham ire the handkerchief and the chlot ifoim bottle Against them is Gunr t« statement and Cunningham says that a m in got out of the bus hen he got in A\ In lot look for lum
The little items }ou mentioned are the only tliins.s ceitunlv but ü ey are a pietl} comprehensive only,' he replied sneer ing!} [ picbiimc }ou will sa} that the in dividual ni the slouch hit diopped the bottle into Cunniiighmi s pocket, and stole
the handkerchief ' '
\t le ist, it is obvious that he might
have done ho
\es Ali Winton, far too obvious to be prob îblc
Vu objection which the t1 oiv you hive just elucid ited is certunl} tot open to
1 Mid, fcclin" it ni} turn to sneci now If imbi ehliooe1 ] "1! piobibihtj, things ruo bible In poned as }on si}
Don t _it na»tv non, Air A\ niton ho replied good humoured!} If I be' veil ni Hie hloueh h m m b existence I uni lil ciedit lum with those performances, bul I think Cunningham invented bun Of com e I admit I m onl} makin., tn ii shots at piesent and you cm t expect a bulls eve even time '
He pulsed, with hu eyebrows 1 nittcd, and then broke out again suddenl} m m excited ton" 1 »lave it, Ali Winton, I have it if inly pnjs the light is sine to come h. womm ins an unconscious
accomplice in lei own «Hath Hie} did not quine] it all it the theatie, or tf the} did tile v made it up 1 ho} mide an is
sign ilion ind I'd bet i guiñe t to a goose- berry tint she vyoiked Cotlield lo send her in Hie cib alone, mel tint Cunningham waited for it, to meet bel there, at her own request AVhen thev left the iib she raw hine been drugged, and unable to re sist bhe mi} hive been dead, he could hive cirricd her in Ins arm» on such a night without Gunn seeing an}thing She mi} hive gone walli lum of hei own accoid Lntil we citcb Parker, or Cunningham con fesses, those ne details that wc shall ucici
Theie ivis i hornd pliusibiht} ibout Sin chu a new theory that I stiflggled hard to disguise from m}sclf Apart from the secu nt} with which it entangled Cunningham,it was odious to me as reflecting upon the character of Mrs Coifield, for whom I had a sincere lespect
"I cannot believe," I said, "tint Mrs
."Ad rights reserve«-, ,
Corfio'd woii! 1 be guiltv of the conduct von impute to 1 cr, ev cn shippo-nig the rest of \ our imaginan picture to be true
"Mr Winton,' answered Sinclau, senten tiouslv, I have had a good bit of expin encc w it.» w oinin-of n en niaki and shape and I mai e it i rule to believe nothing evil of ii lull till it l» proved-oi -iigge-ted Iv cucum-tincc- Then I wall believe am thing-anvthing at all Believe lue theo ne- about what a woman in love will or won't do nie worth ab-olutclv nothing The quietest women, too-I know them
But lour thcorv, I objected catihing at unv blraw to prevent niv «eil ft oin sink nib m his -u-picion» ípirt from other in lièrent impiobibihtv makes Cimnninghun out to be such i fool W hi "hould he li e a handkerchief which people ian identifv * W h\ shoul 1 he 1 np in lus poel e i bottle which if he Wen guiltv he could eisilv hive diopped in the road"'
¡.milvu laughed \ou remind me ' he said of a bluisler I once hean! base his defence of a m in on the ground tint he w as c night on the scene of the enmc Counsel told the jim that it Ins client had been guiltv he would not have been so stupid as to stav there Cunningham m iv be n fool
emotion mu hue up ct his thinking pawns it um be lucie biavado _ou must sine nber lint n inurdei- of jcilousv ot icvciigo the pcrpetritoi i- of tin ncl le s al tin i me-I e doe-n I ian who knows it lut when he bet- cool the shadow ol the gillovv- begins to look u"lv and he denies it foi ill hi is woith-bcncrallv when it is too late But invhovv tint eliloioform bottle will bing Limntngli mi, oi niv name »
I I In 1 been meehi me llv stunguig the peails on tnc bril m tin cd while Sinclair was -pi ii in,, md had neirlv finished mv ta 1 when I met with i di ii li t)
_ou ire i lcgulu lloolhound Sinclau
I «a ard Kin! help hoping ion aie on the wrong scent but to drop that subject
fot i minute lhere s i cmlous circumstance about these j earl
\v hat -ud'-lnclau leaning back with his eve- hxed on the ceiling
I heie aie not the light number '
Nothing vci) cut ions about that he sniltcd Certanili we seirehed the omni
bil- carefullv but it s not improbable time ninv be one somewhere in the lad) s clothes oi still hidden m the stiaw V dozen things might account foi there being one or two missing
Quite true I said, enjojinpr lus sur prise ni a" le latu but w l dozen ihuigs accoi it foi there being one too main *
Gieat Scott' ' he exjc'aimed, swinging Ins feet off the table and jumping up all aleit in a second \\ hat the devil do )ou
Come here, and I w ill show j on ' I said restraining mj excitement as well as I was able
Sinclair and I leant ov er the table exam ming the noel hco ogchir I hid thic_did the pcurla upon the silk and found that there wais not room for them all Strive as we would theie w is one peul for w huh we could find no pi ice on the tin ead
W hat do v on think of that I sai I aftei i pause is wi sit lool mg at nth other with tin necklace between us
Dmined if I know whit to make of it
and that s the truth I in faulj beat, ' he said disconteuiedli
Unless a pieu of the silk is missing I suggested
Sinelnr shool his head ' Scarcelv lil elj a little piece like Hut would go but we eau soon settle lint question he ulded going to the -ife I line i poweilul little glass in hen th it shoitl 1 show us
W i broiibht the two nids of the inrcil together undci the lins «nil with ita ud vv e could clenrlv see th it the set ere 1 sti in Is eiietlj coinsponde 1 with each other
No -ni incluí when we hld com pleteel oin c\munition there is a purl theie that novel vris on lint Hire id \ou seem to hive the mill nibs ot i u etive about j ou Air W inton W hat do j ou make of this phenomenon
1,0 begin with I answered, rather pi oud of mv di-coven and anxious not lo discredit injselt bj too rish a guess I »hould sav wo ought to look out loi a per son who had ruell i peul ni his oi I <"- pos
.ind how '
' Find tin jewellei who so'd Hiern lhese Te x lill ible jewels and he most likelv
1 li-ws the i utnbei tnat he sold l.i it will snow us wbethel ill these belong lo the same ! t oi not
' Yes, that might tell us something " re plied Sinclan, but not how the odd one got here Howeicr, its it bcgiunuig If }ou vv ill excuse nie foi a fen minnies I w ill lim e inquiries made it onie ' Vndhewent out of the room A thought struck me when he had gone ind lal nig the peirls ono by one fiom the threid I exiiuined ti em curcUilli on ever} side \1 bid inched the JI f, without di.cov ci ing anything and theo croon!} five mole to look nt when the 02nd stiu-k mv attention I tool it to the light Hld looked igain »nure enough on one side of it there re foin little niuks
.helo the peni ivis dirker in colour and shghtl} scratched and indirted andlbtvv th it in} trouble w is ren u-deel I put it nu ii "ii., burncdl} went through those le nminiii,«, but fourel that thej differed in no wa} from the lest
Sim i i leturned just is I ins finishing
mi t si
YV hat are von up lo now, Air A\ mton' Hive the peirls been whispering any thing elbe in }oiu eui 1 e is! ed, with a pntioms ing smile "*
I think thev nave I ansiieied quietly
' Look at th it one and tell me if} ou notice inv thing reinirl iblc about it '
He took it in his hand, ind ifter turning it ovu, ansvvci-d It seems to me to be sligh Iv ser itched tnd bhekened on the
o it docs to me, ' I sud So, in f ict, t is, md none of the othcis ire AVhat docs lint surest lo vou '
\othuig in puticular at this stage, 1m
bound to admit '
Well, }otire a lingi,t detective I laughed, growing a little bumptious, I nm afr ud, w ith ni} suieess W h}, m in, can t von soo tint tint pearl his been set in i uni, o) m a stud Hiose black inaiks have been made bv tin little gold elms
tint held it
Sinehu lool ed giaic ' An ingenious suggestion cei-liunlv he sud but it Ins been Unladed foi i ned lace '
Acs, I ansvveicd bul the nock)ice mis too long mel someone got th it pe ni t ii cn oil and bet and, ii li it is moto, the pci-so i who lui it must llave been in the omnibus on the night of the muulci, and lost li theie '
We discussed the lnaltei foi some lune and aftel t second examination of all the
ellioe pearls vi hu It hld none of the dis tin tile nu s of t'ie one I hld picked out cune lo the conclusion tint mi lust KUI
mise ins correct-it least, in so fu tint the pcirl had be( n set for some purpose in i elan settinc. lue in lgmfting (.lass under which we placed it ionia mid us in this opinion Vs Simian ii as putting it nun} I saul, T el tis seo the handkerchief tluoueji th it It has taught us something nile idi, and ma} baie something more to bij
' los, perhaps it mu, assented Sinelur 1 he foi,mi} who spol e of seeing through i glass dall 1} wouldn t do fen i modern dctec tue A\ ut till I get i stronger lens, ind we li go through the bandi crehief
I sino! ed and Hutched lum while he ex limned it, inch by inch, for i long tun« without ícs-ult, when sudden!} he ex chimed P} love, Mr Winton, we hive something here '
W'h it ' I as! eel ' Out ii ith it
* I cm t quite mile it out }et, ' he an wcred, trying to screw the g1 ins to a cleuei focus but-wait a minute-}cs, theie s no doubt there s something on the hmdkeiehicr It looks like a kind of j c1 low dust Cist }Oui eve ovei it"
1 took the ghss, and s ivv tint there vi ere, as he sud tim shining, iclloiv paitielcs clinging to the silk On other pirts of the hindkeichitf there was more of it
' lins nu} be mare unpoitnnt ciidencc, Mi A\ inton sud Sinclair. ' Later on I will get the mai}st to tell me what that } ellon stuff is It looks like shreds of gold leaf or gold dust."
'And w hat -.li} on do in tho meantime*" " jret Iho linings of Cunmnghüm'-pocketc,
and go through them with the gltss to see if theie is um tim g of the _ime kind ou them, il«o his otucr ¡>dk liuidkcichiifs "
lin t sounds ' ke bu«inc-," I slid, but I oine-rcli hope vou wont find tuivthin_
I ni-I can t s.iv I do," he answered ' It Cuntunghini is not the mm we aie ibso lutelv w ithout i line. I ian imdtrstnnd vom feelings but von mu-t cNiusi me for looknib it tins in ittci fiom an tntirelv pro fe -ion ii -tandpomt
(.crtiinlv, and \ou must admit that I Inve done mv best lo help \ou But von -iv von baie no ellie if it is not Cuinmib hiim What ibont the uibmaiiv'
1 iullv billin Unit lie i-an tceoinpbee," he m-iveied but it is alnio-t unpo-sible tint lie did the job alone Beside, theie is no motive, md, except thiough Oiuuung hiiu not a pu tick ot evidence against
lint i- tiue ' I -ud 'Whit are )our chinee- ot ciUhmv, Pukerv'
<>li, we nie bound to have lum before long Don t imagine because 1 sit here willi vou, tint 1 mu idle oi neglecting that matter Do von know, I have been at work xv ithout n w ink of »li ep since I hrst saw vou li-t night9 I am in el irgc of the e ise, und inn gum mon bv ii-uig mv bruns, and v ouïs, ud othei peoples, til in bv chasing Pirker on mv own !c">t
Ho seemed a httli put out bl mv ques don, and I li i-tcncd to a-ure linn tliut I had no intention of Ti_eitin¿ on lu» arti vitv it the Mine timi suggesting tint pel hip- I w is unthill oceiipvuig his time now
Not it ill ' he uibWered ' \ou hive been of the utmost i-ist mee but ni a few minnies I -bill lme to be off to keep an appointment lind make some arrange-
Ml light lansweied ' but theie is ono Hung that pu//les me and peril ips vou can thiow -onie libhl on it '
i constable uune to the door with n. note, win li i «king mc to excuse lum, Sinclau huiucdl) glanied at It bcciued to plcuse
'Go on, Mi Winton, what is jour pro-
blem'' he Bind
' Simplj dus li Paikcr is merci) ucces bon and no1 so b'lillv is Cunningham, why has ho c!c4-~d out, while Cuniuugliiini re-
"I think I eau explain that," he answered. "1 .irkci, vou sec, had no mean, of knowing, to use vom language, that Cunningham vv oiild be such a fool-that lie w ould admit tiavelbng m the cab, mention Paiker'a name, use tint handkerchief, and carr) a chlor norm bottle t uni with lum"
"Hut I e co Id not have known nil that when i, thsipriarcd "
I oi ?»<. 1
Iru.. "ut from the fact that ho wa» looked foi, he must lune known that Cun- ningham had given lum iivvav-to what ex- tent he could not tell Most of the other dot ni- he his biuco leirnt from tlio p iper- "
But if Cunningham is tlio really guiltv man wouldn t it piv Paikei to turnup und
confos- his shale '
' Now, don't von see," said Sinclair trium phnntlv, 'th it bv supposing Porker had any slime in it nt all von aie reallv agreeing with nie A on destrov the onlv evidence that Cunningham cm rclv on, that of )our fnend Gunn who sweats that Airs Cor field w is m the omnibus all the time If Purl ci had anj shine in u-in fact, if she w is in his cab at all-it stands to reason that Cunningham must have had as much,
oi moie '
Tins vv is eel tiitulv rather n staggerer
' Hut in th it i ise I bind, I should eX Íiect i min like Ptrkcr to confess, m tho
inpe of i p irdon, or at leist a commuted
So he would Air AV inton, if he hid been first arrested My experience is, that, whera two oi moie people ire concerned in a crime the one first caught his the best chance I hu me usually such curs tint an} one of them would gue the others away to save lu-«. own neck, but the ones at hrge keep citar us long is Ihey tan foi fear the one in the hands of the polite has airead} poured tho whole story into then ears '
Bul still 1 sud, unwilling to bo con- vinced ' von must admit that oin discovery of the pi ail bcoins to bring in another puty, md, so lir, stands in Cunningham's
'Not at all ' snd Suichir, with a queer smile 'on the contruj I am afraid it dmw s the cord still elo or round Mr Cun iiui(.liiiu s ned Bead th it "
It w is fiom Puustei and "sons jevvelleis, in Collins ticct mel Mid brielh, tint on Aluehll IS- iJIi Cunningham, leeoni puued bv i lady, li id bonyit a necklace emit lining 07 nimble ive n Is She thought: it i ither long whcicupon the gentleman bul lcqueslcd them to tike off one of the pe iris and kel it foi linn m I tie-pm
W h it do von Uiuu of th if isked 'in chu, when I hid reid the note two or thrce
timob oi cr
' It IOOKS v cr} bad ' I said, "but he men tions 07 peat is W c counted onl} OB "
"Came to the last, ' he laughed "llicie were 06 eeitunlv but 1 «hresai we shall solve tint ilitlicultv Vs you said it is much easiei to iceount foi a pcirl miss ing thin for one too many '
What are you going to do now'" I isked is he begin putting ami} the ..lass
and the handln chief
I must go pci son illy to Hamster's t> have the necklici identified he sud
then lune a laneti of business ii Inch win occupy ino for the rest of the din. It's past
one now "
Is it really ' ' »ral I ' Then I must be off to pet some lime li
Vi ill you come to the lewellci's, and have lunch with me in lovvnv
Nu th ml you 1 iephed 'I feel in if I bud done (Hough dttective wölk for one du ' md I left the biriicks wonder III- wini Dorothy would thud if she had witnessed my blundering efloits to improve poor Cuiiningh un s case
(lo be Continued Commenced October 0 )