Chapter 9780714

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Chapter NumberVIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1897-11-27
Page Number4
Word Count2498
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957)
Trove TitleThe Last Fare: A Melbourne Detective Story
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By C. II. CHO-ilLEY.


It was half pist three when I reached the bin leis, md Sinelan, who had been up on some police business nearly all the pre MOUS night, was enjoung a Sunda) sleep Hie constable, who begin to look upon me as quite one of the foice, piomised to wal o him, and in the meantime asked me lo take n sent in the mspectoi s sanctum, the little 100m I was tettmg so well acquuntcd


I smiled as I sat down and lit my pipe to think how much at home I was in police quin ten,, which I don t suppose 1 had ever entered before vii) leliun fiom England, while now 1 almost lived llicie, and hid scircelv spent a minuto m the last thiec dnvs with an) of the fiienda I had been longing to seo again

Siuelau enteied m a few inmutes, Wmli ing and sleep), but mole good tempetcd tlrm most men would be mulei the cucum


'I am ronll) irnfiilh som to disluib jon, ' I said, ' but I have business that voit will most likcl) find intciesting, and 1 thought it wisei not to let wait "

' ill rifcht, all right, Ah Winton," he -inswercd eheeifull) 'The policeman s lot w not n lmppy one, Hi Gilbeit tells ns, but 1m happv enough when lhere» bii-,i

ness going 1 \cuse the Miwn 111 bo awake dnccllj lire awi), and 111 follow joui eNample and light up '

"1 tim a. \ eil como lo the point at once," I said, while '.nel.u assumed his f iv omite attitude, well tin own back m a chair with his feet on the table "I have seen Hi«- Listet and that is tv hat bringa

me hero "

The deuce, lou hue' And wirrt has the female-I beg youl paidou-the lad) dctcctiv e got to sav >"

'A good main things," I îejilied, deter mined lo go slow lu the hibt place she his got foi us the linings of two oi lince pocl ets of Corfield'«, unhiding that of the o\ eico it he wore on Thiusda ' night "

' J hnt'b good," he said, blow mg ti smoke ung into the an "Anjthing else' '

'\cs, the ishes of a hie in the libi ii) the same night Time wcie no otheis except I pic-umc, in the kite lie ii that evening' '

Have vou an) nioie of his ptopertv .ilioul, \ou' '

'No, what I have mentioned is m the bug " I

Well, let its examine the ashes Not likcl) to be an) thing in them, but one

net el know s '

1 did/not wint to confess what I had done just \el, so 1 said- Let u-, look at the pocl ets hist, if )ou dont mind The ashes ma) be dirti woik, md would come belter afterwaids

' J ust ns ) ou please It make, no diffei

euee,' he . ml, getting out Ins inicio«cope , " .nil I mn\ as well mention now thal i' have bend fiom the amil)st "

"About the gum or the handketchief ' '

' Roth Hie )ellow dust, he sn\s, is the powdei of some gohl pmnt-Judsun's foi picfeience-but he won't sweai to that Hie chemists use one kind of turn onl)


"And tint 1 mil of gum is on both

labels *

' Well I m -," I mullel ed, quite crestfallen, foi 1 took gi eat pi ide ni ni) gum theoi v

Sinelan laughed ut m) disappointment

' I thought )ou'd feel a bit taken down,'

he said Its the (list time Ive henid jou use liinguafce No, don't apologise, I like it It bhows )ou feel at home ison, 111 eheei j ou up a bit Its true the chcmibts gum was on both labels, but-"

Hut what' Hun) up1 ' I exclaimed

'But on the label of the min dei bottle thcie was othci gum too It must have been taken oil another bottle Hie watet washed most of the oiiginal stud o(f and something new was used to sink it with "

' R) love, then I w is iifeht nllci all," I cited with delight, ' but what me the two kinds of gum v"

Sinelan glanced at a paper which he pro duccd fiom his pocket and handed it to

me ^

"You «ill see tlro-e the result of the

anal) sis," he said ' It's all H six O some thing ot othei, C seven and N, this 01 that, which means nothing lo mc, bul the point is that the new 1,11111 on the label mid smelted on the bottle is iiithoi a peeulmi kind and is used onl) bv the post ofhee foi picpnnng stumps

I <-.n« that the lettcis and hynes to which he 1 eton ed so contcmphiousl) were the chemical formulai for the materials used 111 the gum

As he said, the) weie uninipoitant to us, while the fact thal the substance used to stick on the old label wes one casilv ldcnti lied might be vor) matenal, and I «as giati lied that «0 should know with such clear ness «hut we had to look foi

Now, theBC pockets, if vou please," said Smelau, scicvving up the glass, it jou've hnisned patting; youiself on the hack Will von examine them, 01 shall 1 ' '

You," 1 saul, ')ou've had most pine tiee with 'the implement, and «ith my elbows on the table 1 vviitehed lum na he went over the still! inch b) inch

' Nothing on that," he Bind, niter a time, laving the hret piece of stult on one side "No1 111 thal," a minute 01 two afteiwaids, aB he placed the second one beside it ' lleie toes foi our last chance '

M) pipe went out 111 ni) anxiety its I kept im ev e on him and um chances ol a lind slipped aw a)

' No luck, 1 ni afraid," he mumbled, when nothing was left bul a patch the si/e ot half a crown, and I wns just Stillung another match «hen he gi tinted a little and look n IiiBt quarter tui 11 on the acre«

What'' and I piuscd, match in hand

'Nothing, Im afraid, and )ct Id have

sw 0111 I-'

Ile mov ed the stult sl'ghtl)

'Yes, )es, by God1 thcio is something -everything, in the very last cornel Look

" All risUU reserved.

tlieic. Mi Winton" He jumped up quick) v nnd, flinging uwa) the lighted match, I took his place

There, under the glass, more plainlv even tbnn on the handkerchief, I saw the bright dust spfiikling on the black sateen pocket lining

' Thcie's not the slightest doubt about it,

is llieic'" ho asked

"Not the least You had better put it away cuiefully now mid IOBB nothing"

"I w ill," he said, suiting the action to the vvoiil "Let IIB get ou, quickly with tile nshes now. I'm beginning to fee) quite hopeful about them It's like snakes," lie went on rnusinglv, as he folded and wrapped up the parcel "See one under one log and vou expect to come across the brutes cvei) stop-and most!) don't, I'm bound to sa) Hovvevei, tiot them out "

"Smelau," I saul, "I have a confession to make about those ushes "

"Eli1 What* You've not been up to am larl s, lmvc von'"

"No, nt least I've done nothing wrong," I laughed "At the «oisl-or best-I've been a-fool "

Then I told lum exactly « hat I had done and «hat 1 had found

"It's a. pilj -a gi cal pit)," he said "Cor field's counsel «ill, as jon say, make the most of it and suggest that jon put the ung or whatcvei it is llieic Hovvevei, it's no use fretting about it, and for the mattet of that he can sa\ tint Miss Lister put it m the file and the dust m the pockets, but no one «ill behove lum "

I «as comforted a little

"Then von don't think it fatal to the evi- dence'" I asked

"No, not bj am means But «lint ot aetlv does Hie evidence amount to? Lot's seo the aiticle "

Do )ou mean to aay )ou don't see the bearing of it'" I asked

1 forgot that I had meioly attempted to descube the ung, and had not told linn that I recognised it as the velitilatot of a lint

"Devil n bit," he unbvveied

I took it fiom m) pocket and give it to lum, explaining «hat I made of it while he

lui neil it ovci

'Hint's i positiv el) brilliant shot, Mr Winton," he said, "bullinut And, unlike mau) biilhanl ones, 1 believe it's stiaight

and hit the mnik "

lie walked once or In ite up and down 'he room, then stopped in fiont of mo and


"I'll an est Coifield on thut-damned if I don't, this ven urtcmoon "

Jins «as a gi cat ic'icf to me, as it pro misid an end to Dorolh)'s escapade

'I wondeicd if von would take action on it," I said But «hal about a warrant*"

'No trouble about that," he answoied 'The neal es1 ,TP will give it to me-Hie Hist useful thing he'll have done with Ins commission I'll be oft and see about ii now if jon unit heio"

Ceitauil), but thcies one little tiling I want to tell jon about before )ou go Miss Lister believes that Coi held has ti ted to poison hci "

' V verv little thing," Hie replied Baieastic all), "i mere detail winch slipped youl ineinoi) I must sa), Mr W niton, >ou foi

low the Bible's advice, and keep the stiongesl «me till the last But suielv you can t be sei rous '" he iddcd ineiedulousi)

' 1 am positiv el) sei lous "

" iud vet jon lot bei iennm m the house with such a Bluebeard, and onl) eisuall) mention Hie fict as an aftei thought "

I «as nettled bj his tone and liiuiiiioi, and vet could not help feeling that lie bad »mc light to use it

' Hie mnltei lins been on mv mind the whole lune," I sud, "and j ou don't know Miss Liste-i I tried to get her out of the house, mid couldn I What's moic, you and the whole force «ould not do it eithei without handcuff« and batons, unless you anested Coilteld nrst, which )ou me going

to do "

"Well, «eil, vou and she aie an extia ordinal) linn," he enid indulgent!) ' Ex cuse an oldet man than vourselt for lectiii

ing vou Lut details of this poisoning case, please "

I told thom to lum

"She may be mistaken," he said

'feo I thought-md tlnnl," I answcied, "but if she» is not, w on t Hie tea in w Inch she lluul s the poi-on wis be evidence ayiuist Coihcld "

"1 don t know about thal ' ho said, re flectiveh 'Poisoners aie deuced sciontihc now ada) a, and Corfield should be abreast of the Innes I believe theio is a iliss of poi

sons-all nloids I think thev call them (hat leave no ti ice of then wutk At le ist, the) tan t be detected in n bod), w hcthet the) can m food oi drink is uuothei in iltci that Im not btire about, Howivei, time enough to discuss that afterwaids I sup pose vou will uccompuii) me and the eon

slublc ' '

' \cs most ccilniu!) '

I w Inlcd aw i) the time lill he returned as w eil as 1 could w itli a book

J hen the ihice of us set out in a waggon ctte, just as the I own hall clock was strd

mg five, Sinclair and I in the bick and the constable m fiont with the din LI A\c did not talk much 1 had plentv to think about, tnd Sinchiu, who was eonsidernbl) i\citcd, could do nothing but reiterate his hope that we should lind our mun at home Once he said joking!), B) jove, Mi Winton, I Hunk wed betta ii i est, ) ou, and Gunn, and Jh_ Listel when we \e got Coiheld With so man) people vi ho evei saw the lad) uudci lock mid ke), it seems u pit) not to have Hie

lot '

I m quite ngiciable foi -von to do .»lint jou lil o afteivv lids," I said, provided )ou citch Coi field first"

We wi/re cntenng Hum o street, and the nervous tension on my pint at least was considerable

'Hadn't )ou better go lound tho back,'

I said, md entci bj the side gate A cab with police in it stopping at the front might alni m lum '

"Yes, it would be a pity to find the bird

flow n '

"Gibb)," he called, tapping on the glass ' lum down Diuinmond street, hist on )Our left, then into Philip sticet, (hot on lour left again Stop at a little gate about half way up iii Coiheld s fence "

"Now,' said Smcldii, when we nnd the constable had alighted fiom the cab and stood inside the gate, "you, Maloney, had better go round and wait at the back door of the house till I call you Mi Winton, it )ou will accompan) mc, we will make a detoui tluough the gaideu to the liont"

Wo wcie threading our way quickl) and silently through the ti ces and shrulys of the plantation, when u «oiso like voices laiscd in nlteieatioii ancstcd my attention

' flush,' I snid, gi ipping Sincluir b) the arm, "wasn't that the sound of people qim rolling' I am almobt certain I heard Coi held s voice "

'I hen nothint," he said, ")our excite ment m il es von fanciful "

Perhaps,' 1 iiphed doubtfully, and we had just stinted again when theie wus a ct\ foi help

It was stilled and not \eiv loud, but it rame fiom the house, and I knew the voice was Doloth) s

With a muttered curse upon Corfield anti ni) self 1 mudo a bolt foi the house, Je.wng Sinelan fal behind In a few seconds I was on the veiandah The front door was open, and 1 lushed in, calling 'Doioth), Doioth), whcic nie )ou'"

There was no ansvvci, but I heard a noise of shuttling feet, and someone gasping foi

brenth in a loom upstairs

M) foot w is on Hie btaucase when the sharp crack of a pistol shot echoed through the house \ ttooi slamnieel, and IIB 1 leached a landing on the stans someone tunning down fiom abovo fell í\callou¿ into in) aims _ (io be continued Commenced October 9 )