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Perry Mason Short Stories - 03

The Case of the Irate Witness


By
Erle Stanley Gardner
Contents
The Case of the Irate Witness
The Jeweled Butterfly
Somethin !i"e a Peli#an
$ Man is Missin
The Case of the Irate Witness
T%E E$&!'-M(&)I)G S%$*(WS #ast +y the mountains still lay hea,ily on the
town-s main street as the +i siren on the roof of the Je+son Commer#ial Com.any
+ean to s#ream shrilly/
The daner of fire was always .resent0 and at the sound0 men at +rea"fast rose and
.ushed their #hairs +a#" from the ta+le0 others who were sha,in +arely .aused to
wi.e lather from their fa#es0 and those who had +een slee.in ra++ed the first
a,aila+le arments/ $ll of them ran to .la#es where they #ould loo" for the first
telltale wis.s of smo"e/
There was no smo"e/
The +i siren was still s#reamin urently as the men formed into streamin lines0
li"e ants whose hill has +een atta#"ed/ The lines all mo,ed toward the Je+son
Commer#ial Com.any/
There the men were told that the doors of the +i ,ault had +een found wide o.en/ $
1aed hole had +een #ut into one door with an a#etylene tor#h/
This was the fifteenth of the month/ The +i0 twi#e-a-month .ayroll0 whi#h had +een
+rouht u. from the I,anhoe )ational Ban" the day +efore0 had +een the .ri2e/ The
men loo"ed at one another silently/
3ran" Bernal0 manaer of the #om.any-s mine0 the man who ruled Je+son City with
an iron hand0 arri,ed and too"
#hare/ The res.onsi+ility was his0 and what he found was alarmin/
Tom Munson0 the niht wat#hman0 was lyin on the floor in a +a#" room0 snorin in
drun"en slum+er/ The +urlar alarm0 whi#h had +een installed within the last si4
months0 had +een +y.assed +y means of an ele#tri#al de,i#e/ This de,i#e was so
inenious that it was a..arent that0 if the wor" were that of a an0 at least one of
the +urlars was an e4.ert ele#tri#ian/
&al.h )es+itt0 the #om.any a##ountant0 was sinifi#antly silent/ When 3ran"
Bernal had +een a..ointed manaer a year earlier0 )es+itt had .ointed out that the
+i ,ault was o+solete/
Bernal0 determined to .ro,e himself in his new 1o+0 had a,oided the e4.ense of
tearin out the old ,ault and installin a new one +y in,estin in an u.-to-date
+urlar alarm and .uttin a s.e#ial niht wat#hman on duty/
)ow the safe had +een looted of 5000000 and 3ran" Bernal had to ma"e a re.ort to
the main offi#e in Chi#ao0 with the dis6uietin "nowlede that &al.h )es+itt-s
memo statin the anti6uated ,ault was a .usho,er was at this moment re.osin in
the #om.any files/
Some distan#e out of Je+son City0 Perry Mason0 the famous trial lawyer0 was dri,in
fast alon a mountain road/ %e had had .lans for a wee"end fishin tri. for some
time0 +ut a 1ury whi#h had waited until midniht +efore rea#hin its ,erdi#t had
delayed Mason-s de.arture and it was now eiht-thirty in the mornin/
%is fishin #lothes0 rod0 wadin +oots0 and #reel were all in the trun"/ %e was
wearin the suit in whi#h he had ste..ed from the #ourtroom0 and ha,in dri,en all
niht0 he was eaer for the #ool0 .iny mountains/
$ +la2in red liht0 shinin dire#tly at him as he rounded a turn in the #anyon road0
da22led his road-weary eyes/ $ sin0 ST(P7P(!ICE0 had +een .la#ed in the
middle of the road/ Two men0 a rim-fa#ed man with a 30-30 rifle in his hands
/ind a sil,er +ade on his shirt and a uniformed motor#y#le offi##r0 stood +eside the
sin/
Mason sto..ed his #ar/
The man with the +ade0 a de.uty sheriff0 said0 8We-d +etter la"e a loo" at your
dri,in li#ense/ There-s +een a +i ro++ery at Je+son City/8
8 That so98 Mason said/ 8I went throuh Je+son City an hour ao and e,erythin
seemed 6uiet/8
8Where you +een sin#e then98
8I sto..ed at a little ser,i#e station and restaurant for +rea"fast/8
8!et-s ta"e a loo" at your dri,in li#ense/8
Mason handed it to him/
The man started to return it0 then loo"ed at it aain/ 8Say08 he said0 8you-re Perry
Mason0 the +i #riminal lawyer:8
8)ot a #riminal lawyer08 Mason said .atiently0 8a trial lawyer/ I sometimes defend
men who are a##used of #rime/8
8What are you doin u. in this #ountry98
8Goin fishin/8
The de.uty loo"ed at him sus.i#iously/ 8Why aren-t you wearin your fishin
#lothes98
8Be#ause08 Mason said0 and smiled0 8I-m not fishin/8
8'ou said you were oin fishin/8
8I also intend08 Mason said0 8to o to +ed toniht/ $##ordin to you0 I should +e
wearin my .a1amas/8
The de.uty frowned/ The traffi# offi#er lauhed and wa,ed Mason on/
The de.uty nodded at the de.artin #ar/ 8!oo"s li"e a li,e #lue to me08 he said0 8+ut
I #an-t find it in that #on,ersation/8
8There isn-t any08 the traffi# offi#er said/
The de.uty remained du+ious0 and later on0 when a news- hunry re.orter from the
lo#al .a.er as"ed the de.uty if he "new of anythin that would ma"e a ood story0
the de.uty said that he did/
$nd that was why *ella Street0 Perry Mason-s #onfidential se#retary0 was sur.rised
to read stories in the metro.olitan .a.ers statin that Perry Mason0 the noted trial
lawyer0 was ru- mored to ha,e +een retained to re.resent the .erson or .ersons who
had looted the ,ault of the Je+son Commer#ial Com.any/ $ll this had +een
arraned0 it would seem0 +efore Mason-s 8#lient8 had e,en +een a..rehended/
When Perry Mason #alled his offi#e +y lon distan#e the ne4t afternoon0 *ella said0
8I thouht you were oin to the mountains for a ,a#ation/8
8That-s riht/ Why98
8The .a.ers #laim you-re re.resentin whoe,er ro++ed the Je+son Commer#ial
Com.any/8
83irst I-,e heard of it08 Mason said/ 8I went throuh Je+son City +efore they
dis#o,ered the ro++ery0 sto..ed for +rea"fast a little farther on0 and then ot #auht
in a road+lo#"/ In the eyes of some offi#ious de.uty0 that seems to ha,e made me an
a##essory after the fa#t/8
8Well08 *ella Street said0 8they-,e #auht a man +y the name of %ar,ey !/ Cor+in
and a..arently ha,e 6uite a #ase aainst him/ They-re hintin at mysterious
e,iden#e whi#h won-t +e dis#losed until the time of trial/8
8Was he the one who #ommitted the #rime98 Mason as"ed/
8The .oli#e thin" so/ %e has a #riminal re#ord/ When his em.loyers at Je+son City
found out a+out it0 they told him to lea,e town/ That was the e,enin +efore the
ro++ery/8
8Just li"e that0 eh98 Mason as"ed/
8Well0 you see0 Je+son City is a one-industry town0 and the #om.any owns all the
houses/ They-re leased to the em.loyees/ I understand Cor+in-s wife and dauhter
were told they #ould stay on until Cor+in ot lo#ated in a new .la#e0 +ut Cor+in was
told to lea,e town at on#e/ 'ou aren-t interested0 are you98
8)ot in the least08 Mason said0 8e4#e.t that when I dri,e +a#"0 I-ll +e oin throuh
Je+son City0 and I-ll .ro+a+ly sto. to .i#" u. the lo#al ossi./8
8*on-t do it08 she warned/ 8This man Cor+in has all the earmar"s of +ein an
underdo0 and you "now how you feel a+out underdos/8
$ 6uality in her ,oi#e made Perry sus.i#ious/ 8'ou ha,en-t +een a..roa#hed0 ha,e
you0 *ella98
8Well08 she said0 8in a way/ Mrs/ Cor+in read in the .a.ers that you were oin to
re.resent her hus+and0 and she was o,er1oyed/ It seems that she thin"s her
hus+and-s im.li#ation in this is a raw deal/ She hadn-t "nown anythin a+out his
#riminal re#ord0 +ut she lo,es him and is oin to stand +y him/8
8'ou-,e tal"ed with her98 Mason as"ed/
8Se,eral times/ I tried to +rea" it to her ently/ I told her it was .ro+a+ly nothin
+ut a news.a.er story/ 'ou see0 Chief0 they ha,e Cor+in dead to rihts/ They too"
some money from his wife as e,iden#e/ It was .art of the loot/8
8$nd she has nothin98
8)othin/ Cor+in left her forty dollars0 and they too" it all as e,iden#e/8
8I-ll dri,e all niht08 he said/ 8Tell her I-ll +e +a#" tomorrow/8
8I was afraid of that08 *ella Street said/ 8Why did you ha,e to #all u.9 Why
#ouldn-t you ha,e stayed u. there fishin9 Why did you ha,e to et your name in
the .a.ers98
Mason lauhed and hun u./
Paul *ra"e0 of the *ra"e *ete#ti,e $en#y0 #ame in and sat in the +i #hair in
Mason-s offi#e and said0 8'ou ha,e a +ear +y the tail0 Perry/8
8What-s the matter0 Paul9 *idn-t your dete#ti,e wor" in Je+son City .an out98
8It .anned out all riht0 +ut the stuff in the .an isn-t what you want0 Perry08 *ra"e
e4.lained/
8%ow #ome98
8'our #lient-s uilty/8
8Go on08 Mason said/
8The money he a,e his wife was some of what was stolen from the ,ault/8
8%ow do they "now it was the stolen money08 Mason as"ed/
*ra"e .ulled a note+oo" from his .o#"et/ 8%ere-s the whole .i#ture/ The .lant
manaer runs Je+son City/ There isn-t any .ri,ate .ro.erty/ The Je+son #om.any
#ontrols e,erythin/8
8)ot a sinle small +usiness98
*ra"e shoo" his head/ 8)ot unless you want to #onsider ar+ae #olle#tin as small
+usiness/ $n old #oot +y the name of Geore $ddey li,es fi,e miles down the #anyon
he has a ho ran#h and #olle#ts the ar+ae/ %e-s su..osed to ha,e the first ni#"el
he e,er earned/ Buries his money in #ans/ There-s no +an" nearer than I,anhoe
City/8
8What a+out the +urlary9 The men who did it must ha,e mo,ed in a#etylene tan"s
and78
8They too" them riht out of the #om.any store08 *ra"e said/ $nd then he went on
8Munson0 the wat#hman0 li"es to ta"e a .ull out of a flas" of whis"ey alon a+out
midniht/ %e says it "ee.s him awa"e/ (f #ourse0 he-s not su..osed to do it0 and no
one was su..osed to "now a+out the whis"ey0 +ut someone did "now a+out it/ They
do.ed the whis"ey with a +ar+iturate/ The wat#hman too" his usual swi0 went to
slee.0 and stayed aslee./8
8What-s the e,iden#e aainst Cor+in98 Mason as"ed/
8Cor+in had a .re,ious +urlary re#ord/ It-s a .oli#y of the #om.any not to hire
anyone with a #riminal re#ord/ Cor+in lied a+out his .ast and ot a 1o+/ 3ran"
Bernal0 the manaer0 found out a+out it0 sent for Cor+in a+out eiht o-#lo#" the
niht the +urlary too" .la#e0 and ordered him out of town/ Bernal areed to let
Cor+in-s wife and #hild stay on in the house until Cor+in #ould et lo#ated in
another #ity/ Cor+in .ulled out in the mornin and a,e his wife this money/ It was
.art of the money from the +urlary/8
8%ow do they "now98 Mason as"ed/
8)ow there-s somethin I don-t "now08 *ra"e said/ 8This fellow Bernal is .retty
smart0 and the story is that he #an .ro,e Cor+in-s money was from the ,ault/8
*ra"e .aused0 then #ontinued 8$s I told you0 the nearest +an" is at I,anhoe City0
and the mine .ays off in #ash twi#e a month/ &al.h )es+itt0 the #ashier0 wanted to
install a new ,ault/ Bernal refused to o"ay the e4.ense/ So the #om.any has ordered
+oth Bernal and )es+itt +a#" to its main offi#e at Chi#ao to re.ort/ The rumor is
that they may fire Bernal as manaer and i,e )es+itt the 1o+/ $ #ou.le of the
dire#tors don-t li"e Bernal0 and this thin has i,en them their #han#e/ They du out
a re.ort )es+itt had made showin the ,ault was a .usho,er/ Bernal didn-t a#t on
that re.ort/8 %e sihed and then as"ed0 8When-s the trial0 Perry98
8The .reliminary hearin is set for 3riday mornin/ I-ll see then what they-,e ot
aainst Cor+in/8
8They-re layin for you u. there08 Paul *ra"e warned/ 8Better wat#h out0 Perry/
That distri#t attorney has somethin u. his slee,e0 some sort of sur.rise that-s oin
to "no#" you for a loo./8
In s.ite of his lon e4.erien#e as a .rose#utor0 ;ernon 3lasher0 the distri#t attorney
of I,anhoe County0 showed a #ertain ner,ousness at +ein #alled u.on to o..ose
Perry Mason/ There was0 howe,er0 a se#ret assuran#e underneath that ner,ousness/
Jude %aswell0 reali2in that the eyes of the #ommunity were u.on him0 adhered to
leal te#hni#alities to the .oint of +ein .om.ous +oth in rulins and mannerisms/
But what irritated Perry Mason was the attitude of the s.e#tators/ %e sensed that
they did not reard him as an attorney tryin to safeuard the interests of a #lient0
+ut as a leal mai#ian with a #lo,en hoof/ The lootin of the ,ault had sho#"ed the
#ommunity0 and there was a tiht-li..ed determination that no leal tri#"s were
oin to do Mason any ood this time/
;ernon 3lasher didn-t try to sa,e his sur.rise e,iden#e for a whirlwind finish/ %e
used it riht at the start of the #ase/
3ran" Bernal0 #alled as a witness0 des#ri+ed the lo#ation of the ,ault0 identified
.hotora.hs0 and then leaned +a#" as the distri#t attorney said a+ru.tly0 8'ou had
reason to +elie,e this ,ault was o+solete98
8'es0 sir/8
8It had +een .ointed out to you +y one of your fellow em.loyees0 Mr/ &al.h
)es+itt98
8'es0 sir/8
8$nd what did you do a+out it98
8$re you08 Mason as"ed in some sur.rise0 8tryin to #ross- e4amine your own
witness98
8Just let him answer the 6uestion0 and you-ll see08 3lasher re.lied rimly/
8Go riht ahead and answer08 Mason said to the witness/
Bernal assumed a more #omforta+le .osition/ 8I did three thins08 he said0 8to
safeuard the .ayrolls and to a,oid the e4.ense of tearin out the old ,ault and
installin a new ,ault in its .la#e/8
8What were those three thins98
8I em.loyed a s.e#ial niht wat#hman0 I installed the +est +urlar alarm money
#ould +uy0 and I made arranements with the I,anhoe )ational Ban"0 where we
ha,e our .ayrolls made u.0 to list the num+er of ea#h twenty-dollar +ill whi#h was a
.art of ea#h .ayroll/8
Mason suddenly sat u. straiht/
3lasher a,e him a lan#e of loatin trium.h/ 8*o you wish the #ourt to
understand0 Mr/ Bernal08 he said smuly0 8that you ha,e the num+ers of the +ills in
the .ayroll whi#h was made u. for deli,ery on the fifteenth98
8'es0 sir/ )ot all the +ills0 you understand/ That would ha,e ta"en t#o mu#h time/
But I ha,e the num+ers of all he twenty-dollar +ills/8
8$nd who re#orded those num+ers98 the .rose#utor as"ed/
8The +an"/8
8$nd do you ha,e that list of num+ers with you98
8I do/ 'es0 sir/8 Bernal .rodu#ed a list/ 8I felt08 he said0 lan#in #oldly at )es+itt0
8that these .re#autions would +e #hea.er than a new ,ault/8
8I mo,e the list +e introdu#ed in e,iden#e08 3lasher said/
8Just a moment08 Mason o+1e#ted/ 8I ha,e a #ou.le of 6ues- tions/ 'ou say this list
is not in your handwritin0 Mr/ Bernal98
8'es0 sir/8
8Whose handwritin is it0 do you "now98 Mason as"ed/
8The assistant #ashier of the I,anhoe )ational Ban"/8
8(h0 all riht08 3lasher said/ 8We-ll do it the hard way0 if we ha,e to/ Stand down0
Mr/ Bernal0 and I-ll #all the assistant #ashier/8
%arry &eedy0 assistant #ashier of the I,anhoe Ban"0 had the me#hani#al assuran#e
of an addin ma#hine/ %e identified the list of num+ers as +ein in his handwritin/
%e stated that he had listed the num+ers of the twenty-dollar +ills and .ut that list
in an en,elo.e whi#h had +een sealed and sent u. with the money for the .ayroll/
8Cross-e4amine08 3lasher said/
Mason studied the list/ 8These num+ers are all in your handwritin98 he as"ed
&eedy/
8'es0 sir/8
8*id you yourself #om.are the num+ers you wrote down with the num+ers on the
twenty-dollar +ills98
8)o0 sir/ I didn-t .ersonally do that/ Two assistants did that/ (ne #he#"ed the
num+ers as they were read off0 one as I wrote them down/8
8The .ayrolls are for a..ro4imately a hundred thousand dollars0 twi#e ea#h
month98
8That-s riht/ $nd e,er sin#e Mr/ Bernal too" #hare0 we ha,e ta"en this means to
identify .ayrolls/ )o attem.t is made to list the +ills in numeri#al order/ The serial
num+ers are sim.ly read off and written down/ <nless a ro++ery o##urs0 there is no
need to do anythin further/ In the e,ent of a ro++ery0 we #an re#lassify the num+ers
and list the +ills in numeri#al order/8
8These num+ers are in your handwritin7e,ery num+er98
8'es0 sir/ More than that0 you will noti#e that at the +ottom of ea#h .ae I ha,e
sined my initials/8
8That-s all08 Mason said/
8I now offer on#e more to introdu#e this list in e,iden#e08 3lasher said/
8So ordered08 Jude %aswell ruled/
8My ne4t witness is Charles J/ (swald0 the sheriff08 the distri#t attorney announ#ed/
The sheriff0 a lon0 lan"y man with a 6uiet manner0 too" the stand/ 8'ou-re
a#6uainted with %ar,ey !/ Cor+in0 the defendant in this #ase98 the distri#t attorney
as"ed/
8I am/8
8$re you a#6uainted with his wife98
8'es0 sir/8
8)ow0 on the mornin of the fifteenth of this month0 the mornin of the ro++ery at
the Je+son Commer#ial Com.any0 did you ha,e any #on,ersation with Mrs/
Cor+in98
8I did/ 'es0 sir/8
8*id you as" her a+out her hus+and-s a#ti,ities the niht +efore98
8Just a moment08 Mason said/ 8I o+1e#t to this on the round that any #on,ersation
the sheriff had with Mrs/ Cor+in is not admissi+le aainst the defendant0 Cor+in
furthermore0 that in this state a wife #annot testify aainst her hus+and/ Therefore0
any statement she miht ma"e would +e an indire#t ,iolation of that rule/
3urthermore0 I o+1e#t on the round that the 6uestion #alls for hearsay/8
Jude %aswell loo"ed .onderously thouhtful0 then said0 8It seems to0me Mr/ Mason
is #orre#t/8
8I-ll .ut it this way0 Mr/ Sheriff08 the distri#t attorney said/ 8*id you0 on the
mornin of the fifteenth0 ta"e any money from Mrs/ Cor+in98
8(+1e#ted to as in#om.etent0 irrele,ant0 and immaterial08 Mason said/
8'our %onor08 3lasher said irrita+ly0 8that-s the ,ery ist of our #ase/ We .ro.ose to
show that two of the stolen twenty- dollar +ills were in the .ossession of Mrs/
Cor+in/8
Mason said0 8<nless the .rose#ution #an .ro,e the +ills were i,en Mrs/ Cor+in +y
her hus+and0 the e,iden#e is inadmissi+le/8 8Thai-s 1ust the .oint08 3lasher said/
8Those +ills were i,en to her +y the defendant/8
8%ow do you "now98 Mason as"ed/
8She told the sheriff so/8
8That-s hearsay08 Mason sna..ed/
Jude %aswell fideted on the +en#h/ 8It seems to me we-re ettin into a .e#uliar
situation here/ 'ou #an-t #all the wife as a witness0 and I don-t thin" her statement to
the sheriff is admissi+le/8
8Well08 3lasher said des.erately0 8in this state0 'our %onor0 we ha,e a #ommunity-
.ro.erty law/ Mrs/ Cor+in had this money/ Sin#e she is the wife of the defendant0 it
was #ommunity .ro.erty/ Therefore0 it-s .artially his .ro.erty/8
8Well now0 there08 Jude %aswell said0 8I thin" I #an aree with you/ 'ou introdu#e
the twenty-dollar +ills/ I-ll o,errule the o+1e#tion made +y the defense/8
8Produ#e the twenty-dollar +ills0 Sheriff08 3lasher said trium.hantly/
The +ills were .rodu#ed and re#ei,ed in e,iden#e/
8Cross-e4amine08 3lasher said #urtly/
8)o 6uestions of this witness08 Mason said0 8+ut I ha,e a few 6uestions to as" Mr/
Bernal on #ross-e4amination/ 'ou too" him off the stand to lay the foundation for
introdu#in the +an" list0 and I didn-t ha,e an o..ortunity to #ross-e4am- ine him/8
8I +e your .ardon08 3lasher said/ 8&esume the stand0 Mr/ Bernal/8
%is tone0 now that he had the twenty-dollar +ills safely introdu#ed in e,iden#e0 was
e4#essi,ely .olite/
Mason said0 8This list whi#h has +een introdu#ed in e,iden#e is on the stationery of
the I,anhoe )ational Ban"98
8That-s riht/ 'es0 sir/8
8It #onsists of se,eral .aes0 and at the end there is the sinature of the assistant
#ashier98
8'es0 sir/8
8$nd ea#h .ae is initialed +y the assistant #ashier98
8'es0 sir/8
8This was the s#heme whi#h you thouht of in order to safeuard the #om.any
aainst a .ayroll ro++ery98
8)ot to safeuard the #om.any aainst a .ayroll ro++ery0 Mr/ Mason0 +ut to assist
us in re#o,erin the money in the e,ent there was a holdu./8
8This was your .lan to answer Mr/ )es+itt-s o+1e#tions that the ,ault was an
outmoded model98
8$ .art of my .lan0 yes/ I may say that Mr/ )es+itt-s o+1e#tions had ne,er +een
,oi#ed until I too" offi#e/ I felt he was tryin to em+arrass me +y ma"in my
administration show less net returns than e4.e#ted/8 Bernal tihtened his li.s and
added0 8Mr/ )es+itt had0 I +elie,e0 +een e4.e#tin to +e a..ointed manaer/ %e was
disa..ointed/ I +elie,e he still e4.e#ts to +e manaer/8
In the s.e#tators- se#tion of the #ourtroom0 &al.h )es+itt lared at Bernal/
8'ou had a #on,ersation with the defendant on the niht of the fourteenth98 Mason
as"ed Bernal/
8I did/ 'es0 sir/8
8'ou told him that for reasons whi#h you deemed suffi#ient you were dis#harin
him immediately and wanted him to lea,e the .remises at on#e98
8'es0 sir/ I did/8
8$nd you .aid him his waes in #ash98
8Mr/ )es+it .aid him in my .resen#e0 with money he too" from the .etty-#ash
drawer of the ,ault/8
8)ow0 as .art of the waes due him0 wasn-t Cor+in i,en these two twenty-dollar
+ills whi#h ha,e +een introdu#ed in e,iden#e98
Bernal shoo" his head/ 8I had thouht of that08 he said0 8+ut it would ha,e +een
im.ossi+le/ Those +ills weren-t a,aila+le to us at that time/ The .ayroll is re#ei,ed
from the +an" in a sealed .a#"ae/ Those two twenty-dollar +ills were in that
.a#"ae/8
8$nd the list of the num+ers of the twenty-dollar +ills98
8That-s in a sealed en,elo.e/ The money is .la#ed in the ,ault/ I lo#" the list of
num+ers in my des"/8 8$re you .re.ared to swear that neither you nor Mr/ )es+itt
had a##ess to these two twenty-dollar +ills on the niht of the fourteenth98
8That is #orre#t/8
8That-s all08 Mason said/ 8)o further #ross-e4amination/8
8I now #all &al.h )es+itt to the stand08 *istri#t $ttorney 3lasher said/ 8I want to
fi4 the time of these e,ents definitely0 'our %onor/8
8;ery well08 Jude %aswell said/ 8Mr/ )es+itt0 #ome forward/8
&al.h )es+itt0 after answerin the usual .reliminary 6uestions0 sat down in the
witness #hair/
8Were you .resent at a #on,ersation whi#h too" .la#e +etween the defendant0
%ar,ey !/ Cor+in0 and 3ran" Bernal on the fourteenth of this month98 the distri#t
attorney as"ed/
8I was/ 'es0 sir/8
8What time did that #on,ersation ta"e .la#e98
8$+out eiht o-#lo#" in the e,enin/8
8$nd0 without oin into the details of that #on,ersation0 I will as" you if the
eneral effe#t of it was that the defendant was dis#hared and ordered to lea,e the
#om.any-s .ro.erty98
8'es0 sir/8
8$nd he was .aid the money that was due him98
8In #ash/ 'es0 sir/ I too" the #ash from the safe myself/8
8Where was the .ayroll then98
8In the sealed .a#"ae in a #om.artment in the safe/ $s #ashier0 I had the only "ey
to that #om.artment/ Earlier in the afternoon I had one to I,anhoe City and
re#ei,ed the sealed .a#"ae of money and the en,elo.e #ontainin the list of
num+ers/ I .ersonally lo#"ed the .a#"ae of money in the ,ault/8
8$nd the list of num+ers98
8Mr/ Bernal lo#"ed that in his des"/8
8Cross-e4amine08 3lasher said/
8)o 6uestions08 Mason said/
8That-s our #ase0 'our %onor08 3lasher o+ser,ed/
8May we ha,e a few minutes- indulen#e98 Mason as"ed Jude %aswell/
8;ery well/ Ma"e it +rief08 the 1ude areed/

Mason turned to Paul *ra"e and *ella Street/ 8Well0 there you are08 *ra"e said/
8'ou-re #onfronted with the .roof0 Perry/8
= 8$re you oin to .ut the defendant on the stand98 *ella Street as"ed/
Mason shoo" his head/ 8It would +e sui#idal/ %e has a re#ord of a .rior #riminal
#on,i#tion/ $lso0 it-s a rule of law that if one as"s a+out any .art of a #on,ersation
on dire#t e4amination0 the other side #an +rin out all the #on,ersation/ That
#on,ersation0 when Cor+in was dis#hared0 was to the effe#t that he had lied a+out
his .ast re#ord/ $nd I uess there-s no 6uestion that he did/8
8$nd he-s lyin now08 *ra"e said/ 8This is one #ase where you-re li#"ed/ I thin"
you-d +etter #o. a .lea and see what "ind of a deal you #an ma"e with 3lasher/8
8Pro+a+ly not any08 Mason said/ 83lasher wants to ha,e the re.utation of ha,in
i,en me a li#"in7 Wait a minute0 Paul/ I ha,e an idea/8
Mason turned a+ru.tly0 wal"ed away to where he #ould stand +y himself0 his +a#"
to the #rowded #ourtroom/
8$re you ready98 the 1ude as"ed/
Mason turned/ 8I am 6uite ready0 'our %onor/ I ha,e one witness whom I wish to
.ut on the stand/ I wish a su+.oena du#es te#um issued for that witness/ I want him
to +rin #ertain do#uments whi#h are in his .ossession/8
8Who is the witness0 and what are the do#uments98 the 1ude as"ed/
Mason wal"ed 6ui#"ly o,er to Paul *ra"e/ 8What-s the name of that #hara#ter who
has the ar+ae-#olle#tin +usiness08 he said softly0 8the one who has the first ni#"el
he-d e,er made98
8Geore $ddey/8
The lawyer turned to the 1ude/ 8The witness that I want is


Geore $ddey0 and the do#uments that I want him to +rin to #ourt with him are all
the twenty-dollar +ills that he has re#ei,ed durin the .ast si4ty days/8
8'our %onor08 3lasher .rotested0 8this is an outrae/ This is ma"in a tra,esty out
of 1usti#e/ It is e4.osin the #ourt to ridi#ule/8
Mason said0 8I i,e 'our %onor my assuran#e that I thin" this witness is material
and that the do#uments are material/ I will ma"e an affida,it to that effe#t if
ne#essary/ $s attorney for the defendant0 may I .oint out that if the #ourt refuses to
rant this su+.oena0 it will +e denyin the defendant due .ro#ess of law/8
8I-m oin to issue the su+.oena08 Jude %aswell said testily0 8and for your own
ood0 Mr/ Mason0 the testimony had +etter +e rele,ant/8
Geore $ddey0 unsha,en and +ristlin with indination0 held u. his riht hand to +e
sworn/ %e lared at Perry Mason/
8Mr/ $ddey08 Mason said0 8you ha,e the #ontra#t to #olle#t ar+ae from Je+son
City98
8I do/8
8%ow lon ha,e you +een #olle#tin ar+ae there98
83or o,er fi,e years0 and I want to tell you78
Jude %aswell +aned his a,el/ 8The witness will answer 6uestions and not
inter.olate any #omments/8
8I-ll inter.olate anythin I dan .lease08 $ddey said/
8That-ll do08 the 1ude said/ 8*o you wish to +e 1ailed for #ontem.t of #ourt0 Mr/
$ddey98
8I don-t want to o to 1ail0 +ut I78
8Then you-ll remem+er the res.e#t that is due the #ourt08 the 1ude said/ 8)ow you
sit there and answer 6uestions/ This is a #ourt of law/ 'ou-re in this #ourt as a
#iti2en0 and I-m here as a 1ude0 and I .ro.ose to see that the res.e#t due to the
#ourt is enfor#ed/8 There was a moment-s silen#e while the 1ude lared anrily at
the witness/ 8$ll riht0 o ahead0 Mr/ Mason08 Jude %aswell said/
Mason said0 8*urin the thirty days .rior to the fifteenth of this month0 did you
de.osit any money in any +an"in institution98
8I did not/8
2ili+
-
8*o you ha,e with you all the twenty-dollar +ills that you re#ei,ed durin the last
si4ty days98
8I ha,e0 and I thin" ma"in me +rin them here is 1ust li"e in,itin some #roo" to
#ome and ro+ me and78
Jude %aswell +aned with his a,el/ 8$ny more #omments of that sort from the
witness and there will +e a senten#e im.osed for #ontem.t of #ourt/ )ow you et out
those twenty- dollar +ills0 Mr/ $ddey0 and .ut them riht u. here on the #ler"-s
des"/8
$ddey0 mum+lin under his +reath0 slammed a roll of twenty-dollar +ills down on
the des" in front of the #ler"/
8)ow08 Mason said0 8I-m oin to need a little #l#ri#al assistan#e/ I would li"e to
ha,e my se#retary0 Miss Street0 and the #ler" hel. me #he#" throuh the num+ers on
these +ills/ I will sele#t a few at random/8
Mason .i#"ed u. three of the twenty-dollar +ills and said0 8I am oin to as" my
assistants to #he#" the list of num+ers introdu#ed in e,iden#e/ In my hand is a
twenty-dollar +ill that has the num+er ! 0>0?3@>A $/ Is that +ill on the list9 The
ne4t +ill that I .i#" u. is num+er ! 0>B>C5C0 $/ $re either of those +ills on the list98
The #ourtroom was silent/ Suddenly *ella Street said0 8'es0 here-s one that-s on the
list7+ill num+er ! 0>B>C5C0 $/ It-s on the list0 on .ae eiht/8
8What98 the .rose#utor shouted/
8E4a#tly08 Mason said0 smilin/ 8So0 if a #ase is to +e made aainst a .erson merely
+e#ause he has .ossession of the money that was stolen on the fifteenth of this
month0 then your offi#e should .refer #hares aainst this witness0 Geore $ddey0
Mr/ *istri#t $ttorney/8
it
$ddey 1um.ed from the witness stand and shoo" his fist in Mason-s fa##/ 8'ou-re a
#o#"eyed liar:8 he s#reamed/ 8There ain-t a one of those +ills +ut what I didn-t ha,e
it +efore the
fifteenth/ The #om.any #ashier #hanes my money into twenties0 +e#ause I li"e +i
+ills/ I +ury -em in #ans0 and I .ut the date on the side of the #an/8
8%ere-s the list08 Mason said/ 8Che#" it for yourself/8
$ tense silen#e ri..ed the #ourtroom as the 1ude and the s.e#tators waited/
8I-m afraid I don-t understand this0 Mr/ Mason08 Jude %aswell said after a
moment/
8I thin" it-s 6uite sim.le08 Mason said/ 8$nd I now suest the #ourt ta"e a re#ess
for an hour and #he#" these other +ills aainst this list/ I thin" the distri#t attorney
may +e sur.rised/8
$nd Mason sat down and .ro#eeded to .ut .a.ers in his +rief#ase/
*ella Street0 Paul *ra"e0 and Perry Mason were sittin in the lo++y of the I,anhoe
%otel/
8When are you oin to tell us98 *ella Street as"ed fier#ely/ 8(r do we tear you
lim+ from lim+9 %ow #ould the ar+ae man ha,e / / / 98
8Wait a minute08 Mason said/ 8I thin" we-re a+out to et results/ %ere #omes the
esteemed distri#t attorney0 ;ernon 3lasher0 and he-s a##om.anied +y Jude
%aswell/8
The two strode o,er to Mason-s rou. and +owed with #old formality/
Mason ot u./
Jude %aswell +ean in his +est #ourtroom ,oi#e/ 8$ most de.lora+le situation has
o##urred/ It seems that Mr/ 3ran" Bernal has7well78
8Been detained somewhere08 ;ernon 3lasher said/
8*isa..eared08 Jude %aswell said/ 8%e-s one/8
8I e4.e#ted as mu#h08 Mason said/
8)ow will you "indly tell me 1ust what sort of .ressure you +rouht to +ear on Mr/
Bernal to / / / 98
8Just a moment0 Jude08 Mason said/ 8The only .ressure I +rouht to +ear on him
was to #ross-e4amine him/8
ssi / /-i/
I
m ii i
D- = ==,DtDu --id--9:/
ii rn-

TP:
-
8*id you "now that there had +een a mista"e in the dates on those lists98
8There was no mista"e/ When you find Bernal0 I-m sure you will dis#o,er there was
a deli+erate falsifi#ation/ %e was short in his a##ounts0 and he "new he was a+out to
+e demoted/ %e had a des.erate need for a hundred thousand dollars in ready #ash/
%e had e,idently +een .lannin this +urlary0 or0 rather0 this em+e22lement0 for
some time/ %e learned that Cor+in had a #riminal re#ord/ %e arraned to ha,e these
lists furnished +y the +an"/ %e installed a +urlar alarm and0 naturally0 "new how
to #ir#um,ent it/ %e em.loyed a wat#hman he "new was addi#ted to drin"/ %e only
needed to stae his #ou. at the riht time/ %e fired Cor+in and .aid him off with
+ills that had +een re#orded +y the +an" on .ae eiht of the list of +ills in the
.ayroll on the first of the month/
8Then he remo,ed .ae eiht from the list of +ills #ontained in the .ayroll of the
fifteenth0 +efore he showed it to the .oli#e0 and su+stituted .ae eiht of the list for
the first-of-the-month .ayroll/ It was that sim.le/
8Then he drued the wat#hman-s whis"ey0 too" an a#etylene tor#h0 +urned
throuh the ,ault doors0 and too" all the money/8
8May I as" how you "new all this98 Jude %aswell demanded/
8Certainly08 Mason said/ 8My #lient told me he re#ei,ed those +ills from )es+itt0
who too" them from the .etty-#ash drawer in the safe/ %e also told the sheriff that/ I
ha..ened to +e the only one who +elie,ed him/ It sometimes .ays0 'our %onor0 to
ha,e faith in a man0 e,en if he has made a .re,ious mista"e/ $ssumin my #lient was
inno#ent0 I "new either Bernal or )es+itt must +e uilty/ I then reali2ed that only
Bernal had #ustody of the .re,ious lists of num+ers/
8$s an em.loyee0 Bernal had +een .aid on the first of the month/ %e loo"ed at the
num+ers on the twenty-dollar +ills in his .ay en,elo.e and found that they had +een
listed on .ae eiht of the .ayroll for the first/
8Bernal only needed to e4tra#t all the twenty-dollar +ills
T%3/ C$SE (3 T%E I&$TE WIT)ESS @8
from the .etty-#ash drawer0 su+stitute twenty-dollar +ills from his own .ay
en,elo.e0 #all in Cor+in0 and fire him/ %is tra. was set/
8I let him "now I "new what had +een done +y +rinin $ddey into #ourt and
.ro,in my .oint/ Then I as"ed for a re-#ess- That was so Bernal would ha,e a
#han#e to s"i. out/ 'ou see0 fliht may +e re#ei,ed as e,iden#e of uilt/ It was a
.rofes-sional #ourtesy to the distri#t attorney/ It will hel. him when Bernal is
arrested/8
The Jeweled Butterfly
T%E&E W$S an offi#e rumor that (ld E/B/ lo#"ed the door of his .ri,ate offi#e on
Wednesday mornins so he #ould .ra#ti#e .uttin/ This had ne,er +een #onfirmed0
+ut ,eteran em.loyees at the Warranty E4#hane 3idelity Indemnity0 "nown lo#ally
as WE3I0 made it a rule either to ta"e u. im.ortant matters on Tuesday or to
.ost.one them until Thursday/
Pey Castle0 E/B/-s se#retary0 didn-t inherit the Wednesday +reathin s.ell from
her .rede#essors/ When (ld E/B/ found out that +efore Pey #ame to WE3I she
had wor"ed on a #ountry news.a.er u.state0 he in,eiled her into startin a ossi.
#olumn in the WE3I house oran/
Pey was interested in .eo.le0 had a .hotora.hi# memory for names and fa#es0
and a +road-minded0 whimsi#al sense of humor/ The result was that her #olumn0
whi#h she #alled Castle-s in the $ir0 attra#ted so mu#h attention that (ld E/B/0
+eamin with .ride0 insisted she de,ote more and more time to it/
8It-s 1ust what we-,e needed08 he said/ 8We-,e had too mu#h money to s.end on the
damn .a.er/ We made it too sli#"0 too formal0 too dressed u./ It loo"ed im.ressi,e0
+ut who the hell wants a house oran to +e im.ressi,e9 We want it to +e neih+orly/
We want it to +e interestin/ We want the em.loyees to eat it u./ We want somethin
that-ll attra#t #us-
tom#r attention on the outside/ 'ou-re doin it/ It-s fine/ Eee. it u./ (ne of these
days it-ll lead to somethin +i/8
(ld E/B/ #arried a +un#h of #li..ins from Pey-s #olumn in his wallet/ ;ery often
he-d .i#" out .ri#eless ems and sidle u. to #ronies at the #lu+/ 8Got a irl u. at the
offi#e7my se#retary0 smart as a whi.08 he-d +ein/ 8'ou ouht to see what she-s
done to the ossi. #olumn in our house oran/ This is it/ Castle-s in the $ir/ !isten to
this one
8 -ThD identity of the .ra#ti#al 1o"er in the Bond Writin *e.artment has not as yet
+een dis#o,ered/ When Bill 3ill-more finds him he insists he-s oin to #ho"e him
until his eye+alls .rotrude far enouh to +e tattooed with Bill-s initials/ It seems that
Bill and Ernestine ha,e +een "ee.in .retty steady #om.any/ $t noon on last
Thursday0 Bill de#ided to .o. the 6uestion0 did so0 and was a##e.ted/ That afternoon
he was wal"in on air/ %owe,er0 it seems that Bill had #onfided his intentions to a
few friends0 showin them the rin he had +ouht to sli. on Ernestine-s finer if she
said yes/ So some wa manaed to dust the "nees of Bill-s trousers immediately after
lun#h/ Bill doesn-t "now how it was done/ %e didn-t e,en "now it had +een done/
While Ernestine was tellin the news and showin her s.ar"ler0 o+ser,ant eyes were
naturally loo"in Bill o,er/ Peo.le #ouldn-t refrain from seein the two well- defined
dust s.ots on the "nees of Bill-s trousers/ Ernestine thouht it was #ute0 +ut Bill7
Well0 let-s tal" a+out somethin else/-
8%ow-s that for a yarn98 E/B/ would say0 sla..in his #rony on the +a#"/
8*amnedest thin you e,er heard9 'ou #an fiure what that-s done to the house
oran/ E,ery+ody reads it now/ Stuff li"e that really .e.s it u./
8%ow-s that9 %ell0 no: )ot a word of truth to it0 +ut the funny thin is that Bill
3illmore doesn-t "now it/ %e really thin"s there was dust on his trousers0 .ut there
+y some wa0 and he-s oin around #hewin ten.enny nails/ %alf of the .eo.le in
the .la#e are in on the se#ret0 and the other half are loo"in for the .ra#ti#al 1o"er/
*amnedest thin you e,er saw0
the way stuff li"e that .e.s u. the house oran/ %ere-s more of
it/8
Gi,en the slihtest .ro,o#ation0 (ld E/B/ would .ull out more #li..ins/ <sually his
#ronies a,e him the .ro,o#ation/ The #li..ins were always ood for a lauh0 and
many of E/B/-s friends had house-oran .ro+lems of their own/
(n this Wednesday afternoon Pey o.ened the anonymous letter and read it
throuh #arefully/
*on Eim+erly is ha,in a date toniht at the &oyal Pheasant with Miss Clea,ae/ Is
this oin to +urn some+ody u.: I don-t as" you to ta"e my word for it0 so I won-t
sin my name/ Just sti#" around and see what ha..ens/
The missi,e was sined $ &eader0 and the writin was feminine/
(rdinarily she would ha,e #onsined this sort of thin to the waste+as"et after a
#ursory lan#e0 +ut *on Eim+erly0 trou+le shooter in the Claims $d1ustin
*e.artment0 was the most elii+le #at#h in the orani2ation/ $ youn0 #learheaded
+a#helor with a leal edu#ation0 he had dar" wa,y hair0 steady slate-#olored eyes0
+ron2ed s"in0 and a rather mysterious air of reser,e/ E,ery irl in the orani2ation
ot #ardia# sym.toms when he wal"ed +y her des"7and Pey was no e4#e.tion/
8Miss Clea,ae8 was Stella !ynn0 who had won a +eauty #ontest at a #ountry fair
+efore #omin to the #ity to wor" for WE3I/ It was o+,ious that the 1udes of this
lo#al show had +een more interested in well-de,elo.ed #ur,es than in streamlined
#ontours/
Stella !ynn0 .roud of her #ur,a#eousness0 ha+itually wore the most .lunin
ne#"lines of any em.loyee in the WE3I orani2ation/ When someone #ame u. with
the ni#"name of 8Miss Clea,ae08 the a..ellation had fit as snuly as the offi#e
dresses she wore and had stu#" li"e #hewin um/ Pey Castle studied the
anonymous letter aain/ What in the world #ould *on Eim+erly see in Stella !ynn9
The whole thin was ridi#ulous enouh0 so that it #ould ha,e +een a a sent to her
+y some .ra#ti#al 1o"er who ho.ed she

would .u+lish it in her #olumn without #onfirmation and so #reate a minor offi#e
furor/
(n the other hand0 su..ose the thin a#tually was true9 It would #ause .lenty of
#ommotion/
Without sto..in to thin" that this was e4a#tly what the writer of the anonymous
letter had .lanned0 Pey de#ided to find out at firsthand/8///
The &oyal Pheasant niht#lu+ #atered to a reular #lientele/ The floor show was
s.otty0 the food 6uite ood0 the musi# fair/ The dan#e floor was a little larer than
the hand"er#hief- si2ed s6uares in some of the more e4.ensi,e niht#lu+s/
Pey0 usin her .ress #ard to forestall any rule a+out unes#orted women uests0
sallied into the &oyal Pheasant attired in her +est semiformal0 se#ured a ta+le0 and
toyed with a #o#"tail0 waitin/
%alf an hour .assed une,entfully/ The headwaiter dro..ed +y/ 8$nother #o#"tail0
Miss Castle98
She started slihtly at his use of her name and then0 remem+erin the .ress #ard0
smiled and shoo" her head/
8We want you to +e ha..y08 the headwaiter went on0 8and we ho.e you will write
somethin ni#e a+out the .la#e/8
Pey felt a twine of #ons#ien#e/ Perha.s the manaement thouht she was with
some maa2ine of lare #ir#ulation/
8$s a matter of fa#t08 he went on0 8I read your #olumn e,ery sinle issue/8
8 'ou do98 she as"ed0 sur.rised/
8E/B/ %alsey told me a+out your #olumn08 the headwaiter went on/ 8%e #omes in
here 6uite often/ %e .ut me on the mailin list/ It-s ,ery ood stuff/8
Pey felt a sure of relief/ 8(h/ I-m so lad7so lad you li"e it/8
8We et 6uite a +it of +usiness from the +i +rass out at your #om.any08 he went on/
8We-re really .leased that you-re here/ $nd of #ourse0 you-ll +e entitled to all the
#ourtesies/8
lys:-
8$ll the #ourtesies98 she re.eated/
-i-fesi-,
.r-//
F-frS
Jtoi--1
B.isr J.
8The ta+ is on the house08 he e4.lained/ 8$nother #o#"tail98
8)o than"s0 not riht now/8
8We ha,e a ood show toniht/ Glad you-re here/8
%e mo,ed away0 ta"in with him a load of uilt from Pey-s shoulders and lea,in
her with a feelin of e4ultation/
Then *on Eim+erly #ame in7alone/
Guite e,idently he had a ta+le reser,ed/ %e seated himself0 lo#s"ed leisurely around0
ordered a #o#"tail0 and settled +a#" with the air of a man who has arri,ed early for
an a..ointment/
Pey lan#ed at her wristwat#h/ It was nine-fifteen/ The floor show started at nine-
thirty/
She .u#"ered her forehead/ It was +i2arre enouh in the first .la#e to thin" of *on
Eim+erly ta"in Stella !ynn to the &oyal Pheasant/ But he #ertainly wasn-t
e4.e#tin Miss Clea,ae to #ome in unes#orted and 1oin him/ There was somethin
strane a+out the whole +usiness/ If it had +een a date he-d ha,e #alled for Stella
and es#orted her/
Pey +e#ame so immersed in her thouhts that she didn-t reali2e the .assin of
time until the lihts dimmed and her waiter was there with another #o#"tail/
8Be .ardon0 Miss Castle0 +ut the manaement "nows another one won-t hurt you0
and you-ll +e wantin to wat#h the floor show now/8
Pey than"ed him/ The #horus #ame dan#in on0 un- dra.ed almost to the .oint of
illeality/ $ master of #eremonies .ulled u. the mi#ro.hone/
Pey lan#ed at *on Eim+erly/ Eimoerly wasn-t wat#hin the irls- les/ %e was
frowninly #ontem.latin his wrist- wat#h/
Good hea,ens0 Pey Castle thouht0 she wouldn-t stand him u./ She wouldn-t dare/
Why0 this is the hihliht of her #areer/ If she a#tually has a date with him0 she7no0
no0 she #ouldn-t +e late/
But 6uite o+,iously0 whoe,er *on Eim+erly was waitin for was late0 and the
in#reasin shortness of the inter,als at whi#h he #onsulted his wat#h and then a,e
frownin attention to the door indi#ated a ra.idly rowin im.atien#e/
3A E&!E ST$)!E' C$&*)E&
$nd then the lihts #ame on0 and suddenly Pey reali2ed that *on Eim+erly was
loo"in at her with the .u22led e4.ression of 8where-the-de,il-ha,e-I-seen-that-irl-
+efore8 in his eyes/
She nodded and smiled0 and as he +owed she saw sudden re#onition flash in his
fa#e/ Then he was on his way o,er/
8Well0 hello0 Miss Castle08 he said/ 8I didn-t re#oni2e you for a moment/ Waitin
for someone98
8(h0 no08 she said/ 8I-m ettin material for my #olumn0 #o,erin a nitery where so
many of the WE3I offi#ials dro. in/ I trust you reali2e that the eyes of the .ress are
u.on you0 Mr/ Eim+erly0 and that the .itiless white liht of .u+li#ity will +e turned
on you in my ne4t78
8(h0 ood hea,ens:8 Eim+erly e4#laimed in dismay and0 without as"in her
.ermission0 sat down at her ta+le and s#owled at her/
8Why0 what-s the matter98 Pey as"ed ,i,a#iously/ 8Surelyyou ha,e nothin to
#on#eal/ 'ou-re unmarried0 unen-#um+ered/ I7was on the .oint of addin
uninhi+ited/8
8<ninhi+ited is riht08 he roaned/
8$nd may I as" why +ein written u. in Castle-s in the $ir seems to .ro,o"e so little
enthusiasm in you98
8$m I unenthusiasti#98
8I thouht you were/8
%e smiled0 suddenly reainin his #om.osure/ 8I-m enthusi-asti# now0 +ut it-s
#ertainly not +e#ause of your #olumn/8
8Surely you aren-t alone98 she as"ed ar#hly0 #arefully sur,eyin his fa#e/
8I-m waitin for some fol"s/ Why not 6uit .layin with that #o#"tail and let me
order you another98
8Good hea,ens0 this is my se#ond/8
8Well0 at the rate you-re wor"in on that one0 the first must ha,e +een at least an
hour ao/ %ere0 waiter:8
Pey let him ha,e his way/ She was e4.erien#in a .leasant low0 not only from the
drin"s0 +ut from the e4#itin reali2ation that there must +e more to this than
a..eared on the surfa#e/
T%E JEWE!E* B<TTE&3!' 3B
Why had *on Eim+erly made this surre.titious rende2,ous with Stella !ynn9 %ad
he +een ashamed to o to her a.art-ment and es#ort her to the &oyal Pheasant7or
had he +een afraid to9
(n#e more Eim+erly lan#ed at his wristwat#h/
8My0 you-re 1ittery08 Pey said/ 8!i"e a ner,ous #at/ 'ou aren-t +y any #han#e
+ein stood u.0 are you9 )o0 that-s #atty: $fter all0 you "now0 I-m on the loo"out for
news/8
She felt #ertain he win#ed inwardly/ 8$ news story08 he said0 8has +een defined as
+ein the thin the other .erson doesn-t want .u+lished/ I +elie,e there was some
famous news-.a.erman who said0 -If the .arties want it .u+lished0 it-s not news/ If
they try to "ee. it out of the .a.er0 then it-s news/- 8
8$nd are you oin to try to "ee. somethin out of the .a.er98 she as"ed/
$+ru.tly he was serious/ 8'es0 I-m afraid I-m oin to de.ri,e you of a #hoi#e item
for your #olumn7e,en if I ha,e to o dire#t to E/ B/ %alsey to do it/8
8The date you ha,e here toniht98
%e rearded her with frownin a..raisal/ 8)ow0 wait a minute0 Miss Castle/ Why
are you here98
She met his eyes/ 8I re#ei,ed an anonymous ti. that you and Stella !ynn were oin
to +e here toniht/ I thouht I-d dro. in0 #o,er the niht#lu+0 and .i#" u. a
-.ersonal- that would +e7well0 interestin7to a lot of .eo.le at the offi#e/8
8'ou mean amusin98
8Well0 if we-re oin to +e te#hni#al a+out it0 amusement is a form of interest/8
Eim+erly was thouhtful/ 8'ou-,e dou+tless heard the ni#"-name -Miss Clea,ae0-
8 he said at lenth/
Pey started to lauh0 and then at somethin in his tone #auht herself/
8I-,e "nown her for fi,e years08 Eim+erly went on/ 8Enew her +efore she #ame to
wor" here0 "new her +efore she won that +eauty #ontest/ She-s a ood "id/8
8I-m sorry08 Pey said/ 8I78
8'ou don-t need to +e/ I understand/ She7I don-t "now0 I
uess she-s an e4hi+itionist/ She has that #om.le4/ Just as some .eo.le li"e to sin0
Stella li"es to show her #ur,es/ She-s .roud of them/ But she-s a ood "id/8
Pey said0 8I didn-t reali2e that there was anythin seri-ous78
8There isn-t/8
8I "now0 +ut what I-m tryin to say is that I don-t thin" there-s anyone in the
#om.any who reali2es that you-,e "nown her so lon/ 'ou are0 of #ourse7well0
elii+le/ I uess e,ery+ody li"es Stella0 +ut .eo.le wouldn-t e4.e#t you two to +e
ha,in a date/8
$+ru.tly he said0 8I li"e her0 +ut this isn-t a date0 and I-m worried/8
8What do you mean98
%e said0 8$s you .ro+a+ly "now0 my 1o+ is .retty di,ersified/ If an a#tress re.orts
she-s lost fifty thousand dollars- worth of 1ewels0 or #laims that someone ot into her
a.artment and stole a hundred-thousand-dollar ne#"la#e0 it-s u. to me to
in,estiate/ I handle the +urlary-insuran#e di,ision of WE3I0 and that ties in with
a lot of thins/8
She nodded0 her senses alert/
8Stella #alled me on the tele.hone this mornin/ To a..re-#iate the sinifi#an#e of
that you must reali2e that Stella has always had an e4aerated idea of the
im.ortan#e of my .osi-tion/ This is0 I thin"0 the first time she has e,er #alled me0
and she #alled me durin offi#e hours/8
Eim+erly .aused and lan#ed sear#hinly at her/ Pey "e.t her fa#e e4.ressionless/
8Well08 he went on0 8she told me that she had to see me toniht on a terri+ly
im.ortant matter/ She as"ed me where we #ould meet/ I said I-d +e lad to see her at
any time or .la#e0 and she said it must +e some .la#e where the meetin would seem
to +e a##idental/ So I suested the &oyal Pheasant/ She said this would +e all riht
and that she-d +e here at nine- thirty on the dot/8
8She was to meet you here98
8'es/ I offered to #all for her at her a.artment/ She said I
mustn-t o near her .la#e0 that she was in a ti#"lish situation0 and that I should meet
her here/ If she was with someone I was to .retend it was an a##idental meetin/ She
.romised to +e here +y nine-thirty shar./ I-m worried/8
8I didn-t "now0 and I uess no one else did0 that you were friends/8
8There-s no .arti#ular se#ret a+out it/ Stella thouht it would +e +etter if we didn-t
.ro#laim it from the houseto.s/ 'ou see0 she may +e an e4hi+itionist0 +ut she has a
deli#ately ad1usted sense of ,alues0 and she-ll ne,er let a friend down/ She-s a ood
"id/ She-s o,ersensiti,e a+out the differen#e in our .ositions at the .la#e/8
8I ta"e it you ot her the 1o+98
8)o0 I didn-t/ I don-t "now who did/ I ran into her in the el-e,ator one afternoon/
She told me she had +een wor"in there for two wee"s/ I offered to +uy her a drin"/
She told me she re-ali2ed I was u. in the hih +rass and she was only in the filin
de.artment/ She said she wanted me to "now she-d ne,er em-+arrass me/
8It-s thins li"e that a+out Stella that ma"e you li"e her/ She-s so natural0 always so
.erfe#tly fran" and easy/ !oo" here0 Miss Castle0 I-m worried a+out her/ I-m oin
u. to her a.art-ment and ma"e sure she-s all riht/ It miht +e a ood thin if you
#ame alon/8
8Perha.s she-s 1ust late and78
8)ot Stella/ She-d ha,e .honed if she-d +een detained/ Waiter0 let-s ha,e a #he#"0
.lease/8
Pey didn-t tell him she had had no dinner/ She merely nodded and a,e him a
smile she ho.ed was reassurin/ 8I-ll +e lad to o with you08 she said0 8+ut I
thouht Stella told you that you mustn-t o to her a.artment/8
8That-s riht0 +ut I thin" that with you with me it-ll +e all riht/ We-ll say you and I
had a date for toniht7that we-re toether/ $nd anythin you may find out isn-t for
.u+li#ation/ Come on0 let-s o/8
The a.artment house was ornate in front +ut rather sha++y alter one had .assed the
foyer/ $lmost me#hani#ally *on
Eim+erly fitted a "ey to the front door0 o.ened it0 es#orted Pey throuh the foyer0
+a#" to the automati# ele,ator0 and .un#hed the +utton for the fifth floor/
8'ou ha,e7a "ey98 she as"ed/
8*on-t +e silly/ That-s the "ey to my own a.artment house/ $lmost any "ey will fit
these outer doors/8
Pey "new that was so0 "new also that *on Eim+erly hadn-t so mu#h as hesitated
or tentati,ely tried his "ey/ %e had fitted it to the lo#"0 turned it with #om.lete
assuran#e0 and one on in without .ausin/
She found herself wonderin whether this was the first time he had tried his own
"ey in that lo#"/ The fa#t that she hated herself for ha,in the thouht didn-t erase it
from her mind/
Then the rattlin ele,ator #ame to a sto./ Eim+erly held the door o.en for her and
slid the steel door of the ele,ator shut +ehind him/ 8*own to your left08 he said/
83i,e nineteen/8
She turned left0 and Eim+erly0 #at#hin u. with her0 .ushed the +ell +utton of
$.artment B5C/
They #ould hear the sound of the +u22er +ut no sound of motion/
Eim+erly waited a few moments0 then tried the door/ The "no+ turned0 the door
o.ened0 and Pey0 loo"in in0 saw a well-ordered0 .lainly furnished a.artment/
8$ny+ody h-ome98 Eim+erly #alled/
Pey #lut#hed his arm/
8What is it98 he as"ed/
8That #oat o,er the #hair/8
8What a+out it98
8It-s a #oat she-d ha,e worn oin out for the e,enin/ Why would she ha,e left it
here98
She .ointed to a swinin door that e,idently led to a "it#hen/ %er ,oi#e sounded
hih-.it#hed with e4#itement/ 8!et-s ma"e sure she isn-t here/8
Eim+erly .ushed +a#" the swinin door/ Pey0 who was standin where she #ould
see throuh the half-o.en door0 a,e an e4#lamation/
The sto#"ined les of a irl were s.rawled out on the floor/ $ +ottle of whis"ey was
on the side of the sin"/ $ lass had rolled from the irl-s lim. finers0 lea,in a trail
of li6uid alon the linoleum/ The fiure was attired in a stra.less +ra0 a ,oluminous
.etti#oat0 shoes0 and sto#"ins/
Eim+erly suddenly lauhed and #alled0 8Stella0 #ome on0 wa"e u.: 'ou-,e missed
the +oat:8
The woman didn-t mo,e/
Pey0 mo,in forward0 noti#ed the .e#uliar #olor of the irl-s s"in/ She dro..ed
swiftly to her "nees0 .i#"ed u. the lim. hand0 and suddenly dro..ed it/ 8She-s
dead/8
8What98
8*ead/ It must ha,e +een her heart/8
Eim+erly said0 8Call a do#tor/8
Pey said0 8$ do#tor won-t hel./ She-s dead/ Just tou#h her0 and you-ll "now she-s
dead/ We-d +etter78
8Better what98
8Better #all the .oli#e/8
Eim+erly hesitated/ 8What-s that on her le98
Pey loo"ed at the irl-s riht le/ $tta#hed to the reinfor#ed to. of the sheer nylon
sto#"in was a +eautiful +utterfly .in with diamonds0 ru+ies0 and emeralds i,in a
s.lash of litterin #olor/
8Good hea,ens08 Eim+erly e4#laimed0 8how in the world did she et that98
8Why0 what a+out it98 Pey as"ed0 reali2in that Eim- +erly-s fa#e had turned
white/
8E,er hear of the Garrison 1ewel theft98 he as"ed/
8Who hasn-t98
8(ur #om.any insured the Garrison 1ewels/ We-re stu#" to the tune of two hundred
and fifty thousand dollars7and that +utterfly loo"s e4a#tly li"e the famous
Garrison +utterfly/ )ow0 how in the world did Stella et that98
Pey unfastened the +utterfly .in and dro..ed it into her .urse/ 8It won-t do any
ood to ha,e the .oli#e find that08 she said/
8!oo" here08 Eim+erly .rotested/ 8'ou #an-t do that/ It may +e e,iden#e/8
8(f what98
8I don-t "now/ I only "now you #an-t do that/8
8I-,e already done it/8
8But7loo" here0 let-s #all a do#tor and7we don-t need to wait/ !et the do#tor do
whate,er-s ne#essary/8
Pey said0 8It-s a 1o+ for the .oli#e/ *o you noti#e that froth on her li.s9 $nd
there-s an odor that I ha,e +een tryin to .la#e/ )ow I "now what it is/8
8What do you mean0 an odor98
8Bitter almonds/ That means #yanide/ So does the #olor of the s"in/8
%e loo"ed at her du+iously/ 8'ou seem to "now a lot a+out 7sui#ides/8
8I do08 Pey said/ 8I-,e done news.a.er wor"/ )ow0 sin#e we-re already in it this
dee.0 let-s ta"e a loo" around/8
8What for98
8To .rote#t oursel,es/ !et-s ma"e #ertain there are no more #or.ses0 for one thin/8
She mo,ed swiftly a+out the a.artment0 her 6ui#" eyes drin"in in details/
8If this is sui#ide0 what you-re doin is .ro+a+ly hihly ille-al08 he said/
8$nd if it-s murder98
8Then it-s dou+ly illeal/8
She said nothin0 mo,in 6uietly around the rooms/ %er lo,ed hands o##asionally
tou#hed some o+1e#t with the reat-est #are0 +ut for the most .art her hands were at
her sides/
There was an odor of raw whis"ey a+out the .la#e0 .erha.s from the s.illed drin"
in the "it#hen/ %owe,er0 this odor was stroner in the +athroom/
Pey dro..ed to her "nees on the tiled floor0 .i#"ed u. a small sli,er of lass0 then
another/ She let +oth sli,ers dro. +a#" to the tiles/
In the +edroom0 the dress Stella was to ha,e worn was
s.read out on the +ed/ The .lunin ne#"line seemed to o nearly to the waist/
Eim+erly0 loo"in at the ;-sha.ed o.enin in the front of the dress0 a,e a low
whistle/ 8Pey08 he said at lenth0 usin her first name easily and naturally0 8this is
oin to ma"e a stin"/ If it should +e murder7I don-t see how it #ould +e0 and yet
that-s what I-m afraid of/8
8Su..ose it-s sui#ide98 she as"ed/
8Then there wouldn-t +e too mu#h to it71ust a few lines on .ae two0 or .erha.s a
write-u. in the se#ond se#tion/ $nd (ld E/B/ hates +ad .u+li#ity/8
8$re you tellin me98
8Well0 then08 he said0 8do you thin" we really ha,e to notify the .oli#e9 Can-t we
1ust #all a do#tor and lea,e98
8*o you want to +e sus.e#t num+er one in a murder #ase98 she as"ed/
8%ea,ens0 no:8
8'ou-re filin nomination .a.ers riht now with that sort of tal"/ There-s the .hone/
Call the .oli#e/8
%e hesitated/ 8I-d li"e to "ee. us out of it altoether/ Sin#e she-s dead0 there-s
nothin we #an do78
Pey wal"ed to the .hone0 dialed the o.erator0 as"ed for .oli#e head6uarters0 and
almost immediately heard a +oomin mas#uline ,oi#e answer the .hone/
Pey said0 8My name is Castle/ I wish to re.ort a death/ We 1ust found a +ody
under ,ery odd #ir#umstan#es and78
8Where are you98
Pey a,e the address/
8Wait there08 the ,oi#e said/ 8*on-t tou#h anythin/ Be on the loo"out for a s6uad
#ar/ I-ll et in tou#h with the dis.at#her/8
The two offi#ers were ,ery #onsiderate/ They listened to the s"et#hy story Eim+erly
told0 the story that ,ery #arefully left out all referen#e to Pey-s sus.i#ion of .oison0
and re#ounted +arely the fa#ts that Stella !ynn was a 8friend of theirs08 that they
had #alled on her at her a.artment0 had found the door
o.en0 wal"ed in0 and dis#o,ered her +ody on the floor they didn-t "now e4a#tly what
the .ro.er .ro#edure was under the #ir#umstan#es +ut felt they should notify the
.oli#e/
The .oli#e loo"ed around a +it0 nodded saely0 and then one of them #alled the
#oroner/
Pey ,entured with some hesitation0 8$re you7ha,e you any ideas of what #aused
death98
8'ou thin"in of sui#ide98 =
She hesitated/ 8I #an-t hel. wonderin whether it miht ha,e +een her heart/8
8%ad she +een des.ondent or anythin98
8I didn-t "now her that well08 Pey said0 8+ut I ather she had rather a ha..y
dis.osition/ But7well0 noti#e the foam on the li.s0 the .e#uliar #olor of her s"in78
The offi#er shrued/ 8We aren-t thin"in0 not riht now/ We-re followin rules and
ta"in statements/8
There followed an inter,al of waitin/ Men #ame and went0 and e,entually the
%omi#ide S6uad arri,ed with a .hotora-.her to ta"e .i#tures of the +ody0 and a
dete#ti,e to 6uestion Pey and Eim+erly in detail/
Eim+erly told his story first/ Sin#e it did not o##ur to anyone to e4amine them
se.arately0 Pey0 after hearin *on-s hihly enerali2ed ,ersion of the e,enin-s
a#ti,ities0 #onfined herself to the +are essentials/ The offi#ers seemed to ta"e it for
ranted that she had +een *on Eim+erly-s date0 and that followin dinner they had
dro..ed in at Stella !ynn-s a.artment sim.ly +e#ause they were friends and
+e#ause Stella !ynn wor"ed in the same offi#e/
*on Eim+erly dro,e her home/ Pey ho.ed he would o.en u. with some additional
e4.lanation0 +ut he was #om.etely .reo##u.ied with his thouhts and the .ro+lem
of dri,in throuh the e,enin traffi#0 so it +e#ame ne#essary for Pey to +rin u.
the su+1e#t/
8'ou told your story first08 she said0 8so I had to +a#" your .lay0 +ut 5 thin" we-,e
#arried it far enouh/8
8What do you mean98
8The .oli#e assumed I was your date for the e,enin/8
8Well0 what-s wron with that9 We #an-t hel. what they as-sume/8
8Then I-ll draw you a diaram08 Pey said im.atiently/ 8I thin" Stella !ynn was
murdered/ thin" it was #arefully .lanned0 #old-+looded0 deli+erate murder0
#unninly #on#ei,ed and ruthlessly #arried out/ I thin" the .oli#e are oin to
in,estiate enouh to find that out/ Then they-re oin to as" you to tell your story
in reater detail/8
%e slowed the #ar until it was +arely #rawlin/ 8$ll riht08 he said0 8what-s wron
with my story9 'ou and I were at the &oyal Pheasant/ We ot to tal"in a+out Stella
!ynn/ We de-#ided to run in and see her/ We78
8E,erythin is wron with that story08 she interru.ted/ 8In the first .la#e0 someone
"new you were oin to the &oyal Pheasant to meet Stella/ That someone sent me an
anonymous letter/ Moreo,er0 if the .oli#e #he#" with the headwaiter0 they-ll learn
that I #ame in alone0 usin my .ress #ard0 and that you #ame in later/8
$+ru.tly he swun the #ar to the #ur+ and shut off the motor/
8What time did you et that anonymous letter98
8In the afternoon mail/8
8What +e#ame of it98
8I tore it into small +its and dum.ed it into the waste- +as"et/8
%e said0 8Stella didn-t wor" today/ She ran u. and told the .ersonnel manaer she
wouldn-t +e at the offi#e/ $+out ten- thirty she ran me u. and as"ed me what our
.oli#y would +e on .ayin out a reward for the re#o,ery of all the ems in the
Garrison 1o+/8
8What did you tell her98
8I told her it made a reat deal of differen#e with whom we were dealin/ 'ou "now
how those thins are/ It-s our .oli#y ne,er to reward a thief/ If we did0 we-d +e in the
.osition of fen#in .ro.erty that had first +een stolen from our own
#lients/ But if a man i,es us a leitimate ti. and that ti. leads to the re#o,ery of
insured .ro.erty0 we are0 of #ourse0 willin to .ay0 and .ay enerously/8
8'ou told her that98
8'es/8
8What did she say98
8She told me she thouht she had some information on the Garrison #ase that would
interest me/ I told her that on a +i 1o+ li"e that hundreds of false leads were
floatin around/ She told me that she #ould show me e,iden#e that would .ro,e she
was dealin with .eo.le who "new what they were tal"in a+out/8
8That08 Pey said0 8would a##ount for the 1eweled +ut-terfly/8
8'ou mean that was to +e my assuran#e I was dealin with the riht .eo.le98
8That was the start of it0 +ut I thin" it has an added si-nifi#an#e now/8
8What98
8'ou are thin"in Stella ran into daner +e#ause she was oin to tell you
somethin a+out the Garrison 1ewels/ )ow0 let-s su..ose you are riht0 and she was
"illed +y the 1ewel thie,es/ They-d ne,er ha,e left that 1eweled +utterfly on her
sto#"in/ $ll those ru+ies0 emeralds0 and diamonds: It must +e worth a small
fortune/8
%e thouht that o,er/
8$nd08 Pey went on0 8if she-d +een "illed +y an intruder or a +urlar0 he-d
naturally ha,e ta"en the +utterfly/ So it adds u. to the fa#t that her death must ha,e
+een unrelated to that Garrison 1o+ and must ha,e +een #aused +y someone who
was so an4ious to ha,e her out of the way the o..ortunity to steal the +utterfly
meant nothin/8
-JlfT
%e loo"ed at her with sudden res.e#t/ 8Say0 you-re a loi#al little #uss/8
i /J---- IJl ,
She said0 8That-s not what women want/ When men .raise their +rains it-s almost a
slam/ $ woman would far rather +e "nown as a lamour .uss than as a thin"er/
!et-s #he#" on our


8(i"
mmm-
story a little further/ Stella tele.honed you this mornin0 and it was you who
suested the &oyal Pheasant98
8That-s riht/ Surely you don-t dou+t my statement/8
8I don-t dou+t your statement/ I dou+t your #on#lusions/8
8What do you mean98
8If you told me that two and three added u. to ten08 she said0 8I wouldn-t +e
dou+tin your statement0 I-d +e dou+tin your #on#lusions/ 'ou miht a#tually ha,e
ten as an answer / and "now that the fiures you had in mind #onsisted of two and
three0 +ut the total of those fiures wouldn-t +e ten/8
8$..arently you want to .oint out that there-s a fa#tor I-,e missed somewhere0 that
there-s an e4tra fi,e I don-t "now a+out/8
8E4a#tly08 she said/
8$nd what ma"es you thin" there-s this e4tra fi,e9 What ha,e I missed98
8The anonymous letter I re#ei,ed in the afternoon mail had +een .ostmar"ed at
fi,e-thirty P/M/yesterday/ If you are the one who suested the &oyal Pheasant0 how
did someone "now yesterday that you and Stella were to ha,e a date there toniht98
8$ll riht0 let-s o08 he told her/ 8There-s a .ossi+ility the 1anitor hasn-t #leaned u.
in your offi#e/ We-re oin to ha,e to find that letter0 .ut the torn .ie#es toether0
and re#onstru#t the .ostmar" on that en,elo.e/ There-s also the .ossi+ility that your
totals are all wron and the .ostmar" was a #le,er forery/ %ow #ome you noti#ed
it98
8Be#ause <n#le Benedi#t told me if you e,er wanted to et anywhere you had to
noti#e details/8
8Who-s <n#le Benedi#t98
8%e-s the +la#" shee. of my family0 the one who made his li,in +y78 $+ru.tly she
+e#ame silent/ She reali2ed all too "eenly that she #ouldn-t tell *on Eim+erly a+out
her un#le Benedi#t/ There were only a few .eo.le she #ould tell a+out him/
Eim+erly sined +oth names to the reister and said to the
1anitor0 8!et-s o u. to E/ B/ %alsey-s offi#e0 .lease0 and ma"e it sna..y/ *o you
"now whether that offi#e has +en #leaned98
8Sure it has/ We +ein on that floor/ That-s the +rass-hat floor/ They-re always out
+y fi,e o-#lo#"/ Some of the other floors are later78
8$nd you-re #ertain %alsey-s offi#e has +een #leaned u.98
8Sure/ I did it myself/8
8'ou em.tied the waste+as"et98
8'es/8
8$ll riht0 we ha,e to et that stuff/ There was somethin in the waste+as"et/ Where
is it now98
The man rinned as he +rouht the ele,ator to a sto./ 8The stuff that was in that
waste+as"et is smo"e +y this time/8
8'ou in#inerated it98
8Sure/8
8I thouht you sometimes sa,ed it for a #entral .i#"u./8
8)o more we don-t/ We +urn it u./ E,erythin in the waste- +as"ets is +urned riht
here in the +uildin/ That-s E/ B/ %alsey-s orders/ *on-t let anythin o out/8
They hurried to E/ B/ %alsey-s offi#e/ $s the 1anitor had told them0 it had +een
#leaned/ The s6uare mahoany-#olored waste+as"et in Pey Castle-s se#retarial
offi#e was #om.letely free of .a.er/ There was a folded s6uare of #ard+oard in the
+ottom0 and Pey .ulled it out in the ,ain ho.e that some frament of the letter
miht ha,e wor"ed down +eneath it/
There was nothin/
8I uess that-s it08 Eim+erly said/
8Wait a minute08 she told him/ 8I ha,e a hun#h/ The way that 1anitor loo"ed when
he said the .a.ers had +een +urned 7#ome on/8
The 1anitor e,idently had +een e4.e#tin their rin +e#ause he +rouht the #ae u.
6ui#"ly/
8$ll done98 he as"ed/
8)ot 6uite08 Pey said/ 8We want to o down to the +asement/ I want to see where
you +urn those .a.ers/8
8It-s 1ust an ordinary in#inerator/ Mr/ %alsey said that he wanted all .a.ers +urned
on the .remises0 and78
8I-m #he#"in08 Pey said/ 8It-s somethin im.ortant/ I thin" Mr/ %alsey will want
a re.ort tomorrow/8
8(h/8
The 1anitor sto..ed the #ae at the +asement and said0 8&iht o,er to the left/8
Pey all +ut ran down the .assaeway to where se,eral +i #lothes +as"ets were
sta#"ed in front of an in#inerator/ Two of the #lothes +as"ets were almost full/
8What-s this98
8S#ra.s that we ha,en-t +urned yet/8
8I thouht you told me e,erythin had +een +urned/8
8Well0 e,erythin from your offi#e/8
8%ow do you "now what offi#e these #ame from98
The man fideted un#omforta+ly/ 8Well0 I thin" that these two #ame from the lower
floors/8
Pey nodded to Eim+erly0 then u.set the entire #ontents of the +as"ets on the floor
and started .awin throuh them0 throwin to one side the en,elo.es0 #ir#ular
letters0 news.a.ers0 s#rat#h .a.er7all the odds and ends that a##umulate in a +usy
offi#e/
8We don-t need to loo" throuh anythin that isn-t torn08 she said to Eim+erly/ 8I
tore this letter u. into fine .ie#es/ $nd you don-t need to +other with anythin that-s
ty.ewritten/ This was written in in" in lonhand/8
They tossed the larer .ie#es +a#" into the #lothes +as"ets/ When they had sifted the
whole thin down to the smaller .ie#es0 Pey suddenly a,e a trium.hant
e4#lamation/ 8This is .art of it08 she said0 holdin u. a trianular se#tion of .a.er/
8Then here-s another .art08 Eim+erly said/
8$nd here-s another/8 She .oun#ed on another .ie#e/
Eim+erly found a fourth/ 8This .ie#e has .art of the .ostmar" on it08 he said0
fittin it toether with the other .ie#es/ 8Gosh0 you were riht/ It-s .ostmar"ed
yesterday at fi,e-thirty/ But I tell you no one "new7-=-
Pey #auht his eye0 lan#ed sinifi#antly at the 1anitor0 who was wat#hin them
with an e4.ression of .u22led s.e#ulation/
Eim+erly nodded and thereafter de,oted his eneries entirely to the sear#h/
$t last they were finished with the final s#ra. of .a.er on the floor/ By this time they
had re#o,ered four .ie#es of the en,elo.e and si4 .ie#es of the letter/
8I uess that-s it08 Pey said/ 8!et-s o u. to the offi#e and .ut these toether/8
Ba#" in the offi#e0 with the aid of trans.arent ta.e0 they fitted the .ie#es into a
ho.elessly inade6uate re#onstru#tion of a letter that Pey now reali2ed was
undou+tedly destined to +e of the reatest interest to the .oli#e/
The writer of that letter0 Pey "new0 had it in her .ower to ma"e *on Eim+erly the
num+er one sus.e#t in the Stella !ynn murder/
Would the writer #ome forward9 She dou+ted it0 +ut she thouht it was li"ely that0
sin#e one anonymous letter had +een written to her0 another would +e written7+ut
this time to the .oli#e/
$nd Pey also reali2ed that +y fallin in with *on Eim- +erly-s hihly a+rided
a##ount of the e,enin-s a#ti,ities0 she had nominated herself as sus.e#t num+er two
if the .oli#e e,er should learn e4a#tly what had ha..ened/
Pey "new enouh of E0 B/ %alsey-s tem.erament to "now that her future at WE3I
de.ended on not lettin the .oli#e find out all that had ha..ened7at least for now/
E/ B/ %alsey0 at fifty-si40 .rided himself on his ere#t #arriae0 his "een eyes that
needed s.e#ta#les only for readin0 and his olf/
There were whis.ered stories a+out e4tra#urri#ular a#ti,ities/ $t times when he was
with #ronies whom he had "nown for years and whom he "new he #ould trust0 it was
understood (ld E/B/ #ould really let loose/ There were rumors of #ertain
wolfish tenden#ies he was su..osed to ha,e e4hi+ited on rare o##asion/
These last tenden#ies were the most dele#ta+le from the stand.oint of .owder-room
dis#ussion at WE3I0 and the hardest to ,erify/ (ld E/B/ was too shrewd e,er to et
#auht off +ase/ %e too" no #han#es on a re+uff0 and any amatory affairs he may
ha,e induled in were so #arefully mas"ed0 so s"illfully #amouflaed0 that the offi#e
rumors0 althouh .ersistent0 remained only rumors/
It was nine-thirty when E/B/ +ustled into the offi#e0 1er"ed his head in a 6ui#"0
s.arrowli"e esture0 and said0 8Good mornin0 Miss Castle08 and then .o..ed into
his .ri,ate offi#e/
Ten se#onds later he .ressed the +utton that summoned Miss Castle/
That was ty.i#al of the man/ %e had undou+tedly arri,ed an hour early so he #ould
as" what had ha..ened the niht +efore0 +ut it would ha,e +een #om.letely out of
#hara#ter for him to ha,e said0 8Good mornin0 Miss Castle/ Would you mind
ste..in into my offi#e98 %e would instead enter his offi#e0 #arefully .la#e his hat
on the shelf in the #oat #loset0 stand for a few se#onds in front of the mirror
smoothin his hair0 straihtenin his tie0 and then0 and only then0 would he settle
himself in the +i swi,el #hair at the .olished-walnut des" and .ress the mother-of-
.earl +utton that sounded Pey-s +u22er/
Pey .i#"ed u. her note+oo"0 entered the offi#e0 and seated herself in a #hair/
E/B/ wa,ed the note+oo" aside/ 8)e,er mind the note+oo"/ I want to as" you a few
6uestions/8
She lan#ed u. at him as thouh she hadn-t +een anti#i.atin this inter,iew for the
.ast ten hours/
8'ou were with Eim+erly last niht98
She nodded/
8That was a nasty .ie#e in the .a.er/ I don-t li"e to ha,e the #om.any-s name
+rouht into .rominen#e in #onne#tion
with thins of this sort/ $ #om.any em.loyee dead/ Body found +y two other
em.loyees who are out toether/ Possi+ility of murder/ It i,es the #om.any a lot of
+ad .u+li#ity/8
8I-m sorry08 she said/
%e #leared his throat/ 8)ow/ I "now you did news.a.er wor" +efore #omin here/8
8$ little0 on a small .a.er/8
8'ou ha,e sense/ I-m oin to et another se#retary/ 3rom now on you-re oin to +e
.u+li# relations #ounselor for this #om.any/ 'our first 1o+ is to see that there-s no
more +ad .u+li#ity of the sort that-s in the .a.ers this mornin/
8'our new .osition #arries with it a su+stantial in#rease in salary/ 'ou will0 of
#ourse0 "ee. on with your #olumn in the house oran/ I li"e the #hatty0 humorous
way you ma"e the offi#e ossi. interestin0 ma"e em.loyees sound im.ortant/
8)o0 no0 don-t than" me/ This a..ointment is in the nature of a trial/ I-ll ha,e to see
what you #an do to "ill the sort of tal" that we-re sure to et a+out Stella !ynn-s
death/ )ow tell me a+out what ha..ened last niht/ Tell it all0 e,ery detail/8
%e .aused0 .eerin at her o,er the to. of his lasses as thouh she were in some way
.ersonally res.onsi+le for Stella !ynn-s death/
Pey Castle told him a+out the anonymous letter0 a+out oin to the &oyal
Pheasant0 and her #on,ersation with *on Eim+erly/
8Then you weren-t with *on Eim+erly98 E/B/ as"ed/
8)ot in the sense of ha,in a date with him/8
8The .a.ers say you had a dinner date/ The .oli#e told me the same thin/8
8That was a mista"e/8
E/B/ .ursed his li.s/ 8Sin#e they thin" you and *on Eim+erly were on a date and
merely dro..ed in on Stella on a friendly #all0 I thin" it would +e +etter to let it stay
that way/8
8May I as" why98
8It-s +etter not to #hane a story that has a..eared in the .ress/ It .uts you in a +ad
.osition/8
8The mista"e was made +y the .oli#e in assumin we were out toether/8
E/B/ +eamed at her/ 8So that lea,es us with a #lear #ons#ien#e0 eh9 $ll riht0 we-ll
lea,e it that you and *on had a dinner date/8
8But that story won-t hold u./ The headwaiter "nows we didn-t #ome in toether/ So
do the ta+le waiters/8
E/B/ frowned0 then yielded the .oint relu#tantly/ 8;ery well0 then0 I su..ose you-ll
ha,e to tell them the truth/8
Pey waited/ She had said nothin of the 1eweled +utterfly she had ta"en from
Stella-s sto#"in/
E/B/ .ut the ti.s of his finers toether/ 8The .ie#es of the letter98 he as"ed/
8I ha,e them in my des"/8
8I thin" we-d +etter ta"e a loo"08 he said/
She +rouht them in to him/
8'ou-re sure these .ie#es are from the en,elo.e98
8'es/ 'ou #an see the handwritin is the same0 and this was the only handwritten
letter addressed to me in the afternoon mail/8
E/B/ thouhtfully .o"ed at the .ie#es of .a.er/
8%ow does Eim+erly e4.lain this letter98 he as"ed a+ru.tly/
8%e doesn-t/ %e #an-t/8
The tele.hone on E/B/-s des" ran shar.ly three times/
E/B/ .i#"ed u. the re#ei,er and said0 8'es0 E/ B/ %alsey/8
%e frowned for a moment0 then said0 8This #all should ha,e one to Miss Castle-s
des" in the ordinary way/ %owe,er7yes0 I understand / / / ;ery well0 I-ll see nim/
'es0 +rin him down here/8
%alsey hun u. the tele.hone and on#e more loo"ed at Pey o,er his lasses/ 8$
*ete#ti,e )elson is out there/ Enow anythin a+out him98
8)o/8
8%e wants to tal" with me/ The re#e.tionist +e#ame flustered and ran me
.ersonally/ The #all should ha,e one
throuh your offi#e/ %owe,er0 the damae is done now/ I don-t want to antaoni2e
the .oli#e in any way/ 'ou miht ste. out to re#ei,e him/8
She nodded and went to the re#e.tion room 1ust as the re#e.tionist held the door
o.en for E/B/-s ,isitor/
%e wasn-t the ty.e she had e4.e#ted/ %e miht ha,e +een a su##essful a##ountant or
a +ond salesman/ %e was slender0 6uietly dressed0 and when he s.o"e his ,oi#e was
melodious/
8I-m 3red )elson08 he said0 8from %ead6uarters/8
%e was holdin a #ard #ase in his hand as thouh e4.e#tin to +e #alled on to
.rodu#e #redentials/ %e e4hi+ited a old shield and a,e Pey a #ard0 a neatly
em+ossed #ard with a .oli#e shield in old in the u..er left-hand #orner/
8Mr/ %alsey is e4.e#tin you/8
8'ou-re his se#retary0 Miss Castle98
8That-s riht/8
8I thin" I want to see you +oth08 he said/ 8I +elie,e you and your es#ort dis#o,ered
the +ody/8
8I was with Mr/ Eim+erly/8
%e nodded/
8*o you wish to see Mr/ Eim+erly at the same time98 she as"ed/
%e shoo" his head/ 8Just you and Mr/ %alsey/8
8Will you ste. this way0 .lease/8
She ushered him into %alsey-s offi#e/ )elson shoo" hands with E/B/ and said0 8I too"
the li+erty of as"in your se#retary to remain durin the inter,iew0 Mr/ %alsey/8
E/B/ +eamed at him/ 8That-s fine/ Guite all riht/ Sit riht down/ $nythin we #an
do for you we-ll +e lad to do/ $ most unfortunate o##urren#e/ $lways hate to ha,e
these traedies/ We-re somethin li"e a +i family here and these thins #ut .retty
#lose to home/8
8'ou "new Miss !ynn on a .ersonal +asis0 then98 )elson as"ed/
E/B/-s steady eyes sur,eyed the dete#ti,e o,er the to. of his lasses/ %e hesitated for
a..ro4imately two se#onds0 as thouh
de+atin 1ust how to answer the dete#ti,e-s 6uestion0 then said #urtly0 8'es/8
8%ad you "nown Miss !ynn +efore she #ame to wor" here98
8That is the .oint I was a+out to +rin u.08 %alsey said/
8Go ahead/ Brin it u./8
8I "new Miss !ynn +efore she #ame to this #ity/ $s a matter of fa#t0 she as"ed me
a+out a .osition and I told her that I would +e lad to refer her to the head of our
Personnel *e.artment and suest that other thins +ein e6ual7you understand0
Mr/ )elson98
)elson nodded/
87other thins +ein e6ual08 %alsey went on0 8I-d li"e to ha,e her ta"en on/ (f
#ourse0 in a +usiness the si2e of this the Personnel *e.artment handles the entire
thin/ They "now the ,a#an#ies and the a+ilities that are re6uired/ They ha,e0 I
+elie,e0 tests for78
8The .oint is that you inter#eded for her with the Personnel *e.artment and Stella
!ynn ot a 1o+98
8That-s .uttin it in a rather .e#uliar way/8
)elson turned to Pey/ 8*id Stella !ynn seem to +e +roodin0 worried0
a..rehensi,e98
8I didn-t "now her well0 Mr/ )elson/ I saw her off and on and #hatted with her when
I saw her/ She was always #heerful/ I-d say she was .ro+a+ly the least li"ely
#andidate for sui#ide78
85 wasn-t thin"in a+out sui#ide/8
8Well0 a .erson doesn-t worry a+out murder/8
8I wasn-t thin"in a+out murder/8
E/B/ #leared his throat/ 8Well0 then0 may I as" what you were thin"in a+out98
)elson lan#ed at Pey Castle/ 8Somethin else08 he said/ 8Somethin Miss !ynn
#ould well ha,e worried a+out/8
8%ea,ens:8 Pey said im.atiently/ 8I understand Enlish0 and I understand the
fa#ts of life/ $re you tryin to tell us that she was .renant98
)elson nodded/
E/B/ .ut his el+ows on the des"0 his #hin in his hands/ 8Good !ord:8 he murmured/
8'ou seem u.set08 )elson said/
8%e-s thin"in of the ood name of the #om.any08 Pey e4.lained0 8of the
.u+li#ity/8
8(h0 I see08 )elson said in a dry ,oi#e/ %e turned to Pey/ 8I-d li"e to ha,e your
story0 Miss Castle0 riht from the +einnin/8
8There isn-t any story/ Mr/ Eim+erly and I de#ided to loo" in on Stella !ynn0 and we
found her lyin dead on the floor/ We #alled the .oli#e/8
8That #ertainly is a su##in#t statement08 )elson said/
8I don-t "now how I #ould ela+orate on it/8
8'ou didn-t "now Stella !ynn well98
8)ot .arti#ularly well0 no/8
8%ow did it ha..en that you went to #all on her0 then98
8It was Mr/ Eim+#rly-s suestion/8
8$nd why did he want to #all on her last niht98
She said0 8I-m afraid Mr/ Eim+erly doesn-t thin" it ne#essary to #onfide in me/8
8Perha.s he-ll +e a little less reti#ent with me8 )elson said/
8Perha.s/8
)elson turned toward the door/ 8Well0 I 1ust wanted to find out what you "new
a+out Stella !ynn-s +a#"round08 he said/ 8I-ll tal" with Eim+erly0 and then I-ll +e
+a#"/8
%e wal"ed out without a word of farewell/
$s the door #losed0 E/B/ .i#"ed u. the tele.hone and said to the re#e.tionist0 8$
man +y the name of )elson is lea,in my offi#e/ %e wants to see Mr/ Eim+erly/ I
want him to +e delayed until I #an et Eim+erly on the .hone and7 What-s that9 / /
/ (h0 I see / / / Well0 that e4.lains it/ $ll riht/8
E/B/ hun u.0 loo"ed at Pey0 and said0 8That-s why he didn-t as" to ha,e
Eim+erly in on our #onferen#e/ Mr/ Eim+erly is not in the offi#e this mornin/ )o
one seems to "now where he is/8
%e .aused for a moment0 diestin that information0 then
said0 8(f #ourse0 that is a tem.orary e4.edient/ It i,es him a #ertain marin of
time7I noti#e you didn-t tell *ete#ti,e )elson a+out that letter0 Miss Castle/8
8I #ouldn-t/8
8Why not98
8It doesn-t fit in with Eim+erly-s ,ersion of what ha..ened/ Eim+erly says Stella
!ynn #alled him u. around ten-thirty in the mornin and told him that she had to
see him/ %e-s the one who suested the &oyal Pheasant/ /'et this letter0 whi#h was
.ostmar"ed the day +efore0 informed me that Eim+erly
and Stella !ynn were oin to +e dinin at the &oyal Pheas-
/
ant/
E/B/ rearded Pey thouhtfully for a moment/ 8'ou ha,e a remar"a+ly shrewd
mind0 Miss Castle/8
She flushed/ 8Than" you/8
8)ow0 1ust what do you ha,e in your mind98
She said0 8Stella !ynn-s des"/ I-d li"e to #lean it out/ She-ll ha,e some .ri,ate stuff
in there/ I-d li"e to loo" throuh it +efore the .oli#e do/ )o one has said anythin
a+out78
8$ s.lendid idea08 E/B/ said/ 8Get +usy/ $nd don-t tell me what you-re doin/ I-d
.refer not to "now all the ste.s you-re ta"in/ That des"0 for instan#e/ In #ase you
should find a diary or somethin7well0 you-ll "now what to do/8
E/B/ rearded her o,er the to.s of his lasses/ 8I-m sure you-ll "now what to do/8
Pey .la#ed a #ard+oard #arton on to. of Stella !ynn-s des" and +ean to #lean out
the drawers0 fully reali2in that the ty.ists at the ad1oinin des"s were ma"in a
surre.titious #he#" on all her a#tions/
There was an old maa2ine0 a .air of #omforta+le shoes to +e worn at wor"0 a .a.er
+a #ontainin a .air of new nylons0 a re#ei.t for rent on her a.artment0 a small
#amera in a #ase0 and a half-em.ty .a#"ae of tissues/
There was no diary/ But the drawers were in disarray0 as if they miht ha,e +een
hurriedly sear#hed at an earlier hour/
Pey wondered what had led E/B/ to +elie,e there miht

+e a diary in the des"/ She dum.ed the #ontents of the des" into the #arton0 tied the
#arton with hea,y strin0 and then0 with a #rayon0 .rinted the name Stella !ynn on
the side/ %a,in done all this to im.ress the0 ty.ists at ad1oinin des"s0 Pey
#arried the #arton +a#" to her own offi#e/
When the door was safely #losed she o.ened the .a#"ae and ins.e#ted the #amera/
The fiure 8to8 a..eared throuh the little #ir#ular window on the +a#" of the
#amera0 indi#atin that nine .i#tures had +een ta"en/
Pey turned the "no+ until the roll had +een transferred to the ta"e-u. s.ool0
remo,ed it from the #amera0 and #arefully wi.ed off the #amera to remo,e her
finer.rints/ She sli..ed the #amera +a#" into its #ase0 . it the #ase into the #arton0
tied the #arton u. with strin0 and ste..ed to the door of E/B/-s .ri,ate offi#e/
She ta..ed on the door/ When she re#ei,ed no answer0 she tried the "no+ it turned
and she ently o.ened the door/ E/B/ was not in his offi#e/
She went +a#" to her des"/ $ .ie#e of .a.er that had +een .ushed under the +lotter
#auht her eye/ She .ulled it out/ It was a note from E/B/0 s#rawled hastily/
Miss Castle
$s soon as you left my offi#e I re#alled an urent matter that had es#a.ed my
attention in the e4#itement in#ident to the interru.tion of our reular mornin
.roram/ It is a matter of reatest im.ortan#e and must +e "e.t entirely
#onfidential/ I am wor"in on that matter and e4.e#t to +e out of the offi#e for some
time/ I will et in tou#h with you as soon as I ha,e a definite s#hedule/ In the
meantime I will +e una,aila+le/
It was sined with the initials E/B/
mm
Pey +atted her eyes and turned her most #harmin manner on Mrs/ Ma4well0 the
a.artment-house manaer/
8I #ertainly ho.e you don-t thin" I-m too houlish0 Mrs/ Ma4well0 +ut0 after all0 a
irl has to li,e/8
Pey loo"ed at it/ 8Well08 she said0 8Eim+erly and %alsey/ That ma"es it
unanimous/8
Mrs/ Ma4well nodded almost im.er#e.ti+ly0 studyin her ,isitor throuh narrowed
eyes around whi#h .ools of flesh had +een de.osited so that the eyes seemed to +e
a+out half normal si2e/ %er hair had +een dyed a +rilliant orane-red0 and her
#hee"s had +een roued too hea,ily/
8$.artments are so hard to et08 Pey went on0 8and0 of #ourse0 I read in the
.a.er a+out Stella !ynn-s unfortunate death/ So I "now that the a.artment is
untenanted0 and I "now that you-re oin to ha,e to rent it/ Some .eo.le miht +e
su.erstitious a+out mo,in into an a.artment of that sort0 +ut I definitely am not0
and0 well0 I thouht I-d li"e to +e the first a..li#ant/8
$ain the nod was all +ut im.er#e.ti+le/
8I-m not too well fi4ed08 Pey said/ 8I-m an honest wor"in irl0 and I don-t ha,e
any7.rote#tor7in the +a#"round0 +ut I do ha,e fifty dollars sa,ed u. that I-d
.lanned to use as a +onus in ettin e4a#tly the riht "ind of a.artment/ If this
a.artment suits me0 sin#e I wouldn-t ha,e any need for the +onus0 I-ll i,e it to you
in ratitude for the .ersonal in#on,enien#e of showin me the a.artment/8
This time the nod of the head was definitely more .ronoun#ed0 then Mrs/ Ma4well
said0 8My hands are tied riht at the moment/8
8In what way98
8I #an-t et in to show the a.artment/8
8(h0 surely you ha,e a "ey78
8The .oli#e ha,e .ut a seal on +oth doors0 front and +a#"/ They-,e +een loo"in for
finer.rints78
83iner.rints:8 Pey e4#laimed/ 8What do they e4.e#t to find out from
finer.rints98
8I don-t "now/ They-,e .ut .owder o,er the whole a.artment/ They-,e ordered me
to "ee. out/ They-,e sealed u. the doors so they #an-t +e o.ened without +rea"in
the seal/8
8Well0 you #an tell me a+out the a.artment98
8(h0 yes/8
8%ow a+out mil"98
8Mil" #an +e deli,ered at the +a#"/8
8$nd the #olle#tion of ar+ae and #ans98

8There are two re#e.ta#les0 one for #ans and lass0 one for ar+ae/ The ar+ae is
#olle#ted e,ery other day0 the #ans and lass twi#e a wee"/ The tenant has to de.osit
the material in re#e.ta#les on the round floor in the +a#"/8
8I +elie,e this a.artment is on the fifth floor08 Pey said/
8That-s riht/8
8I ha,e to wal" down fi,e flihts of stairs to78
83our flihts0 dearie/8
8Well0 four flihts of stairs to de.osit #ans and ar+ae98
8I-m sorry/ There isn-t any dum+waiter ser,i#e/8
8May I ta"e a loo" at the +a#" stairs98
8Certainly/ Just o throuh that dd+r at the end of the #orridor/ !oo" around all
you want0 dearie/8
When the oin ot touh0 Pey Castle sometimes a..ealed for hel. to her Great-
un#le Benedi#t/
Benedi#t Castle had li,ed a hihly #he#"ered #areer/ (ne of Pey-s earliest
memories was of hearin the mellifluous ,oi#e of <n#le Benedi#t reminis#ently
e4tollin the ,irtues of Benedi#t-s Body Builder/
8/ / / )ot a #hemi#al0 ladies and entlemen0 that tries to a#hie,e health +y whi..in
the worn lands0 the tired mus-#les0 the 1aded ner,es to reater and reater effort
untiliinally the whole ma#hine +rea"s down0 +ut a toni#0 ladies and entlemen0 that
hel.s Mother )ature renew worn lands0 #reate new #ells0 +uild new mus#les0 and
ma"e new +lood/ )ow0 who-s oin to +e the first to et one of these +ottles of
B/B/B/0 offered toniht not at the reular .ri#e of ten dollars0 not e,en at the half
.ri#e of fi,e dollars0 not at the s.e#ial ad,ertisin introdu#tory .ri#e of two dollars
and a half0 +ut at the ludi#rously low .ri#e of one dollar: (nly one dollar to +uild
the +ody into renewed health:8
8 ft
That had +een twenty years +efore/ Pey0 four years old0 had +een an or.han7too
youn to a..re#iate the traedy that had de.ri,ed her of +oth father and mother7
an or.han .i#"ed u. and raised as their own #hild +y <n#le Benedi#t and $unt
Martha/
r--HrT1--
=8riS--r9 J9: ;iI-

=J0 m

3B -
T%E JEWE!E* B<TTE&3!' BC
The days of the .atent-medi#ine ,ender had lon .assed0 +ut <n#le Benedi#t lo,ed
to re,iew the .atter he had used in his .rime0 the .atter that had ena+led him to
tra,el around0 li,in0 as he e4.ressed it0 8on the fat of the yo"els/8 It was +efore the
days of 3ederal Trade Commission su.er,ision0 the Pure 3ood and *ru $#t0 and
the in#ome ta4/
<n#le Benedi#t had had a horse-drawn ,an that +y day ser,ed as li,in 6uarters
and la+oratory0 at niht o.ened to .ro,ide a stae on whi#h his mai# finers
.erformed feats of sleiht of hand while his mai# tonue +rouht in a steady
stream of sil,er #oins on whi#h there was no in#ome ta4 and no ne#essity to a##ount
to anyone/
)o one "new how mu#h <n#le Benedi#t too" in/ %e went where he wished0 did what
he wished0 and s.ent his money as he wished/
When the .atent-medi#ine +usiness +ean to die0 other infinitely more lu#rati,e
fields o.ened u./ It was the era of minin sto#" and the wild#at oil s.e#ulator/
Gradually <n#le Benedi#t drifted into a an of #le,er shar.shooters0 a an in
whi#h <n#le Benedi#t was referred to as 8The Slee.er/8 )e,er was there another
man who #ould .ut on su#h a #on,in#in a#t of slee.in while his +all-+earin mind
was wor"in out .lans for flee#in su#"ers/
<n#le Benedi#t was at his +est in the #lu+ #ar of a trans#ontinental train/ %e-d sit
down0 drin" a +eer0 then let his head droo. forward in slum+er whi#h +e#ame ently
audi+le/ Peo.le sittin ne4t to him would dis#uss their +usiness affairs with enouh
detail so that <n#le Benedi#t #ould fiure out the #orre#t a..roa#h/
Then <n#le Benedi#t would i,e a #on,ulsi,e nod0 a rather loud snore0 wa"en with
su#h e,ident em+arrassment and loo" around him with su#h a .ani#-stri#"en
a.oloy for his snorin that the whole earful of .eo.le would s.ontaneously +rea"
into lauhter/
$fter that <n#le Benedi#t was riht at home/
Some ten years +efore0 twines of .ain had announ#ed the #omin of arthritis/
Gradually the lon0 slender finers that had +een a+le to deal #ards so #on,in#inly
from the +ottom of the de#"0 or .i#" .o#"ets with su#h #onsummate s"ill that a
wallet #ould +e lifted0 #arefully e4amined0 and returned to its .ro.er .la#e0 all
without the su#"er-s ha,in the faintest idea that he had +een 8#ased08 +ean to
thi#"en at the 1oints/
)ow <n#le Benedi#t0 #onfined to a wheel#hair0 do2ed throuh the twiliht of life0 his
mind as "eenly a#ti,e as e,er0 and e,en Martha0 his wife0 was una+le to tell when his
do2in was enuine slum+er or when he was merely "ee.in his old a#t in .ra#ti#e/
Those who had "nown <n#le Benedi#t ne,er forot him/ %is friends worshi.ed the
round he wal"ed on/ It was a matter of .oli#e re#ord that on three o##asions
su#"ers whom he had flee#ed had refused to .rose#ute0 statin .u+li#ly that they
,alued their +rief #om.anionshi. with <n#le Benedi#t far more than the money that
he had ta"en from them/
(ne of his ,i#tims had e,en one so far as to .la#e an ad in the .ersonal #olumn
readin *ear Benedi#t0 Come home/ $ll is fori,en/ We li"e you e,en if it did #ost us
money/ / / /
)ot e,en Martha "new the ramifi#ations of <n#le Benedi#t-s #onne#tions/ With a
.hotora.hi# memory for names0 fa#es0 and tele.hone num+ers0 <n#le Benedi#t
"e.t no written memoranda/ 3rom time to time he would arouse himself from what
seemed to +e a sound slee.0 send his wheel#hair s#urryin a#ross to the tele.hone0
dial a num+er0 and i,e #ry.ti# instru#tions/ (##asionally men #ame to the house0
men who rearded <n#le Benedi#t-s slihtest word as law0 men who shoo" hands
,ery ently so as not to +rin .ain to the thi#"ened 1oints0 men who left en,elo.es
#ontainin #ris. reen #urren#y/
The en,elo.es went in the waste+as"et0 the #urren#y went into <n#le Benedi#t-s
.o#"et/
8In#ome ta4:8 he-d snort0 when $unt Martha as"ed him a+out his +usiness affairs/
8'ou don-t .ay in#ome ta4 on ifts/ That-s a free-will offerin/8 $nd that was all
any+ody e,er ot out of him//
(nly on#e had he ela+orated/ %e e4.lained to Martha0 8I showed a man how to
ma"e some money/ I thouht out a s#heme/ I .i#"ed the one man who #ould .ut that
s#heme into o.eration/ When the s#heme .aid off he sent me a ift/ 'ou #ouldn-t
re.ort a ift li"e that to the in#ome ta4/ I didn-t e,en #ount the money/ That would
ha,e +een loo"in a ift horse in the mouth/ / / /8
$unt Martha answered Pey-s rin/ 8Why0 hello0 Pey/ What on earth are you
doin98
8I-m u. to my ne#"08 Pey said/
8I read in the .a.ers that you dis#o,ered the +ody of a irl who-d died from
.oison/8
8That-s riht/8
8Well0 for hea,en-s sa"e0 let-s not stand here assin/ Come on in/8
$unt Martha had for years +een <n#le Benedi#t-s 8assistant08 the assistan#e
#onsistin of wearin a .air of s"in-fittin +la#" tihts0 a s"irt that fell +arely +elow
the hi.s0 a .lunin ne#"line0 and a fi4ed smile/
When <n#le Benedi#t had #ome to the .oint in one of his e4hi+itions where it was
ne#essary to ma"e a swift su+stitution or a few .asses with the hand that he wanted
to +e in,isi+le to the audien#e0 Martha would 8s.ontaneously8 wile her hi.s0 the
fi4ed smile would +e#ome +roader and more animate0 and then the hi. motion
would swin into a rhythm of .ure ,i,a- #iousness/ $s <n#le Benedi#t used to
des#ri+e it0 8It a,e me the o..ortunity to do the tri#"0 +ut +y the time I-d ot it
done0 half of the audien#e 1ust didn-t i,e a damn/ They "e.t on wat#hin Martha-s
hi.s/8
8%ow-s the old warrior98 Pey as"ed/
$unt Martha loo"ed into the li,in room and said0 8%e-s sound aslee.0 or thin"in
out a new s#heme/ I ne,er "now whi#h/8
The Slee.er was sittin in his #hair0 head droo.in forward and slihtly to one side/
%e was ently snorin/ $+ru.tly he 1er"ed into #ons#ious wa"efulness0 #ho"in off
an e4tra loud snore in the middle/ %e loo"ed at Pey with e,ery sin of
em+arrassment/ 8Good !ord0 Pey0 how lon ha,e you +een here98
I@ E&!E ST$)!E' G$&*)E&
Pey "new from the sheer .erfe#tion of his a#t that the old Slee.er had merely
+een "ee.in in .ra#ti#e/ 9
8<n#le Benedi#t0 I-m in a .int of trou+le/8
8That ain-t so mu#h trou+le08 Benedi#t said/ I
8I-,e +een holdin out on the .oli#e/8 1
8Well0 why not9 'ou #an-t o around +la++in all you J "now/8
She told him the whole story0 and he listened #arefully/ 5 8What do you want98 he
as"ed when she had finished/ I
She said0 8In the #an re#e.ta#le for a.artment fi,e nineteen 5 are the +ro"en
remnants of a whis"ey +ottle/ I wart that sal-,aed +efore the #an #olle#tor ets it/ I
want to ha,e it .ro#-essed for finer.rints0 and then I want the latent .rints
.hotora.hed and .reser,ed so they #an +e used as e,iden#e at any time/8
8What else do you want98
8'our immoral su..ort/8
<n#le Benedi#t sent his wheel#hair lidin o,er to the tele-.hone/ %e dialed a
num+er0 waited0 then said0 8Geore98
%e waited a moment0 then a,e the address of the a.artment house where Stella
!ynn had li,ed/ 8There-s a +ro"en whis"ey +ottle in a al,ani2ed re#e.ta#le in the
+a#"yard with the num+er fi,e nineteen on the #an/ I want that +ro"en +ottle
#arefully .reser,ed/ *ust it for finer.rints/ 3i4 any .rints you find so they-ll stay
there a lon time/ I also want -em .hotora.hed/
8)ow0 you-d +etter ha,e some+ody with you to +e a witness in #ase you-re #alled on
to ma"e an identifi#ation of that +ot-tle/ 'our re#ord ain-t so ood/ / / / Who-s
that9 / / / 'es0 he-ll +e fine/ /// If any+ody says anythin0 flash a +ade showin you-re
a sanitary ins.e#tor0 and ma"e a "i#" a+out some of the reulations +ein +ro"en/ / /
/ That-s riht0 et them on the defensi,e/ / / / !et me "now when you ha,e it/ Good-
+y/8
<n#le Benedi#t hun u. and turned to Pey/ 8That-s ta"en #are of/ If you should
need anythin else0 let me "now/8
%is eyelids droo.ed and his head nodded/
T%E JEWE!E* B<TTE&3!' I3
Pey too" ela+orate .re#autions to see that no one was followin her and then
#alled for the .i#tures she had left for a rush 1o+/
In the .ri,a#y of her a.artment she studied the nine .i#tures and was utterly
disa..ointed/ (ne .i#ture at the +ea#h showed a handsome youn man in tiht
+athin trun"s/ %e had +lond wa,y hair0 an attra#ti,e smile0 and a manifi#ent
.hysi6ue0 +ut he meant nothin to Pey/
There was a shot of an automo+ile .ar"ed +y the +ea#h0 and two .i#tures of Stella
!ynn in a +athin suit that would ne,er ha,e .assed any #ensor anywhere at any
time/ The +athin suit had e,idently +een #on#o#ted +y "nottin three +andanas
#arefully arraned so they showed all the #ur,es of her fiure/ It was a suit that was
not intended to ha,e any #onta#t with the water/
There was a .i#ture showin the +a#" of an automo+ile0 with a youn man liftin
two suit#ases from the trun"/ $ series of small #a+ins with araes showed in the
+a#"round of this .i#ture/
Pey loo"ed for the li#ense num+er on the automo+ile/ <n-fortunately the man was
standin so that he #on#ealed all +ut the last three fiures7?I5/
Pey studied a .i#ture of a .ar"ed #ar with a stret#h of +ea#h in the +a#"round/
%ere aain there was no o..ortunity to et any .art of the li#ense num+er/ The #ar
was shown sideways/
There was a .i#ture of a .i#ni# lun#h s.read out on the +ea#h/ The youn man with
the slender waist and s6uare shoulders was seated #ross-leed/
The tele.hone ran0 and Pey answered it/
*on Eim+erly-s ,oi#e said0 8Than" hea,en I-,e #auht you0
Pey/8
8What-s the matter98
8I ot u. to the offi#e this mornin and learned that a .oli#e dete#ti,e was loo"in
for me/ I thouht we should find out a little more a+out that letter +efore I tal"ed
with anyone0 so I-,e +een hidin out0 +ut I didn-t want to hide out from you0
and I didn-t want you to thin" that I-d left you to stand the aff/ I-,e +een tryin to
et you all day/8
She felt a +i sure of relief/ 8(h0 that-s fine0 *on08 she said/ 8I-m lad you thouht
of me/ Where are you now98
8&iht at the moment08 he said0 8I-m at a .ay tele.hone/8
She said0 8I understand you-re 6uite a .hotora.her/8
8I do 6uite a +it of .hotora.hi# wor"0 yes/8
8I ha,e some films that I thin" should +e7well0 I thin" we should enlare one or
two of them/8
8Where did you et the films98
She was silent/
Eim+erly said0 8(h-oh0 I et it/8
8%ow lon will it ta"e to do it98
8%ow many are there98
8)ine/ But I thin" only two or three are im.ortant/8
8)othin to it08 he said/ 8We #ould ma"e enlarements 1ust as +i as you want0 or
.i#" out the .art of the film you wanted enlared0 and then we #ould o out to
dinner/ By the time we ot +a#"0 the enlarements would +e dry and we #ould study
them #arefully/8
8Could you do all that yourself98
8Sure/ I-m all fi4ed u. for it/ I-ll #ome around and et you/8
8$ll riht0 +ut i,e me half an hour to shower and dress/8
8Thirty minutes on the dot0 and I-ll +e there08 he said/
Pey hun u. and dashed for the shower0 e4.erien#in a .e#uliar feelin of
e4ultation that *on hadn-t left her to fa#e the .ro+lems alone/
*on Eim+erly showed Pey around his a.artment with a sense of .ride0 .ointin
out the framed .hotora.hs on the walls/
8'ou too" all these98 she as"ed/
8$ll of them08 he said/ 8I li"e dramati# #loud effe#ts/ 'ou #an see from these
.i#tures that I-,e one in for thunderheads and storms o,er the o#ean/ (f #ourse0
you deli+erately dramati2e that stuff +y o,er#orre#tin with a red filter0 +ut it i,es
you a sense of .ower0 of the sure of the elements0 of the for#es of nature/8
8It-s wonderful08 she said/ 8They-re7they-re +elie,a+le/ They-re true/ They
somehow sym+oli2e life/8
8I-m lad you li"e them/ Want to see the dar"room now98
8I-d lo,e to/8
8!et-s ta"e a loo" at those films0 Pey/8
She handed him the en,elo.e/ %e +rushed the .rints aside and studied the neati,es/
8Well08 he said0 8the irl used an e4.ensi,e #amera/8
8%ow do you "now without seein it98
8'ou #an tell +y the films08 he said/ 8The films are wire shar./ That means she had
a #ou.led rane finder and a hih- rade lens/ That-s why I li"e to loo" at neati,es
instead of .rints/ The neati,es tell the story/ !ots of times a #hea.er lens will i,e
you a warm +la#" that ma"es the .rint seem all riht0 +ut the minute you start to
+low it u. it fu22es out on you/ We-ll ma"e some enlarements riht away/8
8Where-s the dar"room98 she as"ed/
%e lauhed/ 8This is a +a#helor a.artment/ There was a +i .antry off the "it#hen0 a
lot +ier than I needed0 so I made it liht.roof0 installed runnin water0 and fi4ed
u. a dar"room/ Come on in and I-ll show you my wor"sho./8
%e led the way into the dar"room and showed Pey the two enlarin #ameras/
(ne of them used what he #alled 8#old liht08 and the other used #ondensers for
shar.ness of detail/
Eim+erly .oured #hemi#als into stainless-steel trays/ 8We-ll ha,e these .i#tures
enlared in a 1iffy/ Why so thouhtful0 Pey98
8Be#ause I want to as" you somethin that-s .ro+a+ly none of my +usiness/8
8What98
8'ou "now of Stella-s #ondition98
8'es/8
8Were you08 she as"ed0 8that is7were you78
8'ou mean am I the man in the #ase98
8'es/8
8)o/8 %e was silent for a few moments/ Then he added0 8I-,e "nown Stella for
years/ She was wor"in in a #afeteria when I first "new her/ She was a ood-
natured0 lo,a+le "id/ I saw her a few times/ Then someone .ut me on a #ommittee to
.i#" the 6ueen of some lo#al festi,ities/ There was a lineu. of a lot of irls in +athin
suits0 and to my sur.rise I saw Stella !ynn in the lineu./
8I don-t thin" the fa#t that I "new her influen#ed my 1udment/ $nyway0 I ,oted for
her0 and so did the other two 1udes/ She was ele#ted 6ueen of the outfit/ That was
three years ao/ She-s .ut on weiht sin#e then0 +ut at that time7 well0 she had a
ood fiure/8
8Go ahead08 Pey said0 then added0 8that is0 if you want to/8
8I want to/ I want you to "now what the situation was/ Stella ran me u. to than"
me for ,otin for her0 and I #onratulated her on winnin the #ontest on sheer merit/
Then I lost tra#" of her for a while/ Then she ran u. aain and said she wanted to
et away from the small town0 wanted to o to the #ity/ I athered there had +een a
heart+rea"/8
8That-s the .art I wanted to "now a+out08 Pey said/
8Why98
8Be#ause I-m tryin to re#onstru#t Stella-s life/8
8$#tually08 *on Eim+erly said0 8I don-t "now too mu#h a+out her +a#"round0
Pey/ *o you +elie,e that98
8(f #ourse/8
8There are some who won-t08 he said thouhtfully/ 8%owe,er0 to et +a#" to your
6uestion/ She was in lo,e with someone/ I don-t "now who he was0 +ut I ha,e an idea
he was a no- ood/ Stella wanted to et out of town/ She was .retty well +ro"en u.0
and she was +ro"e finan#ially/ I had to lend her money to #lean u. a few +ills she
had around Coffer,ille and hel. her et started on a new 1o+/ I had no idea her new
1o+ was in our #om.any until I met her there/8
8E/ B/ %alsey fi4ed that u. for her08 she said/
8I "now/ E/B/ "new her dad in Coffer,ille/ %e-s +een dead some fi,e years0 +ut E/B-/
"new him and li"ed him/8
8$nd "new her98
8$..arently/8
8%ow well98
8I don-t "now/ Stella ne,er tal"ed a+out her friends/ I-,e +een tryin to #onta#t E/B/
%e isn-t a,aila+le/8
8I "now/ This money you lent her0 *on7did she .ay it +a#"98
8'es/ Why98
8She needed a lum. sum/ 'ou a,e her a #he#"98
8'es/8
8But when she .aid you +a#" it must ha,e +een 1ust a little here and a little there in
#ash/8
8It was/8
8Then she didn-t ha,e anythin to show that she .aid you98
8$re you suestin I-d try to ma"e her .ay twi#e98
8I-m thin"in of the way the .oli#e will loo" at it08 she said/ 8The +an"s "ee.
re#ords on mi#rofilm of all #he#"s that .ass throuh their hands/8
8I "now08 he said #urtly0 and she #ould tell that he was worried/
The door+ell ran shar.ly0 insistently/
Eim+erly loo"ed at her in dismay/ 8I was ho.in we #ould ha,e a #han#e to et
toether on a story +efore7I-ll ha,e to answer it0 Pey0 .arti#ularly sin#e you-re
here/8
%e led the way out of the dar"room and o.ened the front door/
*ete#ti,e 3red )elson and a youn woman stood at the door/ 8%ello0 Eim+erly08
)elson said easily/ 8This is 3ran#es Bushnell7in #ase that means anythin to you/8
*on Eim+erly0 without in,itin them in0 said0 8%ow do you do0 Miss Bushnell/8
8It-s Mrs/ Bushnell08 )elson said/ 8We-re #omin in0 Eim+erly/8 %e .ushed .ast
Eim+erly0 saw Pey0 and said0 8Well0 well0 it seems the an-s all here/ Sit down0
fol"s/8 8Sin#e you-re .layin the .art of host08 Eim+erly said #oldly0 8.erha.s
you-d li"e to mi4 some drin"s98
8)ow0 "ee. your shirt on08 )elson told him/ 8This is +usiness/ I-m oin to +e +rief/
Mrs/ Bushnell was a #lose friend of Stella !ynn-s/ She and her hus+and and Stella-s
+oyfriend used to o out on foursomes/ Tell them a+out those foursomes0 3ran#es/8
3ran#es Bushnell seemed ill at ease/
8Go on08 )elson said0 8et it off your #hest/ *on-t .ull any .un#hes/ We may as well
find out where we stand now as later/8
8Well / / /8 Mrs/ Bushnell said0 and .aused to #lear her throat as thouh not 6uite
#ertain of herself0 8Pete0 that was my hus+and7he still is7and Stella0 and Bill
E,erett78
8)ow0 who is Bill E,erett98 )elson interru.ted/
8That was Stella-s +oyfriend/8
8$nd when was this98
8When she was in Coffer,ille0 wor"in in the #afeteria as #ashier/8
8$ll riht0 o ahead/8
8Well0 Pete and I and Stella and Bill used to o out on wee"ends toether/ We were
all friends/ Pete and I ot married/ I ot to "now Stella 6uite well/8
8What a+out this Bill uy98 )elson as"ed/
8%e turned out to +e no ood/ I thin" he ot into some trou+le somewhere/ I "now it
+ro"e Stella-s heart/ I thin" she was really fond of him/8
8%ow lon ao was this98
8$+out two years ao/8
8Then what98
8Pete and I ot married and #ame here to li,e/ When Stella #ame she loo"ed us u./ I
still "e.t in tou#h with her/8
8)ow0 when was the last time you saw her98
8'esterday afternoon/8
8Where98
8In a #o#"tail +ar on 3ifth Street/8
8'ou 1ust ha..ened to run into her0 or did you ha,e an a..ointment0 or what98
8It-s a sort of atherin .la#e/ Some of us irls who wor" in offi#es dro. in for a
little #hat and a #o#"tail/ Stella was there/8
8What did she say98
8Well0 we tal"ed for a while a+out this and that and I as"ed her if she wanted to
ha,e dinner with me and she said no0 that she had a dinner date with a Prin#e
Charmin who was ta"in her to a niht s.ot7that she had somethin to tell him
that was oin to 1olt him/8
8*id she tell you the man-s name98
8'es/8
8What was it98
8*on Eim+erly/8
8*id she tell you she was oin to let him "now he was a+out to +e#ome a father98
8She said she was oin to tell him somethin that was oin to 1olt him/8
)elson turned to Eim+erly/ 8Thouht you-d li"e to hear this08 he said/ 8In ,iew of
Mrs/ Bushnell-s story I thin" I-ll ta"e a loo" around7unless0 of #ourse0 you ha,e
some o+1e#tion/ If you do0 I-ll et a warrant and loo" anyway/8
8I see08 Eim+erly said sar#asti#ally/ 8The ood old .oli#e system/ If you #an-t sol,e
a #rime0 start tryin to .in it on someone/8
8Who said any+ody was tryin to .in anythin on you98
8'ou miht as well ha,e said it08 Eim+erly +la2ed/ 8Go riht ahead/ !oo" throuh
the .la#e/ I-ll 1ust o alon with you to ma"e sure you don-t .lant anythin/8
8)ow0 is that ni#e98 )elson as"ed/ %e ot u. and wal"ed around the li,in room0
then .ointed to a door and as"ed0 8What-s this98
8Bedroom08 Eim+erly said #urtly/
)elson went in/ The others followed him/ )elson loo"ed around0 o.ened the door of
the #lothes #loset0 #arefully studied
the #lothes0 loo"ed into the +athroom0 and a,e .arti#ular attention to the +ottles in
the medi#ine #a+inet/
Then he went into the "it#hen0 .ointed to another door0 and as"ed0 8What-s that98
8*ar"room/8
5 t B
)elson .ushed in/ The others stood in the doorway/ )elson said0 8'ou ha,e your
am+er liht on/ 'ou-re all set u. for somethin/8
8'es0 I was doin a little enlarin/8
8%e was showin me somethin a+out .hotora.hy08 Pey said/
8I see0 8 )elson said in a tone of ,oi#e that indi#ated his mind was far away/ %e
+ean o.enin the ,arious +ottles on the shel,es and smellin the #ontents/ %e said0
8I do 6uite a +it of .hotora.hy myself/ 'ou-,e ot a little more e4.ensi,e
e6ui.ment here than I #an afford/ That-s a swell enlarer/ 'ou li"e the #ondensers
+etter than the #old liht98
Eim+erly made no answer/
)elson whistled a tune as he mo,ed around the dar"room0 loo"in o,er the +ottles0
studyin the la+els0 smellin the #ontents/
Suddenly he .aused/ 8What the hell-s this98 he as"ed/
8Potassium +romide/ If you-re a .hotora.her0 you should "now/8
8The hell it is/ That stuff #omes in lare #rystals/ This is7 smell it/8
8I don-t thin" it has any odor08 Eim+erly said/
8Well0 this stuff does/ Ta"e a smell/ $nd don-t et your nose too #lose to it/ 'ou
miht wish you hadn-t/8
Eim+erly sniffed the +ottle inerly0 then turned .u22led eyes toward the dete#ti,e/
8Why08 he said0 8that smells7 smells li"e78
8E4a#tly08 )elson areed/ 8It smells li"e .otassium #yanide/ It is .otassium
#yanide/8
59 it i- 5 t/t/
333-3S-/
Mmr
$+ru.tly he .ut the +ottle down0 .ut the #or" +a#" in .la#e0 and said0 8I don-t want
anyone to tou#h that +ottle/ I-m oin to .ro#ess it for finer.rints/ I left my
finer.rints around the
ne#" of the +ottle0 +ut I didn-t lea,e them on the rest of it/ $nd now0 Mr/ *onald
Eim+erly0 I-m sorry0 +ut I-m arrestin you for the murder of Stella !ynn/8
In a ta4i#a+ headed toward <n#le Benedi#t-s0 Pey studied the .urloined .i#tures0
tryin to .enetrate the details of the shadows/
*on Eim+erly-s arrest had +een a terrifi# sho#"/ The statement of Mrs/ Bushnell
had +een li"e a de,astatin +om+/
Pey had a +lind faith in *on Eim+erly0 +ut she #ouldn-t #om+at his arrest e4#e.t
+y diin u. new and #on,in#in e,iden#e/ The mornin news.a.ers would sound
the death "nell of her new 1o+ unless somethin #ould +e turned u./ She ho.ed her
un#le had +een a+le to et some finer.rints from that +ro"en whis"ey +ottle/
The +ea#h s#ene0 Pey #on#luded0 was a .i#ni#0 and a..arently it had +een a
twosome71ust Stella !ynn and the youn man in the +athin suit who a..eared in
the .i#tures/ %e had ta"en a #ou.le of .i#tures of Stella/ The #ostume Stella was
wearin would not ha,e +een .ermitted on a .u+li# +ea#h0 so these .i#tures must
ha,e +een ta"en at a .ri,ate .art of the +ea#h/ %ad they +een ta"en +efore the
others or afterward9
The series of small #a+ins0 all uniform in a..earan#e0 suested a motel0 .ro+a+ly
somewhere alon the +ea#h/
The #a+ slowed to a sto. at <n#le Benedi#t-s/ 8Wait for me08 she told the dri,er0 and
ran u. the ste.s/
$unt Martha #ame to the door/ 8%ea,en-s sa"e0 Pey0 i,e a +ody a #han#e to et
there/ 'ou ran three times while I was .uttin my "nittin down/ What-s the
trou+le98
8)othin/ Where-s <n#le98
8&iht here/ Come on in/8
Pey wal"ed o,er to the wheel#hair and "issed Benedi#t on the forehead/
8What-s the trou+le98 he as"ed

M t
B W l A
8)othin in .arti#ular0 +ut I wanted to see if you-d found out anythin a+out that
+ro"en +ottle and78 8*ammit0 Pey08 he said irrita+ly0 8I-,e tauht you to lie
+etter than that/8
8What-s wron98 she as"ed/
8E,erythin/ )e,er run your words toether when you-re lyin/ Sounds too mu#h
li"e re#itin a formula/ )e,er let a su#"er feel he-s hearin a rehearsed line/ When
you-re lyin you want to +e thorouhly at ease7ne,er ha,e tension in your ,oi#e/
8Eee. your senten#es short/ *on-t inters.erse e4.lanations with lies/ That-s where
the a,erae liar falls down/ %e .uts himself on the defensi,e in the middle of what
should +e the most #on,in#in .art of his lie/
8)ow sit down and tell me what-s handed you su#h a 1olt/ Tell the truth0 if you #an/
If you #an-t0 tell the "ind of lie that-ll ma"e me .roud of you/ )ow0 what-s u.98

Pey said0 8They arrested *on Eim+erly for Stella-s murder/8
8What e,iden#e98
8That-s the touh .art/ They found a +ottle of .otassium #yanide amon his
.hotora.hi# #hemi#als0 riht o,er the sin" in his dar"room/8
<n#le Benedi#t threw +a#" his ri22led head and lauhed/
8It-s no lauhin matter08 she said/
8Ma"es him out so damned stu.id0 that-s all/ There he is with a whole dar"room/
Got a sin" and runnin water and e,erythin0 eh98
8That-s riht/8
8%ow many more .eo.le did they thin" he was aimin to "ill with #yanide98
8What do you mean98
8Su..ose he had "illed her/ %e-s s#ored a +ull-s-eye/ That was all he wanted/ %e-d
done the 1o+/ %e-s ot no more use for .oison/ %e-d wash the rest of it down the
drain/

8)o.e0 some+ody-s .lantin e,iden#e/ Seems funny the #o.s didn-t thin" a+out that/
Perha.s they ha,e/ May+e they-re i,in this .erson lots of ro.e for self-hanin
.ur.oses/8
!istenin to him0 she reali2ed the loi# of what he said and suddenly felt mu#h
+etter/ She s.read the .i#tures out in front of him/
<n#le Benedi#t-s eyes lit u./ 8Good-loo"in +a+e08 he said0 studyin the .i#tures of
Stella in the +athin suit/ 8*arn ood- loo"in/8
$unt Martha0 fi4in a .ot of hot tea for Pey0 snorted/ 8'ou-d thin" he was a *on
Juan to listen to him/8
8Casano,a0 Casano,a08 <n#le Benedi#t #orre#ted her irrita+ly/ 8$ll riht0 what
a+out these .i#tures0 Pey98
8What #an you tell me a+out them98
%e .i#"ed u. the .i#tures and studied them/ Then he said0 8This is the motel where
they stayed Saturday/8
8Who stayed there98
8This irl in a +athin suit and the fellow who-s with her/8
8<n#le Benedi#t0 you shouldn-t say thins li"e that without "nowin/ 'ou don-t
"now they stayed there0 and you #an-t "now it was Saturday/8
8I don-t0 eh98 %e rinned/ 8It sti#"s out .lain as the nose on your fa#e/ This .i#ture
with the +ea#h in the +a#"round was ta"en Sunday mornin/ Same #ar here as in
the other .i#ture/ Put two and two toether/8
8'ou-re 1um.in at #on#lusions and not +ein ,ery fair to Stella/8
8)ot as +ad as what the #oroner did0 +road#astin a irl-s se#rets that way/ (uht to
+e ashamed of himself/ Two months .renant0 and he .uts it in the .a.er:8
8%e had to do that08 she said/ 8It-s .art of the e,iden#e/ It shows the moti,ation for
murder/8
8<h-huh08 <n#le Benedi#t said/
8What ma"es you thin" it was Saturday noon in one .i#ture and Sunday mornin in
the other98 she as"ed/
8<se your eyes08 he told her/ 8%ere-s a motel/ See all those araes with #ars in
them98
8'es/8
8Where-s the sun98

8What do you mean0 where-s the sun98
8!oo" at your shadows08 he said/ 8%ere0 hand me that ruler/8
She handed it to him/ %is arthritis-#ri..led hands mo,ed the ruler o,er the
.hotora.h so that one end was aainst a .at#h of shadow0 the other end aainst the
to. of an ornamental liht .ole/ 8$ll riht0 there-s the anle of your sun0 ood and
hih/8
8$ll riht0 so what98
8!oo" at the automo+iles in the araes/ Most motel .atrons are transients/ They-re
hittin the road/ They want to #ome in at niht0 ha,e a +ath0 slee.0 et u. early0 +e
on their way/
8)ow0 loo" at this one/ $utomo+iles in almost e,ery arae0 and from the anle of
the sun it-s either three in the afternoon or nine in the mornin/ !oo" #arefully0 and
you #an see it-s mornin +e#ause here-s a #a+in with a "ey in a half-o.en door/ The
"ey has a +i metal ta hanin from it so tenants won-t #art it off0 and it-s #auht
the sunliht and refle#ted it riht into the #amera/ That #ar ot away early/ If it had
+een afternoon the "ey would ha,e +een in the offi#e instead of the door/
8(nly one #ar is one/ Most of the .eo.le usin the motel aren-t tra,elin0 and that
means it-s Sunday/ The uests are wee"enders0 .eo.le who #ame Saturday to s.end
a wee"end/ S.end it where9 )ot in a motel0 unless that motel-s at a +ea#h/
M3C--
8)ow loo" at this other .i#ture/ Warm0 sunny day/ %ardly any surf/ See that wharf
out there9 !ots of fishermen on it/ Those are .eo.le who #ame early and78
8I don-t se# any wharf/8
8Ta"e a ood loo"08 he said/
8That-s 1ust a +la#" s.ot Gut there7no0 wait a minute78

8Bla#" s.ot nothin08 he said/ 8It-s the end of a .ier/ See it sti#"in out there9 Ta"e
a manifyin lass/ 'ou-ll see .eo.le all +un#hed u.0 fishin at the far end of the78
8(f #ourse08 she said/ 8I hadn-t noti#ed it +efore/8


imw
FTiStthh
/rt!0////
8)ow0 loo" at the .eo.le/ %ere-s where a road runs down to the +ea#h/ Jammed
with #ars .ar"ed all alon it/ But .eo.le


ha,en-t s.read out on the north end of the +ea#h yet/ (n a Sunday the whole thin
would +e #rowded/ The way it is now0 1ust a+out the num+er of .eo.le are on the
+ea#h who would ha,e #ome in those .ar"ed #ars/ They ha,en-t had to .ar" their
#ars way u.town and wal" down to the +ea#h/
8See the shadow of the automo+ile9 Sun-s .retty mu#h o,er-head/ It-s 1ust a+out
noon/ Wouldn-t et that +i a .lay on a +ea#h this time of year e4#e.t Saturday/
Sunday noon it-d +e e,en +ier/ $ll riht0 what more do you want to "now98
She said0 8I-d li"e to "now who owns that automo+ile/8
8Why don-t you find out98
8%ow #an I98
%e said0 8%ow many +ea#hes are there around here that ha,e .iers sti#"in out that
far9 %ow many motels in that #ity78
8What #ity98
%e ta..ed the ornamental lihtin fi4ture/ 8See the .e#uliar desin on that lihtin
fi4ture9 I #ould tell you a lot a+out those fi4tures/ Pal of mine too" o,er the sale of
ornamental lihtin fi4ures to a #ity/ There-s a reat o..ortunity: That-s real raft/
Perfe#tly leitimate/ I uess that-s why I ne,er #ared mu#h for it0 +ut I #an tell you
78
8'ou don-t ha,e to tell me08 she said/ 8I "now where it is myself now/ Why in the
world didn-t I noti#e the sinifi#an#e of that ornamental streetliht +efore98
8Preo##u.ied08 he said/ 8That-s -#ause you-re in lo,e/8
8I am not:8
8Bet you are: Wra..ed u. in that Beau Brummel uy they too" to .rison/8
8I am not0 +ut7I would li"e to im.ress him on#e with Pey Castle0 the irl0 and
not 1ust Pey Castle0 the loi#al thin"er/8
8%ow are you oin to do it98
8I-m oin to .ro,e he didn-t #ommit the murder/8
<n#le Benedi#t #hu#"led/ 8!isten to her0 Martha/ She wants him to noti#e her as a
#ute tri#" and not as an effi#ient thin"in ma#hine0 so she oes out and uses her
+rain: *on-t use your +rain when you-re tryin to im.ress a man0 Pey/ *on-t

let him thin" you ha,e any +rain/ %a,e #ur,es/ Be hel.less and78
8'ou lea,e Pey alone08 $unt Martha said/ 8She-s doin it her way/8
<n#le Benedi#t shoo" his head/ 8Men #an-t see lamour and +rains toether0
Martha/ Either one or the other/8
$unt Martha .ut down the tea.ot/ 8What did you marry me for98
%is eyes were reminis#ent/ 8Glamour0 #ur,es08 he said/ 8Boy0 when you wal"ed out
on the stae with tihts on0 you78
8So08 she +la2ed indinantly0 8now you-re tryin to tell me I ha,en-t any +rains:8
<n#le Benedi#t shoo" his head/ 8$ruin with a woman08 he said0 8is li"e tryin to
order the weather to suit the farmers/ Where are you oin- in su#h a rush0 Pey98
Pey was dashin for the door/ 8I-m not oin0 I-m one/8
Pey felt a sure of trium.h when within less than an hour from the time she
rea#hed the +ea#h #ity she had lo#ated the motel/ The .ro.rietress was relu#tant to
dis#uss reistrations/
8We-re runnin a de#ent0 #lean0 res.e#ta+le .la#e08 she said/ 8(f #ourse0 we don-t
as" .eo.le to show us marriae li#enses e,ery time they #ome in0 +ut they don-t do
that e,en in the Waldorf-$storia/ We 1ust try to loo" -em o,er and78
Pey .atiently interru.ted to e4.lain that hers was a .ri,ate matter0 that if
ne#essary she #ould et offi#ial authority0 +ut that she didn-t want to and she didn-t
thin" the woman wanted her to/
That se#ured instant results/ Pey e4amined the wee"end reistrations/
The #ar was B)@0?I50 reistered to Peter Bushnell/ Mr/ and Mrs/ Bushnell had s.ent
the wee"end in a #a+in/
Pey #ould ha,e #ried with disa..ointment/ $ll her ho.es were dashed/ If she #ould
ha,e .ro,ed that Stella had had a +oyfriend with whom she had s.ent the wee"end0
then Stella-s date with *on Eim+erly would ha,e loo"ed li"e a mere +usi-
ness date/ But now that had +een swe.t away/ Stella had s.ent the wee"end with the
Bushnells/
3ihtin +a#" tears0 Pey started +a#" to her a.artment/ Then a thouht stru#"
her with the for#e of a +low/ She felt #ertain Mrs/ Bushnell had said that Pete was
8still8 married to her/ *id that mean / / / 9
Pey franti#ally #onsulted the address she had ta"en from the reistration +oo" at
the motel/ It was a ten-to-one shot0 +ut she was ta"in it/ Peter Bushnell was oin to
ha,e an une4.e#ted ,isitor/
She dro,e ra.idly to the address0 an old-fashioned0 un.retentious0 #omforta+le-
loo"in a.artment house/
$ #ard in the mail+o4 told her Peter Bushnell-s a.artment was on the se#ond floor/
Pey didn-t e,en sto. for the ele,ator0 +ut ra#ed u. the stairs to the a.artment/ $
slender ri++on of illumination showed from the underside of the door/
%er heart hammerin with e4#itement0 she ran the +ell/
Pey heard a #hair +ein .ushed +a#"0 and then the door o.ened and Pey found
herself loo"in at the fa#e of the man in the .hotora.h/ )ow it was a haard fa#e0
drawn with sufferin/
8'ou-re Peter Bushnell08 she said/ 8I-m Pey Castle/ I want to tal" with you/8
She ste..ed .ast him into the a.artment0 turned0 smiled reassurinly0 and waited
for him to #lose the door/
8Won-t you7won-t you sit down98 he said/ 8It-s rather late0 +ut78
8I wanted to tal" with you a+out Stella08 she said/
%is fa#e showed #onsternation/ 8I7I ha,e nothin to say/8
8(h0 yes0 you ha,e/ I "now some of the fa#ts/ In 1usti#e to yourself and in 1usti#e to
Stella-s memory you-ll ha,e to i,e me the rest of them/8
8What fa#ts98
83or instan#e0 the wee"end at the Seaswe.t Motel/ 'ou reistered under your own
name/ Why did you do that0 Pete98
8Why not9 The #ar-s reistered in my name/ Why shouldn-t I ha,e used it98
8Be#ause you reistered Stella as your wife/8
8Well7so what98
8Su..ose 3ran#es found out a+out it98
8%ow would she find out98
8I found out a+out it/8
8%ow98
Pey merely smiled/ She said0 8Tell me a+out Stella0 Pete/8
8Who are you0 anyway98
8I-m an in,estiator/8
8With the .oli#e98
8)o/ I re.resent tne #om.any Stella wor"ed for/ 'ou don-t want Stella-s name
draed throuh the mud0 and we don-t want it draed throuh the mud/ 'ou were
in lo,e with her0 weren-t you0 Pete98
%e nodded/ %is fa#e showed anuish/
8)ow0 then0 let-s et down to +rass ta#"s08 Pey said/ 8'ou married 3ran#es/ Stella
was oin with Bill E,erett/ 'ou went on wee"end .arties toether0 didn-t you98
%e said0 8That was +efore I was married to 3ran#es/ Then 3ran and I ot married
and7well0 I found out it was a mista"e +efore we-d +een married three months/8
8Why was it a mista"e0 Pete98
8Be#ause I had +een in lo,e with Stella all the time and hadn-t reali2ed it/ 'ou ha,e
no idea what it was li"e to +e out with Stella/ She was su#h ood #om.any/ She ne,er
sul"ed0 ne,er ot mad0 ne,er #om.lained/ She too" e,erythin 1ust the way it #ame0
and she always had su#h a ood time that you had a ood time too/ She en1oyed life/
She ot a "i#" out of e,erythin/
83ran was 1ust the o..osite/ 3ran had to ha,e thins 1ust so/ When she was with a
foursome she hid +ehind Stella-s ood nature so you didn-t see her real #hara#ter/
$fter we were married and it was 1ust the two of us7well0 it showed u. then/8
8What ha..ened98
8I wanted a di,or#e0 and 3ran wouldn-t i,e me one/ She "new +y that time I was in
lo,e with Stella and did e,erythin she #ould to +lo#" us/ She swore that if she
#ouldn-t ha,e me0 Stella #ouldn-t/--
8So you and 3ran#es se.arated0 and you and Stella started li,in toether98
8Well0 in a way/ )ot 6uite li"e that/8
8Why didn-t you li,e toether all the time0 Pete9 Why those surre.titious
wee"ends98
8Stella was afraid of 3ran/ She didn-t want 3ran to find it out0 +ut7well0 in a way
we were married/-/-
8What do you mean98
8We went down to Me4i#o and had a marriae #eremony .erformed/8
8When98
83our or fi,e months ao/8
8Why didn-t you tell the .oli#e a+out this98
8Well0 I was tryin to ma"e u. my mind/ That-s what I was doin when you ran
the +ell/ I don-t "now what to do/ 3ran0 of #ourse0 would ha,e me riht where she
wanted me0 +ut under the #ir#umstan#es7I 1ust don-t "now/
83ran #an +e a +ear#at/ She-s +een married +efore/ The man she was married to
wrote me a letter/ %e said 3ran was .oison0 that she wouldn-t i,e him a di,or#e0
that she was a do in the maner/8
8What did you do98
8I hunted him out and +eat him u./8
Pey0 loo"in at the anuished fa#e0 was thin"in ra.idly/ There had to +e an anle
7there had to +e:
8'ou "new Stella was oin to ha,e a +a+y98
8'es/ (ur +a+y/ She-d only 1ust found out herself/ She told me Saturday/8
Meetin his eyes0 Pey said0 8Pete0 she really was your wife/ 'our marriae to 3ran
was illeal/ 3ran had ne,er +een di,or#ed/8
8She told me she-d +een di,or#ed/8
8*id you #he#" on it98
8)o0 I too" her word for it/8
8'ou were married to Stella0 in Me4i#o/ That marriae was leal/ Stella was your
leal wife/ )ow tell me a+out Bill E,erett/8
8That #roo": %e ran with a an/ They all ot #auht on that sti#"u. in
Coffer,ille/8
8%ad he +een in tou#h with Stella re#ently98
8)ot that I "now of/ )ot sin#e he ot out of .rison/8
8'ou ha,en-t seen him98
Pete shoo" his head/
8*id you "now Stella had as"ed *on Eim+erly to meet her at the &oyal Pheasant98
8)o0 5 didn-t/ She didn-t say anythin/8
8*o you "now where Bill E,erett is98
8)o/8
8'ou ha,e no idea how I #ould lo#ate him98
8)o/8
8%ow lon had he +een mi4ed u. with the an0 Pete9 Was it 1ust one sli. or78
8(ne sli.0 nothin08 Pete said/ 8The uy was 1ust no ood riht from the start/ %e-d
+een lyin to us all the time/ That-s the way he was ma"in his money7he was a
mem+er of a sti#"u. an/ %e thouht he was smart0 thouht he was +eatin the
law/8
8*o you "now the other mem+ers of the an98
%e shoo" his head/ 8Guess you #ould find out who they were from the #ourt re#ords/
They were all #auht on that ser,i#e- station sti#"u./8
8They-d +een wor"in toether for some time98
8$..arently so08 Pete said/ 8I don-t "now too mu#h a+out it/ $nyway0 I-m all
+ro"en u./ I #an-t thin" straiht/8
Pey said0 8Try to thin"/ Tell me e,erythin you "now a+out Bill/8
8The an used to #ommuni#ate with ea#h other +y ads in the .ersonal #olumn of a
news.a.er/ Bill told me that on#e/ They-d arrane meetin .la#es and thins of that
sort/ That-s all I "now/8
8Pete0 I want you to do e4a#tly what I am oin to tell you/8
8What98 he as"ed/
8This08 she said0 8is the way to #lear the thin u.0 .ro,ided you do e4a#tly as I tell
you/ I want you to o down to the morue and #laim the +ody of Stella !ynn/ Claim
the +ody as that of your wife/ *o you understand9 'ou-re her hus+and/8
8But08 he said0 8our marriae7well0 you "now0 it wasn-t78
8%ow do you "now it wasn-t9 'ou ha,e Stella-s memory to thin" of/ *o e4a#tly as I
tell you/ Go down to the morue at on#e/ Claim the +ody on the round that you-re
Stella-s hus+and/ *on-t let anyone et you to admit there-s e,en the faintest dou+t in
your mind a+out the ,alidity of that Me4i#an marriae/ *o you understand98
%e nodded/
8*o you ha,e any money98 she as"ed/
8Enouh/8
8I #an hel.78
8)o/ This is on me08 he said/ $s he .ushed +a#" his #hair his manner showed the
relief of one who has had a load lifted from his shoulders/
In the news.a.er offi#e Pey #onsulted the +a#" files0 #arefully s#annin the Want
$ds se#tion/
In a .a.er of four days +efore she found the ad in the .ersonal #olumn
3ran0 et in tou#h with me on a +i deal/ I #an-t handle it
alone0 +ut toether we #an ma"e +i douh/ Call Esse4 A-I?50
any time day or niht/ Bill E/
Pie#es of the 1isaw .u22le were +einnin to fall into .la#e into Pey-s mind/ The
ne4t 6uestion was whether she should .our her story into the ears of *ete#ti,e 3red
)elson or et some additional e,iden#e/
$ sil,er dime was to determine Pey-s ne4t #ourse/ She #alled Esse4 A-I?50 and
waited0 her .ulses .oundin with e4#itement/
If thins went throuh without a hit#h now0 she-d handle it herself/ If she stru#" a
sna o,er the tele.hone0 her ne4t #all would +e to *ete#ti,e )elson/
$t lenth a mas#uline ,oi#e0 wary0 un#ordial0 said0 8'eah98
8Is Bill E,erett there98
8Who wants him98
8$ irl/8
The man lauhed and said0 8'ou #ould ha,e fooled me/8
She heard his ,oi#e raised in a #all/ 8Bill in there9 Some dame wants him on the
.hone/8
$ moment later she heard ste.s a..roa#hin the .hone another ,oi#e0 #old0
uarded0 +ut #urious0 said0 8'es9 %ello/8 8Bill98
8Who is it98
8I-m a friend of 3ran-s/ It-s a+out a +utterfly/8
The ,oi#e at the other end of the line instantly lost all #oldness and reser,e/
8Well0 it-s a+out time:8 he e4#laimed/ 8Where the hell is 3ran9 Why didn-t she #all
me a+out the insuran#e inter,iew98
8She-s where she #an-t #all/8
8Good !ord0 you don-t mean she-s78
8)ow0 ta"e it easy08 Pey said/ 8I ha,e a messae for you/8
8What is it98
8*on-t +e silly/ I #an-t i,e it to you o,er the .hone/ Where #an I meet you98
8'ou ot a #ar98
8'es/8
8Come on out here/8
8)ow0 wait a minute08 Pey said/ 8There-s a lot of this I didn-t et from 3ran/ She
only a,e me the num+er to #all and78
8$dams and Elmore08 he said/ 8It-s on the #orner/ What "ind of a #ar are you
dri,in98
8Green #ou.e/8
8%ow lon will it ta"e you98
8$+out fifteen minutes/8
8("ay0 o"ay0 et out here: Par" your +us on Elmore 1ust +efore you et to $dams7
on the riht-hand side of the street0 headed south/ Sit there and wait for me/ Got
that98
8'es/8
T%E JEWE!E* B<TTE&3!' ?3
8)ow0 when is 3ran oin to78
8Wait until I see you08 Pey interru.ted/ 8'ou tal" too mu#h o,er the .hone/8
8*amned if I don-t08 E,erett said0 and she #ould hear the re#ei,er +ein slammed
into .la#e at the other end/
Pey then dialed .oli#e head6uarters0 as"ed for *ete#ti,e 3red )elson0 and was
lu#"y enouh to find him in/
8This is Pey Castle08 she said/
8(h0 yes0 hello/8 %is ,oi#e was more #ordial than she had e4.e#ted/
8I ha,e a lead on the Stella !ynn #ase/8
8'eah0 I "now08 )elson said/ 8'ou ha,e lots of leads/ 'ou .ulled the trier on a lot
of .u+li#ity0 didn-t you98
8Why0 what do you mean98
8)i#e and dramati#08 he said/ 8It wor"ed out a thousand .er#ent/ Grief-#ra2ed
hus+and stum+les into the morue0 tearfully #laims the +ody of Stella !ynn0 his
wife/ %ow the news.a.ers fell for that one: They 1ust #alled me from the morue/8
%e sto..ed tal"in0 and Pey said nothin/
8'ou there98 he as"ed/
8'es/8
8Well0 why don-t you say somethin98
8'ou-re doin the tal"in/ I #alled you u. to tell you somethin/ When you et ready
to listen let me "now/8
%e lauhed/ 8$ll riht0 I-ll listen0 +ut don-t thin" I was +orn yesterday/ I-,e +een
around a while/8
8I-m 6uite #ertain you ha,e08 Pey said/ 8$s I said0 I ha,e a lead in the !ynn
#ase/8
8What is it this time98
Pey said0 8Stella wanted *on Eim+erly to meet her at the &oyal Pheasant +e#ause
she wanted to find out if it would +e .ossi+le to neotiate for the return of the ems
on that Garrison 1o+/8
8What:8 )elson e4#laimed/
8Bill E,erett0 Stella-s e4-+oyfriend0 was mi4ed u. in that 1o+/ )ow he-s ot a fortune
in ems and #an-t fen#e them/ 'ou "now what ha..ens at a time li"e that/ %e wants
to "now
f#a
m-
Tas"--/
whether he #an ma"e a deal with the insuran#e #om.any/8
8Who-s this fellow you say .ulled the 1o+98
8Bill E,erett/ %e-s +een in trou+le +efore/ %e was .i#"ed u. in Coffer,ille for the
ro++ery of a ser,i#e station/8
8<h-huh0 o ahead/8
85 ha,e a date with him/ %e-s oin to i,e me the low- down/ )ow0 if you wanted to
#oo.erate78
8I-m sorry0 Miss Castle08 )elson said/ 8'ou-re out of +ounds/ Coo.eratin with you
doesn-t do anythin e4#e.t et your #om.any off the hot sto,e and lea,e the Poli#e
*e.artment holdin the +a/ If you ha,e any #hestnuts in the fire0 1ust et yourself
another #at-s-.aw/8
8But don-t you want to re#o,er78
8I want to re#o,er from a #ou.le of +ad +lows +elow the +elt08 )elson said/ 8'ou
don-t "now whether Bushnell was leally married to Stella !ynn or not0 +ut you-,e
ot the story ni#ely .lanted on the front .ae of e,ery news.a.er0 toether with
.i#tures of the stri#"en hus+and/ I don-t thin" I #are a+out +ein a stal"in horse/
Where is this Bill E,erett98
83ind out0 1f you-re so damned smart08 she +la2ed0 and slammed down the re#ei,er/
She dro,e ra.idly to Elmore0 followed it down toward $dams0 eased the #ar to a
sto.0 and waited/
Sittin there in the dar"0 she e4.erien#ed a feelin of #om.lete loneliness/ The motor
of the #ar made shar. #ra#"lin noises as the metal #ooled off/ 3i,e +lo#"s +ehind
her was a throuh hihway/ The sound of traffi#0 muted +y distan#e0 #ame to her
ears/
$ man wal"ed +y +ut seemed to ta"e no noti#e of the #ar/ %e mo,ed ra.idly0 heels
.oundin the .a,ement as if he were oin somewhere in a hurry/
Pey waited another fi,e minutes/ Suddenly she was #ons#ious of a shadow at the
riht-rear fender of the #ar/ Then the door on the riht-hand side swun o.en/ $
man eased into the seat +eside her and said0 8("ay0 wind her u./8
Pey as"ed0 8$re you78
8Wind her u.0 I said08 the man told her/ 8Get the hell out of here/8
Pey started the motor and lided away from the #ur+/ The man at her side swun
around so he #ould loo" throuh the rear window and #arefully wat#hed the street
+ehind him/
8Turn riht on $dams08 he said/
Pey turned riht/
8!eft at the ne4t interse#tion/8
Pey followed instru#tions/
8Pi#" u. a little s.eed08 he told her/ 8*on-t dawdle alon/ $ll riht0 now i,e it the
un and turn riht at the ne4t interse#tion/ / / / ("ay0 left aain/ / / / ("ay/8
$t lenth the man eased +a#" into a more #omforta+le .osition0 #eased wat#hin the
road +ehind them0 and fastened his eyes on Pey/
Pey was #ons#ious of a distin#t feelin of dis6uiet0 a .e#uliar a..rehension/
Su..ose e,erythin didn-t o riht/ Su..ose / / /
8It-s your dime08 the man said/ 8Start tal"in/8
Pey "new she had to draw him out/ So far she had ot +y on +luff and surmise/
)ow she was oin to need fa#ts0 and the man +eside her was the only .erson from
whom she #ould et those fa#ts/
The man #ontinued0 8What-s the .it#h9 !et-s see who you are first/ I-m Bill/ Who
are you98
Pey sli..ed her hand down the o.enin of her +louse0 +rouht out the 1eweled
+utterfly0 held it so he #ould see it for a +rief instant0 then .o..ed it +a#" into her
+louse/
8%ey0 wait a minute08 he said/ 8Where the hell did you et that98
8Where do you su..ose98
8%ere0 .ull into this ne4t alley08 Bill said/ 8We-re oin to ha,e a showdown on
this/8
She felt somethin .roddin at her side and0 lan#in down0 saw the lint of liht on
+lued steel/
8Get o,er there/ Turn down that alley/8 %is shoe #rushed her foot aainst the +ra"e
.edal/
With a little #ry of .ain she 1ei"ed her foot away/ The #ar swer,ed/ The un 1a++ed
hard into her ri+s/ 8Turn down that alley:8
She +it her li.0 fihtin +a#" the .ain in her foot0 and turned down the alley/
Bill rea#hed o,er and turned off the inition swit#h/ 8)ow0 +a+y08 he said0 8if you-re
tryin to .ull a fast one0 what-s oin to ha..en to you isn-t78
$+ru.tly the #ar was flooded with +rillian#e as a followin #ar0 runnin without
lihts0 suddenly +la2ed its headlihts on the .ar"ed #ar/
Bill sho,ed the un under his #oat/ 8If that-s a .rowl #ar08
he warned0 8and you ma"e a s6uaw"0 I-ll "ill you 1ust as sure
K K iL as7
$ fiure 1um.ed out of the #ar +ehind and #ame stridin forward/ $ man-s sneerin
,oi#e said0 8Well0 Bill0 tryin to #ut yourself a .ie#e of #a"e0 eh98
$t the sound of that ,oi#e Pey #ould see Bill-s fa#e twist in a s.asm of fear/ %e
1er"ed his +ody around/ 8But#h:8 he e4#laimed0 and then after a moment he added0
8$m I lad you-re here: I-,e #auht a dame tryin to .ull a fast one on us/8
8'eah/ 'ou loo" as thouh you-re lad to see us08 But#h said/
$nother man #ame u. on the other side of the #ar and stood at the o.en window on
Pey-s side/ %e was a tall0 #ada,erous man with li.s so thin that his mouth loo"ed
as thouh it miht ha,e +een #ut a#ross his fa#e with a ra2or +lade/
The man Bill had addressed as But#h suid0 8Get in and ta"e the wheel0 Slim/ *ri,e
u. to Bill-s .la#e/ Bill0 you et in with us/ I want to tal" with you/8
Slim o.ened the door and sla..ed Pey-s thih with the +a#" of his hand/ 8Mo,e
o,er0 #utie/8
But#h o.ened the door on the riht-hand side/ 8Come on0 Bill/8
Bill said0 8Sure0 sure/8 %is ,oi#e was too full of #ordiality/ 8I want to tal" thins
o,er with you uys0 +ut listen0 I thin" this
+a+e is may+e a .ri,ate di#" or somethin/ She-s tryin to .ull a fast one/8
8'eah08 But#h said/ 8We "now all a+out this +a+e/ Come on0 et in0 Bill/ We-re
oin to ta"e a ni#e little ride and ha,e a ni#e little tal"/8
Bill ot out of the #ar/ Pey slid o,er on the seat0 and Slim too" the wheel/
8'ou-ll ha,e to +a#" out08 But#h said to Slim/ 8It-s a +lind alley/8
8("ay/8
8'ou ta"e the lead08 But#h went on/ 8If she ma"es any trou+le0 +ean her/8 But#h
mo,ed away with Bill/
Slim rea#hed into his side #oat .o#"et0 .ulled out a +la#"1a#"0 and loo.ed the thon
around his wrist/ 8!et-s not ha,e any misunderstandin0 sister08 he said/ 8(ne .ee.
out of you0 one false mo,e0 and I-ll "no#" you so #old it-ll +e ne4t wee" +efore you
#ome to/ I-m oin to +e dri,in with one hand/ This other one is ready to #ho. you
down whene,er you ma"e a yi./ Get me98
She smiled at him and said0 8$ren-t you ma"in a mountain out of a molehill9
Perha.s if you-ll tell me78
8'eah0 I "now08 Slim said0 8.ullin the old se4 #harm/ It doesn-t wor"0 +a+e/ When
I-m on a +usiness deal I-m #old as a #u#um+er/ )ow0 turn your "isser around here so
I #an ta"e a little .re#aution aainst any sudden s#reams/8
8What do you mean98
%e ra++ed her around the shoulders and .ulled her head o,er to him rouhly/ She
felt the sla. of a hand a#ross her mouth and somethin sti#"y aainst her #hee"s/
$lmost +efore she understood what he was doin0 a wide stri. of adhesi,e ta.e had
+een sla..ed a#ross her mouth/ Slim-s #iarette- stained finers massaed the ta.e
firmly into .la#e/
8$ll riht0 +a+y08 he said/ 8*on-t try to raise your hands to the adhesi,e ta.e/ The
minute you do0 you et #louted/ *on-t ma"e any ra+s for/ the steerin wheel/ *on-t
try anythin funny/ If you rea#h for the door handle0 you-ll ne,er "now what hit
you/ ("ay0 here we o/8
%e dro,e s"illfully with his left hand0 his riht on the +a#" of the seat0 the +la#"1a#"
ready/ The lint in his eyes told Pey he was0 as he had said0 #old as a #u#um+er
when he was on a +usiness deal/
Slim tooled the #ar alon until they lided to the #ur+ in front of an a.artment
house a +lo#" from $dams and Elmore/
8Just sit still08 Slim #autioned/
The other #ar .ar"ed +ehind them/ Pey saw But#h es#ortin Bill E,erett0 saw that
Bill was tal"in ,olu+ly0 ra.idly0 that But#h wasn-t e,en listenin/
$ third man #ame u. to address Slim +riefly/ 8I-ll o ahead and ma"e sure the #oast
is #lear08 he said/ 8Wait for my flash/8
8("ay08 Slim said/
Bill and But#h mo,ed into the a.artment house/ $ liht #ame on in a round-floor
window/ The #urtain was .rom.tly drawn0 shuttin off the liht/
$ few se#onds later a flashliht +lin"ed twi#e/
8("ay0 +a+e08 Slim said/ 8!et-s o/8
%e rea#hed a#ross her0 o.ened the door0 and sho,ed her out/ She loo"ed des.erately
u. and down the deserted street/
Slim-s hand mo,ed deftly down her arm0 #auht her wrist0 dou+led it +a#" until
e4#ru#iatin .ain #aused her to ta"e a ste. forward to ease the .ressure/
Slim ste..ed forward with her/ The .ressure remained the same/
Pey tried to s#ream0 +ut only a little whim.erin noise #ame from +ehind the
adhesi,e ta.e/ In the end she was all +ut runnin0 tryin to "ee. 1ust enouh ahead
of Slim to ease the .ressure on her wrist/
She was hurried alon a dar" #orridor/ The third man0 who had e,idently +een
dri,in the other #ar0 1er"ed o.en a door/ Pey was .ushed inside/
Slim tossed her .urse at But#h/ 8Cat#h08 he said/
But#h o.ened her .urse and e4amined her dri,in li#ense and identifi#ation/
8%onest0 But#h08 Bill said0 8this is a new one on me/ She made #onta#t and78
But#h loo"ed u. from Pey-s dri,in li#ense/ 8Shut him u.0 Slim/8
8("ay08 Slim said0 mo,in forward/
Bill said0 8)o0 no0 I am on the le,el with this/ She78
Slim swun the +la#"1a#" with the deft wrist motion/ The .e#uliar thun" sounded as
thouh someone had sla..ed an o.en .alm aainst a ri.e watermelon/ Bill turned
lassy-eyed0 his head dro..ed forward0 he slum.ed down in the #hair0 and then0
with fear in his eyes0 he held on to a thin marin of #ons#iousness/
8)o0 no08 he s#reamed/ 8'ou uys aren-t oin to do that to me/8
The .e#uliar thun" was re.eated/
But#h didn-t e,en lan#e at Bill/ %e loo"ed at Pey and said0 8So you-re from the
insuran#e #om.any that has the two- hundred-and-fifty-thousand-dollar .oli#y on
the Garrison ems/8
Pey .ointed toward the stri. of adhesi,e ta.e on her li.s/
8'ou don-t need to ha,e that off to nod08 But#h said0 his eyes #old/
She remained stiff-ne#"ed0 defiant/ But#h 1er"ed his head0 and Slim mo,ed o,er
+eside her/
8When I as" 6uestions08 But#h said0 8I want you to answer them/ Slim .lays rouh0
and he doesn-t ha,e any more feelin a+out women than a sna"e/ )ow0 as I et it0
you wor" for the insuran#e #om.any0 and Bill was ma"in a deal with you to turn
+a#" the ems .ro,ided you #ould +uy him immunity and .ay him may+e thirty or
forty thousand +u#"s/ Is that the #ase98
She shoo" her head/
8Soften her u.0 Slim08 But#h said/ 8She-s lyin/8
Slim ta..ed the +a#" of her ne#" with the +la#"1a#"/ It was only a entle ta.0 +ut it
sent a shar. .ain shootin throuh Pey-s +rain/ She saw a su##ession of +riht
flashes in front of her eyes and felt a num+in .aralysis that radually a,e .la#e to
a dull0 thro++in a#he/
8I-m waitin for an answer08 But#h said/
She too" a dee. +reath0 fouht +a#" the nauseatin heada#he0 then shoo" her head
determinedly/
Slim #o#"ed his wrist and then held it at a sin from But#h0 whose slihtly .u22led
eyes held a lint of admiration/ 8*ammit08 he said0 8the +a+e-s ot ner,e:8
But#h turned to reard the un#ons#ious Bill/ Then he said0 8When he #omes +a#" to
1oin us we-ll as" him some 6uestions/ I sure had a straiht ti. that Bill was in on a
sellout0 and7hell0 it has to +e true/8
8Want me to ta"e the ta.e off98 Slim as"ed/
8)ot yet08 But#h said/ 8We-,e ot all niht/ We78
There was a .e#uliar sound at the door of the a.artment0 a rustlin noise as thouh
arments were +rushin aainst it/
But#h loo"ed at Slim who mo,ed toward the/ door/ %is riht hand strea"ed for the
left la.el of his #oat0 +ut the +la#"1a#" that was loo.ed around his wrist im.eded the
motion/ The door +aned o.en e4.losi,ely0 hittin aainst the wall/
*ete#ti,e 3red )elson0 loo"in o,er the sihts of a /3?0 si2ed u. the situation/ 8("ay0
you .un"s08 he said0 8that-ll +e a+out all/8
%e loo"ed at Pey0 sittin there with the stri. of ta.e a#ross her li.s/ 8I uess this
time you were on the u.-and-u.08 he said/ 8'ou ot sore and wouldn-t tell me where
Bill E,erett was li,in0 +ut it ha..ened one of the +oys had done a routine #he#" 1o+
on him +e#ause he is an e4-#on/
8)ow0 you uys line u. aainst that wall0 and "ee. your hands u./ 'ou #an s.end
the niht in a #ell or on a mar+le sla+0 and it don-t ma"e a damn +it of differen#e to
me whi#h it is/8
Pey sat in *ete#ti,e 3red )elson-s offi#e/ Poli#e Ca.tain 3arwell0 whose eyes made
no attem.t to #on#eal res.e#tful admiration0 sat at one end of the +i ta+le/ *on
Eim+erly sat at the other end/ )elson as"ed the 6uestions/
Pey felt li"e a tihtro.e wal"er0 i,in them ste.-+y-ste. #on#lusions to et
Eim+erly off the hoo" of the murder #hare/ But she was fa#ed with the ne#essity of
lossin o,er #ertain #lues that she and Eim+erly had su..ressed and of minimi2in
the #lues )elson had o,erloo"ed/ There was no use in ma"in )elson loo" dum+
+efore his su.erior/
8$ woman08 Pey e4.lained0 8naturally noti#es #ertain thins a man would ne,er
see/8
8What thins9- )elson as"ed/
8Well0 for instan#e0 a matter of house"ee.in/8
8Go ahead08 the #a.tain said/
8Well08 Pey went on0 #hoosin her words #arefully0 8you ha,e to .ut yourself in
the .osition of a murderer in order to understand how a murder is #ommitted/8
Ca.tain 3arwell lan#ed at *ete#ti,e )elson/ 8It isn-t oin to hurt you to listen to
this with +oth ears08 he said/
Pey said0 8!et-s su..ose I wanted to murder Stella !ynn +y i,in her a drin" of
.oisoned whis"ey/ I-d ha,e to ma"e #ertain she dran" the whis"ey and didn-t/ So
I-d .oison my +ottle of li6uor and then o #all on Stella so I #ould et rid of her
li6uor/
8)ow0 Stella miht +e fresh out of whis"ey0 or she miht ha,e a +ottle that was half
full or she miht ha,e a full +ottle/ She was oin out on a date/ She wouldn-t want
to drin" too mu#h0 and0 of #ourse0 I wouldn-t want to drin" mu#h +e#ause I #ouldn-t
afford to +e drun"/8
8So what would you do98 )elson as"ed0 his eyes still #autious/
8Why08 Pey said0 8I-d ma"e it a .oint to smash her +ottle of whis"ey so I-d ha,e a
ood e4#use to o out and et another one to ta"e its .la#e/ Then I-d want to +e sure
Stella was the only one who dran" out of that new +ottle/8
8Go ahead08 the #a.tain said/
8Well0 if you dro..ed the +ottle on the li,in-room #ar.et0 or on the "it#hen floor0
whi#h had linoleum0 it miht not +rea"0 and then your murder .lan would +e out
the window/ There was only one .la#e you #ould dro. it7on the +athroom tiles/
8$ man would ha,e a lot of trou+le wor"in out a s#heme +y whi#h he #ould ta"e
the +ottle of li6uor Stella had0 #arry it into the +athroom0 and dro. it7without the
whole +usiness seemin ,ery strane/ But a woman #ould do it easily/
8She-d run in while Stella was dressin/ Stella would say to her0 -I-m ettin ready to
o out on a date0 +ut #ome in and tal" to me anyway0- and the woman would ha,e all
the #han#e in the world to #arry the li6uor to the +athroom0 start to .our a drin"0
dro. the +ottle0 and say0 -(h0 dear0 Stella0 I-,e dro..ed your whis"ey/ 'ou o riht
ahead with your dressin/ I-ll run down0 et another +ottle0 and then #lean u. this
mess/-
8So the woman went to et the other +ottle of whis"ey7the +ottle that had +een
.oisoned and then resealed/ She #ame +a#" with the .a#"ae0 handed it to Stella0
and said0 -)ow0 Stella0 you 1ust o riht ahead with your dressin and I-ll #lean u.
this mess in the +athroom/-
8So she started .i#"in u. the .ie#es of lass0 and Stella too" the new +ottle of
whis"ey/ Stella +ein Stella0 she sim.ly had to o.en it0 .our herself a ood-si2ed
drin"0 and toss it off/8
There was silen#e for se,eral se#onds0 then Ca.tain 3arwell nodded slowly and
aain lan#ed at )elson/
)elson said almost defensi,ely0 8It-s a damned ood theory0 +ut where-s the .roof98
8The .roof08 Pey said0 her eyes wide and inno#ent0 8why0 there-s .lenty of .roof/ I
loo"ed #arefully at the +athroom floor to see if there weren-t little .ie#es of lass that
hadn-t +een #leaned u./ It-s awfully hard to #lean u. lass sli,ers0 you "now/ Sure
enouh0 there were se,eral little .ie#es/8
)elson too" a dee. +reath/
8'es08 he said0 8we saw them/8
8$nd then0 of #ourse0 the +ro"en +ottle that was out in the trash #an in the
+a#"yard/ 'ou see0 the whis"ey had to +e mo..ed u.0 and the murderer-s hands
were sti#"y and they left a +eautiful set of finer.rints on the +ro"en +ottle/8
8Where-s that +ottle98 Ca.tain 3arwell as"ed/
)elson-s eyes shifted/
8(h0 Mr/ )elson has it08 Pey said 6ui#"ly/ 8%e-s ot all the e,iden#e0 and it
o##urred to me that if Mr/ )elson would ha,e his men #om+ the neih+orhood
thorouhly to see if someone didn-t lea,e a .a#"ae at a near+y drustore or
restaurant0 or some .la#e around there where she #ould o +a#" and et it0 and they
#ould identify that woman7 Then0 of #ourse0 there are the finer.rints/8
8Whose finer.rints are they98 Ca.tain 3arwell as"ed )elson/
Pey answered the 6uestion/ 8We-ll ha,e to let Mr/ )elson finish the detail wor"
+efore we "now for sure0 +ut they ha,e to +e those of Mrs/ Bushnell/
8'ou see0 we-,e esta+lished that Stella was "illed +y a woman/ We "now Bill E,erett
ot 3ran to try to arrane a sellout with the insuran#e #om.any/ %is only .oint of
#onta#t was 3ran#es0 and her .oint of #onta#t was Stella/
8$nd 3ran was the only one who sim.ly wouldn-t ha,e dared to ta"e that +utterfly/
If she had0 Bill would ha,e "nown she was so 1ealous of Stella that she used the
o..ortunity to "ill Stella instead of .eddlin the ems to the insuran#e #om.any/
8She wrote me that anonymous letter tellin me Eim+erly and Stella were oin to
meet at the &oyal Pheasant0 then .lanted the .oison in his dar"room78
8%ow did she "now I-d suest a meetin at the &oyal Pheasant98 Eim+erly as"ed/
8She "new that was the most natural s.ot/ Stella had told her she-d arrane a
meetin0 and 3ran must ha,e fiured you-d say the &oyal Pheasant/ If you had
named some other .la#e0 3ran #ould ha,e ti..ed me off/ But you didn-t/8
Ca.tain 3arwell ot to his feet/ 8Well08 he said0 8the news.a.er +oys are out there
yellin their heads off0 wantin to et in and et some a#tion/ I don-t #are what the
details are0 1ust so78 %e .aused and loo"ed at Pey0 then loo"ed at *on Eim+erly/
8Just so the de.artment ets the #redit for doin the damned fine 1o+ that it did/
8$nd on this murder08 Ca.tain 3arwell went on0 8we-re sorry0 Eim+erly0 that we
had to ta"e you into #ustody/8
8(h0 thin" nothin of it08 Eim+erly said/
Ca.tain 3arwell left the room/
Pey ot to her feet/ 8Well08 she said0 8we won-t +e here when you-re tal"in with
the news.a.ermen0 Mr/ )elson/ 'ou #an handle that/ I-ll et you the +ro"en whis"ey
+ottle with the finer.rints on it/ (f #ourse0 you understand that E/ B/ %alsey0
.resident of the #om.any0 is ,ery an4ious to ha,e a ood .ress for the insuran#e
#om.any ///8
8Sure0 sure0 I understand08 )elson said0 8and we want to than" you fol"s for your
#oo.eration/8
8I ta"e it I-m free to wal" out98 Eim+erly as"ed/
)elson nodded/ 8%ell0 yes/ Want me to .ull out a red #ar.et98
*on Eim+erly loo"ed at Pey Castle as thouh suddenly seein her for the first
time/
8Come on0 lamour .uss08 he said/ 8!et-s o and let )elson et his wor" done/
'ou-re too .retty to +e mi4ed u. in a sordid #rime/8
8(h0 how ni#e:8 Pey e4#laimed/ 8Just wait till I tell my un#le Benedi#t what you
1ust said:8
Somethin !i"e a Peli#an
IT W$S a..ro4imately two-thirty in the afternoon0 and !ester !eith0 strollin idly
alon a +a#"wash in the sho..in distri#t0 was ,ery fran"ly interested in a .air of
straiht-seamed sil" sto#"ins7not those whi#h were in the hosiery dis.lay of the
window to his riht0 +ut those whi#h were ,ery animatedly dis.layed on the les of a
short-s"irted youn woman some fifty feet in front of him/
In su#h matters !ester !eith was a #onnoisseur0 +ut +e#ause his interest ,ered u.on
the a+stra#t0 he made no effort to shorten the distan#e/ !eith li"ed to stroll and
wat#h the .anorama of life streamin .ast/ $ few se#onds from now his interest
miht +e #laimed +y a fa#e whi#h showed #hara#ter0 or some .assin .edestrian
miht interest him/ $t the moment it was a sha.ely .air of les/
%alf a +lo#" away a woman-s head .rotruded from a fourth-floor window/ $+o,e
the sounds of traffi# #ould +e heard her shrill s#reams/
8%el.: Poli#e: P(!ICE::8
$lmost instantly a dar" furry o+1e#t was thrown from the window/ 3or a half-
se#ond it fell as a #om.a#t +all then the resistan#e of the air o.ened it out into what
seemed to +e a fur #a.e/ This #a.e0 li"e the .ro,er+ial youn man on the flyin
tra.e2e0 sailed throuh the air with the reatest of ease0 to

m
#ome to rest finally u.on a metalli# #ross.ie#e whi#h su..orted a street sin four
stories +elow/
$t his riht0 !ester !eith heard #yni#al lauhter0 and his eyes0 see"in the sour#e0
en#ountered the rinnin fa#e on one of those #o#"sure indi,iduals who is ne,er at a
loss to e4.lain the sinifi#an#e of anythin that has ha..ened/
i
t
8$d,ertisin stunt08 the man said0 #at#hin !eith-s eye/ 8That-s a fur #om.any u.
there/ Just throwin fur #a.es away/ Get it9 They-,e hat#hed u. somethin whi#h
will i,e -em a lot of news.a.er .u+li#ity/8
J
I;
F3fL/
!eith heard the sound of a .oli#e whistle and the .ound of authoritati,e feet as the
traffi# offi#er from the #orner #ame down the sidewal"/
3or reasons of his own0 !eith .referred to a,oid #onta#t with .oli#e offi#ers who
were rushin to the s#ene of a #rime/ %is methods were far too su+tle and deli#ately
+alan#ed to in,ite ris" +y +lunderin into some .oli#e dranet/
8Than"s for the ti.08 he said to the omnis#ient straner/ 8I was 1ust a+out to fall for
it/ $s it is0 I won-t +e late for my a..ointment/8
$nd !eith deli+erately turned his +a#" u.on the s#ene of e4#ited #onfusion/
!ester !eith0 slender and de+onair in his full-dress e,enin #lothes0 stood in the
lo++y of the theater at the end of the first a#t and de+ated whether to wait and see
the rest of the show/
i.l/ 5 I
The usual o.enin-niht audien#e of #ele+rities0 so.histi#ates0 and the so#ial u..er
#rust either .romenaded around the lo++y or formed in little #lusters where they
enaed in low-,oi#ed #on,ersations/


Many a feminine eye0 driftin in the dire#tion of the straiht-shouldered0 slim-
hi..ed youn man0 reistered a.-.ro,al0 +ut !ester !eith was0 for the moment0
enrossed in the .ro+lem whi#h had +een nawin at the +a#" of his #ons#iousness
all e,enin/ Why should a youn woman tryin on a sil,er fo4 #a.e in a furrier-s on
the fourth floor of a loft +uildin a+ru.tly toss the #a.e out of the window0
non#halantly .ay
the .ur#hase .ri#e in #ash0 and lea,e the .remises0 a..arently seein nothin
unusual in the in#ident9
Melodious #himes announ#ed that the show would resume in e4a#tly two minutes/
Peo.le +ean .in#hin out #iarettes and driftin throuh the #urtained doorways
to the rows of seats/ !ester !eith still hesitated/
The show0 he was for#ed to admit0 was +etter than a,erae0 +ut his mind sim.ly
refused to let the entertainment on the stae e4#lude from his #onsideration the
mysterious youn woman who had so #asually tossed a ,alua+le fur #a.e out of a
fourth-story window/
!ester !eith inserted his thum+ and forefiner in the .o#"et of his waist#oat and
remo,ed the folded #li..in whi#h he had ta"en from the e,enin .a.er/ *es.ite the
fa#t that he "new it almost +y heart0 he read it on#e more/
Pedestrians on Bea#on Street were startled this afternoon +y the s#reams of a youn
woman who leaned from a window of the Gil+ert 3urrier Com.any in the
Coo.erati,e !oft Buildin four stories a+o,e the sidewal" #allin for the .oli#e/
!oo"in u.0 they saw a sil,er fo4 #a.e #ome .lummetin toward the sidewal"/ The
#a.e s.read out0 #auht the +ree2e0 and finally fell a#ross a rod su..ortin the sin
of the )elson (.ti#al Com.any0 where it loded 1ust out of rea#h of the #lut#hin
finers of do2ens of eaer feminine sho..ers/ The s#reamin woman was later
identified as Miss 3anny Gillmeyer0 3@5 East Gro,e Street0 an em.loyee of the
furrier #om.any/
(ffi#er James C/ %aerty0 on duty at the interse#tion0 left his .ost to rush with
drawn re,ol,er into the loft +uildin0 #ommandeerin an ele,ator whi#h rushed him
u. to the fourth floor/ $s the offi#er #ame runnin down the #orridor0 he was reeted
+y 3/ G/ Gil+ert0 head of the Gil+ert 3urrier Com.any0 who e4.lained that the
s#reamed alarm had +een a mista"e/
(ffi#er %aerty insisted u.on an in,estiation whi#h dis#losed that a youn
woman #ustomer0 whose name the #om.any refused to di,ule0 had +een tryin on
sil,er fo4 #a.es/ $+ru.tly0 she had said0 8I-ll ta"e this one08 wadded it into a roll0
and tossed it out of the window/ Miss Gillmeyer0 the #ler" who had +een ma"in the
sale0 thin"in that she was en#ounterin a new form of sho.liftin0 .rom.tly
.ro#eeded to shout for .oli#e/
By the time Mr/ Gil+ert0 the .ro.rietor0 a..eared u.on the s#ene0 the #ustomer was
6uite #almly #ountin out +ills to the amount of the .ur#hase .ri#e/ She oflered no
e4.lanation as to why she had thrown the #a.e out of the window0 and 6uite #asually
left instru#tions #o,erin the deli,ery of the #a.e when it was re#o,ered/ *urin the
#onfusion whi#h ensued 1ust .rior to the arri,al of (ffi#er %aerty0 the youn
woman0 who was des#ri+ed as a da22linly +eautiful +londe some twenty-fi,e years
of ae0 left the +uildin/
(ffi#er %aerty was in#lined to +elie,e the youn woman was an a#tress who was
intent u.on ettin .u+li#ity/ If this was true0 her desire was foiled +y the refusal of
the furrier #om.any to di,ule her name and address/ The #a.e was su+se6uently
retrie,ed and0 after +ein #leaned0 .resuma+ly deli,ered +y the Gil+ert 3urrier
Com.any to the e##entri# .ur#haser/
The dimmin lihts announ#ed that the se#ond a#t of the .lay was a+out to start/
!ester !eith0 returnin the #li..in to his .o#"et0 rea#hed a de#ision and turned
toward the street/ $ waitin ta4i too" him to the Coo.erati,e !oft Buildin on
Bea#on Street/
There was nothin a+out the a..earan#e of the Coo.erati,e !oft Buildin whi#h
offered a #lue to the strane +eha,ior of the .ur#haser of the fur #a.e/ The Gil+ert
3urrier Com.any o##u.ied the entire fourth floor/ The window from whi#h the fur
#a.e had +een thrown was e,idently the one dire#tly o,er the sin of the )elson
(.ti#al Com.any/
!eith noti#ed0 on the o..osite side of the street0 two men who were e,idently waitin
for some e,ent whi#h they felt would ta"e .la#e in the not too distant future/
The manner in whi#h they 8loafed8 on o..osite sides of the entran#e of the &ust
Commer#ial Buildin0 dire#tly a#ross the street from the Coo.erati,e !oft Buildin
7the manner in whi#h they #om.letely inored ea#h other0 yet manaed to turn
their heads in unison whene,er the sound of a #lanin ele,ator door #ame from the
lo++y of the offi#e +uildin7indi#ated a #ertain #ommon .ur.ose/ Moreo,er0
whene,er one of the +elated offi#e wor"ers left the +uildin0 these men #on- ,ered
u.on the doorway0 only to mo,e e6ually away aain as soon as they ot a ood loo"/
!eith ot +a#" in his #a+ and said to the dri,er0 8We-ll wait
here/8
The #a++ie smiled "nowinly/ 8Want the radio on98 he as"ed/
!eith said0 8)o0 than"s08 and settled +a#" to a #iarette and a .eriod of wat#hful
waitin whi#h was terminated after a+out twenty minutes when a slim0 youthful
woman in a +lue s"irt and 1a#"et0 wearin a ra"ish0 tiht-fittin hat .er#hed at an
anle o,er her riht ear0 wal"ed out from the ele,ators a#ross the lo++y to the
entran#e0 her trim0 smooth-swinin les #arryin her at a ra.id .a#e/
The two wat#hers swun on#e more toward the door/ This time they didn-t ,eer
a.art/ $s the youn woman ste..ed out0 ea#h man .ossessed himself of an el+ow/
They hurried her a#ross the sidewal" into a #ar whi#h had mysteriously a..eared
from nowhere and slid to a 6ui#" sto. 1ust in time for the youn woman to +e
#ata.ulted into the interior/
!ester !eith .in#hed out his #iarette and said to the #a++ie0 8We-ll follow that #ar/8
The #a+-dri,er made a 6ui#" <-turn whi#h .la#ed him +ehind his 6uarry0 and a red
traffi# sinal ena+led him to slide u. into an ad,antaeous .osition/
8)o rouh stuff98 he as"ed du+iously/
8Certainly not08 !eith said/ 8Just a matter of #uriosity/8
The #a+-dri,er studied the li#ense .late of the #ar ahead/ 8It ain-t the law0 is it98
!eith said0 8That is .re#isely what I am endea,orin to as#ertain at the moment/8
The #a+-dri,er seemed not too enthusiasti#0 +ut he #om.etently followed the other
ma#hine until it #ame to a sto. in front of a downtown offi#e +uildin/ %is e4.ert
eye a..raised the trio who emered/ 8They-re G-men08 he said/
8I dou+t it08 !ester !eith #ommented/ 8The o+,iousness of their methods0 their
desire for mutual su..ort0 and their #om- .lete la#" of su+tlety are more indi#ati,e
of .oli#e offi#ers of the old s#hool/ My .ersonal o.inion is they-re o.erati,es from a
.ri,ate dete#ti,e aen#y/8
The #a+-dri,er loo"ed at him with sudden res.e#t/ 8Say08 he said0 8I +et you-re a G-
man yourself/8
8With whom08 !ester !eith as"ed0 8did you +et98
The #a+-dri,er rinned/ 8Myself/8
!eith said solemnly0 8That-s a +rea" for you/ 'ou #an-t lose/8
Edward %/ Bea,er ser,ed !ester !eith in the #a.a#ity of ,alet0 +ut his o+se6uious
loyalty was a #arefully assumed mas" #o,erin his true #hara#ter/
3or some time .oli#e had sus.e#ted !ester !eith of +ein a uni6ue su.er-dete#ti,e7
a man whose "een mind unra,eled tanled threads in the s"ein of #rime/ But all
those #rimes to whi#h !ester !eith de,oted his attention had one .e#uliar and
uniform denouement/ When the .oli#e0 followin a sometimes de,ious +ut always
a##urate trail +la2ed for them +y !eith-s a#ti,ities0 rea#hed their o+1e#ti,es0 they
in,aria+ly found a somewhat da2ed #riminal #om.letely stri..ed of his ill-otten
ains/
It was +e#ause of this the .oli#e had 8.lanted8 an under#o,er man to a#t as !eith-s
,alet/ 'et0 mu#h as the .oli#e wanted to #at#h !eith red-handed0 so far the s.y-s
a#ti,ities had +een no more .rodu#ti,e of results than the efforts of those
#ommittees sele#ted from an audien#e to su.er,ise a stae mai#ian in his feats of
leerdemain/
The s.y was waitin u. when !eith fitted his lat#h"ey to the door of the .enthouse
a.artment/
8Good e,enin0 sir/8
8What0 S#uttle0 waitin u.98
8'es0 sir/ I thouht .erha.s you-d li"e a S#ot#h and soda0 sir/ I ha,e the thins all
ready/ 'our #oat9 'our hat9 'our sti#"9 'our lo,es9 'es0 sir/ )ow0 do you wish to
.ut on your dressin own and house sli..ers98
!eith said0 8)o/ I thin" I-ll remain dressed for a while0 S#uttle/ 'ou miht +rin me
the S#ot#h and soda/8
!eith stret#hed out on the #haise lonue and thouhtfully si..ed the drin" whi#h the
s.y had .la#ed at his el+ow0 while Bea,er ho,ered around soli#itously/
8S#uttle08 !eith said at lenth0 8you ma"e it a .oint to read the #rime news0 I
+elie,e98
The s.y #ouhed a.oloeti#ally/ 8'ou-ll .ardon me for sayin so0 +ut e,er sin#e you-
outlined your theory that the news.a.er a##ounts fre6uently #ontain some
sinifi#ant fa#t whi#h .oints to the #riminal0 I-,e made it a ha+it to read the #rime
news/ Sort of a mental ame I .lay with myself/8
!ester !eith waited until he had ta"en two more leisurely si.s from his lass +efore
sayin/ 8$ fas#inatin .astime0 isn-t it0 S#uttle98
8'es0 sir/8
8But ma"e #ertain that your solutions are always merely a#ademi#7that you "ee.
them only in your mind/ 'ou "now how Sereant $#"ley is0 S#uttle7o,er2ealous0
unreasona+le7 and he has that inherent sus.i#ion whi#h is the unfailin indi#ation
of the .re1udi#ed mind/8
!eith yawned and .atted +a#" the yawn with .olite finers/ 8S#uttle0 in your #rime
readin0 ha,e you .erha.s run a#ross an a##ount of some #rime whi#h too" .la#e in
the &ust Commer#ial Buildin98
8The &ust Commer#ial Buildin9 )o0 sir0 I #an-t say that I ha,e/8
!eith said0 8I noti#e0 S#uttle0 that on the si4th floor of the &ust Commer#ial Buildin
is a whole strin of offi#es o##u.ied +y the Pre#ision Instrument *esinin and
Installation Com.any0 more enerally referred to0 I +elie,e0 as Pidi#o/ %a,e you
heard of any #rime whi#h has +een #ommitted there98
8)o0 sir0 I ha,en-t/8
!eith stret#hed0 yawned0 and said0 8Most annoyin0 S#uttle/8
8What is0 may I as"98
8To de.end u.on the news.a.ers for information7to "now that somethin in
whi#h you are interested has ha..ened and that it will +e twel,e to twenty-four
hours +efore you #an read a+out it/8
Bea,er "e.t his sur.rise #on#ealed +ehind a riidly immo+ile .o"er #ountenan#e/
%is eyes held +urnin #uriosity0 +ut his manner was merely deferential as he said0
8Is there anythin that I #ould do to hel. you0 sir98
!ester !eith a,e frownin #onsideration to the s.y-s o,ertures/ 8S#uttle0 #ould I
trust you98
8With your ,ery life0 sir/8
8$ll riht0 S#uttle0 I-ll i,e you an assinment7a ,ery #onfidential one/ /// In the
Channin Commer#ial Buildin there-s a .ri,ate dete#ti,e aen#y/ I didn-t +other to
loo" it u./ Some men too" a youn woman there a+out ten o-#lo#" toniht/ They
6uestioned her/ Perha.s they turned her loose0 .erha.s not/ If my reasonin is
#orre#t0 she was an em.loyee of the Pre#ision Instrument *esinin and Installation
Com.any/ 3ind out if that is the #ase/ If so0 re.ort to me her name and address/ If
the fa#ts aren-t as I-,e outlined them0 then I-m not interested in the matter at all/8
8'es0 sir/ $nd if it turns out you-re riht0 sir0 may I as" the nature and e4tent of your
interest98
!eith re.lied0 8Sim.ly to .ut my mind at ease +y ma"in a loi#al e4.lanation of an
e,ent whi#h has .u22led me/8
8May I as" what the e,ent was98
8The throwin of a sil,er fo4 #a.e out of a four-story window/8
The s.y-s eyes littered/ 8(h0 yes0 sir/ I read a+out that in the .a.er/8
8Indeed0 S#uttle9 *id you ha,e any theories a+out it98
8'es0 sir/ I a,e that matter 6uite a +it of thouht and rea#hed a ,ery satisfa#tory
#on#lusion/ I said to myself7if you won-t thin" it-s .resum.tuous0 sir7I-ll .retend
that I-m !ester !eith readin that news.a.er #li..in and try to find in it the
sinifi#ant #lue whi#h the .oli#e ha,e o,erloo"ed/8
8$nd what did you #on#lude98
8That the woman was merely a #o in a ma#hine0 a .art of a ,ery #le,er s#heme/8
8S#uttle0 you ama2e me:8
8'es0 sir/ I de#ided that her sole fun#tion was to distra#t the attention of e,eryone in
the .la#e while a #le,er #onfederate wor"ed a fool.roof s#heme/8
8What was the s#heme0 S#uttle98
8Swit#hin .ri#e tas0 sir/8
8Can you i,e me a few more details98
8'es0 sir/ Some #oats are se#ond-rade or imitation and ,alued at se,enty-fi,e to a
hundred dollars/ (thers are the real thin and ,alued at from twel,e hundred to
twenty-fi,e hundred/ (+,iously0 a .erson who #ould swit#h .ri#e tas would +e a+le
to ta"e ad,antae of the situation and for a relati,ely small amount et a hih-
.ri#ed #oat/8
8Mar,elous0 S#uttle:8 !ester !eith said/ 8'ou-re doin s.lendidly/8
8Than" you0 sir/ $nd do you thin" that-s what ha..ened98
8Certainly not0 +ut you-re im.ro,in0 S#uttle/8
8'ou mean you don-t thin" that ha..ened98
8)o0 S#uttle/8
8But it-s an entirely loi#al e4.lanation08 the ,alet insisted/
!eith yawned aain/ 8That-s why I don-t thin" it ha..ened0 S#uttle0 and now I thin"
I-ll o to +ed/ *on-t #all me +efore nine in the mornin/8
In#andes#ent lihts +la2ed down on the #iarette-#harred des" of Sereant $#"ley/
The air in the +uildin held that .e#uliar sten#h whi#h #omes to 1ails0 .oli#e
head6uarters0 and other .la#es whi#h are inha+ited twenty-four hours a day/ Bea,er
sat a#ross the des" from Sereant $#"ley and said0 8I 1ust #alled on the off #han#e
you hadn-t one to +ed/8
$#"ley yawned0 ran his finers throuh his hair0 and said0 8That-s all riht0 Bea,er/
I-d et u. in the middle of the niht to #at#h this #roo"/ 'ou say you need this
information +efore nine o-#lo#" in the mornin98
8That-s riht/8
$#"ley .ressed a +utton and0 when an offi#er a..eared0 said0 83ind out what
dete#ti,e aen#y is in the Channin Commer#ial Buildin and et the uy in #hare
on the line/8
When the offi#er had left the room0 $#"ley ru++ed his hand around the +a#" of his
ne#"0 yawned0 then fished in his waist#oat .o#"et for a #iar/ 8$nd you thin" it-s
#onne#ted u. with this oofy sho.liftin stunt at the Gil+ert .la#e98
8It seems to +e08 Bea,er said/
Sereant $#"ley lit his #iar0 .uffed thouhtfully for a few moments0 then shoo" his
head em.hati#ally and said0 8)o.e0 Bea,er/ That-s a +lind/ That +usiness at the
furrier #om.any was a .ri#e-ta swit#h0 1ust the way you do.ed it out/ My uess is
Gil+ert will +e s6uaw"in his head off tomorrow that someone wal"ed out with a
two-thousand-dollar min" #oat +y ma"in the .ayoff for a se,enty-fi,e-dollar ra++it
imitation/8
Bea,er nodded his head/ 8That was what I thouht/ !eith thin"s different/8
Sereant $#"le, said0 8That-s 1ust the line of hooey he-s i,in you to "ee. you from
"nowin what he really has in mind/8
8%e-s fallen for me this time0 Sereant/ %e-s really oin to ta"e me into his
#onfiden#e/8
Sereant $#"ley rolled the #iar around to the other #orner of his mouth/ 8)o.e08
he said0 8he-s .layin you for a su#"er0 Bea,er/ That +usiness a+out the sil,er fo4
#a.e is .roof that he-s strinin you alon/ I-ll +et there wasn-t anythin that
ha..ened o,er in the Instrument78
%e +ro"e off as the .hone ran/ %e s#oo.ed u. the re#ei,er and said out of the
#orner of his mouth0 8%ello7Sereant $#"ley tal"in/8
There was a moment-s silen#e in the room0 then $#"ley .ulled the #iar out of his
mouth and said0 in a ,oi#e suddenly #ris. with authority0 8(h0 this is the Planetary
International *ete#ti,e Ser,i#e in the Channin Commer#ial Buildin0 is it9 $nd
you-re in #hare9 ("ay/ This is Sereant $#"ley at head6uarters/ )ow et this0 and
et it straiht +e#ause I don-t want any fum+lin/ %a,e you ot a #lient0 the
Pre#ision Instrument
*esinin and Installation Com.any9 (h0 you ha,e0 eh9 I see/ )ow0 what "ind of
wor" are you doin riht now for that #om.any9 I don-t #are whether it-s
#onfidential or not: This is .oli#e head6uarters/ We-re wor"in on a #ase0 and we
thin" that anle enters into it/ / / / )e,er mind how we "new a+out it/ We-re as"in
for information/ / / / )o0 you aren-t oin to stall alon while you #all u. your #lient/
I-m as"in for information0 and I want it/ We let you uys et +y with a lot of stuff0
+ut riht now / / / Well0 that-s +etter/ ("ay0 o ahead and shoot/8
There was almost three minutes of #om.lete silen#e while Sereant $#"ley s#owled
at the tele.hone transmitter0 listenin to the ,oi#e whi#h .oured words throuh the
re#ei,er into his attenti,e left ear/ Then he said0 8%ow do you "now this dame is the
one9 /// I see/ / / / Where is she now9 / / / $ll riht0 you uys should ha,e re.orted that
in the first .la#e/ That-s a #rime/ That-s +urlary/ / / / Sure0 they don-t want any
notoriety0 +ut they don-t need to ha,e it/ We #an "ee. thins under #o,er the same
as anyone else/ *o you es u. there thin" you #an do +etter wor" than the .oli#e
de.artment9 / / / Well0 that-s +etter/ Tell him the truth/ Tell him head6uarters #alled
u. a+out it and demanded a re.ort/ Tell him we-re on our toes enouh so we "now
a+out #rimes e,en when the ,i#tims try to "ee. -em se#ret0 and you #an tell him that
Sereant/$#"ley is wor"in on the #ase .ersonally/ Tell him I-,e made su+stantial
.roress toward a solution/ In the meantime0 you es "ee. us .osted0 see9 / / /
That-s riht0 Sereant $#"ley/8
$#"ley +aned down the re#ei,er and then rinned a#ross the des" at the
under#o,er man/ 8The #hiefs onna et a "i#" out of that08 he said/ 8They were
tryin to "ee. it se#ret/ That +ird u. at the dete#ti,e aen#y nearly fainted0
wonderin- how we "new a+out it/8
8%ow we "new a+out what98 Bea,er as"ed/
$#"ley said0 8$n in,entor +y the name of )i#holas %ode wor"ed out an im.ro,ed
su+marine dete#tor and lo#ator/ %e made a rouh mode: whi#h seemed to do the
wor"/ %e too" it u. with Washinton and the thin ot snowed under with red ta.e/
Then he made a #onta#t with one of the rear admirals who arraned for a definite
test +ut insisted that a #om.letely finished instrument +e installed for the test0 one
that loo"ed ood enouh to im.ress the +i shots in the )a,y/ The Pre#ision
Instrument *esinin and Installation Com.any was .i#"ed for the 1o+/
8)aturally0 the thin was #arried out in reat se#re#y/ Jason Bell,iew0 the .resident
of the #om.any0 and his #onfidential se#retary0 a irl +y the name of Berni#e !amen0
were the only ones who "new what it was all a+out and where the master +lue.rints
were "e.t/ Those offi#es of the instrument #om.any are 1ust the desinin offi#es7
the fa#tory is a+out a mile out of town/ Bell,iew-s idea was that he-d s.lit the thin
u. into .arts0 ha,e wor"men ma"e the se.arate .arts0 and then0 at the last minute0
he0 usin a .air of trusted assistants0 would assem+le them himself/8
8$nd somethin ha..ened to the +lue.rints98 Bea,er as"ed/
8;anished into thin air/8
8This dete#ti,e aen#y is wor"in on it98
8That-s riht/ They-re under #ontra#t to ta"e #are of all the Instrument Com.any-s
+usiness/ Bell,iew #alled them as soon as he "new what had ha..ened/ They
sus.e#ted Berni#e !amen0 laid some sort of a tra. for her0 and she wal"ed into it/
They na++ed her and are i,in her a third deree and ettin no .la#e with it/8
8So we ta"e o,er98 Bea,er rinned/
Sereant $#"ley rinned also/ 8We ta"e o,er08 he said0 8+ut not until old Jason
Bell,iew #omes #rawlin in on his +elly and +es us to/ %e was afraid of the
.u+li#ity/ If it e,er ets out that those +lue.rints aren-t in his offi#e0 or if he #an-t
uarantee that while they were out of his .ossession no one made #o.ies of them0 the
Pre#ision Instrument Com.any is in one sweet mess/8
$+ru.tly the rin left Bea,er-s fa#e/ %e frowned thouhtfully/
8Well08 $#"ley as"ed0 8what is it98
8%ow the de,il did !ester !eith "now all a+out this98
$#"ley-s eyes refle#ted the mental 1olt this 6uestion a,e him/
Bea,er said0 8It was somethin that had to do with .it#hin that sil,er fo4 #a.e out
of that window/8
8)onsense0 Bea,er/ That-s 1ust a +lind he-s usin/8
Bea,er said suddenly0 8!oo" here0 Sereant0 the Instrument Com.any-s offi#es are
riht a#ross the street from the fur #om.any/ *o you su..ose you #ould see into the
78
Sereant $#"ley shoo" his head authoritati,ely/ 8The Instrument Com.any is on
the si4th floor/ The furrier-s on the fourth/8
Bea,er said doedly0 8Well0 the furrier-s in a loft +uildin0 and-the fourth floor of
that +uildin miht +e on a le,el with the si4th floor of the offi#e +uildin/8
Sereant $#"ley-s eye+rows le,eled/ 8'ou may ha,e somethin there08 he admitted/
Then he added hastily0 8But I dou+t it/8
!ester !eith0 o,er a +rea"fast of #offee0 toast0 and #ris. +a#on0 listened to the ,alet-s
re.ort/
8;ery interestin0 S#uttle0 and I should say 6uite #om.lete/ %ow did you et your
fa#ts98
The s.y #ouhed/ 8$ youn woman in whom I-m interested is "ee.in #om.any
with a .oli#e dete#ti,e08 he said/
8(h0 that-s riht/ 'ou-,e mentioned that +efore/ I-m not #ertain that I a..ro,e of
the ethi#al as.e#ts of the situation0 S#uttle0 +ut the relationshi. seems to ha,e +een
sinally .rodu#ti,e of information/8
8'es0 sir/8
8$nd you-re 6uite #ertain that Jason Bell,iew #onsulted the .oli#e98
8'es0 sir/ $fter midniht/8
8!et-s run o,er the story on#e more0 S#uttle/8
8'es0 sir/ Bell,iew .la#ed the master +lue.rints in his ,ault/ The +i door is "e.t
o.en durin the day +ut is #losed and
lo#"ed at niht/ )i#holas %ode0 the in,entor of the de,i#e0 and Bell,iew had 1ust
finished a .reliminary #onferen#e/ The +lue.rints had +een .la#ed in the ,ault/
Bell,iew had an im.ortant matter to attend to and e4#used himself for a few
moments0 lea,in %ode waitin in an offi#e whi#h ad1oined his .ri,ate offi#e/
Berni#e !amen0 Bell,iew-s se#retary0 had o.ened and sorted the early afternoon
mail in her own offi#e and was 1ust +rinin it to Mr/ Bell,iew-s .ri,ate offi#e7so
she said/ She had 1ust entered the offi#e when she heard the s#reamin from a#ross
the street/ )aturally0 many of the em.loyees ran to the windows to loo" out/ Berni#e
!amen says she heard the door slam in the .ri,ate offi#e7the e4it door7 as thouh
someone had hurriedly run out/ She assumed at the moment it was Mr/ Bell,iew/
That-s what she says/8
8It wasn-t Bell,iew98
8)o0 sir/ Mr/ Bell,iew says he was in another .art of the +uildin/ Whoe,er it was
ot the .lans out of the ,ault/ %e seemed to "now 1ust where to o for them/8
8$ny #han#e someone entered the offi#es from the outside98
8)o0 sir/ 3ran" Pa#"erson0 who has #hare of the firm-s house oran0 had +een
tra.shootin o,er the wee"end/ %e-d +rouht his un to the offi#e and0 as soon as he
heard the #ommotion a#ross the street0 he ra++ed the un0 loaded it0 and 1um.ed
out into the #orridor/ %ode0 the in,entor0 was the only man who a..eared who
wasn-t #onne#ted with the #om.any/ $nd0 of #ourse0 %ode would hardly steal his
own +lue.rints/8
!ester !eith frowned thouhtfully/ 8%ow a+out Berni#e !amen98
8The dete#ti,es wat#hed the +uildin last niht/ Miss !amen returned to the offi#es/
She said she was +ehind in her wor"/ The dete#ti,es rearded that as +ein hihly
sus.i#ious0 so they na++ed her/ 'ou see0 sir0 a uard was instantly .la#ed at the door
to see that no one too" the +lue.rints out/ They must still +e #on#ealed in the offi#es/
The thief remo,ed them from the safe and hid them/8
!eith said0 8The dete#ti,es sear#hed Miss !amen and found nothin98
8)o0 sir/8
!eith smiled/
8'ou-re .lannin to do somethin a+out it0 sir98 Bea,er as"ed/
!eith raised his eye+rows in sur.rise/ 8*o somethin98
8Well0 sir0 that is0 I was wonderin if you had any more theories you wanted to
#he#"/8
8I thin" not0 S#uttle/ I find myself irritated +y the stu.idity with whi#h the .oli#e
ha,e handled the entire matter0 +ut there-s no #all for me to do anythin/ My
interest in these matters0 S#uttle0 is .urely a+stra#t7merely an a#ademi#
s.e#ulation/8
The woman who ran the theatri#al em.loyment aen#y loo"ed u. at !ester !eith/ $t
first her smile was merely a .ro-fessional +landishment0 +ut as her eyes too" in the
well-"nit fiure0 the "een0 alert eyes0 the straiht nose and smilin li.s0 her manner
suddenly +e#ame more .ersonal/
8Good mornin08 she said0 in a tone whi#h had far more #ordiality than was
#ustomarily i,en to un"nown ,isitors/
!ester !eith smiled down at her/ 8I would li"e to write stories08 he said/
The smile struled aainst a frown and lost/ 8There-s a+solutely no o.enin for
writers08 she said/ 8We don-t handle literary stuff oursel,es0 +ut unless you-,e had
some e4.erien#e78
83eature writin08 !ester !eith went on0 8writin from an unusual anle7the
human interest +ehind the news/8
The frown faded somewhat/ 8It sounds 6uite interestin0 +ut I-m afraid we #ouldn-t
78
8(h08 !eith inter.osed airily0 8it-s 1ust a ho++y/ I don-t #are to ma"e any money out
of it0 and I-m not as"in you to .la#e my wor"/8
8What did you want then98 8$n a#tress who would not +e ad,erse to .u+li#ity/8
The woman at the des" said0 8)one of them are ad,erse to .u+li#ity/8
8I want an a#tress08 !eith said0 8who has what it ta"es0 a trou.er0 a78
8'ou won-t find those anymore08 the woman interru.ted wearily/ 8'oun .eo.le
these days thin" only in terms of %ollywood/ They reard the stae only as a
s.rin+oard to hel. them 1um. into the mo,ies/8
!ester !eith said0 8My a#tress doesn-t ne#essarily need to +e youthful/ I want
someone who has #hara#ter and that somethin whi#h is "nown as +ein a ood
s.ort/8
She rearded him somewhat 6ui22i#ally/ 8There-s one waitin in the outer offi#e08
she said0 8who has done e,erythin from sto#" #om.anies to ,aude,ille/ She really
has talent0 +ut 7well0 she isn-t youn any more/8
8%ow old98 !eith as"ed/
She smiled/ 8She says thirty and loo"s thirty-three/ I would say she was around
forty/ I ha,e to admire her for the way she "ee.s u. her #ourae/8
8What-s her name98
8Winnie Gail/8
8Would she +e interested in doin a 1o+ for me7as a model98
8I don-t thin" so/ She wants to +e an a#tress or nothin0 +ut you #an tal" with her/8
'ith said0 8!et-s et her in/8
Winnie Gail .ro,ed to +e a woman who was im.atient of su+terfues and wanted to
"now e4a#tly where she stood/ She interru.ted !ester !eith-s .reliminary tal" with
a #urt 6uestion/ 8%a,e you e,er done any writin98
8)o08 !ester !eith said/ 8This is a new ,enture/8
8!isten0 you ha,en-t the #han#e of the .ro,er+ial snow+all08 she said im.atiently/
8Tut0 tut/ I was afraid of that/ *on-t o0 Miss Gail/8
8Why not98
83ortunately0 I am not de.endent on my writin as a sour#e of in#ome/8
8Well0 I-m de.endent on my time as a sour#e of in#ome0 and I ha,en-t any to
waste/8
!eith said0 8I want you to .ose for .hotora.hs and a story with a human interest
slant/ The #om.ensation would +e two hundred and fifty dollars for two hours-
wor"7.lus0 of #ourse0 a fur #oat/8
8Plus a what98
8$ fur #oat7a sil,er fo4 #a.e/8
Winnie Gail a+ru.tly sat down/ 8)ow listen08 she said0 8is this on the u.-and-u.98
!eith nodded/
8'ou-re not wra..in a .ro.osition in a #ello.hane .a#"- ae98
%e shoo" his head/
H-I et this douh in #ash98
8'es/8
8When98
8)ow/8
8What do I ha,e to do98
8Throw a fur #a.e out of a window0 and then tell me e4a#tly how you felt when you
did it/8
Winnie Gail lan#ed at the startled woman +ehind the des"0 then loo"ed u. at
!ester !eith/ 8'ou-re #ra2y08 she said/ 8But if you ha,e two hundred and fifty
dollars in #ash on you0 I-m with you/8
!ester !eith o.ened his wallet and #ounted out fi,e fifty- dollar +ills/ $s the
#urren#y fluttered to the des" of the woman who ran the theatri#al em.loyment
aen#y0 Winnie Gail said softly0 8I ha,en-t seen #onfetti li"e that sin#e I .layed
Mother Was a !ady in the old Pelman %ouse/8
3/ G/ Gil+ert0 head of the Gil+ert 3urrier Com.any0 rearded !ester !eith with
#old0 #al#ulatin eyes/
8So you see08 !eith e4.lained affa+ly0 indi#atin the .ho- tora.her who stood on
his left0 a +i studio-ty.e #amera in a #arryin #ase and a tri.od o,er his shoulder0
8I-,e +rouht my .hotora.her to ma"e a series of .i#tures0 and87indi#atin
Winnie Gail0 who wore her made-o,er0 somewhat sha++y #lothes with an air of
distin#tion78I-,e +rouht my own #ustomer/ I will0 of #ourse0 +uy the sil,er fo4
#a.e at retail .ri#es/8 Gil+ert shoo" his head/
8(f #ourse08 !ester !eith went on affa+ly0 8Miss Gail is an a#tress/ Just +etween
you and me0 she e4.e#ts to et #onsidera+le .u+li#ity out of this0 and0 as far as
you-re #on#erned7well0 ha,in the Gil+ert 3urrier Com.any mentioned
.rominently in #onne#tion with news and maa2ine stories shouldn-t do you any
harm/8
Gil+ert frowned throuh his lasses/ 8'ou aren-t a news.a.er re.orter98 8)o/8
8$ .ress aent98
8Well0 in a way/ I ha,e Miss Gail-s .u+li#ity at heart/8 Gil+ert-s a..raisal of Miss
Gail s.o"e ,olumes/ 8I-m not #ertain this store desires that sort of .u+li#ity/8
!eith shrued his shoulders/ 8$s you wish08 he said/ 8(f #ourse0 there-s the
.ur#hase of a sil,er fo4 #a.e/8
Gil+ert said0 8Just a minute/ I-ll ha,e to #onfer with my ad,ertisin manaer/ I-ll +e
riht +a#"/8
%e ste..ed into his .ri,ate offi#e and #alled .oli#e head6uarters/ 8$ man +y the
name of !ester !eith08 he said0 8#laims to +e a feature writer/ %e-s here with an
a#tress who wants to .it#h another sil,er fo4 #a.e out of the window and0 at the
same time0 ha,e Miss 3anny Gillmeyer0 who was the #ler" who s#reamed for the
.oli#e yesterday0 do the same thin all o,er aain today/ Is there any o+1e#tion to my
"i#"in him downstairs98
The des" sereant said0 8%old the .hone/ I-ll .ut you in tou#h with Sereant
$#"ley/8
$ moment later Sereant $#"ley #ame on the wire0 and Gil+ert e4.lained the matter
in detail/
$#"ley-s ,oi#e was eaer/ 8$ny o+1e#tions9 !isten0 don-t let him #hane his mind/
Stall him alon for fifteen minutes/ That-s all I want7fifteen minutes/8
8$nd it-s o"ay after that98 Gil+ert as"ed du+iously/
8Is it o"ay:8 Sereant $#"ley e4#laimed/ 8'ou listen to me/ If you let this
o..ortunity sli. throuh your finers0 I-ll7I-ll7 I-ll #lose your 1oint u. for
handlin stolen oods:8
Gil+ert returned to the outer offi#e/ 8("ay08 he said0 8+ut if you want Miss
Gillmeyer to wait on you .ersonally0 it-ll ta"e a few minutes0 +e#ause she-s +usy with
another #ustomer/ %owe,er0 I su..ose you-ll want to set u. your #ameras and do a
little rehearsin98
!ester !eith too" #hare of o.erations with that meti#ulous attention to detail whi#h
#hara#teri2es the hihest-.ri#ed dire#tors in the .i#ture +usiness/
8'ou see08 !eith e4.lained0 8yesterday the fo4 #a.e hit on the su..ort of a sin and
didn-t et to the sidewal"0 +ut that was only +e#ause an element of #han#e entered
into the situation/ Today undou+tedly the #a.e will rea#h the sidewal"/ )ow0 then0
what will ha..en9 Will someone .i#" it u. and hurry away with it0 or will the
.erson who finds it +e honest and return it9 In any e,ent0 we want a whole series of
a#tion .hotora.hs/8
The .hotora.her set u. the +i studio #amera0 .la#ed a s.eed ra.hi# on the floor
where it would +e within easy rea#h/ %e also .la#ed another s.eed #amera on a
smaller tri.od/ 8)ow listen08 he said to !eith0 8when the a#tion starts0 I-,e ot to
wor" fast/ Be sure .eo.le "ee. out of my way/8
!ester !eith nodded/
Gil+ert loo"ed at his wat#h0 then motioned to the youn woman who was standin
near+y/ 8$ll riht0 Miss Gillmeyer08 he said0 8#ome on o,er here/ 'ou #an o ahead
any time now08 he said to !ester !eith/
But nearly ten minutes ela.sed +efore !eith indi#ated that he was ready/
Then a+ru.tly he said0 8$ll riht0 o ahead/8
W innie Gail wal"ed o,er to the window0 hesitated a moment0 then tossed out a
sil,er fo4 #a.e/ 3anny Gillmeyer thrust her head out of the window and s#reamed
for .oli#e/ Pedestrians on the street +elow stared u. in fro2en-fa#ed #uriosity/ $#ross
the street the offi#e wor"ers in the &ust Commer#ial Buildin .aused in whate,er
they were doin to stare/ The .hotora.her 1um.ed from one #amera to the other0
then snat#hed u. the s.eed ra.hi#0 leaned out of the window0 and started shootin
a series of .i#tures/ / / /
Sereant $#"ley sat in #onferen#e with Ca.tain Carmi#hael at .oli#e head6uarters/
$ .ile of .hotora.hs was on the des"/
8%e doesn-t "now you-,e ot these .i#tures98 Carmi#hael as"ed/
Sereant $#"ley shoo" his head/ 8I .ut the s#rews on the .hotora.her/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael .i#"ed u. the .hotora.hs and studied them thouhtfully/ %e
o.ened a drawer in his des"0 too" out a manifyin lass0 and mo,ed it o,er one of
the .i#tures/ 8Interestin08 he said/
8'ou ot somethin98 Sereant $#"ley in6uired eaerly0 wal"in around to .eer
o,er Ca.tain Carmi#hael-s shoulder/
The .oli#e #a.tain ta..ed a .ortion of the .hotora.h/ 8)oti#e08 he said0 8you #an
a#tually identify the .eo.le who are at the windows of the Pre#ision Instrument
offi#es/ 'ou #an e,en see what-s oin on +a#" in the offi#es themsel,es/ There-s a
woman standin in front of the ,ault door/8
8That-s our own .lant08 Sereant $#"ely said/ 8Belie,e me0 she-s on the 1o+/ $s soon
as she heard the alarm0 she didn-t e,en loo" to see what it was/ She 1ust +eat it for
the safe and stood there "ee.in uard/ That-s $nn Sherman0 and they don-t sli.
anythin o,er on her:8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael ru++ed his hand thouhtfully o,er the to. of his head/ 8I
wonder08 he said musinly0 8if that s.oiled thins for !eith/8
8%ow do you mean98
8%e hadn-t #ounted on the woman who too" Berni#e !a- men-s .la#e +ein from
head6uarters/ Perha.s he was ho.in the ,ault would +e unuarded0 1ust as it was
for a few moments yesterday/8
8But the +lue.rints ha,e already +een swi.ed08 Sereant $#"ley said/ 8What ood
would it do to i,e some+ody the o..ortunity to steal them aain98
Ca.tain Carmi#hael .ursed his li.s0 .uffed out his #hee"s0 and +lew thouhtfully/
Slowly his eye+rows #re.t toether in a .ortentous s#owl/ 8Sereant08 he said0
8that-s e4a#tly what he wanted0 and $nn Sherman-s +ein on the 1o+ "e.t him from
ettin results/ %an it0 we should ha,e thouht of that:
8*on-t you see9 Whoe,er stole those +lue.rints hasn-t +een a+le to et them out of
the +uildin/ They are still there0 hidden somewhere/ The thief has memori2ed them
enouh to "now the real se#ret of the de,i#e/ )ow he-d li"e to et them +a#" into the
,ault/8
8I don-t see why/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael said .atiently0 8Be#ause e,ery in#h of those offi#es was
sear#hed +y the .oli#e immediately after Jason Bell,iew ot in tou#h with you/ We
didn-t et to first +ase/ Tell Jason Bell,iew to a.oloi2e to Berni#e !amen and et
her +a#" on the 1o+0 then i,e !ester !eith a free hand/8
8What do you mean +y a free hand98
8E4a#tly what I said/ %a,e you e,er seen the Chinese method of #at#hin fish0
Sereant98
The e4as.erated Sereant $#"ley said sar#asti#ally0 8That-s another thin I-,e
o,erloo"ed in #onne#tion with the #ase0 and I-,e #om.letely o,erloo"ed ins.e#tin
the hairs on the head of the last Ey.tian mummy throuh a mi#ros#o.e/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael flushed/ 8*on-t +e so irrita+le08 he rowled0 8and so +lamed
inorant/ I was oin to tell you that the oriental method of #at#hin fish is to .ut a
ro.e around the ne#" of the fish-eatin +ird0 so he #an-t swallow/ The +ird dro.s
into the sea and ra+s half a do2en fish/ %e #an-t swallow -em0 so he #omes +a#" to
the surfa#e0 and the wily Chinese has half a do2en ni#e li,e fish0 #auht without any
effort on his .art/8
Sereant $#"ley-s eyes listened/ 8What-s the name of that +ird98 he as"ed/
Ca.tain Carmi#hael frowned/ 8I thin" they #all it a #ormorant/8
Sereant $#"ley said0 8Cri.es0 I-d li"e to ha,e one of those +irds to ta"e u. to the
la"e where I s.end my summer ,a#ation: There were fish there that 1ust wouldn-t
+ite78
8We-re tal"in a+out +lue.rints08 Ca.tain Carmi#hael interru.ted/ 8!ester !eith is
oin to +e our #ormorant/ %e-ll et the swa for us and then ha,e to disore it/8
8What the he#" does a #ormorant loo" li"e98 Sereant $#"ley as"ed/
Ca.tain Carmi#hael said ,auely0 8%e-s somethin li"e a .eli#an/8
Sereant $#"ley .ushed +a#" his #hair/ 8Well0 I et the idea all riht/ We-ll ma"e
this uy !eith somethin li"e a .eli#an/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael a,e one last warnin/ 8Be a+solutely #ertain08 he said0 8that
you "ee. a ro.e tied around his ne#"/ 8That-s the most im.ortant thin in the way
the Chinese fish/ (therwise the +irds would swallow e,erythin they et/8
Sereant $#"ley said #onfidently0 8!ea,e it to me0 Ca.tain08 and left the room/ %e
was +a#"0 howe,er0 within a few se#onds/ 8Say0 Ca.tain0 don-t thin" I-m #u#"oo0 +ut
where #ould a man +uy one of those +irds that are li"e a .eli#an98
Ca.tain Carmi#hael fi4ed him with a stern eye/ 8In China08 he said/
!ester !eith .ressed the +utton of $.artment >-B/ The #ard o..osite the +utton
+ore the names of two .ersons Berni#e !amen0 who was the #onfidential se#retary of
Jason Bell,iew0 and Milli#ent 3oster/
$fter a moment the +u22er sounded0 and !ester !eith wal"ed u. two flihts of stairs
to the a.artment he wanted/ The youn woman who answered his "no#" was #ool0
#olle#ted0 and ,ery mu#h on her uard/ 8What do you want98 she as"ed/
8I-d li"e to tal" with Miss Berni#e !amen/8
8Miss !amen is not at home/8
!ester !eith-s eyes softened into twin"lin a..raisal of the stern youn woman on
the threshold/ 8'ou08 he as"ed0 8are Miss 3oster98
8'es/8
8Perha.s I #an tal" with you/8
3or a moment she studied him0 then rela4ed somewhat the se,erity of her manner
and re.eated0 8What do you want98
8I ta"e it0 +e#ause you-re sharin an a.artment with Miss !amen0 that your
relationshi. is a friendly one98
8'es/ We-re friends7ha,e +een for years/8
!eith said0 8I-m a writer/8
There was alarm in her ,oi#e/ 8$ news.a.erman98
8)o0 no: I-m 1ust a +einner/ It-s somethin of a ho++y with me/8
8I see08 she said du+iously/
!eith said affa+ly0 8'our friend has +een .la#ed in a most unsatisfa#tory .osition/8
8In what way98
8If I were she0 I-d want to .ro,e myself inno#ent/8
8%ow98
!eith-s ,oi#e showed sur.rise/ 8Why0 +y seein that the uilty .erson was tra..ed0
of #ourse/8
3or a lon moment the woman in the doorway hesitated0 then her fa#e softened in a
smile/ 8(h0 #ome on in08 she said im.ulsi,ely/ 8I-m Berni#e !amen/ This is Milli#ent
o,er here +y the window/ Miss 3oster0 this is Mr/7 What did you say your name
was98
8!eith/ !ester !eith/8
8Well0 #ome on in and sit down/8
$s !eith settled himself in the #hair she had indi#ated0 she si2ed u. the e4.ensi,e
tailor-made suit he was wearin and said0 8'ou don-t loo" li"e a .oor writer/8
8I-m not08 !eith said/ 8I-m a ood writer/8
Milli#ent said hastily0 8Berni#e didn-t mean78
Berni#e interru.ted0 8S"i. it/ %e-s "iddin/8 She smiled at !ester !eith/ 8'ou don-t
loo" li"e any sort of a writer0 ood0 +ad0 or indifferent/ What-s your ame98
8To find out who stole those +lue.rints/8
Milli#ent said0 8I understand someone threw another fur out of the window this
afternoon/8
8I did08 !eith announ#ed #almly/
8'ou did:8 Berni#e e4#laimed/
!eith smiled de.re#atinly/ 8It was0 of #ourse0 the o+,ious thin to do/8
Berni#e lan#ed at Milli#ent0 then leaned forward to reard !ester !eith from under
le,el +rows/ 8)ow0 let-s et this straiht/ 'ou mean you threw a fur #a.e out of the
window aain this afternoon98
8(h0 I didn-t do it myself08 !eith said/ 8I enaed a youn woman to do it0 a ,ery
talented a#tress/ 'ou see0 I wanted to ha,e her i,e me an e4#lusi,e inter,iew0 tellin
me how it felt to throw an e4.ensi,e fur #a.e out a four-story window/8
$ain the youn women e4#haned lan#es/ Berni#e !amen0 her tone .er#e.ti+ly
#ooler0 said0 8Well0 I-m afraid I #an-t do anythin to hel. you/8
!eith o.ened the small +rief#ase he was #arryin0 too" out some .hotora.hs0 and
said0 8These are a series of .hotora.hs whi#h we too"0 showin the entire e.isode/
Most interestin0 don-t you thin"98
$fter a moment-s hesitation0 the two youn women mo,ed #loser to study the
.hotora.hs/ !eith too" a manifyin lass from his .o#"et and said0 8'ou #an see a
reat many details here/ !oo" at this .i#ture of the #rowd leanin out of the window
o,er at the Pre#ision Instrument *esinin and Installation Com.any/ I daresay you
#an re#oni2e many of your fellow wor"ers0 Miss !amen98
8I should say I #an0 e,en without the lass/ Why0 there-s78
!eith interru.ted her to indi#ate one of the windows with the .oint of his lead
.en#il/ 8This08 he as"ed0 8is the window of Mr/ Bell,iew-s .ri,ate offi#e98
8'es/8
8I noti#e what a..ears to +e the +a#" of a youn woman standin riht here/ Would
that +e near the ,ault98
8'es/ The ,ault door is riht there/8
8This man0 I ta"e it0 is Jason Bell,iew98
8'es/8
!ester !eith said0 8Someone o,er here is holdin a +roomsti#"/8
She loo"ed at the .hotora.h0 then +urst out lauhin0 8That-s not a +roomsti#"/
It-s a un/8
8$ rifle98 !eith as"ed/
8)o08 she said0 smilin0 8a shotun/ The man who-s tryin to .lay hero is 3ran"
Pa#"erson0 the editor of our house oran0 the Pidi#o )ews/ %e-s a tra.shootin
enthusiast/ %e-d +een out in the #ountry doin some shootin o,er the wee"end/ %e
ot +a#" to town too late Monday mornin to o to his a.artment0 so he +rouht his
un u. to the offi#e and left it there0 as he does o##asionally/8
8I see08 !ester !eith said0 8and he-s on the loo"out for +urlars in this .i#ture0 I
su..ose98
8I uess so/ %e really did a de#ent 1o+ yesterday/ %e ra++ed his shotun and
dashed out into the #orridor as soon as he heard the s#reamin for .oli#e a#ross the
street/ %e says no one e4#e.t the in,entor and0 a few moments later0 Mr/ Bell,iew
a..eared in the #orridor/ That shows .retty #on#lusi,ely that the ta"in of the
+lue.rints was an inside 1o+ and that7that78
8Go on08 !eith said/
8That they weren-t ta"en out as far as the #orridor/ They-re #on#ealed somewhere in
the offi#es/8
8%ow many offi#es would +e a,aila+le as .la#es of #on#ealment98
She said0 8I-,e +een thin"in that o,er/ There is a whole strin of them/ They all
ha,e #ommuni#atin doors0 and then there-s the #orridor whi#h runs the whole
lenth of the offi#es/ But the .oint is0 Mr/ !eith0 that no one went alon the #orri-
dor and no one #rossed the #orridor/ Pa#"erson is .ositi,e on that .oint/ %e-d ha,e
shot in a minute if he-d seen anythin that was out of the way7su#h as someone
runnin away/8
8That would mean0 then0 that the +lue.rints must ha,e +een hidden somewhere in
the strin of offi#es whi#h are ne4t to the windows that o.en on the street98 !eith
as"ed/
8'es/8
!eith said0 indi#atin the .hotora.h with a swee.in esture of his hand0
8Somewhere in the area whi#h is #o,ered in this .hotora.h/8
8That-s riht/8
!eith ta..ed a s.ot on the .hotora.h with the .oint of a lead .en#il/ 8Who-s this98
She frowned and said0 8!et me see that lass/ It-s a little ha2y/8
!eith a,e her the manifyin lass/
8(h0 yes/ That-s Tar,er Slade/ %e-s a man who showed u. four or fi,e days ao to
o o,er our +oo"s/8
8$n auditor98 !eith as"ed/
8(h0 no/ Just one of those state ta4 men who #ome in at inter,als for a #he#"u./ )o
one .ays ,ery mu#h attention to them/ They-re terri+le .ests0 want you to sto.
e,erythin to e4.lain little sim.le .oints/ If we too" them seriously0 we-d ne,er et
any wor" done/ )owadays we 1ust i,e them an offi#e and let them alone/8
!ester !eith said0 8This man seems to +e .uttin on an o,er#oat/8
8'es/ I-,e noti#ed that if the weather-s at all #old0 he wears his o,er#oat whene,er he
oes out/ I uess he has rheumatism/ $t times he wal"s with a .ronoun#ed iim.0
then aain he seems ail riht/8
!ester !eith too" out a note+oo" and made a #ry.ti# entry/ 8Just 1ottin down the
names of these .eo.le08 he e4.lained/ 8)ow0 #an you i,e me a few more names
from the .hotora.hs98
Ta"in !eith-s .en#il0 Berni#e !amen #he#"ed off the ,arious .ersons whose fa#es
a..eared in the window/ (nly some four or fi,e whose heads were +ent down0
loo"in at the sidewal"0 she #ouldn-t re#oni2e/
!ester !eith sli..ed the enlared .hotora.hs +a#" into his +reif#ase/ 8Than" you
,ery mu#h0 Miss !amen/ I thin" I ha,e a swell anle for writin my arti#le0 -%ow It
3eels to Throw a 3ur Ca.e (ut of the Window/- 8
8Mr/ !eith08 Millie 3oster said0 8.lease +e fran" with us/ What are you after98
8Why0 I-m after a human-interest story/8
8Surely you don-t e4.e#t us to +elie,e that a .erson would o to all this e4.ense to
et material for a story he wasn-t e,en sure of sellin98
!eith smiled/
Berni#e !amen said0 8It-s a story that would interest me/ I thin" the .hotos are
swell/8
8$ren-t they:8 !eith said enthusiasti#ally/ 8They should +e/ They #ost se,enty-fi,e
dollars/8
Milli#ent said0 8Good niht7should I say0 Santa Claus98
!eith .aused with his hand on the "no+/ 8'ou miht loo" in your sto#"in08 he said0
and 6uietly left the a.artment/
!ester !eith o.ened the door of the .enthouse a.artment and said0 8&iht this way0
men/8
The startled under#o,er man loo"ed u. to see half a do2en men who were .ro+a+ly
ta4i dri,ers #arryin a mis#ellaneous assortment whi#h in#luded a des"0 a swi,el
#hair0 a ty.ewriter0 a filin #a+inet0 a waste+as"et0 and a #a+inet for holdin
stationery/
8S#uttle08 !ester !eith said0 8"indly mo,e the #hair out of that #orner/ $ll riht0
+oys0 1ust .ut the stuff in there7the des" riht in the #orner0 the ty.ewriter on the
des"0 the waste+as"et to the side of the des"0 and the swi,el #hair0 of #ourse0 riht +y
the des"/8
The ,alet stared at the strane .ro#ession whi#h troo.ed its way a#ross the thi#"
#ar.ets of the .enthouse a.artment/ When they had one0 he mo,ed a+out0 dustin
the furniture/
8$re you em.loyin a se#retary98 he as"ed/
!ester !eith rearded him re.roa#hfully/ 8S#uttle0 I am oin to wor"/8
8To wor"98
8'es/ I am oin to write stories whi#h will inter.ret the hidden sinifi#an#e of
thins/ I am oin to fiht my way to the to./8
8'es0 sir/ $ no,el .erha.s0 sir98
8)ot fi#tion0 S#uttle/ I am oin to dramati2e in#idents/ 3or instan#e0 S#uttle0 how
would it feel to throw three hundred and fifty dollars out of a window98
8I-m sure I don-t "now0 sir/8
8But you-d +e interested in findin out0 wouldn-t you98
8Well0 sir7ahem7of #ourse0 if you say so0 sir/ 'es0 sir/8
8That-s e4a#tly it08 !eith said/ 8Today a woman threw a three-hundred-and-fifty-
dollar fur #a.e out of the window/ %ow did it feel9 What were her sensations9 She
has told me her innermost thouhts/ I-ll write them out at fe,er heat0 S#uttle/ Words
will .our from my finerti.s onto the .a.er/ The in#ident will li,e0 will +e
.er.etuated throuh .osterity/8
!ester !eith whi..ed off his #oat and handed it to the ,alet/ 8%an it u.0 S#uttle/8
!eith 1er"ed out the #hair0 sat down at the ty.ewriter0 and fed a .ie#e of .a.er into
the roller/
8May I as" why the deli,ery +y ta4i#a+98 the s.y as"ed in a last des.erate effort to
et information/
!eith said0 without loo"in u.0 8*on-t interru.t me0 S#uttle/ I-m #on#entratin7
deli,ery +y ta4i#a+97why0 of #ourse0 I had to +uy these thins at a se#ondhand
.la#e in the #hea.er distri#t +e#ause the other stores were #losed/ Those little .la#es
don-t ma"e deli,eries/ I had si4 ta4i#a+s76uite a .ro#ession0 S#uttle/ )ow let-s see0
how would we start this9 I-ll want it in the first .erson/ $h0 yes: I ha,e a title
-Throwin Money $way0- +y Winnie Gail as told to !ester !eith/8
!ester !eith la+oriously ta..ed out the title and +y-line on the ty.ewriter0 then
.ushed +a#" his #hair to stare at the +lan" sheet of .a.er/ 8)ow0 I-ll need a
+einnin/ !et-s see7I tossed the fur #a.e out of the window/ )o0 that doesn-t sound
riht/ I want somethin more dramati#/ !et-s see now7I tried on the fur #a.e the
salesirl handed me/ It was a .erfe#t fit/ I was .leased with the soft lu4ury of the
lossy fur/ $nd I .it#hed it out of the window/8
!ester !eith #o#"ed his head on one side and studied the ,alet-s e4.ression/ 8%ow
does that sound0 S#uttle98
8;ery ood0 sir/8
8'our fa#e doesn-t show it0 S#uttle/ There-s a #om.lete la#" of enthusiasm/8
8'es0 sir/ If you-ll .ermit me to say so0 it sounds li"e the de,il0 sir/8
8'es08 !ester !eith admitted0 8it should +e done more su+tly/8
%e .ushed +a#" his #hair0 sho,ed his thum+s throuh the armholes of his ,est0
stared at the "ey+oard of the ty.ewriter for se,eral minutes0 then ot u. and started
.a#in the floor/ 8S#uttle0 how do writers et their ins.iration98
8I don-t "now0 sir/8
8The thin sounded so easy when I thouht a+out it in eneral terms0 +ut ettin it
down s.e#ifi#ally /// I sim.ly #an-t say0 I threw it out of the window/ 'et I don-t "now
what else to say/ Well0 S#uttle0 I-ll ma"e a start/ It seems to me I-,e read somewhere
that su##essful authors don-t sim.ly sit down and dash off a story0 +ut ha,e to la+or
o,er it0 ma"in many re,isions0 #hoosin their words with the reatest of #are/8
8'es0 sir/8
8$nd08 !ester !eith went on0 8I-ll try to et some new anle/8
!eith sat down at the ty.ewriter on#e more and doedly +ean ta..in out the
words/ The s.y ho,ered o+se6uiously in the +a#"round/
8'ou needn-t wait u.0 S#uttle/ I-ll .ro+a+ly +e all hours/8
8Can-t I et you somethin0 some S#ot#h and soda or78
8)o0 S#uttle0 I-m wor"in/8
8;ery ood0 sir/ If you don-t mind0 I thouht I-d ste. out for a moment for a +reath
of air/8
8Guite all riht0 S#uttle/ Go ahead08 !eith said0 without loo"in u. from the
ty.ewriter/
The s.y wal"ed down to the #orner drustore0 #alled .oli#e head6uarters0 and ot
Sereant $#"ley on the line/
8Bea,er08 $#"ley demanded0 8what was the meanin of that .ro#ession0of ta4i#a+s
dri,in u. to the .la#e98
The s.y said0 8%e-s +e#omin a writer/ %e ot the ins.iration for a story0 and he had
to start at it riht away/ %e .i#"ed u. a lot of se#ondhand furniture0 ty.ewriters0
filin #ases0 and all that sort of 1un"0 and had them deli,ered +y ta4i#a+/8
Sereant $#"ley roaned/ 8'ou ne,er "now whether he-s "iddin you or a#tually
sli..in somethin o,er/8 $#"ley roaned aain/
There was a su+tle tension throuhout the offi#es of the Pre#ision Instrument
*esinin and Installation Com.any/ Beneath the routine e4terior of a smoothly
fun#tionin +usiness orani2ation was that strain whi#h manifests itself in
surre.titious lan#es and whis.ered #onferen#es in the restrooms/
3ran" Pa#"erson0 editor of the Pidi#o )ews0 sat in his .ri,ate offi#e0 a .en#il in his
hand0 aimlessly tra#in desins on a sheet of .a.ier/
The interoffi#e #ommun#atin system +u22er sounded0 and Pa#"erson almost
me#hani#ally threw the le,er whi#h made the #onne#tion/ The ,oi#e of the irl at the
information des" said0 8$n author is here with a manus#ri.t whi#h he is willin to
sell for fi,e hundred dollars to the Pidi#o )ews/8
Pa#"erson was startled/ 8$ manus#ri.t7fi,e hundred dollars98 8'es/8
8Tell him we don-t +uy manus#ri.ts/ $ll our stuff is staff written/ Tell him they don-t
allow me fi,e hundred dollars for an entire issue/8
8'es0 Mr/ Pa#"erson/ I told him0 +ut he insisted I should notify you/ %e also has a
un he wishes to sell/8 8$ un98 8'es0 sir/8
Pa#"erson was interested/ 8What sort of un98
8%e says it-s a enuine Itha+ore o,er-and-under whi#h he-s willin to sell for fifteen
dollars/8
8$ enuine Itha+ore:8 Pa#"erson e4#laimed/ 83or fifteen dollars98
8'es0 sir/8
Gun enthusiast that he was0 Pa#"erson #ould no more resist su#h a +arain than a
+ase+all fan #ould turn down a free ti#"et to the World Series/
8Tell him to #ome in/8
Pa#"erson had e4.e#ted some sha++y out-at-the-el+ows indi,idual with lon hair
and litterin eyes/ %e was hardly .re.ared for the sua,e0 well-dressed man who
entered his offi#e0 #arryin a +rief#ase in his riht hand and two sole-leather un
#ases o,er his left shoulder/
Instantly sus.i#ious0 Pa#"erson said0 8<nderstand0 my man0 I-m not +uyin uns
from .ersons whom I "now nothin a+out/ I-ll want a #om.lete history of the un/8
8(h0 #ertainly08 !ester !eith said/ 8I-m .re.ared to i,e you a +ill of sale/8
8I want more than a +ill of sale/ I-ll want to "now somethin a+out you/ That .ri#e
is7well0 it-s a+surd for a enuine Itha+ore o,er-and-under/8
!ester !eith lauhed/ 8Want me to ma"e the .ri#e si4ty dollars98
Pa#"erson flushed/ 8I-m only interested in ettin another un if the .ri#e is riht/
I-d hardly anti#i.ated dealin with a well-dressed straner who ,ery a..arently has
two uns for sale/ I thin" you #an a..re#iate my .osition0 Mr/7er78
8!eith08 his ,isitor said/
8Well0 I thin" you see my .osition/8
!ester !eith lauhed/ 8$s a matter of fa#t0 Mr/ Pa#"erson0 I am willin to sell this
Itha+ore #hea. +e#ause I sim.ly #an-t hit a thin w1th it0 whereas I ha,e a Better+ilt
that sim.ly "no#"s -em dead/8
Pa#"erson shoo" his head/ 8I don-t li"e the Better+ilt/ I li"e an Itha+ore o,er-and-
under0 without too mu#h dro. in the sto#"/8
!eith said0 8'ou should li"e this un/8 %e o.ened one of the un #ases0 and
Pa#"erson a,e the un first a #asual ins.e#tion0 then .ut it toether0 tried the lo#"0
swun it u. to his shoulder on#e or twi#e0 and turned to !eith with a .u22led
e4.ression/ 8%ow mu#h did you say you wanted for this98 83ifteen dollars/8
Pa#"erson stared at him sus.i#iously/
83or referen#e08 !eith said0 8you #an rin u. my +an"er/8 Pa#"erson said0 8I
su..ose you "now what that un #ost new/8
8Certainly/8
8Then why the fifteen-dollar .ri#e98 !eith hesitated for a moment0 then suddenly
said0 8I-ll +e .erfe#tly fran" with you0 Mr/ Pa#"erson/ I thin" there-s a little +ule in
the +arrel/ 'ou #an-t see it when you-re inside0 +ut if you-ll ste. o,er to the window
and let the sun shine alon the +arrel0 you #an see it7a .e#uliar line of half-
shadow/8
Pa#"erson wal"ed o,er to the window0 .ushed the un +arrel out into the sunliht0
studied it thouhtfully/ !ester !eith remained at Pa#"erson-s des"0 smo"in a
#iarette/
$fter a minute of #lose s#rutiny0 Pa#"erson turned +a#" to say0 8I don-t thin"7
Well0 there may +e a sliht +ule/ I would say it was worth more than fifteen dollars0
howe,er/8
!eith said0 8Well0 to tell you the truth0 Mr/ Pa#"erson0 I thouht if I-d ma"e the
.ri#e suffi#iently attra#ti,e0 I #ould et you to loo" at my manus#ri.t/ I78
Pa#"erson shoo" his head em.hati#ally/ 8We don-t +uy any outside material/8
!eith said with dinity0 8<nder those #ir#umstan#es0 I thin" I-d .refer to i,e some
other editor an o..ortunity to loo" at the un/8
Pa#"erson-s fa#e #olored/ 8So that-s the ame: 'ou want to +ri+e me to +uy a
manus#ri.t for fi,e hundred dollars +y sellin me an Itha+ore for a+out a tenth of
what it-s worth/ Why0 you #roo": Get out of here: Go on0 ta"e your un: What sort
of man do you thin" I am0 anyway9 $ #hea. +ri+e li"e that:8 !ester !eith0
summonin what dinity he #ould muster0 .i#"ed u. his +rief#ase0 swun the sole-
leather un #ases o,er his shoulder and wal"ed out0 while 3ran" Pa#"erson followed
him to the door to finish what he had to say/
!ester !eith was 1ust emerin from the ele,ator when he saw Berni#e !amen ste.
from a +us at the #orner and start wal"in with 6ui#"0 +usinessli"e ste.s toward the
entran#e of the &ust Commer#ial Buildin/ %e waited until she #auht his eye/
She sto..ed to stare at him in astonishment/ 8What in the world:8 she e4#laimed/
!eith said0 8'ou loo" ha..y/8
8I am/ But what in the world are you doin with all the arsenal98
!eith said0 8I am in the de.ths of des.onden#y/8
8Why9 What-s the matter98
8I wor"ed so hard on my story87!eith sihed78and now it-s +een re1e#ted/8
8Where did you su+mit it98
8To the Pidi#o )ews/ 'our editor0 3ran" Pa#"erson0 was uninterested/8
8Good hea,ens08 she said0 8he doesn-t ha,e any money to +uy outside
manus#ri.ts/8
!eith said0 8Money wasn-t the +i indu#ement/ I wanted to see my name in .rint/8
She studied him with a .u22led frown0 drawin her finely ar#hed +rows into a
straihter line/ 8$re you serious98
8)e,er more serious in my life0 +ut let-s not tal" a+out my trou+les/ What ma"es
you loo" so ha..y98
She said0 8I-,e 1ust re#ei,ed a .ersonal a.oloy from Jason Bell,iew and
instru#tions to return to wor"/8
8'ou mean you-,e +een e4onerated98
8Well0 at least they-,e de#ided I #an o +a#" to wor"/8
!eith said thouhtfully0 8I don-t see that as any #ause of 1u+ilation/8
8'ou would if you were de.endent on a salary and if +ein let out under sus.i#ious
#ir#umstan#es would .re,ent you from ettin a 1o+ anywhere else/8
8That +ad98 !eith as"ed/
8That +ad0 and worse/8
8<nder the #ir#umstan#es08 !eith announ#ed0 8we need a drin"/ 'ou to #ele+rate0 I
to re#u.erate/8
8I-,e ot to o to wor"/8
!eith said0 8(n the #ontrary0 that is the worst thin you #ould do/8
8What do you mean98
8Where-s your sense of inde.enden#e9 $re you oin to let them insult you0 dra
you down to the offi#e of a .ri,ate dete#ti,e0 rill you0 ha,e the .oli#e ta"e o,er0 i,e
you the third deree0 +e smeared with the +rush of sus.i#ion0 held u. to the ridi#ule
of your fellow em.loyees0 and then ras. eaerly at the first so. they hand you and
rush +a#" to wor"98
8Why not98
8Be#ause there are +etter ways/ 'ou should ma"e them res.e#t you/ 'ou should
demand a .u+li# a.oloy and some remuneration for the in#on,enien#e they-,e
#aused you0 to say nothin of the damae they-,e done to your re.utation/8
8I-m afraid I-m not +uilt that way/8
!eith sur,eyed her #riti#ally/ 8There is08 he announ#ed0 8nothin wron with your
+uild/8
She flushed0 then lauhed/ 8&eally0 Mr/ !eith0 I-m sorry a+out your story ha,in
+een re1e#ted0 +ut I #an-t stand here #hattin/ I-,e wor" to do/8
!eith indi#ated his #ar .ar"ed at the #ur+/ %e as"ed0 8Couldn-t you .ost.one it for
a+out thirty minutes71ust lon enouh to ha,e a drin"98
She hesitated/
8$nd if you-d let me handle Jason Bell,iew08 he said0 8I feel 6uite #ertain that he
would ma"e an a.oloy in front of all the em.loyees of the Pre#ision Instrument
*esinin and Installation Com.any/8
She said0 8I-d 1ust lo,e to ha,e that ha..en0 +ut it-s as"in too mu#h/ Bell,iew
would die first/8
!eith said0 8!et-s tal" it o,er while we-re ha,in a drin"/ 5 "now where they ma"e
some mar,elous s.i#ed #offee with +randy and #innamon +ar"0 orane .eel0 and7
(h0 #ome on/ We-ll tal" it o,er there/8
She said0 8Well0 all riht0 +ut I don-t want to +e too late/8
3ifteen minutes later0 o,er a restaurant ta+le0 they wat#hed a deft waiter mi4
inredients0 saw the +lue flame of +urnin +randy fli#"er u.ward to #ast an
aromati# halo a+out the +owl0 as the waiter stirred the mi4ture with a sil,er ladle/
Then0 when he had lifted out two #u.s of the s.i#ed +e,erae and dis#reetly
withdrawn0 !eith said0 8$t least let me rin u. Jason Bell,iew/8
8What would you tell him98
8I-d tell him that he had done you a reat wron0 that you wouldn-t return to wor"
until he .aid you ten thousand dollars and made a .u+li# a.oloy/ Then0 after a little
tradin0 I-d settle for fi,e thousand/8
She said0 83i,e se#onds after you tele.honed0 I-d +e out of a 1o+/8
!eith ra,ely too" a +illfold from his .o#"et/ 3rom it he too" ten one-hundred-
dollar +ills and .la#ed them in a neat .ile on the ta+le#loth/ 8I ha,e one thousand
dollars08 he announ#ed0 8whi#h says that no su#h thin would ha..en/8
She stared at the money0 then raised her eyes to his fa#e/ 8'ou-re the stranest
indi,idual I-,e e,er met/8
8$t least that-s somethin08 !eith a#"nowleded/ 8In these days of wides.read
medio#rity0 it-s somethin to +e outstandin0 e,en if one is i,en #redit for a mild
+rand of insanity/8
8There-s nothin mild a+out it08 she retorted0 lauhin/ 8$re you really serious98
By way of answer !eith #auht the waiter-s eye/ 8Brin me a tele.hone/8
The waiter +rouht a tele.hone with a lon e4tension #ord and .lued it into a
.hone 1a#" at the ta+le/ !ester !eith #onsulted his note+oo" and swiftly dialed a
num+er/
Berni#e !amen wat#hed him with a..rehensi,e eyes/
8%ello08 !eith said/ 8I want to tal" with Mr/ Jason Bell,iew/ Tell him it-s a+out his
+lue.rints/8
*urin the inter,al whi#h ela.sed0 while !eith was waitin for Jason Bell,iew to
#ome on the line0 Berni#e !amen said0 8In a+out ten minutes I-m oin to thin" this
was the most madly insane im.ulse I e,er had in my life/ I-ll "i#" myself all around
the +lo#" for not sto..in you0 +ut riht now I-m #urious and7and78
$ hea,y mas#uline ,oi#e #ame o,er the wire0 sayin0 8'es0 this is Bell,iew/ What-s
this a+out the +lue.rints98
!ester !eith said sua,ely0 8I wanted to tal" with you a+out Miss !amen/8
8What a+out her98
!eith said0 8'ou-,e damaed her #hara#ter/ 'ou-,e a##used her of a #rime/ 'ou-,e
for#ed her into su+mittin to a most humiliatin e4.erien#e/ )ow0 you a..arently
thin" that78 8Who-s this tal"in98 Bell,iew roared in a ,oi#e so loud that it
seemed his words miht ri. the re#ei,er a.art/ 8This is !ester !eith/8 8'ou a
lawyer98
8)o08 !eith said/ 8I-m a friend/ I-m ho.in that it won-t +e ne#essary / / /8
8Well0 if you-re not a lawyer0 what +usiness is it of yours98 !eith said0 8I-m a
finan#ier/8 8$ what98
8$ finan#ier/ I finan#e ,arious +usiness a#ti,ities/ $t .resent I-m finan#in Miss
!amen in her #laim aainst you/ I-m ho.in it isn-t oin to +e ne#essary to et a
lawyer/8 8Get a hundred lawyers:8 Bell,iew shouted/ 8;ery well08 !eith said0 8only
"indly remem+er that I offered to ma"e a reasona+le settlement with you/ Perha.s
you-d +etter #onsult your own attorney and see what he has t# say/8
8I refuse to .ay +la#"mail:8 Bell,iew said/ 8%a,e it your own way08 !eith said/
8(nly remem+er0 when your #om.any ets in,ol,ed in a hundred-thousand-dol- lar
lawsuit and your lawyer tells you you ha,en-t a le to stand on0 you had a #han#e to
settle the #ase out of #ourt/ $nd if the sto#"holders of the Pre#ision Instrument
*esinin and Installation Com.any learn of it / / /8 8Say0 wait a minute/ I ne,er
turn down anythin siht unseen/ What-s your fiure98
8Ten thousand dollars/8
8$ll riht0 it-s turned down/ I feel +etter now/ 'ou #ouldn-t sti#" us for that mu#h/8
8That-s what you thin"/8
Bell,iew said0 8That-s what I "now/ Good-+y/8
The sound made +y the slammin re#ei,er at the other end of the line was distin#tly
audi+le/
Berni#e !amen sihed/ 8I "new it08 she said/
!ester !eith .i#"ed u. the ten one-hundred-dollar +ills and slid them o,er under
her sau#er/ 8&emem+er0 you-,e ot these #omin if it doesn-t wor"/8
8)o/ I #an-t ta"e the money7+ut we-re li#"ed/ %e-s already rea#hed his de#ision/ It
was a am+le0 and we lost/8
!eith smiled/ 8<nder those #ir#umstan#es0 we-d +etter ha,e a little more s.i#ed
#offee/ There-s no reason for you to o +a#" to the offi#e now/8
Tears #ame to her eyes/ She +lin"ed them +a#"0 lauhed0 and said0 8(h0 well0 it was
fun while it lasted/8
!eith said0 8Well0 don-t worry a+out it/ Thins are ha..enin a+out the way I
thouht they would/8
8'ou mean you thouht he-d turn you down98
!eith nodded/
8Then why did you do it98
8Be#ause he-ll thin" it o,er and #all u. his lawyer/ $fter we-,e had another #u. of
#offee I-ll #all him u. aain0 and then you may hear a different story/8
They #hatted o,er the se#ond #u. of #offee0 had a +randy and Benedi#tine0 and then
!eith dialed Jason Bell,iew-s num+er aain and ot the #rusty .resident of the
instrument #om.any on the line/ This time Bell,iew-s ,oi#e was #autious/ 8!isten0
!eith0 .erha.s you won-t ha,e to o to a lawyer/ The more I thin" of it0 the more I
thin" Miss !amen is entitled to somethin7+ut ten thousand0 of #ourse0 is out of the
6uestion/8
8She-ll want an a.oloy08 !eith said0 8deli,ered in front of the entire offi#e for#e/8
Bell,iew hesitated for a minute/ 8That miht +e arraned08 he #on#eded/ 8$nd08
!eith went on0 8she-ll want ten thousand dollars in #ash/8
8Wait a minute08 Bell,iew said0 and !eith heard the sounds of whis.ers at the other
end of the line/
8We-ll offer twenty-fi,e hundred08 Bell,iew said/ 8)othin doin08 !eith told him/
8Ten or nothin/ The minute I han u. I-m oin to see my lawyer/ Personally0 I
thin" she-s entitled to a real ni#e #hun" of money/ 'ou78 8Wait a minute08 Bell,iew
said/
This time there was no attem.t to disuise the whis.erin/ !eith #ould e,en hear the
hum of low-,oi#ed #on,ersation/
8'ou send Berni#e !amen u. to my offi#e08 Bell,iew instru#ted/
!eith lauhed and said0 8)o #han#e/ 'ou don-t tal" with her until you-,e areed to
.ay ten thousand/ (therwise you tal" with a lawyer/8
There was a momentary .ause0 then !eith heard Bell,iew mutter0 a..arently to
some .erson standin +eside him0 8%e says it-s ten or nothin/ That-s too mu#h/
What do we do98
The low ,oi#e made a suestion0 then Bell,iew said into the tele.hone0 8I-ll .ut my
#ards on the ta+le/ My lawyer-s here/ We-,e tal"ed this thin o,er/ 'ou may ha,e a
lawsuit/ 'ou may not/ We-ll .ay fi,e thousand as a #ash settlement/8
!ester !eith smiled into the transmitter/ 8'ou-,e sa,ed yourself a lawsuit08 he said/
8$ll riht0 tell Miss !amen to #ome u. here riht away/8 !ester !eith dro..ed the
re#ei,er into .la#e0 rea#hed a#ross0 and .i#"#d u. the one thousand dollars from
under Berni#e !amen-s sau#er/
She loo"ed u. at him0 her eyes lare with in#redulity/ 8'ou mean78
!eith said0 8'ou may not stand mu#h #han#e0 +ut with that fa#e and fiure0 you
should at least o to %ollywood and try
S(MET%I)G !IEE $ PE!IC$) 533
for a s#reen test/ $ irl #an do a lot on fi,e thousand dollars/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael was en1oyin a #iar and the s.ortin .ae of the mornin
news.a.er when Sereant $#"ley0 #arryin a #ard+oard folder0 entered the offi#e/
8What is it this time98 Carmi#hael as"ed0 frownin as he loo"ed u./
Sereant $#"ley sat down on the other side of the #a.tain-s des"/ 8This uy !eith08
he said disustedly/ 8What a+out him98
8Bea,er said he-d written a letter to me0 and he thouht it miht +e a ood idea for
me to "now what was in the letter +efore !eith sined it and mailed it/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael-s eyes dan#ed/ 8$ #onfession98 8'ou listen to it08 Sereant
$#"ley said0 8then you #an tell
55
mtt
$#"ley turned +a#" the .aste+oard folder and read from a #ar+on #o.y of a letter
My dear Sereant The oriinal manus#ri.ts of famous authors ha,e at times
#ommanded fa+ulous .ri#es/ It is0 .erha.s0 #on#eited to thin" that my own efforts
will some day +e worth thousands of dollars to the dis#riminatin #olle#tor/ 'et0
after all0 Edar $llan Poe0 &o+ert !ouis Ste,enson0 and other famous writers must
ha,e felt the same way when they rearded their manus#ri.ts/
This story0 my dear Sereant0 has +een re1e#ted +y the .u+lisher0 whi#h may ma"e it
e,en more ,alua+le/ In any e,ent0 I want you to ha,e it as a to"en of friendshi. and
as some sliht measure of my a..re#iation for the 2ealous efforts you ha,e made to
enfor#e the law0 e,en when my own #on,enien#e has +een sa#rifi#ed to your 2eal/
Sereant $#"ley loo"ed u./ 8)ow what08 he as"ed0 8do you ma"e of that98
8)othin08 Ca.tain Carmi#hael said/
8That-s the way I feel a+out it0 +ut he told Bea,er the letter wasn-t to +e mailed until
tomorrow0 so Bea,er thouht I miht want to "now a+out it today/8
8What-s the manus#ri.t98 Carmi#hael as"ed/
8$ +un#h of tri.e08 $#"ley said/
8*id you read it98
8(h0 I lan#ed throuh it/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael rea#hed for the manus#ri.t/ 8This is a #ar+on #o.y98
8<h-huh/8
8%ow #ome98
8%e isn-t oin to mail this letter until tomorrow0 you see0 and he has the oriinal
story with him/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael frowninly rearded the #ar+on #o.y/ 8%e must ha,e some
reason for sendin it to you/8
8Just wants to i,e me the old ra22+erry/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael frowned at the end of his #iar/ 8*on-t +e too #ertain0 Sereant/
'ou "now !eith may ha,e intended to ra+ off the swa and then i,e you a ti. to
the #roo"/8
8Why should he do that98
8Well0 you "now this #rime is a little different from the other #rimes we-,e wor"ed
on/ This is ettin .retty #lose to treason0 and I don-t thin" !eith would #are ,ery
mu#h a+out shieldin a traitor/8
8$ll he #ares a+out is ettin the swa/8
8$r/d you-,e read throuh this98 Carmi#hael as"ed/
Sereant $#"ley fished a #iar from his waist#oat .o#"et and nodded/
Carmi#hael turned ra.idly throuh the .aes/ Suddenly he said0 8Wait a minute/
What-s this98
8Where98 $#"ley as"ed/
8(n .ae fi,e08 Carmi#hael said/ 8!isten to this
8It isn-t e,ery .la#e that would +e suita+le as a hidin .la#e
for a set of +lue.rints/ It would ta"e a lon0 hollow tu+e0 and
su#h a tu+e would +e hard to #on#eal/8
8Well08 $#"ley snorted0 8what-s sinifi#ant a+out that98
Ca.tain Carmi#hael-s fa#e showed his e4#itement/ 8Wait a minute:8 he e4#laimed/
8That-s 1ust .a,in the way for the ne4t .arara.h/ !isten to this
8$s soon as the a#tress I had em.loyed started s#reamin for the .oli#e0 I noti#ed a
man .i#" u. a shotun/ This man was in the offi#es of the Pre#ision Instrument
Com.any0 standin in the doorway of an offi#e whi#h ad1oined that #ontainin the
,ault/ $ shotun/ %ow interestin:8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael loo"ed u./ 8Well0 don-t you et it98 8Get what98 Sereant
$#"ley said/ 8The shotun:8 Carmi#hael shouted/ Sereant $#"ley said0 8We "now
all a+out that/ 3ran" Pa#"erson0 the editor of the Pidi#o house oran0 had +een
tra.- shootin0 and78
8$re there some .hotora.hs that o with this98 Carmi#hael as"ed/
8The same ones you saw/ They don-t mean anythin/8 8The shotun:8 Ca.tain
Carmi#hael shouted/ 8*on-t you et it0 you fool9 The shotun:8 8What a+out it98
Ca.tain Carmi#hael .ushed +a#" his #hair/ %is ,oi#e showed that he was ma"in an
effort to "ee. his tem.er/ 8Tomorrow !ester !eith wanted you to read this
manus#ri.t/ 'ou-re readin it 1ust twenty-four hours early/ In this manus#ri.t !eith
intended to show you how to et the man who had stolen those +lue.rints/ By that
time !eith intended to ha,e the +lue.rints and ha,e #o,ered his tra#"s so you #ould
ne,er et anythin on him/ By ,irtue of some ni#e +rainwor" on the .art of Bea,er0
you et this stuff twenty-four hours early7and ha,en-t sense enouh to "now what
it means/8
Sereant $#"ley-s fa#e +e#ame a shade dar"er/ 8Well08 he demanded0 8what does it
mean98
Ca.tain Carmi#hael ot to his feet/ 8Get a s6uad #ar08 he said0 8and I-ll show you/8
3ran" Pa#"erson #li#"ed on the interoffi#e louds.ea"er/ The re#e.tion #ler"
announ#ed0 8Two entlemen from head6uarters/8
Pa#"erson smiled/ 8Show them in/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael did the tal"in/ 8We-re wor"in on that +lue.rint #ase0
Pa#"erson/ The thief must ha,e had some unusual hidin .la#e .re.ared in
ad,an#e/ $ll he needed was a se#ond or two to sli. the +lue.rints out of the ,ault
and into this hidin .la#e/
8In other words08 Carmi#hael went on0 8the theory we-re wor"in on now is that
the thief had some hidin .la#e so #arefully .re.ared that0 while it was instantly
a,aila+le0 no one would e,er ha,e thouht to loo" there/ $ hidin .la#e where he
#ould .ush the +lue.rints7a lon0 smooth0 slender tu+e/ $fter that0 the tu+e #ould
+e ta"en out of the +uildin without arousin sus.i#ion/8
Pa#"erson wasn-t smilin now/
8$ man #ould +e holdin a shotun in his hands08 Ca.tain Carmi#hael went on0
8standin riht in front of the safe0 assertin that he was loo"in for a thief0 and
.eo.le would naturally reard the shotun as a wea.on7not as a hidin .la#ef8
Pa#"erson-s fa#e was flushed/ !ittle +eads of .ers.iration dotted his forehead/ %e
#leared his throat and said0 8I don-t "now what you-re insinuatin0 Ca.tain/ In my
#ase0 it ha..ens that I had a un/ )aturally0 when I was aroused +y someone
shoutin for the .oli#e0 I ra++ed the un/ $re you insinuatin / / /8
8That you sho,ed the +lue.rints down the +arrel08 Ca.tain Carmi#hael said/
8)o0 no: I swear that I didn-t0 a+solutely not:8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael was insistent/ 8'es0 you did0 Pa#"er- son/ 'ou ra++ed your
un and stood riht +y the ,ault0 holdin it in your hands/ E,eryone thouht you
were standin there0 .rote#tin the .ro.erty of the #om.any/ )o one reali2ed that
you yourself78
8I tell you0 I didn-t/ I / / /8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael ot u./ 8!et-s ta"e a loo" at your un0 Pa#"erson/8
Pa#"erson .ushed +a#" his #hair0 ra++ed the un whi#h was re.osin +ehind his
des"/ 8)o08 he asserted/ 8That un is my .ri,ate .ro.erty/ 'ou #an-t loo" at it
unless you ha,e a sear#h warrant/8
Sereant $#"ley mo,ed +ellierently forward/
Pa#"erson 1um.ed +a#" and raised the un as thouh to swin it as a wea.on/
8Eee. away from me08 he shouted0 8or I-ll #a,e in your s"ull78
%e #eased tal"in a+ru.tly as his eyes #ame to fo#us on the small +la#" hole whi#h
was the +usiness end of Ca.tain Car- mi#hael-s re,ol,er/
8Sti#" -em u.08 Carmi#hael said/
Pa#"erson hesitated for a moment0 then dro..ed the un/ %is "nees +u#"led/
8'ou ot the +lue.rints in there now98 Ca.tain Carmi#hael as"ed/
Pa#"erson shoo" his head/ 8The money for them08 he said/
Carmi#hael e4#haned a sinifi#ant lan#e with Sereant $#"ley/ 8Who a,e you
the money0 Pa#"erson98
8Gil+ert0 the furrier/8
8%e .lanned the whole thin98 Carmi#hael as"ed/
8%im and 3anny Gillmeyer/ There really wasn-t any #ustomer/ 3anny "e.t wat#hin
the offi#es o,er here/ When she saw the #oast was #lear so that I #ould dash into the
,ault0 ra+ the +lue.rints0 and et out +efore anyone noti#ed what I was doin0 she
tossed the #a.e out of the window and started yellin for the .oli#e/ I had 1ust time
to ra+ the shotun0 1um. into the ,ault0 .ush the +lue.rints down the +arrel0 and
then stand with the un at my shoulder/8
8Where are the +lue.rints now98
8I a,e them to Gil+ert/ I wal"ed out last niht #arryin my tra. un0 and wal"ed
riht .ast the uard/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael frowned/ 8Then you +rouht the un +a#" aain today98
8'es/8
8Why98
8*on-t you see98 Pa#"erson said/ 8I ot thirty thousand dollars for those +lue.rints/
The money-s in fifty-dollar +ills/ I didn-t dare lea,e that money in my room0 and I
didn-t dare "ee. it in my .ossession/ So I rolled the +ills into .a#"aes that would
1ust fit the un +arrel and sho,ed them in the +arrel of the un/ In that way I #ould
"ee. the money with me all the time/ In #ase anyone +ean to sus.e#t me and I had
to ta"e it on the lam0 I was all ready for a etaway/8
Carmi#hael a,e a low whistle/ 8So there-s thirty thousand dollars in that un98
Pa#"erson nodded/
Carmi#hael wal"ed around the des"0 stoo.ed down0 .i#"ed u. the un0 and +ro"e
the +arrel o.en/
It was Sereant $#"ley who +lurted out0 8There-s no money in here now/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael "i#"ed $#"ley-s shins/ Pa#"erson 1um.ed to his feet/ 8)o
money in there:8 %e ra++ed at the un0 stared at it with startled eyes0 and said0
8But that-s not my un8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael nuded Sereant $#"ley in the ri+s/
8It-s not my un08 Pa#"erson re.eated/ 8It-s the same ma"e and the same model0
+ut my un had a s#rat#h and / / /8 %is ,oi#e trailed away/
8Well0 o on08 Sereant $#"ley said/
$ #rafty smile #ame o,er Pa#"erson-s fa#e/ 8%a0 ha08 he said/ 8That-s a reat 1o"e
on you/8
8What is98 $#"ley as"ed/
8(f #ourse it-s my un08 Pa#"erson said/ 8I ne,er saw the +lue.rints0 +ut sin#e you
+irds thouht you were su#h ood dete#ti,es0 I thouht I-d "id you alon for a
while/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael said0 8$ 6ui#" thin"er0 aren-t you0 Pa#"erson98
Sereant $#"ley turned to the #a.tain with a .u22led frown/ 8I don-t et it at all0
Ca.08 he said/
Ca.tain Carmi#hael .ulled hand#uffs from his hi. .o#"et/ 8If08 he announ#ed0
8you-d "e.t your +i mouth shut a+out the money not +ein there0 we-d ha,e had a
#om.lete #onfession/ $s it is0 we #an still et those +lue.rints if we et after Gil+ert
and that #ler" of his riht away/ $s far as the money is
#on#erned7well0 we #an still et that0 if we wor" fast enouh0 than"s to the fa#t that
you ot your manus#ri.t twenty-four hours in ad,an#e/ )ow do you et it0 dum+
head98
Sereant $#"ley was starin at Ca.tain Carmi#hael with eyes that seemed una+le to
fo#us/ 8'ou mean7!ester !eith7 +een here7#haned uns ///8
8E4a#tly08 Ca.tain Carmi#hael said/ 8)ow0 #ome on0 first to Gil+ert-s / / /8
Berni#e !amen linered o,er her last drin" with !ester !eith/ %er eyes0 as she
raised them to reard his .rofile0 were warm with a..re#iation/ 8I don-t "now08 she
said0 8how I #an e,er than" you/ I78
(ne of the +us+oys0 who had +een standin near the window0 a..roa#hed the ta+le
and +ent deferentially a+o,e !ester !eith/ 8E4#use me08 he interru.ted0 8+ut is
your #ar num+er
H!BB@98
!eith-s eyes narrowed/ 8That-s my li#ense num+er08 he admitted/
8I thin" you-,e ,iolated a .ar"in ordinan#e/ I-,e noti#ed a #ou.le of #o.s loo"in it
o,er0 and now they-re sittin in a s6uad #ar 1ust outside the door0 a..arently waitin
for you to #ome +a#" to the #ar/8
!ester !eith a+sently fished a roll of +ills from his .o#"et0 .eeled off a ten-dollar
+ill0 and .ushed it into the +us+oy-s hand/ 8Than"s ,ery mu#h08 he said/ 8I tore u.
a #ou.le of traffi# ti#"ets/ I uess they-,e #auht u. with me/ By the way0 #ould you
et me a+out a hundred of these .a.er #o#"tail na."ins98
The +us+oy stared at the +ill/ 8Gee0 mister0 than"s/ Pa.er na."ins9 Gosh0 yes0 I
should say so/8
!ester !eith turned to his feminine #om.anion/ 8(n se#ond thouht08 he said0 8I
thin" it would +e +etter for you to ha,e your tal" with Jason Bell,iew without me
+ein there/ )ow0 I-m oin to lea,e the restaurant in a few minutes0 and you-d
+etter wait ten or fifteen minutes +efore you o out0 then ta"e a ta4i#a+ to Bell,iew-s
offi#e/8
The +us+oy +rouht a hue sta#" of small .a.er #o#"tail na."ins/
8My un08 !ester !eith e4.lained0 8needs #leanin/ I wonder if I #ould ste. out in
the "it#hen to run some na."ins throuh it98
8Why0 #ertainly0 +ut you don-t need t6/ use na."ins/ I #an et you a ra and78
8)o08 !eith said/ 8)a."ins really wor" +etter/8 %e ot to his feet and +owed to
Berni#e !amen/
Pu22led0 she saw him follow the +us+oy in the dire#tion of the "it#hen0 nor was she
reatly sur.rised when he failed to return/ She waited a full fifteen minutes0 then
started for the door/
8Wait a minute08 the +us+oy said/ 8%e-s forotten one of his uns/8
8(h0 that-s riht0 he did/ %e-s one98 8'es/ (ut throuh the "it#hen door into the
alley/8 Berni#e !amen smiled +rihtly/ 8<nder those #ir#umstan#es0 you-d +etter
"ee. this un here7until he #alls for it later/8
Sereant $#"ley0 sittin in the s6uad #ar0 suddenly ra++ed Ca.tain
Carmi#hael-srm/ 8By Geore0 here he #oma down that side street/ $nd he-s ot the
un with him/8
8Ta"e it easy now0 Sereant08 Ca.tain Carmi#hael said/ 8*on-t ti. our hand until
we "now we-re riht/8
!ester !eith0 a un #ase swun o,er his shoulder0 a +rief#ase in his hand0 wal"ed u.
to his ear and slid in +ehind the wheel/
Ca.tain Carmi#hael said0 8(l#ay0 Sereant0 do your stuff0 +ut don-t ma"e the arrest
unless you-re #ertain you-,e #auht him red-handed/8
Sereant $#"ley nodded0 slid out of the s6uad #ar0 and started +a#" toward !eith-s
automo+ile/
!ester !eith was 1ust .ressin his foot on the starter when Sereant $#"ley ta..ed
him on the shoult1er/
!eith loo"ed u./ %is fa#e showed in#redulous sur.rise/ 8'ou:8 he said/
Sereant $#"ley-s rin was trium.hant/ 8Just #he#"in u. on stolen shotuns0
!eith08 he said/ 8That shotun in the #ase is yours all riht98
!eith hesitated .er#e.ti+ly/
8I-ll 1ust ta"e a loo" at it08 Sereant $#"ley said/
%e .ulled the un #ase out throuh the window0 unfastened the end of the un #ase0
.ulled out the +arrels0 and held them to the liht/ The left-hand +arrel shone with a
#lear0 smooth .olish/ The riht-hand +arrel was #ho"ed u. with rolled .a.ers/
Sereant $#"ley-s rin was trium.hant/ %e tossed the un into the +a#" of the #ar/
8Come on0 !eith08 he said/ 8'ou-re oin to head6uarters/8
!eith said0 8I don-t et you/8
8)o/ But I-,e ot you08 Sereant $#"ley loated/ 8It-s +een a lon lane0 +ut this is
where the turn #omes/ *ri,e to head6uarters0 or I-ll .ut the ni..ers on you and #all
the waon/8
Without a word !eith started the #ar and dro,e to head6uarters/ 3ollowin alon
+ehind0 Ca.tain Carmi#hael uarded aainst any +rea" for es#a.e/
In front of the des" sereant0 $#"ley .ermitted himself a +it of loatin/ 8$ll riht0
+oys08 he said0 Til show you a little shrewd dedu#tion/ Gi,e me somethin I #an
.ush down the +arrel of this shotun0 and I-ll show you a little .arlor mai#/8
8Cut the #omedy08 Ca.tain Carmi#hael said/
But Sereant $#"ley #ouldn-t resist an o..ortunity for lory/ 8)oti#e08 he said as
one of the offi#ers handed him a wooden dowel0 8that I ha,e nothin in either hand
and nothin u. my slee,e/ I .ush this wooden dowel throuh the left +arrel of the
shotun0 and nothin ha..ens/ )ow then0 I .ush it throuh the riht +arrel0 and
you-ll see thirty thousand dollars in fifly-dollar +ills #ome showerin out on the
floor/8
$#"ley .ushed hard with the im.ro,ised ramrod/
There was a .eriod of sur.rised silen#e then a ale of lauhter ran around the room
as a shower of .a.er #o#"tail na."ins +urst from the +arrel of the shotun/
8$ new s#heme08 !eith said ur+anely/ 8Someone told me it would "ee. a +arrel
from rustin/ I de#ided to use .a.er in the riht +arrel and nothin in the left0 .ut
the un away for si4 months0 and see whi#h +arrel was in +etter #ondition/ I-m
sorry0 Sereant0 +ut you-,e destroyed my e4.eriment/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael too" Sereant $#"ley-s arm/ 8Come on08 he said/
!ester !eith said to the des" sereant0 8I really didn-t steal those #o#"tail na."ins/
They were i,en to me/8
Ca.tain Carmi#hael rushed Sereant $#"ley outside/
8Blast it0 Sereant0 I told you that the +i daner a+out usin the Chinese Method of
fishin was that you had to "ee. a ro.e tied tihtly around the +ird-s ne#"/8
Sereant $#"ley said0 8Gosh0 Ca.tain0 I-d li"e to et one of those .eli#an +irds for
that la"e u. in78
8It wouldn-t do you any ood08 Ca.tain Carmi#hael sna..ed/ 8'ou wouldn-t "now
how to tie u. a +ird-s ne#" so he #ouldn-t swallow the fish/8
$ Man Is Missin
S%E&I33 BI!! C$T!I) s.illed the #ontents of the en,elo.e on his +attered des"
and lowered at the youner man a#ross from him0 who sat un#omforta+ly attenti,e/
8The trou+le with these dudes08 the sheriff said0 8is that they thin" out here in
Idaho we ain-t #i,ili2ed/ )ow0 here-s Ed %ar,el0 the #hief of .oli#e who was ,isitin
out here three years ao/ %e wants me to lo#ate an amnesia ,i#tim0 and he writes me
a two-.ae letter tellin me how to o a+out it/8
%an" !u#as nodded ,auely as the sheriff-s steely eyes loo"ed u. o,er the to. of his
s.e#ta#les/
8)ow0 this here Cha.08 the sheriff went on0 8had a .re,ious atta#"/ %e wandered
off on his own/ Was one for three months0 #ame +a#"0 and didn-t "now where he-d
+een/ )e,er has +een a+le to remem+er a thin a+out it/ *idn-t "now what he-d
done0 what name he went under0 where he li,ed0 or anythin a+out it/ %e 1ust left his
offi#e fi,e o-#lo#" one afternoon and started for home/ %e showed u. three months
later/ $in-t that a he#" of a note98
8That08 !u#as areed0 8is a he#" of a note/8
8)ow then08 the sheriff went on0 8a year ao he did it aain/ *isa..eared last
Se.tem+er/ But this time he writes his wife a .i#ture .ost#ard/ Sends it to her -way
+a#" last (#to-+er/8
8%ey0 wait a minute08 %an" said/ 8If he sent his wife a .i#ture .ost#ard0 his mind
hasn-t one .lum+ +lan"/ %ow did he "now where to address it98
8I-m #omin to that08 the sheriff said/ 8That-s the funny thin/ %e-d +een married
three years0 +ut he addressed the .ost#ard to his wife under her maiden name and
sent it to the old address where she li,ed- when he was #ourtin her/ Been married
to her and still thin"s she-s his sweetie .ie/8 /
%an" didn-t say anythin/
8)ow0 this here Ed %ar,el08 the sheriff went on0 8I uess he-s a +an-u. #hief of
.oli#e +a#" East0 +ut you .ut him out here and he-s 1ust a dude/ %ad him into the
Middle 3or" #ountry three years ao0 and there wasn-t a sinle tenderfoot tri#" he
didn-t .ull7e,en to ettin lost/ )ow0 when he writes to me0 he tells me what he
wants done and then oes on and tells me how I should do it/ 'ou-d thin" I-d ne,er
done any in,estiatin at all/ Suests this #ha.0 whose name is 3ran" $drian0 is still
oin under his own name0 +e#ause he sined the .ost#ard -3ran"/- Says it miht +e
a ood .lan to #he#" with the +an"s to see if he-s o.ened an a##ount0 tal" with the
.ro.rietors of some of the stores in town0 o sear#h the +a#"#ountry0 and78
8$in-t that all riht98 %an" as"ed/
The sheriff snorted/ 8It-s the idea of him tellin me how I should o a+out findin
the uy: $nyhow0 I don-t thin" that-s the +est way to do it/8 8)o98 %an" as"ed/
8)o.e08 the sheriff said .ositi,ely0 and then added0 83unny thin a+out dudes78
8'ou said you wanted to see me offi#ial0 Bill08 %an" inter-ru.ted0 shiftin his
.osition uneasily/
8)ow0 don-t et im.atient08 the sheriff said/ 8$ man would thin" you-d +een
shootin meat outta season and was afraid you-d left a +a#" trail/8
8'ou-d ouht to "now how it feels08 %an" said/ 8I #an re-mem+er +efore you was
ele#ted when78
8)ow0 this here amnesia uy08 the sheriff interru.ted hast- ily +ut authoritati,ely0
8seems to ha,e one o,er in the Middle 3or" #ountry and li,ed in a #a+in/ %e had a
#amera0 and someone too" his .i#ture standin in front of his #a+in/ It was sent to
his wife7addressed to her0 li"e I said0 under her maiden name0 Corliss !athan/
8The .ost#ard was mailed from Twin 3alls0 and darned if they didn-t waste a lot of
time #orres.ondin with the fol"s down in Twin 3alls/ Then finally someone
suested it miht +e the Middle 3or" #ountry0 and it seems li"e the man who is in
#hare of the missin-.ersons de.artment found out Ed %ar,el had +een out here
three years ao/ So he oes to Ed and as"s Ed for the name of the sheriff/ $nd
instead of writin a letter of introdu#tion0 Ed ta"es o,er and writes me the whole
story and78
8'ou wanted to as" me somethin a+out it98 %an" inter-ru.ted/
The sheriff .ushed the .hotora.hi# .ost#ard a#ross the des"/ 8Ta"e a loo"/8
%an" loo"ed at the #ard/ (n the side reser,ed for the messae was written 8Corliss0
dear0 this shows where I am li,in/ It-s the wildest0 most ina##essi+le .la#e you #an
imaine/ I still feel the results of that auto a##ident si4 wee"s ao0 +ut what with
#lim+in around these mountains0 li,in on ,enison and trout0 ettin lots of fresh
air and e4er#ise0 I-ll +e fit in no time at all/8
The #ard was addressed to Miss Corliss !athan/
%an" turned the #ard o,er and studied the .hotora.h of a mountain #a+in0 with a
man standin in front of it smilin fat-uously at the #amera/ 8$uto a##ident98 %an"
as"ed/
8$##ordin to Ed %ar,el0 that a##ident was three years ao/ The date on the #ard
shows it was sent a+out si4 wee"s after the uy disa..eared the se#ond time/
$..arently he ot his head +aned in that a##ident0 and whene,er his memory sli.s
a #o0 it oes +a#" to the time of the a##ident/ E,erythin after that is a +lan"/8
%an" studied the .ost#ard/
8What do you ma"e out of it98 the sheriff as"ed/
8$ tra..er-s #a+in08 %an" said0 8u. on a ride/ It was +uilt in the fall/ 'ou #an see
where the trees were #ho..ed off around near the #a+in7indi#ates there was a+out
three feet of snow on the round/ The uy-s sure a tenderfoot/8
8%e is0 for a fa#t08 the sheriff areed/
8Those hih +oots08 %an" went on/ 8%o+nails in -em too/ Bet they weih a ton/
!oo" at that huntin "nife hanin on his +elt/ Pretty far front/ )o .rote#tion on the
sheath/ %e-d o huntin0 1um. o,er a lo0 dou+le u. when he lit0 and the .oint of
that "nife would run throuh that leather sheath riht into his le and #ut the +i
artery/ Then we-d ha,e another dead dude to .a#" out/ / / / What ma"es you thin"
the #a+in-s around here98
8)oti#e that little -T/M/- u. in the #orner98
%an" nodded/
8That-s Tom Morton-s initials/ %e .uts -em on the .ost#ards he .rints0 with a strin
of fiures after -em/ I don-t "now 1ust what the idea is myself/ But I-,e seen those
sets of fiures on .i#ture .ost#ards Tom ma"es of the fishin #ountry and .la#es
around town/ Tom .rinted that .ost#ard0 all riht/8
8'ou tal" with Tom98 %an" as"ed/
8)o.e0 I was sorta waitin for you/8
8Why me98
8Well0 now08 the sheriff said0 8you see0 it-s li"e this0 %an"/ I want you to sorta hel.
me out/8
8)ow0 wait a minute08 %an" said/ 8The way you-re tal"in-0 Bill0 you-,e one and
made some arranements/8
8)othin out of the way08 Sheriff Catlin said hastily/ 8I-,e ot you a #ou.le of
#ustomers/ $ #ou.le of dudes/8
8Who98 %an" as"ed/
8Seems li"e this Corliss $drian has all of a sudden ot in a hellu,a lather to et her
hus+and lo#ated/ Seems li"e there-s another man +een hanin around0 and may+e
she-d li"e to et a di,or#e/ To do that she-d li"e to ma"e a #hare of desertion and
ser,e .a.ers/ (r0 in #ase she-s a widow0 then she #ould et married aain riht away/
This here new man has ot lots of money0 and he-s willin to s.end it/ %e wants
results 6ui#"/ $nd the hih-.owered #ity dete#ti,e who-s +een in #hare of the
in,estiation0 a #ha. +y the name of James *ew- itt0 has a ,a#ation #omin u./ So he
and this Corliss $drian are dri,in out toether0 and they wanted78
8$+solutely not08 %an" said/ 8I #an-t78
8They-ll .ay reular dude .ri#es08 the sheriff finished tri-um.hantly/
8Well ///8 %an" hesitated/ 8That-s different/ %ow a+out the other uy0 the one who
wants to marry her9 Is he #om- in98
8Course not08 the sheriff said/ 8%e-s "ee.in under #o,er0 huin the round li"e a
s.otted fawn and ho.in no one sees him/ %e-s the ri#h son of a +i +ro"er +a#"
there/ !ots of douh and .oliti#al influen#e7#ha. name of Gridley/ %is dad-s a .al
of Ed %ar,el-s0 and that-s .artly why Ed-s all wor"ed u./ 'ou #an see the thin from
Gridley-s ,iew.oint/ S-.ose they lo#ate this hus+and and his mind-s a +lan"0 or
may+e he-s 1ust #he#"ed out of marriae +e#ause he-s tired of it/ But he ets a
lawyer and starts a suit for alienatin affe#tions or some su#h +usiness/ )o.e0
Gridley-s son is sittin 1ust as still as a .heasant in a rain .at#h/8
%an" said0 8Well0 I-,e ot my .a#" strin where I #ould ta"e a .arty into the Middle
3or"/ (f #ourse0 I don-t "now what sort this #ity dete#ti,e is0 and78
8!et-s you an- me o to see Tom Morton08 the sheriff su-ested/ / / /
The sheriff and %an" !u#as lsft the wooden #ourthouse and went out into the sun/
The s.rawlin Idaho town was de#e.ti,e to those who didn-t "now it/ $ sinle lon
main street stret#hin in a thin ri++on of frame +usiness stru#tures0 many of whi#h
were in need of .aint0 a,e little indi#ation of the innate .ros.erity of the .la#e/ 3or
a radius of more than fifty miles0 #attlemen used the fa#ilities of the town to ser,i#e
their ran#hes/ Business from a #ounty as +i as some of the eastern states flowed into
the #ounty seat/ The +an"0 housed in a one- story frame stru#ture0 #asually dis#ussed
finan#ial deals whi#h would ha,e 1arred many a more .retentious #ity +an" to its
ranite foundations/
The sheriff and %an" !u#as turned in at Tom Morton-s doorway/ The entran#e
room was +lea" and #old0 de#orated with .i#tures of familiar fa#es0 youn men in
uniform0 irls at the time of hih-s#hool raduation/ %ere and there were hand-
#olored .hotora.hs of the mountainous +a#"#ountry/
Inorin the sin0 8&in for Photora.her08 the sheriff arid !u#as #lum.ed noisily
alon the un#ar.eted #orridor toward the li,in 6uarters and the dar"room in the
rear/
8%i0 Tom08 the sheriff #alled/
8%ello08 a ,oi#e answered from +ehind a door mar"ed 8*ar"room/8
8This is the sheriff/ Wat#ha doin-98
8Just ta"in some I5ms out of the de,elo.er/ Sti#" around a minute0 and I-ll +e with
you/8
Ma"in themsel,es entirely at home with the assuran#e of .eo.le who li,e in
neih+orly harmony0 the .air mo,ed on into the li,in room0 settled down in #hairs
+y a .ot+ellied sto,e whi#h radiated wel#ome warmth0 and waited for Tom Morton
to emere from the dar"room/
$ few minutes later the .hotora.her0 tall0 thin0 wra..ed in an aura of a#id-fi4in
+ath whi#h a,e him the odor of a dill .i#"le0 said0 8What #an I do for you +oys98
Bill Catlin showed him the .hotora.h/ 8'ou ma"e this .ost#ard0 Tom98
8Gosh0 I don-t "now/8
8$in-t these fiures in .en and in" u. in the #orner yours98
The .hotora.her too" the .rint0 turned it o,er0 and e4amined the fiures in the
u..er riht-hand #orner/ 8That-s riht08 he said/
8%ow #ome98 the sheriff as"ed/
Morton rinned/ 8Well0 if you uys ha,e ot to "now somethin that-s none of your
+usiness0 I don-t ha,e a ,ery +i marin in this +usiness/ $ll .hotora.hi# stuff has
an e4.iration date .ut on it +y the manufa#turer/ That-s the limit durin whi#h the
manufa#turer will uarantee it-s o"ay/ But stuff will last for months or e,en years
after that if it-s had the riht "ind of #are/ $nd on#e the e4.iration date is .ast0 you
#an .i#" it u. #hea. if you "now where to o/
8Well0 last year I had a #han#e to .i#" u. three or four lots of .ost#ard .a.er on
whi#h the e4.iration date had .assed/ I .ut fiures on them so I-d "now whi#h lot
was whi#h0 in #ase I had to dis#ard one/ Sometimes 1ust +efore the .a.er +eins to
o +ad the .rints et a little muddy/ But I was lu#"y/ I didn-t ha,e any trou+le at
all/8
8So you-re sure this was a .rint you made98
8That-s riht/8
8Try to thin" when you made it/8
8Gosh0 Bill0 ha,e a heart:8
8Ta"e a ood loo" at it08 the sheriff in,ited/
Morton studied the .ost#ard0 while the sheriff rearded him an4iously/ %an" !u#as0
ha,in tilted himself +a#" in his #hair0 .ut his +oots u. to the arm of another #hair
and .erused an il-lustrated .eriodi#al/
Morton e4amined the fiure on the .ost#ard and said0 8Say0 wait a minute/ I-m "ind
of +einnin to remem+er somethin a+out that .i#ture/8
8 -$tta +oy08 the sheriff en#ouraed/
Morton said0 8There was somethin funny a+out it/ / / / 'eah0 I remem+er what it
was now/ The uy wanted 1ust one .rint made/8
8What-s so funny a+out that98
8Well0 when .eo.le want a .i#ture .ut on .ost#ards0 usually they want at least a
do2en0 to send to friends/ This fellow #ame in and said he wanted one .rint made0
and only one/8
8'ou de,elo.ed the film9 (r do you remem+er98
8)o0 I didn-t/ That was another thin/ %e +rouht the film with him0 all de,elo.ed/
$nd he handed me this one .ost#ard- si2e film and told me to ma"e one .rint on a
.ost#ard/ %e said he wanted to send it to his irl/8
8&emem+er what he loo"ed li"e98
8%e was the uy in the .i#ture/8
8Well0 now0 that-s interestin/ Pro+a+ly alon a+out last Se.tem+er98
8I thouht it was earlier/ I thouht it was some time in the summer/8
8Couldn-t ha,e +een in the summer08 the sheriff said/ 8Must ha,e +een in
Se.tem+er/8
Morton studied the .en-and-in" num+er on the u..er riht-hand #orner of the
.ost#ard and said0 8I didn-t thin" the stuff was still on hand in Se.tem+er/ This was
a +at#h I ot around $.ril/ I thouht it was one +y $uust/ Guess I-m wron0
thouh/8
8Well0 we ot the date on the .ost#ard and the time of the man-s disa..earan#e/8
8What disa..earan#e98
8%e went off the +eam/ %ad amnesia/ %is wife-s loo"in for him/ 'ou wouldn-t
remem+er anythin a+out him7the name he a,e or anythin of that sort98
8Gosh0 no/ $lon durin the fishin season I et a lot of wor" from dudes0 and I 1ust
"ee. the names lon enouh to deli,er the .i#tures/8
8Well0 Tom0 1ust ma"e a .hoto of this here .ost#ard and ma"e us half a do2en .rints
riht 6ui#"/ Can you do that98
Tom Morton loo"ed at his wat#h/ 8%ow soon you want -em98
8Soon as I #an et -em/8
8*on-t "now why I as"ed08 Morton said0 arie,ed/ 8'ou +een ma"in that same
answer to that 6uestion e,er sin#e you +een sheriff/ / / /8
$s the two men went #lum.-#lum.-#lum.in out alon the +oard #orridor0 %an"
!u#as said to the sheriff0 8'ou "now0 Bill0 if that fellow-d +een in the Middle 3or"
#ountry e,er sin#e last fall0 I-d ha,e "nown a+out it/ %e #ould ha,e one in for a
month or two and holed u. in a #a+in somewhere0 +ut7 !et me see that des#ri.tion
aain/8
Catlifi .assed o,er the des#ri.tion from Ed %ar,el-s letter/
83i,e feet nine08 %an" said/ 8$e0 thirty-two/ Weiht0 a hundred and eihty-fi,e
.ounds/ &ed hair/ Blue eyes/ 3air
#om.le4ion/ 3re#"les/ / / / Shu#"s0 Bill0 he hasn-t +een in the #ountry ,ery lon/ $nd
if he went in0 he didn-t stay/8
8I "now08 the sheriff said soothinly0 8+ut this here Ed %ar,el0 he thin"s the only
way to ma"e a sear#h is to o on into the Middle 3or" and .rowl u. and down the
#ountry loo"in for this #a+in/8
8The #a+in08 %an" said0 8#an .ro+a+ly +e lo#ated/ It-s u. on a ride0 was +uilt +y
someone who had a line of tra.s0 was started in the fall +efore there was any snow
on the round0 and finished after there-d +een a storm that +rouht in a+out three
feet of snow/ 'ou #an tell where the stum.s were #ut #lose to the round and then
hiher u./ $nd those last sa.lins that sti#" out o,er the door to han tra.s and
stuff on were #ut off fi,e feet a+o,e the round/ The stum.s are riht near the
#a+in/8
Bill Catlin rinned at him/ 8I wouldn-t say anythin li"e that to this dete#ti,e that-s
#omin out0 %an"/8
8Why not98
8Well0 now08 the sheriff said0 8it-s a funny thin a+out #ity dete#ti,es/ They thin"
they-re the only ones #an do any of this here dedu#ti,e reasonin/ They don-t reali2e
that all that .oli#e wor" is is 1ust followin a trail0 and that a #ow+oy has to do more
trail wor" in a day than a dete#ti,e does in a month/ This here *ewitt is oin- to .ose
as a s.ortsman0 +ut he-s oin to +e .layin old eale eye/ $nd if you steal his
thunder0 it miht not o so ood/8
%an" rinned/ 8Me9 I-m 1ust a rouh0 touh old #ow .o"e turned wranler/ %ow
lon-s it +een sin#e this Gridley uy ot to hanin- around98
8)ow0 that08 the sheriff said0 8is somethin Ed %ar,el didn-t tell me a+out/ 'ou
ain-t s-.osed to "now a thin a+out Gridley0 %an"/ $nd don-t treat this dude li"e a
dete#ti,e/ 'ou-re s-.osed to "now you-re loo"in- for a #a+in and a uy that-s missin0
+ut this dete#ti,e will .ro+a+ly +e .osin- as a dude friend of the family/8
8That08 %an" retorted with a rin0 8ma"es it easy/ / / /8
The woman who left the noon stae and entered the hotel was slender-waisted0
smooth-hi..ed0 self-reliant/ She seemed to ha,e #onfiden#e in her a+ility to
a##om.lish what she set out to do and to "now e4a#tly what it was she had in mind/
There was a+out her the stam. of the #ity/ (+,iously0 she was in unfamiliar
surroundins as she stood for a moment lan#in u. and down the street with its
,arieated assortment of frame +uildins/ Then she raised her eyes to loo" o,er the
to.s of the stru#tures at the +a#"round of hih mountains/ $t this ele,ation and in
the dry air0 the shadows0 with their shar. lines of demar#ation0 seemed almost +la#"0
#ontrasted with the ,i,id lare of the sunliht/ &o#"y .ea"s sta++ed u.ward into the
dee. +lue of the s"y0 da22lin in their sun-+athed +rillian#e/
$+ru.tly #ons#ious of the fa#t that the stae dri,er was wat#hin her #uriously0 she
wal"ed smoothly and unhesitatinly into the hotel0 #rossed the lo++y to the des"0
nodded to &ay 3ieldon0 the .ro.rietor0 who had ta"en his .la#e +ehind the #ounter
to wel#ome in#omin uests0 and too" the .en whi#h he handed her/
3or a +rief moment she hesitated as the .oint of the .en was held o,er the
reistration #ard0 and &ay 3ieldon0 "nowin from lon e4.erien#e the meanin of
that momentary hesitation0 #o#"ed a 6ui22i#al eye+row/
Then the woman wrote in a firm0 #lear handwritin0 8Marion Chandler0 Crystal
City/8
&ay 3ieldon +e#ame so#ia+ly #ommuni#ati,e/ 8!i,ed there lon98 he as"ed0
indi#atin the .la#e she had mar"ed as her residen#e/
&ay 3ieldon "e.t that .arti#ular a..roa#h as an a#e u. his slee,e for women who
reistered under assumed names/ E4.e-rien#e had tauht him that there would +e
one of two res.onses/ Either she would flush and +e#ome #onfused0 or she would
loo" at him with #old0 hauhty eyes and ta"e refue +ehind a mantle of dinity/
But this woman merely a,e him a fran"0 disarmin smile/ %er steady ha2el eyes
showed no tra#e of em+arrassment/ She said0 in a ,oi#e whi#h was neither too ra.id
nor yet too hesitant0 8(h0 I don-t really li,e there/ It 1ust ha..ens to +e my leal
residen#e/8 She went on #almly0 8I-d li"e somethin with a +ath0 if you ha,e it/ I
e4.e#t to +e here only lon enouh to ma"e arranements to .a#" in to the Middle
3or" #ountry/ Perha.s you "now of some .a#"er who is thorouhly relia+le/8
3ieldon met those steady0 friendly eyes and a#"nowleded defeat/ 8Well0 now0
ma-am0 the +est .a#"er herea+outs is %an" !u#as/ $s a matter of fa#t0 he-s startin
in to the Middle 3or" #ountry tomorrow0 ta"in a .arty in7a man and a woman/
Just a #han#e you miht et to team u. with them7 that is0 if it was areea+le all
around/ 'ou #ould sa,e a lot of e4.ense that way/ (f #ourse0 you-d want to +e sure
that you were oin to et alon all riht toether/ 'ou miht s.ea" to %an"/8
She hesitated/
8The other two are due to arri,e some time this afternoon08 3ieldon went on/ 8Man
+y the name of *ewitt and a woman named $drian/ If you want0 I-ll s.ea" to
%an"/8
8I wish you would/8
8%e-s in town and I78
3ieldon +ro"e off as the door was .ushed o.en0 and Marion Chandler turned to
sur,ey the loose-1ointed fiure in tiht- fittin !e,i-s and hih-heeled +oots that
entered the lo++y/
8This is %an" now08 3ieldon said in an undertone/
8Seen anythin of my dudes98 %an" #alled out/
8They weren-t on the stae/ Guess they-re #omin +y #ar08 3ieldon answered/
8Come on o,er here0 %an"/8
%an" a,e the youn woman a swift0 #om.rehensi,e lan#e0 then swe.t off the
sweat-stained som+rero to dis#lose dar" #urly hair0 #arelessly tum+led a+out his
head/ 3ieldon .erformed introdu#tions and e4.lained the reason for them/
8Well0 now08 %an" said0 8it-s all riht with me0 +ut you-d +etter sort of et
a#6uainted with those other .eo.le this after-noon0 see how you li"e them0 and then
sound them out/ It-s sort of em+arrassin if you et out with .eo.le you don-t li"e/
'ou #an et #a+in fe,er awful easy/8 8Ca+in fe,er98 she as"ed0 her ,oi#e and eyes
showin amusement as she too" in %an"-s .i#tures6ue sin#erity/
8That-s riht/ We #all it #a+in fe,er herea+outs/ Two .eo.le et snowed in a #a+in
all winter/ )othin to do +ut loo" at ea#h other/ Pretty 6ui#" they et #om.letely fed
u.0 then little thins +ein to irritate them0 and first thin you "now they-re feudin/
(utsiders et the same feelin sometimes when they-re out on a #am.in tri. with
.eo.le they don-t li"e/8
8(h0 I-m 6uite sure I-d et alon with these other .eo.le/8
8Well0 they-d ouht to et alon with you08 %an" said0 with o.en admiration/
8What you oin in for9 3ishin9 (r hunt-in9 (r / / / 98
She a,e him the same smile she had i,en 3ieldon when he had interroated her
a+out her residen#e/ 8I-m an amateur .hotora.her/ I want .i#tures of the Middle
3or" #ountry0 and I-m .arti#ularly an4ious to et .i#tures of .eo.le7.eo.le who
ha,e li,ed in that #ountry for a lon time/ The old residents0 you "now/ Ty.es/
Chara#ter studies/8
8Well0 I uess that #ould +e arraned08 %an" said0 somewhat du+iously/ 8The
#ountry and the #a+ins are all riht/ The .eo.le you-d ha,e to a..roa#h ta#tfully/8
She smiled/ 8'ou-d +e sur.rised to find how ta#tful I am/8
%an" rinned/ 8Well0 those .eo.le are due in this afternoon/ 'ou #an sort of si2e
them u./8
8What08 she as"ed0 8are they oin in for9 %untin9 (r fishin98
%an" said0 8Well0 now0 u. in this #ountry .eo.le 1ust don-t as" 6uestions li"e that
oflhand/8
8'ou as"ed me/8
%an" shifted his weiht from one foot to the other/ %is eyes were .ools of
amusement/ 8Well0 now0 ma-am0 you-,e 1ust ot to ma"e allowan#es for me/ I-m
different/8
8I-m 6uite ood at ma"in allowan#es for .eo.le08 she said/ 8I-,e had lots of
e4.erien#e/8
8That-ll #ome in handy08 %an" told her/
8$nd sin#e you-re the one who as"s the 6uestions08 she went
on0 8su..ose you find out from the other .eo.le whether it-s all riht for me to 1oin
the .arty/8
8$fter you-,e had a #han#e to loo" -em o,er and see if it-s o"ay +y you08 %an" said/
8I am 6uite sure it will +e all riht as far as I-m #on#erned/8
8'ou ot a slee.in +a0 ma-am98
8*own at the e4.ress offi#e7that is0 it should +e/ I sent in most of my stuff +y
e4.ress a few days ao/8
8I-ll loo" it u.08 &ay 3ieldon said0 and then he as"ed #asually0 8Sent from Crystal
City98
She met his eyes/ 8)o08 she said/ 8Merely in6uire for a .a#"ae sent to Marion
Chandler0 #are of the e4.ress offi#e0 if you will0 .lease/ / / /8
Some time early the ne4t afternoon Marion Chandler loo"ed +a#" on the lon line of
horses from her .osition near the head of the strin/ The .a#"s0 #o,ered with white
tar.aulins and swayin slihtly from side to side with the motion of the horses0
made the .a#" strin loo" li"e some hue #enti.ede0 ea#h white .a#" a 1oint in the
+ody/
The trail itself was hardly two feet wide in most .la#es0 a narrow ri++on #ut out of
the wall of the #anyon/ Below0 a stream tum+led .ell-mell o,er ro#"s and sun"en
los0 hurlin itself around +ends0 lashin itself into s.umes of white foam in its
+rawlin haste/
%ih a+o,e towered the walls of the #anyon0 ranite .inna#les0 in .la#es seemin to
o,erhan the trail/ 3arther +a#" were more radual slo.es0 s.lashed here and there
with dar" .at#hes of .ine0 until0 finally0 far0 far u. were the serrated rides of the
hihest .ea"s/
The trail wound intermina+ly/ Startin from a ran#h lo#ated in a mountain 8#o,e08
it had followed a stream throuh tim+ered meadows where the #old lay in a still0
hushed +lan"et of frosty white/ )ow the sun was hih0 and the trail had dro..ed
shar.ly down the #anyon/ $t these lower ele,ations0 the sun .oured heat into the
narrow defile/
%an" !u#as led the .ro#ession/ Behind him was Corliss $drian0 whom Marion
1uded to +e a+out twenty-se,en/ She had #hestnut hair0 +rown eyes0 and was
wra..ed in an aura of su+dued traedy/ It was a .ose whi#h well suited her0 a .ose
whi#h Marion felt would ma"e men refer to her as 8+ra,e/8
Marion0 wat#hin her ride0 "new that she was a tenderfoot/ %er +a#" was too stiff/
She insisted on ha,in her stirru.s too short0 the effe#t +ein to throw her weiht far
+a#" in the saddle/ Twi#e lately she had as"ed #asually of %an" !u#as0 8I wonder
how far we-,e one sin#e we started/8 $nd Marion "new from the ,aue +ut
#heerful manner in whi#h !u#as answered the 6uestion that this was a routine with
him0 the first indi#ation that a 8dude8 was +e#omin fatiued/ But Corliss was +ein
+ra,e and un#om.lainin0 ridin in silen#e/
Ba#" of Marion Chandler0 James $/ *ewitt0 a thi#"0 1olly indi,idual in his middle
thirties0 fran"ly hun to the horn of the Western saddle when he #ame to the +ad
.la#es in the trail/ Behind him rode Sam Eaton0 who was doin the #oo"in for the
.arty0 a 6uiet0 middle-aed man who said nothin e4#e.t when a+solutely ne#essary/
Ba#" of him the .a#"horses #ame swayin alon0 and +rin-in u. the rear was
%oward Eenney0 the assistant wranler0 a youn man who had re#ently +een
dis#hared from the $rmy and whose eyes #ontained a tou#h of sadness/ Marion had
no-ti#ed that when he +e#ame 1o,ial he seemed to ma"e a #ons#ious attem.t at
wren#hin his mind away from .ast memories0 an attem.t whi#h would almost
in,aria+ly +e followed +y a .eriod of deta#hment durin whi#h his tired ray eyes
would fo#us on the distan#e/
)ow he was ridin alon0 a##e.tin the #loud of dust "i#"ed u. +y the .a#"train as
.art of the day-s wor"0 from time to time swinin o,er in the saddle to s#oo. u. a
ro#" of #on,enient throwin si2e from the side of the mountain/ Then he would
stand in his stirru.s and #hu#" the ro#" with unerrin a##ura#y to .rod alon
whate,er .a#"horse at the moment seemed to +e in#lined to hold +a#"/
%an" !u#as0 at the head of the .ro#ession0 rode with lon stirru.s and a loose +a#"/
%is sweat-stained som+rero was far +a#" on his head0 and he "e.t u. a steady
su##ession of #ow+oy sons/ $t times he would raise his ,oi#e so that those +ehind
him #ould hear the rolli#"in words of a fast-mo,in ,erse or two0 then suddenly he
would in,o"e a ,eil of self-im.osed #ensorshi. whi#h left the words mere ar+led
sounds/
$t midafternoon the lon strin of horses wound its way down the #anyon and
de+ou#hed on the Middle 3or" of the Salmon &i,er/
The trail followed the ri,er for a #ou.le of miles0 then wound around a ro#"y .oint
where the way had +een +lasted out of sheer ranite0 and here the trail was +arely
wide enouh to i,e a horse footin/ (n the left there was a dro. of some0 two
hundred feet0 and so narrow was the way that the o,erhan of the saddle and the
+ule of the horse-s side #om.letely o+s#ured the ede of the trail/ Sittin ere#t in
the saddle and loo"in down0 one saw only two hundred feet of em.ty s.a#e under
the left stirru.0 with lintin water +elow/
*ewitt0 ra++in his saddle horn and starin with fear-wid- ened eyes at the trail0
still manaed to .reser,e a sem+lan#e of his 1o,iality/ 8I say u. there0 %an"08 he
yelled/
%an" swun loosely in the saddle0 loo"in +a#" in6uirinly o,er his left shoulder0
.i,otin in su#h a way that he didn-t distur+ his +alan#e in the least/ %is fa#e
showed only #ourteous and #asual interest/
8What would you do if you met another .a#" #omin from the o..osite dire#tion in
a .la#e li"e this98 *ewitt as"ed a.-.rehensi,ely/
8Well08 %an" drawled0 after an inter,al0 8you #ouldn-t turn around0 and you
#ouldn-t .ass/ &e#"on the only thin to do would +e to de#ide whi#h outfit was the
least ,alua+le and shoot it/8
8Please don-t 1o"e a+out it08 Corliss $drian said0 in a low0 throaty ,oi#e/
%an"-s rin was infe#tious/ 8Ma-am08 he said0 8I-m not 1o"-in/ That was my
answer/ S-.ose you try and fiure out some other way/8
%e in#luded them in a la2y rin and said0 8(nly a+out ten minutes to #am.08 and
swun +a#" around in the saddle/ $l-most immediately his ,oi#e rose in a .lainti,e
melody/
%is ten minutes turned out to +e e4a#tly twenty-three minutes0 as Marion Chandler
noted from her wristwat#h/ Then they made #am. in a rassy meadow0 with .ines
furnishin a wel#ome shade/ The .a#"s #ame off in re#ord time/ The #oo" had a fire
oin0 and e,en +efore the wranlers had finished ho++lin the horses and .uttin a
#ow+ell on the leader0 Marion #ould smell the aroma of #oo"in/
James *ewitt #ame o,er to stand +y her/ 8'ou seem to ha,e stood the tri. 6uite
well/8
8It wasn-t +ad/8
8'ou do 6uite a +it of ridin/8
8What ma"es you thin" that98
8I don-t "now7the way you were sittin on the horse/ 'ou seemed to +e a .art of
him/ 'ou aren-t tired98
8)ot .arti#ularly/8
8I-m all in08 he #onfessed/ 8Too mu#h weiht to .a#" around/ I-m oin to et +usy
and ta"e off twenty or twenty- fi,e .ounds/ Been threatenin to do it for a year/
Perha.s this will +e a ood #han#e to start/8
Marion nodded toward the #am.fire/ 8Wait until that ets down to #oals and you
+ein to smell the +roilin stea"s/8
8Stea"s98
8That-s what Sammy told me/ Stea"s the first niht out/8
*ewitt made an e4aerated motion of wi.in the +a#" of his hand a#ross his li.s/
8Guess I-ll start my diet tomorrow08 he said/ 8So you-re ta"in .i#tures98
8That-s riht/8
8%a,e a #ontra#t with some maa2ine98
8)o0 I-m free-lan#in/8
8&ather an e4.ensi,e tri. 1ust for free-lan#in0 isn-t it98
8I don-t thin" so08 she said #oolly/
8Pardon me/8 %e rinned/ 8I-m always sti#"in my ne#" out0 sayin thins that
ha..en to #ro. into my mind/ *id you et any .i#tures alon the trail98
8)o0 I-m oin to wait a day or two +efore I do mu#h .ho-tora.hy/ It-s always
+etter to .lay it that way/ The s#enery-s +etter0 and the first day-s 1ourney is usually
the lonest and the hardest on the sto#" and the .eo.le/ Pa#"ers don-t li"e to ha,e
you hold u. the strin the first day out/8
8'ou sound li"e a ,eteran/8
She lauhed aily and said0 8I-,e +een listenin to %an"/8
8But you ha,e +een on 6uite a few #am.in tri.s98
8(h0 yes/8
It was .lain that Pewitt wanted to as" more 6uestions0 +ut her manner held his
#uriosity in #he#"/
Corliss $drian #ame o,er to 1oin them/ 8Wasn-t it .erfe#tly delihtful98 she as"ed0
+ut her ,oi#e was flat with fatiue/
%an" !u#as0 ha,in finished ho++lin the horses0 .ulled a #an of fruit 1ui#e from
one of the "ya#"s0 1a++ed a huntin "nife throuh the to. of the #an0 and .rodu#ed
.a.er #u.s and a +ottle/ %e mi4ed the inredients with haste/
8)ow0 this here08 he announ#ed0 8is a little mountain toni#/ $ #ou.le of these has the
effe#t of loosenin the sore mus#les0 remo,in "in"s from the +a#"0 and whettin the
a..etite/ %ow a+out it0 Mr/ *ewitt9 Want me to et out your fishin ta#"le so you
#an #at#h a few trout +efore su..er98
*ewitt ra++ed the #o#"tail/ 8Gosh0 no08 he said/ 8$ll I want is to s.rawl out and
rest/ Where are the slee.in +as98
!u#as .assed the drin"s around and tossed off one himself0 sayin0 8Comin riht
u./8 $nd he .rom.tly .ro#eeded to +usy himself ettin thins un.a#"ed/
Marion was rateful for the fatiue that .ermeated the #am.0 whi#h she "new had
inter.osed a shield +etween her and what had a..arently +een a well-.lanned
#ourse of 6uestionin areed u.on in ad,an#e/ *ewitt had done his .art0 +ut Corliss
had +een too tired to "ee. u. the mental effort/
$s the sun went down in the west0 the shadows of the moun-tains on the other side of
the stream mar#hed ra.idly toward
them/ $lmost instantly it +e#ame #ool and0 +y the time the +roiled stea"s0 .otatoes0
and salad were on their .lates0 the shar. tan of the mountain air0 .lus the effe#t of
the #o#"tails0 had whetted their a..etites so that eatin was a full-time o#-#u.ation/
$nd0 in an in#redi+ly short time after eatin0 the food indu#ed a drowsy tor.or
whi#h made e,en the most fra-mentary #on,ersation a matter of effort/
The fire #ra#"led #heerfully for a while0 then died down0 and the #ir#le of dar"ness
whi#h had +een waitin 1ust outside the #am. mo,ed silently in/
8I-m oin to roll in08 Marion announ#ed/ 8Good niht0 e,-eryone/8

James *ewitt sihed and said0 8Good niht/8 %e arose and started for his slee.in
+a/ %is first two ste.s were staerin0 off-+alan#e attem.ts to "ee. himself ere#t
as his #ram.ed mus#les for the moment refused to wor"/ $ moment later Corliss
$drian had rolled in0 and Marion0 hurriedly disro+in0 slid down into her slee.in
+a/ She loo"ed o,er at the #am.fire0 where %an" !u#as0 Sam Eaton0 and %oward
Eenney were athered in a little rou. silhouetted aainst the lowin em+ers/
She wondered slee.ily at the su+1e#t of their #onferen#e and determined that she
would lie awa"e to wat#h them0 suddenly sus.i#ious of the intense attitude of
#on#entration/
She dou+led the liht .illow of her slee.in +a to .ro. her head u. so she #ould see
them more #learly and #losed her eyes momentarily when they +ean to smart0 to
shut out the liht of the #am.fire/ %er #ons#iousness was almost instantly su#"ed
down into an a+yss of warm #omfort/ / / /
When she wa"ened there was the feel of dawn in the air/ The stars o,er the to.s of
the +i .ines had re#eded into a s"y whi#h was ta"in on 1ust a faint suestion of
reenish-+lue #olor/

She "new that it was #old outside +e#ause she #ould feel a tinlin at the ti. of her
nose0 +ut the en,elo.e of the slee.in +a was filled with warm down and she was
too #omforta+le to

w m"
e,en mo,e/ She lay there in a state halfway +etween slee.in and wa"in0 listenin
to the sounds of the .urlin ri,er and the stir of a#ti,ity around #am./ Time #eased
to e4ist/
There was #olor in the .ine trees now/ The stars had disa.-.eared and the s"y had
ta"en on a distin#tly +luish tint/ She heard the sound of distant shouts0 and then the
#lanin of the +ell on the lead horse +e#ame suddenly a hysteri#al #lamor/ %oofs
.ounded and0 startled0 she raised herself on an el+ow0 to see the horses #omin into
#am.0 dri,en alon +y %oward Eenney0 who was ridin +are+a#"0 lettin out
#ow+oy yells at inter,als/ Slee. was effe#ti,ely +anished/
Marion struled into her #lothes0 s.lashed i#e-#old water on her fa#e0 and felt that
sure of ,itality whi#h #omes with the dawn when one has +een slee.in on the
round in the o.en/
With an a..etite shar.ened +y the fresh air0 she wat#hed the #oo" +rin fla.1a#"s to
a olden +rown and .ut them on her .late toether with sli#es of #ris.0 meaty +a#on/
$ thi#" sla+ of #ountry +utter melted to run down the sides of the hot #a"es and
minle with the ma.le syru./ There was #lear0 stron #offee in a hue aateware
#u./
She ate with 2est and then wal"ed down to the ede of the ri,er0 where *ewitt was
1ust finishin .uttin his trout rod toether/ %e had made a few .reliminary #asts to
soften u. his leader and now0 with a s"illed wrist motion0 sent a fly winin out in a
lon #ast/
8%ello08 he said0 rinnin amia+ly/ 8'ou-re loo"in mihty fit this mornin/8 <sin
his left hand to .ull the line throuh the uides0 he +rouht the fly around the ede
of a little ri..le0 then a#ross a straiht stret#h of swift #urrent/
83eelin li"e a million dollars08 she said/
$ trout suddenly flashed u. out of the water0 stru#" at the fly0 missed0 and then went
sul"in down to the de.ths of the stream/
8Missed him08 *ewitt said/ 8I was a little too an4ious/ Whi..ed the fly riht out of
his mouth/8
%an" !u#as0 who had 1oined them without +ein o+ser,ed0 said0 in his .e#uliar
drawlin ,oi#e0 8)o need to et dis#our- aed/ There-s lots of -em in here/ If you
want to fish an hour or so while we-re ettin the .a#"s on0 you-ll ha,e more fish
than you #an #arry/ /= / / %a,en-t seen Mrs/ $drian0 ha,e you98
*ewitt sna..ed in the line and made another #ast/ 8)o/ Is she u.98 he as"ed0 his
eyes lued to the fly/
8She-s u.0 all riht/ Too" a little wal" u.stream/ She hasn-t #ome +a#" for
+rea"fast/8
*ewitt said a+ru.tly0 8'ou say she-s one98
8That-s riht/ Seems to ha,e ta"en a wal"08 !u#as said0 8+ut there aren-t any tra#"s
on the trail/ I thouht I-d ta"e a loo" alon the stream here0 and then I saw you
fishin/8
!u#as strolled more or less aimlessly u. the stream ede +e-tween the ro#"s0 then
said suddenly0 8%ere-s where she went/8
Marion had to loo" twi#e to see the tra#"/ Then it a..eared to +e only a faint
dis#oloration of the round/ But0 some twenty yards farther on0 !u#as0 who had "e.t
mo,in on ahead0 un#o,ered another fresh tra#"7this time made in dam. sand and
distin#tly ,isi+le/
*ewitt a+ru.tly lost interest in the fishin and sna..ed in his line/ 8Guess I-d +etter
follow her/8
8Eee. on fishin if you want08 %an" said/ 8I-ll o on u./ / / / May+e you-d li"e to
ta"e a wal"08 he said to Marion0 and then added0 with a rin0 8In #ase she-s ta"in a
swim0 you #an o on ahead and tell her she-ll ha,e to hurry if she wants +rea"fast/
We-,e ot to et the .a#"s on/8
*ewitt hesitated/ 8&eally0 I should #ome8 he said/
8Why98 %an" as"ed0 and then added0 8I #an .ro+a+ly follow her trail as well as
you #an/8
*ewitt rinned/ 8(h0 well0 if you .ut it that way08 he said/
%e resumed his fishin0 and %an" and Marion mo,ed slowly u.stream/
$lmos/t instantly the la2y smile left %an"-s eyes/ %is manner +e#ame tense and
+usinessli"e/ 8$ny idea where she miht ha,e one98 he as"ed/
8)o/ I wo"e u. shortly +efore dawn and then do2ed aain/ I didn-t hear her mo,e/8
8She was in her slee.in +a when Eenney and I too" out after the horses/ 'ou
ha,en-t any idea what she miht +e after98
8She miht ha,e wanted to +athe/8
8Water-s .retty #old08 %an" said0 and then added a+ru.tly0 8'ou "now what she-s
in here for98
8She wants to find her hus+and98 Marion ,entured/
8That-s riht/ / / / 'ou-re a .hotora.her98
8'es/8
%an" said0 8%ere-s a #o.y of a .i#ture/ It ain-t too #lear +e#ause it isn-t a .rint0 +ut
it-s a .i#ture of a .i#ture/ What do you ma"e of it98 %e handed her one of the
.ost#ard re.rodu#tions Tom Morton had made/
8What08 Marion as"ed0 studyin the .hotora.h0 8do you want to "now a+out it98
8$nythin you #an tell a+out the .i#ture/ Just from loo"in at it/8
8!ots of thins08 Marion said0 lauhin/
8What0 for instan#e98
8To +ein with08 she said0 8the .i#ture was .ro+a+ly ta"en with a 3-$ foldin
Eoda" with a ra.id re#tilinear lens/ It was ta"en in the middle of the day/8
8%ow do you fiure that98
8Well08 she said0 8des.ite the fa#t that the lens was sto..ed -way down0 there-s still
a #ertain +lurrin at the e4treme #orners and there-s a .e#uliar diffused warmth to
the shadows/ 'ou et that with a ra.id re#tilinear lens/ The anastimati# lens haw a
tenden#y to #ut thins wire-shar./ But there isn-t 6uite the warmth in the shadows
and78
8Wait a minute/ What do you mean the lens was sto..ed -way down98 %an" as"ed/
She said0 8When the dia.hram shutter of a lens is wide o.en0 the s.eed is in#reased
+ut there-s ,ery little de.th to the field/ In other words0 if you ta"e a fairly lon
fo#al-lenth lens su#h as is ne#essary to #o,er a .ost#ard-si2e film0 and set it0 say0 at
twenty-fi,e feet and lea,e it wide o.en0 thins +eyond thirty feet or so will +e out of
fo#us0 and thins #loser than twenty feet will +e out of fo#us/ I-,e forotten the e4a#t
ta+le0 +ut that will ser,e as an illustration/ (n the other hand0 if the lens is sto..ed
-way down0 ,irtually e,erythin will +e in fo#us/ The sto..in down i,es a de.th of
field/ (+1e#ts only eiht or ten feet away will +e fairly shar.0 and so will thins in
the distan#e/8
8$nd this lens was sto..ed down98
8This lens0 was sto..ed down08 Marion said/ 8Moreo,er0 see the little white fo
down there in the #orner9 Well0 that-s a liht lea"0 and .ro+a+ly #ame from a little
hole in the +ellows of the #amera/ If it had +een #areless windin on the s.ool0 you-d
ha,e seen a little different ty.e of lea" and / / / %ere-s Mrs/ $drian now/8
Corliss $drian0 trim and fresh0 ste..ed out from +ehind a ro#"/ $..arently she was
enaed in wat#hin the other side of the stream ,ery intently/ But she seemed to
wat#h it a little too lon0 and her sur.rise on finally seein %an" and Marion
seemed a little too .ronoun#ed/
Marion started to say0 8I thin" she-s +een wat#hin us08 +ut then a+ru.tly #haned
her mind and remained silent/
%an" said ood-naturedly0 +ut still with a #ertain re+u"e in his ,oi#e0 8This here is a
sear#hin .arty out to lo#ate the lost tenderfoot/8
8*on-t e,er worry a+out me08 Corliss $drian said0 with a 6ui#"0 ner,ous lauh/ 8I
de#ided to et u. and see if I #ouldn-t see a deer/8
8See anythin98
8I saw some does and fawns and one youn +u#":-- 8Brea"fast is 1ust a+out o,er08
%an" said/ 8We-re tryin to et thins #leaned u. so we #an et away/8
8(h0 I-m sorry/ I-ll rush riht on +a#"/ %an"78 8'es98
8*o you see that #anyon u. there0 the one with the .e#uliarly sha.ed ro#" u. near
the to. of the ride98 8<h-huh/8
8What .la#e is that98
8Bro"en !e Canyon/8
85 wonder if we #ould o u. there/ It loo"s li"e mar,elous #ountry/8
8That-s 1ust a+out where I-m aimin to o08 %an" said/
8(h0 that-s wonderful/8
8'ou see08 %an" e4.lained0 8when Bill showed me the .i#ture of that #a+in0 there
wasn-t anythin on it that a,e a definite #lue to where it was0 +ut somehow0 from
the way the round loo"ed0 I had a hun#h the thin miht +e u. Bro"en !e
Canyon/ I thouht we-d ta"e a loo" u. there/ Pro,ided it-s o"ay with Miss Chandler
here/8
8(h0 I thin" that would +e wonderful08 Marion said eaerly/ 8It loo"s ,ery in,itin/
That ro#" would really ma"e a manfi#ent .hotora.h/8
8Then that-s all settled08 Corliss said/
Marion wondered if %an" !u#as had dete#ted a #ertain note of smu satisfa#tion in
Corliss-s ,oi#e/ She lan#ed at him from the #orner of her eyes0 +ut he seemed
thorouhly enrossed in .i#"in his way o,er stream-worn +oulders/
*ewitt was landin a fish as they wal"ed .ast and was too enrossed in what he was
doin to e,en see them/ The #oo" was .lainly anry0 and %oward Eenney0 fa#ed
with the 1o+ of ettin the .a#"saddles on the horses0 was indinantly silent/
Corliss $drian mo,ed o,er to a .la#e +y the fire0 a..arently heedless of the ta#iturn
disa..ro,al of the #oo"/ !u#as started ettin .a#"saddles on the horses0 and
Marion mo,ed o,er to the two men/ 8Is there anythin I #an do98 she as"ed
Eenney/
8)ot a thin08 Eenney said0 smilin/ 8'ou miht et your .ersonal thins all
toether and the air out of your air mattress/ )o use tryin to +rea" any re#ords
ettin a start0 thouh/ The Gueen of She+a is oin to ta"e her time/8
Marion lan#ed o,er to where Corliss $drian was settlin herself in a foldin #hair
at the #am. ta+le with e,ery e,iden#e of .re.arin to en1oy a leisurely +rea"fast/
8)ot mu#h we #an do until we et the "it#hen ready to load08 Eenney e4.lained/
8Perha.s I-d +etter hel. you et the
air out of your mattress/8 %e wal"ed o,er to the +eds0 unloos-ened the ,al,es0 and
slowly rolled u. the slee.in +as0 lettin the air es#a.e/
8'ou li"e this life0 don-t you98 Marion as"ed/
8!o,e it/8
8But it-s hard wor"0 isn-t it98
8(h0 off and on/ But it-s ni#e wor"/ It-s the only way I #an afford to han around the
#ountry as mu#h as I-d li"e to/ Sort of a ,a#ation/8
8I see/8
8Slee. all riht last niht98 he as"ed/
83ine/8
8'ou would/ 'ou were ta"in the ride all riht yesterday/ 'ou-re used to Western-
saddle trail ridin/8
She +e#ame #ons#ious of the #urious interroation in his eyes and "new suddenly
that this was no #asual 6uestionin0 +ut a well-.lanned e4amination whi#h .ro+a+ly
lin"ed in with the three-way #onferen#e at the #am.fire last niht/
8'es0 I-,e done some mountain ridin08 she said0 and #almly turned away and +ean
.a#"in her .ersonal +elonins/
Thereafter Marion a,oided %oward Eenney/ / / /
When #am. had +een +ro"en and all +ut the last two horses loaded0 %an" !u#as
a..roa#hed his dudes/
8Eenney #an finish throwin the .a#"s0 with the hel. of the #oo"0 and +rin the
strin alon08 !u#as said/ 8I want to mo,e on ahead and .i#" out a ood #am.site/
If you fol"s would li"e to #ome alon with me0 you #an sa,e a little time/8
8That-ll +e fine08 Marion said/
8Wait a minute08 *ewitt inter.osed #autiously/ 8%ow do you .ro.ose to ma"e this
e4tra time9 $s I see it0 the .a#"train will +e ready to start in ten or fifteen minutes/8
8There-s 6uite a +it of smooth trail ahead08 %an" said/ 8We #an .ut the horses in a
trot/8
8In a trot:8 Corliss $drian e4#laimed in dismay/
%an" rinned/ 8*on-t a..eal to you0 eh98
8If it ma"es any differen#e to the others0 I-ll +e only too lad to o alon08 Corliss
said with dinity0 8+ut if it doesn-t0 I thin" I-d .refer to wal" my horse/ %owe,er0
you-re in #hare0 and I-ll do as you say/8
*ewitt ste..ed into the situation/ 8'ou two o riht ahead08 he said/ 8Ta"e all the
time you want/ We-ll #ome alon with the .a#" strin/ $fter all0 we-,e ot all day/
(ur time isn-t that ,alua+le/8
!u#as lan#ed at Marion/
She nodded/
8("ay/ !et-s o08 !u#as said/ %e too" his #ha.s off the horn of the saddle0 +u#"led
them around his waist0 fastened the sna.s under his les0 .ut on his s.urs0 and
swun into the saddle/
They started out at a +ris" trot/ There was a wide ,alley to s"irt where another
stream #ame into the Middle 3or"/ It too" a detour of nearly three miles to +rin
them +a#" o..osite the mouth of the #anyon on the other side of the stream/ The
horses s.lashed throuh a ford0 followed relati,ely le,el oin for three-6uarters of
a mile0 and then started an a+ru.t #lim+/
Marion rearded the sweatin horses durin one of the +rief rest .eriods whi#h
ena+led the animals to #at#h a few 6ui#" +reaths/
8$ren-t you .ushin the horses a +it fast98 she as"ed/
%an" tilted +a#" his som+rero/ 8To tell you the truth0 I wasn-t an4ious to ha,e those
other two alon/ I don-t want to disa..oint them0 in #ase I don-t find what I-m
loo"in for/8
8What are you loo"in for98
8The #a+in shown in that .hotora.h/8
8'ou thin" you "now where it is98
8Well0 now08 %an" said0 shiftin sideways in the saddle and #o#"in his riht "nee
o,er the horn of the saddle0 8I #an +est answer that +y sayin that I "now the .la#es
where it ain-t/8
She lauhed/
8'ou see08 %an" went on0 seriously enouh0 8that #a+in is u. on a ride somewhere/
I "now 1ust a+out when it must ha,e +een +uilt/ That is0 I "now it was +uilt after the
last real hea,y winter7on a##ount of the down tim+er/ I "now the eneral nature of
the #ountry it-s in/ $nd0 well0 I-,e +een doin a little listenin around/
8$ year ao a #ha. who #ould +e this man they-re loo"in for showed u. here and
had a .artner with him/ They went u. in this #ountry somewhere and sort of
disa..eared/ E,eryone thin"s they went out the other way throuh the White Cliff
#ountry/ %ad one .a#"horse +etween them/ I tal"ed with the #ha. who sold -em the
horse (ne of the fellows was a .retty ood outdoors man the other was a ran"
tenderfoot/ )ow0 may+e there-s a #a+in u. in here somewhere that was +uilt and
then a+andoned/8
8*o you "now where it is98
%an" shoo" his head/
Marion sur,eyed the tum+led waste of wild0 rued #ountry 8%ow in the world do
you e,er e4.e#t to find it in this wilderness if you don-t "now where it is98
8Same way the .eo.le who li,ed in it found it08 %an" said/ 8Ta"e alon in the
winter when trails were .retty well snowed o,er0 they had to ha,e somethin to
uide them when they wanted to o home/8
8%ow do you mean98
%an" motioned toward the trees alon the trail/ 8See those little mar"s98
8(h0 you mean the +la2es98
8That-s riht/ )ow0 you see0 alon this trail you-,e ot a lon +la2e and underneath
it two short ones/ They-re .retty well rown o,er and a .erson that didn-t "now
what he was loo"in for wouldn-t find them/ They show u. .lain enouh to a
woodsman/8
8$nd you thin" these men +la2ed a trail in to their #a+in98
8Must ha,e/8
8%ow mu#h farther98
%an" rinned/ 8I-m darned if I "now/ I-m 1ust loo"in for +la2es/8
%e swun around in the saddle and dro..ed his riht foot +a#" in the stirru./
8("ay08 he said/ 8!et-s o/8
L D
3rom little natural meadows whi#h e4isted here and there alon the trail0 Marion
#ould see out o,er an awe-ins.irin e4.anse of #ountry7mile on mile of tum+led
mountain .ea"s0 dee.0 shadow-filled #anyons0 hih0 1aed0 snow-#o,ered #rests/
%an" !u#as loo"ed +a#" at her and rinned/ 8!ots of it0 ain-t there98
8I-ll say there is/8
$+ru.tly he reined in his horse/
8What is it98
8There-s an el"08 he said/
8Where9 I don-t see him/8
8(,er there/ Wait a minute0 he-s oin to +ule to the horses/8
3rom the shadows #ame a #lear0 flutelife whistle whi#h started on a low note0 ran to
a hiher note0 then dro..ed throuh two lower notes into final silen#e/
8(h0 how +eautiful:8 Marion e4#laimed/
83irst time you e,er heard an el" +ule98
%er eyes were listenin/ She nodded her head/
8%e doesn-t li"e the horses08 !u#as said/ 8Thin"s they-re a #ou.le of +ull el"s whi#h
may +e ri,als/ This #ountry is .retty wild/ %e don-t "now mu#h a+out men/ There he
is o,er there in the shadows under that tree/8
She #auht siht of him then0 a hue0 antlered animal standin in the shadows/
$+ru.tly he .awed the round0 lowered his head0 a,e a series of short0 shar.0
+ar"in #hallenes/
8%e loo"s as thouh he-s ettin ready to atta#"08 Marion said0 alarmed/
8%e is/8 %an" rinned/ 8But he-ll et our s#ent +efore he does any damae0 find out
we ain-t other el"s0 and +eat it/8 %e turned to her shar.ly/ 8I don-t noti#e you tryin
to .hotora.h him/ I ha,en-t seen you .hotora.h anythin so far/ If you didn-t
#ome in here to ta"e .i#tures0 why did you #ome in here98
She said0 8If I told you0 would you "ee. it to yourself98
8I miht/8
The el" too" two 6ui#" ste.s forward0 then suddenly #auht their wind0 sniffed0
whirled a+ru.tly0 and was one0 li"e some reat0 Pittin #loud shadow0 his +i hul"
dissol,in in the trees/
Marion-s s.ee#h was 6ui#" and ner,ous/ 8I #ame in here to find my +rother/ I thin"
he-s the one who was with 3ran" $drian/ That-s why I was willin to o alon with
these other two/8
%an" s.un his horse so he was fa#in her/ 8("ay08 he said 6uietly0 8su..ose you tell
me a+out him/8
8I don-t "now too mu#h a+out it08 she said/ 8The last letter I had from %arry was
last summer/ %e was at Twin 3alls then/ There was an ad in the .a.er statin that a
man who was oin into the hills for his health wanted a .artner who was fully
familiar with #am.in0 tra..in0 and minin/ This man was willin to i,e a
uarantee0 in addition to a half interest in any mines or .elts/ It sounded ood/
%arry wrote me he-d answered the ad and ot the 1o+0 that he li"ed his .artner a lot0
and they were oin to head into the Middle 3or" #ountry/ That-s the last I heard
from him/8
8%e write you ,ery often98
8(nly on#e e,ery two or three months08 she said/ 8But he-s #lose to me/ %e-s my
older +rother/8
8%e i,e you any address98 %an" as"ed/
8'es0 the #ounty seat +a#" there/8
8'ou write to him there98
8'es/8
8What ha..ened98
8The letters #ame +a#"/ I don-t thin" %arry would ha,e one away and7well0 he
wouldn-t ha,e one this lon without writin unless somethin had ha..ened/ I-,e
+een wonderin whether that ad was on the u. and u./8
8I see08 %an" said/ 8'our +rother-s name %arry Chandler98
8%arry Benton08 she said/ 8My name is Marion Chandler Benton/ I didn-t want to
use the last name until I "new more a+out thins/ I thouht .erha.s if %arry had
ot in any trou+le I miht +e a+le to hel. him/ %e-s im.ulsi,e and a little wild/8
%an" rearded her shrewdly/ 8E,er +een in trou+le +efore98
8'es/ 'ou see0 he-s7well0 he-s im.ulsi,e/8
8$nd what-s the reason you didn-t tell Corliss $drian a+out this98
8Be#ause if he-s ot into trou+le08 Marion said0 8I #an do more for him if .eo.le
don-t "now who I am/ I don-t want her to "now/ I-m tellin you +e#ause you "now
that I-m in here for somethin other than .hotora.hs0 and I want 0 you to "now
what it is so7well0 so you-ll "now/8
8So I-ll 6uit tryin to find out98 %an" as"ed with a rin/
8Somethin li"e that/8
8This +rother of yours is sort of the +la#" shee. of the family98
8'es/8
8But he-s your fa,orite0 1ust the same98
8'es/8
8Want to tell me a+out the other time he was in trou+le98
8)o/8
%an" ently tou#hed the ti. of his s.ur to his horse/ 8("ay08 he said/ 8!et-s o/8
They rode on for another half mile0 .assin now throuh +i-ame #ountry/ Twi#e
they saw deer standin wat#hin them/ (n#e they heard #rashes in the forest as a
+i +ull el" stam.eded his #ows out of their way0 then turned0 himself0 to +ule a
#hallene/
8<sually the deer don-t han around so mu#h in the el" #ountry08 %an" said0 8+ut
there seem to +e a lot of them in here/ I7 What-s this98 %e sto..ed a+ru.tly/
8I don-t see anythin/8
%an" .ointed to a tree/
8(h0 yes0 I see it now/ It-s a +la2e0 a different +la2e from this trail +la2e/ !oo"s as
thouh the .erson who made it didn-t want it to +e too .rominent/8
%an" indi#ated other trees +earin all +ut im.er#e.ti+le s#ars/ 8Want to ta"e a
loo"98 he as"ed/
She nodded/
%an" turned his horse down the ride0 followin the faint trail/
8Shouldn-t you lea,e a note or somethin0 in #ase the .a#" strin #at#hes u. with
us98
8They-ll see our tra#"s08 %an" said/
They s"irted wide .at#hes of down tim+er0 lost the trail twi#e on su#h detours0 +ut
e,entually .i#"ed it u. aain/ Then0 without warnin0 they #ame to a little #learin
and a #a+in/
%an" swun down off his horse and dro..ed the reins to the round/
Marion loo"ed at the #a+in for a moment0 then flun herself out of the saddle/ 8It-s
the same #a+in that-s in the .i#ture08 she said/ 8The .i#ture was ta"en from o,er
there/8
8!et-s ta"e a loo" around/8
They #rossed the little o.enin and %an" .ushed the #a+in door o.en/
Marion stood at his side0 loo"in o,er the one-room stru#ture/
There was a wood sto,e of rouh iron0 two +un"s0 a ta+le0 a rude +en#h0 a row of
+o4es whi#h had +een nailed to the wall so as to form a #u.+oard and in whi#h were
a few dishes0 "ni,es0 and for"s/ $ fryin .an hun from a nail0 and there was a lare
stew.an fa#e down on the sto,e/ The #a+in had a dirt floor0 +ut it was #leaner than
any a+andoned #a+in Marion had e,er seen/ 'et it held that #hara#teristi# musty
smell whi#h indi#ated it had +een some time sin#e there had +een a fire in the sto,e
or sin#e men had sle.t on the two +un"s/
(n the ta+le was a "erosene lam. .artially filled with "ero-sene/
8Well08 %an" said0 8I uess this is it/ 'ou say your +rother-s an old-time #am.er98
8That-s riht/ %e-s done 6uite a ood deal of tra..in and .ros.e#tin/ %e didn-t
li"e too mu#h #i,ili2ation/8
%an" nodded/ %e too" off his hat and s#rat#hed the hair around his tem.les/
8What is it98 she as"ed/ 8$nythin98 8)o08 %an" said0 8I uess it-s o"ay/ !et-s et
+a#" to the trail/ We-ll want to #am. riht around here somewhere/8
8We #ould #am. in the flat here and use the #a+in0 #ouldn-t we98
8Better not08 %an" said shortly/ 8!et-s o +a#" to the trail and7 %ello0 what-s
this98
%an" was loo"in at the three +o4es whi#h had +een nailed to the side of the #a+in/
8What is it9 I don-t see anythin/8
%an" said0 8That .ie#e of .a.er/ !oo"s li"e the ede of an en,elo.e/8
8(h0 yes0 I see it now/8
%an" mo,ed o,er/ %is thum+ and forefiner ri..ed the #orner of an en,elo.e
whi#h had +een .ushed into a small s.a#e +etween the +o4es and the lo wall of the
#a+in/
Marion lauhed ner,ously/ 8It must +e a letter he .ut there and forot to mail/8
%an" turned the en,elo.e o,er and said0 8It-s addressed -To Whoe,er 3inds This
!etter/- The en,elo.e isn-t sealed/ !et-s 1ust ta"e a loo"/8
%an" .ulled the fla. of the en,elo.e and too" out the sinle sheet of .a.er0 whi#h
was #o,ered on +oth sides with fine .en- and-in" writin/ %e s.read it out on the
ta+le/
Marion0 standin at his shoulder0 read the letter with him
My name is 3ran" $drian0 althouh until the last few days there was a reat deal 5
#ouldn-t remem+er a+out myself/ I am married to Corliss !athan $drian0 and I will
.ut her address at the +ottom of this letter0 so the finder may notify her in the e,ent
it +e#omes ne#essary/
I ha,e +een su+1e#t to fits of amnesia/ Some time ao I had an atta#" whi#h sent me
wanderin away from home/ 3or a while I didn-t "now who I was0 then I #ould
remem+er only a .art of my life/ There was a hiatus followin an automo+ile
a##ident in whi#h I re#ei,ed a +low on the head/ %owe,er0 re#ently my mind has
#leared0 and I "now now who I am/
3or some time I ha,e +een enaed in a .artnershi. with a
.e#uliar #ha. named %arry Benton0 a man who is an e4.eri-en#ed woodsman0
.a#"er0 and .ros.e#tor/ We #ame u. here to this #a+in to do some .ros.e#tin until
the weather ot #old and then do some tra..in/
I ha,e heard somethin a+out #a+in fe,er0 that .e#uliar malady whi#h ri.s two
.ersons who are for#ed into #onstant asso#iation with ea#h other0 until finally they
+e#ome so thorouhly annoyed and irritated that there is a s.e#ies of insanity
enerated/
I had ne,er thouht that #ould ha..en to me/
I am all riht0 +ut my .artner0 %arry Benton0 has de,elo.ed a +ad #ase of #a+in
fe,er/ %e hates me with an insane0 +itter hatred/ I thin" the man is #ra2y/
$ few days ao we had a 6uarrel o,er a matter so tri,ial it seemed a+surd to me0 +ut
I #an see that Benton has +e#ome a+solutely furious and is +roodin o,er it/ I am
oin to try to lea,e here0 +ut I am still .retty mu#h of a tenderfoot and it will +e a
hard tri. for me/ I feel #ertain that if Benton finds I ha,e run out on him he will
tra#" me down and "ill me/ Therefore I want to et enouh of a head start so he
#an-t #at#h u. with me/
If the worst should #ome to the worst and anythin should ha..en0 will the finder of
this letter .lease notify my wife/
The letter was sined 83ran" $drian08 and +elow that was the address of his wife/
%an" loo"ed u. at Marion Benton/
8Why0 how a+solutely a+surd:8 she e4#laimed/ 8The man must +e insane/ %arry
ne,er was a +it li"e that/8
8Ca+in fe,er is a .e#uliar thin08 %an" said/ 8I-,e seen .eo.le that were 1ust as ni#e
as #ould +e/ They-d +e swell #am.- mates until they ot #a+in fe,er and7well0 it-s a
"ind of insanity/ 'ou #an-t78
8(h0 +osh and nonsense: %arry has #am.ed with .eo.le all o,er the #ountry/ %e-s
+een out in the hills as mu#h as you ha,e/ It-s a+solutely a+surd to thin" of %arry
flyin off the handle that way/8
8(f #ourse0 a tenderfoot is somethin of a trial to %,e with08 %an" .ointed out/
8There are times when 1ust wranlin them ets you to the .oint where78
8But0 %an"0 that-s a+solutely foolish/ I don-t "now why this man wrote that letter0
+ut it-s a+surd/8
8Well08 %an" said0 8let-s o on +a#" and sto. the .a#"train/ We-ll #am. around
here somewhere and ta"e a loo" at the #a+in/ E,erythin seems to +e all ni#e and
shi.sha.e/8
Marion nodded0 too stunned and anry to enae in mu#h #on,ersation/
%an" loo"ed #arefully around the .la#e for a while0 then said0 8(h7oh0 what-s
this98
8What98
%an" turned to one of the walls/ *own near the floor were reddish-+rown stains
whi#h had e,idently s.attered aainst the wood in .ear-sha.ed dro.s0 then had
dried/
Marion loo"ed at the stains0 then raised her eyes to %an"/ 8%an"0 is it798
%an" nodded and said0 8I uess we-d +etter #lose u. the .la#e and o et the others/
/ / /8
It was well alon in the afternoon when Marion Chandler Benton0 Corliss $drian0
James *ewitt0 and %an" !u#as returned to the #a+in/ In the meantime they had
found a #am.in .la#e and left Eenney and the #oo" to un.a#" the horses and ma"e
#am./ !u#as had +riefly des#ri+ed what they had found and had shown the others
the letter/ Marion had announ#ed to one and all that she was %arry Benton-s sister
and had ridi#uled the letter/
James *ewitt had a##e.ted the announ#ement of her rela-tionshi. to 3ran"
$drian-s .artner without sur.rise/ %e had0 howe,er0 .rom.tly ta"en sides with Mrs/
$drian/
8'ou don-t su..ose 3ran" $drian wrote that letter 1ust for fun0 do you98 he said/
8%e was a tenderfoot08 Marion said/ 8%e wasn-t a##ustomed to li,in out in the hills
with anyone/ %arry was .ro+a+ly a little ta#iturn0 and 3ran" too" it for #a+in
fe,er/8
8Well0 if nothin ha..ened to him0 and it was all a mista"e08 *ewitt said0 8why
hasn-t his wife heard from him98
8Be#ause he has amnesia/ %e-s had another la.se of memory/8
8Could +e08 *ewitt said in a tone that failed to show any #on,i#tion/ 8Sin#e we-re
ta"in ofT the mas"s0 I may as well tell you I-m a sereant dete#ti,e in #hare of the
missin .ersons de.artment of7 Well0 here0 ta"e a loo" at my #redentials0 all of
you/8
8Please let-s et started08 Corliss $drian said/ 8I don-t want to ma"e any trou+le for
anyone/ $ll I want is to find 3ran"/ Please let-s o/8
)ow0 as they arri,ed at the #a+in0 *ewitt0 ins.e#tin the reddish-+rown stains on the
wall0 .rom.tly too" #hare/ 8Those stains are +lood08 he said/ 8)ow0 let-s +e #areful
not to distur+ anythin in the #a+in/ %an"0 show me e4a#tly where it was you found
the letter/8
%an" !u#as re.la#ed the letter +ehind the +o4es/ 8&iht here08 he said/ 8It was
sti#"in out 1ust a+out li"e this/8 8$s mu#h as that98 8That-s riht/ Just a+out li"e
this/8 8I see/ !et-s ta"e a loo" at this sto,e/8 %an" said0 8*oesn-t seem to +e any
firewood or "indlin here0 +ut I #an o out and et some dry wood and in 1ust a few
minutes ha,e this whole #a+in heated u./8
8*efinitely not08 *ewitt said/ 8We-ll lea,e e,erythin e4a#tly as it is0 e4#e.t that
we-ll loo" throuh these ashes down +elow the rate here/8
*ewitt found a .ie#e of flat tin from whi#h he made a s#oo. and +ean sho,elin the
ashes/ $fter the se#ond sho,elful0 he a,e an e4#lamation/
There were four or fi,e +adly #harred +uttons in the ashes/ 8I uess you fol"s +etter
et out08 *ewitt said to Corliss and Marion/ 8It-s +einnin to loo" +ad/ 'ou irls
wait outside/ We don-t want any e,iden#e o+literated/ 'ou-d +etter wait o,er there
+y the door0 %an"/ This is a #ase where too many #oo"s s.oil the +roth/ I "now
e4a#tly what to do and how to do it/ &emem+er0 this is riht down my alley/8
Corliss and Marion went outside/ Corliss was #ryin0 Mar- ion indinant/ %an"
strolled off down the trail0 whi#h he said .ro+a+ly led to a s.rin/
There followed a .eriod of waitin in an atmos.here of hostility/ Marion and Corliss
sat on a fallen lo0 maintainin a distan#e of some eiht feet0 +oth a..arently intent
u.on the s#enery0 +oth under emotional tension/
Then %an" !u#as #ame wal"in +a#" rather hurriedly/ %e tal"ed +riefly to *ewitt/
The men too" off0 #arryin with them a sho,el whi#h had +een standin in the
#orner of the #a+in +y the sto,e/ Corliss a..arently failed to a..re#iate the
sinifi#an#e of %an"-s errand0 +ut Marian waited0 wat#hin with fear-strained eyes
as the men wal"ed ra.idly down the .ath toward the s.rin/
When they returned0 some twenty minutes later0 Marion "new what had ha..ened
merely from their attitudes/ *ewitt0 +ustlin in his effi#ien#y0 was now ,ery
definitely in #hare/ %an"0 #omin alon +ehind him #arryin the sho,el0 had a
de1e#ted droo. to his shoulders/
*ewitt said0 8Corliss0 we want you/8
She #ame to him0 and *ewitt enaed in low-,oi#ed #on,er-sation0 lan#in almost
surre.titiously at Marion/ Marion saw Corliss #at#h her +reath0 heard her half
s#ream then they were one down the trail0 lea,in Marion seated on the lo ,ery
mu#h alone/ They were +a#" within ten minutes/ The #old hostility of *ewitt-s eyes
#onfirmed her worst fears/
%e said0 8It-s my duty to inform you0 Miss Benton0 that we ha,e dis#o,ered the +ody
of 3ran" $drian/ The e,iden#e is unmista"a+le that he was shot in the +a#" of the
head with a hih-.owered rifle0 firin a soft-nosed +ullet/ In ,iew of other e,iden#e
I-,e found0 there #an +e no 6uestion +ut what your +rother was the murderer/8
Marion was on her feet/ 8%ow dare you say any su#h thin: 'ou are ma"in a
su.erfi#ial a..raisal of #ir#umstantial e,iden#e/ My +rother may ha,e +een li,in
with him0 +ut he wasn-t the only man in these mountains/ $fter all0 $drian was
mentally deraned/ %e78
8Shot himself in the +a#" of the head with a rifle98 *ewitt as"ed sar#asti#ally/
8Well0 I uess there are other .eo.le in these mountains/ My +rother and $drian
miht ha,e found a ri#h mine and78
8That08 *ewitt said #oldly0 8is somethin you #an try to .ro,e to a 1ury aler we-,e
#auht your +rother/8
8(r08 Marion went on des.erately0 8that +ody #ould +e someone else/8
8The identifi#ation is a+solute08 *ewitt said/ 8)ot only is there an identifi#ation +y
Corliss des.ite the state of the +ody due to the time it-s +een in a shallow ra,e0 +ut
there are #ertain means of identifi#ation whi#h were i,en me +y Corliss +efore she
e,er #ame in here/ There-s no 6uestion a+out the identity of the +ody/ $nd0 as far as
my duty is #on#erned0 it-s .lain/ 'our +rother is a fuiti,e from 1usti#e/ %e has a
head start7too +i a heaa start/ But there seems to +e no 6uestion as to the trail he
too" in oin out0 and I am oin to ride o,er that trail/ There-s a tele.hone at the
other end of it/8
%an" !u#as was downriht a.oloeti# when he mo,ed u. to tal" with Marion after
*ewitt had one o,er to #omfort Corliss/ 8There-s another way out of this #ountry08
he said/ 8It-s only a+out fifteen miles of trail from here and ets you to an
automo+ile road/ There-s a ran#h there and a tele.hone/ *ewitt feels he should et
in there riht away0 and I-,e ot to uide him/ Corliss is .retty mu#h all in0 +ut she
doesn-t want to remain here/8
8%an"0 tell me08 Marion said tearfully/ 8I don-t trust this man on the e,iden#e/ %e-s
a .re1udi#ed0 o,er+earin0 +ully- in-8
8%e-s a .retty ood dete#ti,e08 %an" !u#as said/ 8$s far as the e,iden#e he-s
un#o,ered is #on#erned0 Marion0 there are half a do2en #lues that tell the whole
story/8
8$nd the +ody-s that of 3ran" $drian98
8*oesn-t seem to +e any 6uestion a+out that/ / / / We don-t feel that it-s riht for you
to han around the #a+in the way thins are/ *on-t you want to o +a#" to #am. and
stay there with Eenney and the #oo"98
8I don-t/ I want to et out of this #ountry/ I want to et away08 Marion said0 feelin
her ,oi#e rise almost to the .oint of hysteria/ 8I want to tal" with someone who-s ot
some sense/ I want to find the sheriff of this #ounty/8
8That-s riht08 !u#as said soothinly/ 8The sheriff is a s6uare shooter0 +ut there-s
no use "iddin oursel,es/ So far the e,iden#e is dead o.en and shut/8
8If they a##use %arry of this I-ll et the +est lawyer money #an +uy08 Marion
stormed indinantly/
8)ow0 don-t o ma"in any mista"e on that08 %an" said/ 8That-s where you really
#ould et in +ad/ *on-t o et any hih-.ri#ed #ity lawyer and +rin him in here to
this #ounty/ 'ou ta"e the run-of-the-mill #ountry lawyer u. here0 and he
understands #a+in fe,er/ The 1ury understands #a+in fe,er0 and the lawyer
understands the 1ury78
8We-re wastin time08 *ewitt interru.ted/ 8We ha,en-t too mu#h dayliht left/
We-ll ha,e to ride fast/ Thin" it will +e ne#essary to ta"e a .a#"horse with our
slee.in +as98
8)o.e08 %an" said/ 8There-s a raner station there and a ran#h/ We #an et them to
.ut us u. for the niht0 if we ha,e to/ But I thin" .ro+a+ly we #an et an auto to
dri,e out from Boise and .i#" us u./8
8!et-s et started08 *ewitt said/
8This is oin to +e touh08 %an" warned/
*ewitt was rim/ 8We #an ta"e it/ This is .art of the day-s wor"7my wor"/ / / /8
It wasn-t until shortly after dar" that the four horsemen rounded the last turn of a
trail that had seemed a+solutely in-termina+le and saw an o+lon of liht0 heard the
sound of a radio/
Corliss $drian was ,irtually in a state of #olla.se/ *ewitt0 holdin rimly to the
saddle horn0 lur#hed alon li"e a sa#" of meal/ Marion0 a##ustomed as she was to a
.ro.er seat in the saddle0 was uns.ea"a+ly weary/ (nly %an" !u#as seemed
.erfe#tly at ease and untired/
(n#e in the raner station0 howe,er0 *ewitt-s s.irits soon re- ,i,ed/ %e was in his
element0 .uttin throuh tele.hone #alls0 re6uisitionin #ars0 assumin #ommand/
$nd Marion had to admit relu#tantly that as an e4e#uti,e he showed to ad,antae/
While they were waitin for the #ar to arri,e from Boise0 Ted Mee"er0 the ran#her
who li,ed a+out half a mile away and who had arri,ed in a state of e4#itement after
6uite fran"ly ha,in listened o,er the .arty .hone0 fell into #on,ersation with %an"/
8%ow-s the sto#" #omin98 %an" as"ed/
8Pretty ood/ There #ertainly is lots of feed in this meadow durin a+out eiht
months of the year/8
8%ow are the horses98
83ine/8
8Got any you want to sell98
Mee"er rinned/ 8)one you-d want to +uy/8
8%a,en-t had a stray in here0 ha,e you98
8Say0 there is0 for a fa#t08 Mee"er said/ 8When the horses #ame in to hay last winter0
there was a +la#" that #ame in/ Bi0 .owerful horse/ I ha,en-t seen him +efore0 and I
don-t "now who owns him/ There-s no +rand/8
8White left front foot9 Star on his forehead98 %an" as"ed0 rollin a #iarette deftly
with one hand/
8That-s riht/8
8Ba#" in ood sha.e98 %an" as"ed #asually/
8It is now08 Mee"er said and lauhed/ 8Wasn-t 6uite so ood when he #ame in/8
8May+e fifteen years old9 Sort of sway+a#"ed98 !u#as as"ed/
8*on-t tell me you own him98
8)o.e/ But I "now who does/8
8Well0 +y this time the owner-s ot a feed +ill/8
Marion listened a+sentmindedly to this #on,ersation0 not 6uite understandin its
im.li#ations/ $s the sister of a murderer she found herself in the .osition of +ein
a.art from the little rou./ She "new0 in fa#t0 that *ewitt had e,en disli"ed ha,in
her in the room where she #ould listen to the tele.hone instru#tions whi#h had dne
out .ertainin to the a..rehension of %arry Benton/ It was a wel#ome relief0
therefore0 when she heard the sound of an automo+ile motor and reali2ed that they
would +e on the mo,e aain/ / / /
The dri,e to the #ounty seat was a lon one0 and it was nearly noon when the .arty
finally re.orted to Bill Catlin/ They were all e4hausted/
The old #ountry sheriff eyed them #uriously/ %is manner was #alm0 unhurried0 and
deli+erate/ 8!oo"s to me li"e you-,e +een ta"in- it .retty hard08 he said to *ewitt/
8May+e you-d +etter roll in for a while +efore we do anythin else/8
*ewitt s6uared his shoulders/ 8I #an-t slee. when there are a lot of thins to +e
done/ I won-t rest until I "now e,ery wheel has +een set in motion/8
8Well0 now0 we #an ta"e o,er from here08 the sheriff assured him .hiloso.hi#ally/
*ewitt shoo" his head/ 8I don-t want to a..ear #on#eited0 +ut it 1ust ha..ens I-m
here/ I-m oin to "ee. on the 1o+/8
Bill Catlin said0 somewhat whimsi#ally0 8Guess us #ountry +oys wouldn-t do so well
in the #ity/8
*ewitt smiled/
8(n the other hand08 Catlin said0 8we manae to et +y out here in our #ountry/8
8I ho.e08 *ewitt said0 8that the time will #ome when we ha,e a #ity-trained man
a,aila+le in e,ery #ounty in the <nited States/8
8Well0 now0 that 1ust miht +e a ood thin08 Bill said/
*ewitt-s ,oi#e was ras.in from fatiue 8Well0 let-s finish u. this #ase if you don-t
mind/8
8'ou mean finish it u. riht now98
8That-s riht/ $rrest one of the uilty .arties/8
8Who98
8<se your head08 *ewitt said im.atiently/ 8&e#onstru#t the #rime/ Put two and two
toether/8
8Just what do you mean +y that98
8%an" !u#as tells me that he "nows that .a#"horse0 has "nown it for some time/ %e
"nows the man who sold it to $drian/8
Catlin nodded/
8That .a#"horse showed u. down +y the raner station after snowfall last year
when the horses #ame in to et fed/ %e-d +een feedin out on the rane +efore then/8
$ain Catlin nodded/
8Surely you #an see what ha..ened08 *ewitt went on0 tryin to hold +a#" his
im.atien#e/ 8There in the #a+in we found some +uttons in the sto,e0 meanin that
some arments had +een +urned u./ We didn-t find a sinle thin in the line of
wearin a..arel0 +lan"ets0 .ersonal .ossessions0 or anythin/ Just a few dishes and
odds and ends of that sort/ In other words0 the #a+in had +een fi4ed u. ,ery
#arefully so that any .erson who ha..ened to stum+le onto it wouldn-t thin" there
was anythin out of the ordinary/ It would a..ear that the tra..ers who had +een in
it had ta"en their furs at the end of the winter season and one on out to sell them/8
8So %an" was tellin me08 the sheriff said/
8$ll riht08 *ewitt said/ 8Benton "illed 3ran" $drian/ %e loaded all the stuff on the
.a#"horse and wal"ed out to the ran#h +y the raner station0 where he stru#" the
hihway/ %e un.a#"ed the horse and turned him loose/8
8Then what98 Catlin as"ed/
8Then he ,anished/8
8Seems li"e he did0 for a fa#t08 the sheriff said/
8Well08 *ewitt said im.atiently0 8my God0 do I ha,e to ru+ your nose in it9 3iure
out what ha..ened/ That wasn-t any #a+in-fe,er "illin/ That was willful0
.remeditated murder/ $drian had 6uite a roll of #ash on him/ Benton ot out with it/
What ha..ened9 %e ot to that road and un.a#"ed his .a#"- horse/ %e didn-t 1ust
e,a.orate into thin air/ Someone met him with an automo+ile/ It had to +e someone
who was in on the .lay0 someone who #ould "ee. an eye on thins and wait until
.eo.le were a+out ready to laun#h an in,estiation0 and then #ontri,e to show u.
and +e ,ery soli#itous a+out her -dear +rother/- In other words0 it-s 1ust as .lain as
the nose on your fa#e that Marion Benton was her +rother-s a##om.li#e and the
murder of 3ran" $drian was .remeditated/8
Marion 1um.ed to her feet/ 8%ow dare you say anythin li"e that98
8)ow0 1ust a minute0 ma-am08 Bill Catlin said authoritati,ely/ 8If you wouldn-t
mind 1ust sittin down and "ee.in 6uiet0 I-ll as" you 6uestions when I et around
to it/ But riht now we-re ha,in an offi#ial in,estiation0 and Mr/ *ewitt is doin
the tal"in/8
Marion su+sided into the #hair/
Corliss $drian said to the sheriff0 8%e #ould ha,e hit#hhi"ed in/ don-t thin" Miss
Benton was in on it/8
8*on-t +e silly0 Corliss08 *ewitt said/ 8I #an a..re#iate your desire to +e #harita+le/
Miss Benton has im.osed on all of us with her su.er+ 1o+ of a#tin0 +ut I-m loo"in
at the thin from the stand.oint of a trained in,estiator/8
Marion started to say somethin0 +ut the sheriff motioned her to silen#e/
83iure it out08 *ewitt went on/ 8That murder was #ommitted sometime +efore
snow0 sometime +efore the round fro2e/ The men had one in there .lannin to
.ros.e#t and then to tra./ They had ta"en in enouh su..lies to last them throuh
the winter0 .ro+a+ly all of the su..lies they #ould .ossi+ly load on one .a#"horse/
There must ha,e +een 6uite a +it of stuff/ Benton had to load all that and .a#" it
out/ Then he had to et rid of it/
8I-,e as"ed .arti#ularly a+out traffi# alon that road/ E4#e.t durin huntin
season0 there-s ,irtually no one who uses it other than the raner and the #ha. who
has the ran#h there0 .lus the man who deli,ers the mail/
8I try to do thins thorouhly/ I-,e tal"ed on the tele.hone to the mailman0 and I
as"ed him .arti#ularly if he remem+ered .i#"in u. anyone with a lot of #am.
e6ui.ment/8
8Couldn-t he ha,e hidden the #am. e6ui.ment98 Corliss as"ed/
8Too danerous08 *ewitt said shortly/ 8There must ha,e +een a lot of .ro,isions
whi#h had to +e dis.osed of some way 7+a#on0 flour0 suar0 #offee/ Then there were
+lan"ets and tra.s/ To sim.ly dum. that stuff out somewhere would +e ta"in too
many #han#es/ The minute anyone found that #a#he of stuff0 he-d "now somethin
had ha..ened/8
Sheriff Catlin nodded a..ro,inly/ 8'ou-re doin riht well08 he said/
8I thin" you-ll find08 *ewitt told him0 with some dinity0 8that the .rin#i.les of
in,estiatin a #rime +oth in the #ity and in the #ountry are the same/ In the #ountry
you ha,e0 .erha.s0 a wider area0 whi#h tends to in#rease the diffi#ulty of findin
#lues/ But0 on the other hand0 you ha,e a smaller .o.ulation0 whi#h ma"es the 1o+ of
findin what you want mu#h more sim.le/8
8'es0 5 re#"on you-re riht08 the sheriff said/ 8'ou-,e done some ood reasonin
there/ I uess he #ouldn-t hit#hhi"e/ I uess he had to ha,e someone meet him/8
8$nd you #an see what that means08 *ewitt went on/ 8It means deli+erate murder/
The #rime had to +e #ommitted a#-#ordin to a #ertain s#hedule/ The .erson with
the #ar had to +e there on a #ertain date/ It-s your #ounty0 Sheriff0 and I don-t want
to di#tate0 +ut if it #omes to a showdown0 I-m oin to ha,e to/ I want Miss Benton
arrested as one of the two .ersons who murdered 3ran" $drian/ I want her arrested
now/8
The sheriff turned to Marion Benton/ 8Miss Benton0 if you don-t mind0 I-d li"e to
as" you a 6uestion or two/ I "now it-s sort of em+arrassin0 +ut you-ll hel. thins
alon a +it if you-ll 1ust tal" fran"ly/ / / / 'our +rother is sort of wild0 isn-t he98
8'es/8
8*one 6uite a lot of #am.in and .a#"in98
8$ lot/8
8!i,ed in the hills a ood .art of his life98
8'es/8
8Pretty ood .ros.e#tor98
8'es/8
8Pa#"er and tra..er98
8'es/8
8%an" tells me you sit a horse .retty ood/ Ta"e it you-,e done 6uite a +it of ridin
in the mountains0 ha,en-t you98
8Some/8
8With your +rother98
8'es/8
8'our +rother ha,e anyone alon to do the .a#"in or anythin when he too" those
tri.s98
8)o0 of #ourse not/ %e li"es to do it/8
The sheriff turned +a#" to *ewitt/ 8)ow0 then0 %an" tells me08 he said0 8that when
you found the #a+in there was a sho,el on the inside of the #a+in +y the sto,e0 some
+lood s.ots on one of the walls0 +ut no other +lood s.ots anywhere/ There were
dishes in the little #u.+oard0 dishes that had +een washed and .ut away/ There
wasn-t any firewood or "indlin inside the #a+in/ The sto,e had ashes that hadn-t
+een #leaned out0 and there were some +uttons in the ashes/ There was this here note
that had +een stu#" +ehind the +o4es that formed the #u.+oard0 and there wasn-t a
sinle0 solitary thin left in the #a+in to show that0 of the two men who o##u.ied that
#a+in0 one of them had stayed +ehind/ The .a#"horse was found at the end of the
trail0 some s"inned-u. .la#es on his +a#"/8
*ewitt nodded0 then said somewhat im.atiently0 8I-,e one all o,er that +efore/
%an it0 Sheriff0 I-,e i,en that #a+in my .ersonal attention/ I-,e seen the e,iden#e/8
8Well0 you-,e loo"ed at the #a+in08 the sheriff said/ 8Some-times we don-t always
see what we loo" at/ / / / )ow0 let-s see/ Mrs/ $drian0 you reistered o,er here at the
hotel and left some +aae0 I +elie,e0 to +e .i#"ed u. when you #ame out of the
mountains/8
8That-s riht/ %an" told me to ma"e the load as liht as I #ould0 1ust ta"e the thins
I really needed to et alon with/8
8%an" tells me you ain-t done mu#h mountain ridin/8
8This is my first tri./8
8)ow0 then08 the sheriff said to *ewitt0 8I thin" you-,e ot it riht/ This here
murderer had to ha,e some+ody meet him/
That means it was a .remeditated #rime/ It means he had an a##om.li#e/ It means
the thin was wor"ed out a##ordin to s#hedule/8
8That-s what I-,e +een tryin to tell you08 *ewitt sna..ed/ 8It means it was
.remeditated murder/8
8That-s riht/ But a #ou.le of thins you-,e sort of o,erloo"ed/ !et-s do a little
thin"in out loud/ Ta"e that .hotora.hi# .ost#ard0 for instan#e/8 8What a+out it98
8)oti#e the shadows98
8The shadows: What ha,e the shadows to do with the mur-der of 3ran" $drian98
8They-re .retty short shadows08 Catlin said/ 8The .i#ture must ha,e +een ta"en
riht at noon0 +ut0 e,en so0 shadows don-t et that short u. here in Idaho e4#e.t
riht durin the summer months/ )ow0 Tom Morton0 the .hotora.her who .rinted
that .i#ture0 .ut it on .a.ier that he says must ha,e +een used u. +y the last .art of
July/ The shadows say it was July/ The .tost#ard says it was (#to+er/ %ow you oin
to re#on#ile the shadows and78
*ewitt lauhed/ 8I-m not e,en oin to try/ 3ran" $drian didn-t disa..ear until
Se.tem+er/8
Bill Catlin nodded and went on0 #almly0 8$nd this here .i#-ture was ta"en with a
foldin #amera that has a little liht lea" in the +ellows/ That-s how #ome this little
.at#h of white fo is down here in the #orner/ )ow0 I "now I-m 1ust sort of +orin
you0 +ut there-s one more thin you-d ouht to #onsider/ &emem+er when that
.a#"horse showed u.0 his +a#" had +een ru++ed raw and then healed o,er98
*ewitt said0 83or hea,en-s sa"e0 are you #ra2y9 don-t #are a+out the damn
.a#"horse/8
8Well0 now08 the sheriff went on0 8you-d ouht to "now the mountains0 if you-re
oin to wor" in -em/ (f #ourse0 in .a#"in a lot of dude duffel0 e,en a ood man
will sometimes et sore +a#"s on one or two of the .a#" strin/ 'ou 1ust #an-t hel.
that/ But when you-re .a#"in 1ust one horse0 and when you-re leadin him on foot0
whi#h is enerally a slower .ro.osition than wor"in from horse+a#"0 a man that
"new anythin a+out .a#"in wouldn-t et a sore +a#" on his .a#"horse/
8)ow0 another thin/ The murderer tried to lea,e the #a+in so that any+ody that
ha..ened to stum+le onto it wouldn-t thin" there was anythin wron/ E,erythin
would seem to +e all ni#e and shi.sha.e0 1ust the way the tra..ers would ha,e left it
at the #lose of the winter season/
8But u. here in this #ountry we ha,e a #ustom that-s an un-written law/ When a
man lea,es a #a+in0 he always lea,es dry sto,ewood and "indlin in +y the sto,e/
That-s so that if he ha..ens to #ome +a#" in a rainstorm or a +li22ard0 he-s ot dry
wood to start the fire with/ $nd if some+ody else ha..ens to #ome in loo"in for
shelter0 there-s always dry wood with whi#h to +uild a fire/
8)ow0 I don-t want to +ore you +y tellin you all these lo#al #ustoms0 +ut this one in
.arti#ular is .retty riidly enfor#ed/ )ow do you et it98
8Get what98 *ewitt as"ed/
8There were two men in that #a+in/ (ne of them was a ten-derfoot0 a #ity dude/ The
other was a woodsman/ (ne of them "illed the other and .ulled out/ Whoe,er it was
that sli#"ed the #a+in u. and washed the dishes and made it loo" as thouh
e,erythin was the way two tra..ers had left it #ertainly wasn-t the murdered man
it was the uy who did the "illin/8
8)aturally08 *ewitt said/
8$nd08 Bill Catlin .ointed out0 8in this #ase0 the man who did that was the
tenderfoot/8
The idea hit *ewitt suddenly and hard/ 8But loo" here08 he said/ 8%is wife
identified the +ody/ There was a rin on78
8Sure0 sure0 she -identified the +ody0- 8 Catlin said/ 8)aturally0 the murderer saw to
it that the riht rin was there to +e identified/ But she-d ha,e made a .ositi,e
identifi#ation in any e,ent/ 'ou remem+er what you said a+out the #rime ha,in to
+e .remeditated and someone ha,in to +e at the riht .la#e to meet the .a#"horse
on a definite date/8
Corliss $drian .ushed her #hair +a#" from the ta+le/ 8$re
you08 she demanded anrily0 8tryin to insinuate that I798
8)ow0 1ust ta"e it easy0 ma-am08 the sheriff said/ 8I-m tryin to straihten *ewitt
out on the fa#ts of this here #ase/ / / / (ne other thin0 *ewitt/ %an" tells me this note
was sti#"in out from +ehind the #u.+oard/ I as"ed him if a ood mountain man
would ha,e seen it easy0 and he said o,er the tele.hone0 -My God0 Bill0 e,en a dude
would ha,e seen it/- So there you are/ 'ou see0 $drian was 1ust a little too an4ious/
%e wanted to +e #ertain that note would +e found/
8Well0 now0 when %an" tele.honed me a+out this here #rime and the thins he
found0 I did a lot of thin"in0 and then I ot hold of the 1ude and ot me a sear#h
warrant so I #ould sear#h the +aae that Mrs/ $drian had left there in the hotel/
$nd0 sure enouh0 there was a 3-$ foldin #amera with a ra.id re#tilinear lens/ $nd
when we too" it into Tom Morton-s dar"room and .ut an ele#tri# liht +ul+ inside
the +ellows0 you #ould see that one little .inhole in the +ellows 1ust as .lain as day/ / /
/
8)ow0 don-t try to ma"e any +rea"s0 Mrs/ $drian/ 'ou-re all tired out from ha,in a
lon ride and a lon tri./ $nd0 e,en if you tried to run away in this #ountry0 you
#ouldn-t et anywhere/ It isn-t li"e 1ust du#"in outdoors in a #ity and tryin to et
lost in a #rowd/ 'ou-,e ot to stay riht here and ta"e your medi#ine/ (ne thin
a+out it0 our menfol"s u. here are sort of #hi,alrous to women and0 while they won-t
turn you loose0 they may ma"e you sort of an a##essory or somethin that wouldn-t
6uite ta"e the e4treme .enalty/8
8'ou-re #ra2y08 she said/ 8'ou-,e ot nothin on me/ This is some +u#oli# tra,esty of
1usti#e/8
8I-m afraid we-,e ot 6uite a +it on you08 the sheriff said/ 8'ou and your hus+and
fi4ed this u. 6uite a while ao/ Both of you .ros.e#ted around last summer and
found that #a+in/ It had +een a+andoned0 +ut it was .retty new and in ood sha.e/
'ou e,en too" that .i#ture when you found the #a+in0 a month or two +efore youi
hus+and .ulled his disa..earin a#t/ 'ou-,e .layed it .retty fo4y/ 'ou-d ta"en out
the insuran#e .oli#ies years ao/ It was all as sli#" as a wet .a,ement/8
8Wait a minute08 *ewitt said/ 8!et me handle this0 Corliss/ / / / Sheriff0 your own
reasonin defeats itself/8
8%ow #ome98
8'ou admit that the man who left that #a+in last tried to fi4 it u. so it would loo" as
thouh the tra..ers had mo,ed out for the winter/8
8That-s what %an" told me08 the sheriff said/
8'et %an" also told you that this note was left in su#h a .rominent .la#e that
anyone0 e,en a dude0 #ouldn-t ha,e failed to see it/8
The sheriff #hu#"led/ 8Well0 now0 that-s an interestin thin08 he said/ 8That-s the
#lue that stru#" me the minute %an" told me a+out it o,er the tele.hone/ So I did a
little thin"in/8
8I ha,en-t seen any e,iden#e of it yet08 *ewitt said0 now o.enly hostile/
8Well08 the sheriff said0 8you ha,e to thin" that one o,er a little +it/ %a,e to sort of
.ut yourself in the shoes of the murderer0 and then you et it/8
8I-m afraid08 *ewitt said0 with dee. sar#asm0 8my mental .ro#esses are too far
inferior to yours to et these fine .oints/ Su..ose you e4.lain it to me/8
8Well0 now08 the sheriff said0 81ust .ut yourself in the shoes of the murderer/ 'ou
don-t want the +ody to +e dis#o,ered until after it-s .retty hard to ma"e a .ositi,e
identifi#ation/ 'ou-,e +uried the +ody in a shallow ra,e/ 'ou want it to stay there
and de#om.ose for 1ust a+out so lon/ Then you-re ready to ha,e the thin
dis#o,ered/ )ow0 then0 if it-s dis#o,ered too soon0 you-re sun"/ Well0 you #an fiure
out what that means0 *ewitt/8
8What does it mean98
8It means that the murderer0 or someone that was in #ahoots with him0 had to #ome
+a#" to that #a+in and .ut that note there where it would +e dis#o,ered at 1ust
a+out the riht time/ The idea was to et someone to o to that #a+in0 and when he
rea#hed the #a+in he had to find the note and the +ody/ So the .erson who .ut the
note there wanted to +e sure ii-d +e found/ )ow0 $drian #ould ha,e .ut it there all
riht0 1ust the way he says/ But0 if Benton had "illed him/ he-d ha,e seen that note
and naturally +urnt it u./ $ mountain man wouldn-t ha,e o,erloo"ed that note7
not in a million years/
8So when %an" told me a+out the note and a+out the way it had +een found0 I
as"ed him a+out the #olor of the in"/ Seems li"e the in" was still sort of +lue/ )ow0
you ta"e in" that way and0 as I understand it0 there-s some sort of a #hemi#al in it
that unites with o4yen and turns +la#" after it o4idi2es0 and that-s what i,es you
the .ermanent #olor in in"/ But until that #hemi#al has had a #han#e to o4idi2e0 they
.ut a +lue dye in the in"0 so you #an see what-s +een written down/ That-s why in"
will +e sort of +lue for a while and then0 after it ets old0 it-ll turn +la#"/ 'ou ta"e a
man that-s a##ustomed to 1udin #olors .retty #areful0 and he #an #ome .retty #lose
to tellin whether .en-writin is old or new/ %an" said this loo"ed .retty new to
him/
8Well0 that started me thin"in some more0 and so I as"ed %an" o,er the .hone
how Mrs/ $drian stood the tri./ *id she ride .retty ood in a saddle9 $nd he said
she was 1ust li"e most of the dudes0 ridin with short stirru.s0 ri..in with her
"nees0 and .ushin +a#" aainst the #antle of the saddle/ So I fiure she-d hardly +e
the "ind that #ould ma"e a 6ui#" round tri. to the #a+in to .lant a note in there0
and may+e slash her finer and lea,e some +loodstains around/ $nd0 the way I si2ed
it u.0 there was only one other .erson who #ould ha,e done it/
8Well0 I had a .retty ood des#ri.tion of 3ran" $drian0 than"s to the stuff my
friend0 Ed %ar,el0 had sent on/ So I sort of fiured0 if he snea"ed into that #a+in and
.ut a note in there0 he-d ha,e had to o in throuh the raner station or down
throuh the Middle 3or"/ But it would ha,e +een a .retty hard tri.0 +e#ause he was
a tenderfoot too/ $nd it didn-t loo" li"e they-d ta"e #han#es ha,in three .eo.le in
on it/ %owe,er0 they-re +rinin in a few .lanes lately0 and there-s a forest ser,i#e
emeren#y landin field only a+out fi,e miles from the #a+in now/
8So I ot +usy on the tele.hone and ran u. the #ities around that ha,e #harter air
ser,i#e0 as"in them a+out whether they too" a man of a #ertain des#ri.tion into
that landin field within the last month or so/ $nd0 sure enouh0 I stru#" .ay dirt/8
8What did you find98 *ewitt as"ed0 interested now des.ite himself/
8Well08 the sheriff said0 8a man #harterin an air.lane has to i,e a lot of
information a+out himself/ (f #ourse0 this man was usin an assumed name/ %e-s
wor"in in a arae now/ Pro+a+ly thouht he was all ood and safe and no+ody
was oin to +other him/ Well0 I tele.honed down to my friend0 the sheriff0 there0
and we .i#"ed him u./
8$nd when I-d .i#"ed him u.0 I tal"ed with him o,er the .hone and told him a+out
how his wife had already #olle#ted the insuran#e money and run away with a
.lay+oy0 name of Gridley/ That was sort of readin her mind a little in ad,an#e/
May ha,e +een sort of a mean tri#"0 +ut it wor"ed li"e a #harm/ This here $drian
has a 6ui#" tem.er0 and seems li"e he really +lew u. and started tal"in fast/ %e-d
e,idently heard somethin a+out this Gridley #ha./
8So now0 Mrs/ $drian0 I hate to do it0 +ut I-,e 1ust ot to i,e you lodin in the 1ail/
I-,e sent o,er to the hotel and had your +as ta"en o,er0 and0 while the matron will
+e wat#hin you to see what you ta"e out0 you #an et some #lean #lothes and7 My
osh:8 Bill Catlin said0 his ,oi#e eded with sym.athy/ 8*arned if she ain-t fainted/
%an"0 will you wet a towel o,er there at the washstand0 and let-s see if we #an-t sna.
her out of it9 $nd there-s a +ottle of whis"ey in that lo#"er/
8$nd I re#"on you #an use a drin" too0 Miss Benton/ It-s too +ad a+out your
+rother0 +ut0 after all0 it-s +etter that way than to ha,e him turn out to +e a
murderer/
8$nd as far as Ed %ar,el-s #on#erned0 *ewitt0 I ran him u. and told him we-d ot
the #ase sol,ed and the murderer in 1ail/
8$nd now0 if you fol"s feel li"e it0 we-ll et Mrs/ $drian dis-.osed of0 and then I
uess we #an ha,e a little somethin to 5C@ E&!E ST$)!E' G$&*)E&
eat/ I-,e +een u. .retty nearly all niht wor"in on this thin0 and I ain-t as youn
as I used to +e/ When I o without slee.0 I-,e ot to ha,e lots of food to "ee. the
enery u./
8I told %ar,el you-d done a fine 1o+ of dete#ti,e wor" u. here0 *ewitt/ $nd %ar,el
was .roud as .un#h/ -Course I told him that us #ountry fellows had to .ut a few
little finishin tou#hes on0 here and there/ Just +e#ause it-s our #ounty0 you "now0
and the ,oters sort of loo" to us/ to "ee. thins in line/ But I told him you-d done
most of the wor"/
8("ay0 %an"0 let-s et the matron o,er here0 and then we-ll o down and see what
we #an find/ *eer season-s o.en now0 and a friend sent me a loin of ,enison/ I too" it
down to Ted Collins- .la#e and told him to ha,e thins all ready to i,e us a ood
,enison feed when we showed u./
8(h0 yes0 another thin/ The insuran#e #om.anies that had the .oli#ies on $drian-s
life0 in fa,or of his wife0 are .retty rateful/ Ed %ar,el tells me they want to ma"e
sort of a #ontri+ution/ So I uess0 #ome to fiure it all out0 we done a .retty ood
day-s wor"/ Whatta ya thin"0 +oys98
The End/