Sei sulla pagina 1di 285

H UT C H IN S ON S

N ew 2/ E d iti ons
e
E a ch volu m ha ndsome ly b ou n d fu ll gi lt . ,

wi th a ttra c tive pictu r wra pp r e e


NadowsweeORt
.

AR O
A AA d en uresom ar
M E L A R LE N B E SS C ZY

S S
Y ou in o e
L v M en Me
“ B A EL E
R N S -G R UN D Y Tru e W en

C
Th e tr a te gy o f u a n z n e v t of the Sc le t
R E X B E ACH m e ne l
Pi p r

r eamin g S ir
T h M a t in g a ll IA A A RI
S
e D N P T CK
e be l Bir d
a the r the S ta
C HA R LOTT E M 1mm R
A N ame l ss in
.

D p e.

AR AR T
e
A W oman s E rr o G n

ear S h adowed
I re e s V w

r
a i ly r o u
F m G p

Scarlet B lossRomIN
n o

S
K A T HE R IN E N E WL IN B UR T M G E P E TE
Th e M o f M oon M o ain en un t F
now bl ind
C C A
s

NThe M ag ic ardenN R R
T h B r andin g I r on

C A
KE N N IET H PE K S
ISA B EL
e

L R KE G I od
H N
a se o f C i
.

GE E S T R A TT O PO TE

nder ese rt S t ars


A onsc e nco
W Th e r e Left at G

C
T h e E lstones KA T L Y R H O D ES
U D
nder ran ge T
ast th e S u n
H E U the O ree:

R TA R C
D O R OT
Bo bb e l
EA ONY R S
Th e mag e
Wa x I

CThh aerlBas rs ron


H

E 0
ET EL M D E LL U
n nown "an i BE K
.

Uk u t ty Th e l e en th o ur
E v H Lov er
ian c e
A A T IN I
e R ex H is O fli c ia l F

A ltar of B B S
é

Th e S nar e
of I
ss i ll ion s M ai
Mi M
'
d

CS caartamoin uchB looe


T he H un dred eh C hance
H onda:
RA FA EL S B

A EoSld—Band the M oun t


PH IL ? GI d
n t e ll ectu a l an s ion s p a

Th e S h ame o f o e
I M S W

ARA S N
, . .

J M . HE N D R YX B e lla rion
G ed M tl y
owney o f th e M o u n t ed
Co icAan
D J G S I
and I r on
O ak
.

Th e B l ac l o e
.

k G v

ATh e anBeasutya M ar e
sm H R ID E R HA GG AR D

A
rs Iustice
M a ry f M I sl e
.

i o ar on E . W S VI

S S
.

WILL I M LE " UE UX
'
M M an

O f R o y a l B l ood k t
Th e to l en t a t s man Th e M a k e r f D r eam s o
II de VE R E S T A C P O O L E
e

PR O TH E R O L E WI S
Gi rl f th e Go l den R ee f
B .

Th e H ll Be y ond
.
o

TN N
E D G AR W AL LA CE
r
w y and H L o er"

NB lac SNt ar s eturn Th e O ra t or


I ron er v

N N S NN
WE YM A
T hese O u r M l sd o in gs
J O H
S TO M c cULLE Y
S A LE Y J
Tr a e ll e r th e F Cb k
Swe tandby thoeld
v in or a

C
TH O Y WY

k R
A E
M O RI O
IN E M R S N Th e R d r
S i r N u es s
e ca
p T ide Th e Y e ll ow rys tal
Gre y G The D agge r
S
J ose p h

s G t Th e F o urth F in g er
ST
T A L B OT M U DY D O LF WY LL A R D E
Th e B ubbl e T h y A ls o er e
C
R e u ta tion e v

Th e o ry Iv Tra i ec ond Est a bl sh men t i

"uu een l eo a tra p CUR I S Y O RK E


G n s th e od sof G Th e l p ib l rre ress es
T he Ey e o f Ze rtoon M a de s Thr ee i n

Ob ta ifla ble at all b ook sellers


B y the Same A u thor

YSTE Y A S HE S
OU LE T YSTE Y
T HE M R OF THE

H I R T EEN
LY
T HE D B M R

SIN N ER S GO S EC R E T
(B ei ng Page: from the D iary of D r Eustace Hai ley "
L
.

T HE S I GN O F EVI
T HE H O R S EM A N O F D EA T H

Y
T HE M ST E R YO F T H E EVI E EL Y
T HE D A GGE R
T HE F O UR TH F IN GE R
H O U S E W I T H T HE I R O N SHU

Y LL L
T HE

T HE E O W C RYST A
T HE B L UE VE SUV I U S
R ED SC A R

by

A N T HO N Y WYN N E

I oth T hou sand

H UTC HINSON CO .
(Pu b li sh er"LT D
s .

34 3 6
-
Paternoster R ow ,
LONDON , E C 4
. . .
M a de a nd P r i n te d i n G r ea t B r it
a s o r o g h Pr e s s
T h e G in b u , St A lb
. an s . F i she r K
C O N T EN T S
ca m n o:

I. WHE N A W O MAN IS IN FA T UA TI D
II . S URE TY
III
Iv
.

.
IN

T T
T HE S TU D I O”
E LL N O B O D Y

VI
VI I
V .

.
TA N AUG TY LITTL MAN
T HE S AI N O N T HE FL OO R
S“ R A N GE
H E

A T L P O N C ALL
"
VI I I . MO R O FE V L
T HE DE I

U S T I O N O F VI NC
III . E E H E
x . A " E E DE E

A T O N IC
x1 . T HE B LU ST O PP R E E
X II .

U S T I O N S O F DR
X II I . LIKE V RM I N E

MY T MP R AGAI N
xrv . TH E " E . B A ILE Y
E E

F OO T S T P S
A STAMP R CEI T
ED E P
E

MUR R " DE
P A N IC
T

RA O UL S GIRL

T
I CO ULD N HE L P IT

XX II . A N E UR O IC W O MAN
MO N ST R
x eI . WHI S KY A N D S O D A
UT Y O F T
T HE E
x xv . T HE D E VE RY C I I ZE N

A LIG T S
XX VI . A P RI S O N R E
xxv u . HE D H
xx vm . A V RY E PO OLISH ID E A
xx rx . A WE D D I N G RI N G

xxx r .
A N D R O ME D A
A GRE A AR I S T TT
7 6 2 3 6 0
CONTENTS

WILF UL MU RD ER
T
T HE D O U B TS O F D R

T YEN CLLT OW STR A


HAI LE Y
ACCO RD I N G O P AT TERN
I . O PII
.


E K
S LAVE O F M M O RY E
T HE LA ST HO PE
T HE S M E LL O F I O D O F O RM
DEAD LO C K
CRI S I S
T TT

A TERR IB LE B LO W
SO ME HIN G W R O N G
T HE C O AGE I N T HE W OO D

D R . B A ILE Y GIVE S HIS RE A S O N S


A MA N D I GGI N G
I
XLVI I . GA S
T HE T
ME AN S
OO L S
I N T I FICAT I O N
OF
-
HE D
DE
A L O N LY E MAN
R ED SC A R

C H A PTER I

WHE N A WO M A N I S I NF AT UA TED

WHE N a woman is What you call infatuat ed my ,

dear A laister She ceases ap parently to be a reason


, , ,

able being I hav e come to you because you are the


.

only person I know Who has any real influence o ver


Phyllis .

Major Lionel Leyland p aced the floor of A laister


Diarmid s st udy as b e s poke He walked with long
’ ’

strides but his mo vement nevertheless was j erky


, , .


Till she met this fellow Raoul Featherstone ,

he added Phyllis seemed to be entirely devoted to
,

myself I used to flatter m yself that I possessed


.

a W ife in a thousand And now She t ells me calmly


.
, ,

that she must leave me for the good of her own


Lionel L eyland stood s t ill A n expression of .

bewi lderment ap p eared on his good looking rather -


,

scholarly face .


I have seen my rival l he said simp ly I confess .

th at I cannot understand where his a tt rac t i veness


lies
.

A laister Diarmid t ook his pipe from hi s mouth .

His big heavy face was t hrust forward


, .

“ ”
My experience has been he decl ar ed tha t it is, ,

H
RED S CA R
safer to trust th e dog like qualities in women than -

their inte ll igence The difference be tween a man and


.

a woman is this : a man thinks first and feels after


wards whereas a woman feels first and usua lly doesn t
,

think at all not at any rate S O long as her , ,

emotions are acti ve Raoul Fea therstone has no bra ins .

but he s got the other thing



you must play the
waiting game .

Wha t do you mean P


That the pup makes lo v e to ev ery woman he mee ts ,

unconsciously wi thout being able to help himself


, .

Lo ve making is a function of his nature like breathing


-
, ,

and he s as Weak as water where women are concerned



.

A lady s man believ e me is not a man Who knows


how to attract women he s a man W ho knows how to


get rid of them Featherstone has never got rid of
.

any woman in hi s life He is p erp etually being .

mobbed by the women he does no t know how to get


rid of .

A laister struck a ma tch to relight his pipe Bu t he .

al lowed the match t o burn ou t before he appli ed it to

the bowl .


The best thing you can do he sai d is to let , ,

well or ill alone Phyllis if I may say so is no t


, , .
,
.
,

my cousin for nothi ng The black streak of the .

Diarmi ds is in her blood—selfishness Sooner or la t er .


,

if sh e goes she ll come back to you because you are


,

ob viously a better proposition than Raoul Besides .


,

married women always come back to their husbands .

A laister struck another match and lit hi s pipe He .

smoked in silence watching Lionel Leyland wi th ,

narrowed eyes The thought crossed his mind that a


.

soldier who was also a classical scholar of distinction


, ,

was no mate for such a woman as Phyllis What .

12
W HEN A WO M A N I S INFATU ATED
did a woman such as Phyllis care for the learning which
is contained in books "What did she care for the
achievements of unattracti ve ch ildish old men in

University towns I A nd yet L ionel was not a


t rue representative of the academic type Under the .

scholar under the soldier the man still li ved


, , .

Phyllis s infatuation for Raoul was discovering the


man .


Sooner or later isn t good enough for me L ionel

Leyland burst out I want Phyllis now to day


.
,
-
.


I never knew before how much I wan t ed her He .

began to pace the floor again Do you know that it .

wou ld clean my soul if I could take that pup by the


throat and squeeze the life out of him That s Wha t .

e very fibre of my being urges me to do


He broke off and rubb ed his brow so tha t he le ft
streaks of pal lor on it The p allid s t reaks gradually
.

became bright red .


I think it is my pride which is hurt so much ,

he added bu t I am no t sure Because if Phyllis
, .

came back to me I know t hat I wo uld W elcome her .

Yes I would welcome her


,
Somehow or other I need
.

Phyllis The world seems damnably empty W ithou t


.

her. Even the streets hav e a grey look : we


used to ge t so much p leasure ou t of t hose grey
stree t s .

He st rode to the window and st ood looking ou t a t


A laister s garden His eyes came to the red roo f

.
,

gleaming between two big ash trees which he knew ,

was Raoul Featherstone s studio



.

“ “
I suppose he muttered that ar t ists are always
, ,

sp ecially attracti ve to women e ven rotten artists


like Featherstone .


A rtist s and mo vie st ar s—men with women s ’

I3
RED S CA R
m inds . j oined his v isi t or a t the window
A laister .

“ “
Listen he commanded in his husky t ones you re
, ,

not the only victim of my neighbour s superior ’

at t rac t i veness Do you remember that li t tle girl


.
,

Echo Wildermere who used to s i t for me


,

occasionally
Lionel Leyland turned .


The girl who looked like Phyllis
I remember you said th at about her "yes .

Well after a fashion my own fashion I allowed


, , ,

myself to get fond of her I used to wonder whether .

or not I could endure her e v ery day and all day .

I decided that I co uld endure her I was j ust .

going to tell her of my deci sion when I met her ,


yesterday with Featherstone
, .

A laister laughed bitterly


She s been sit ting for me lat ely—I ll show you
.

“ ’ ’

the thing before you go She came here thi s morning .

as pink as a rosebud and I hadn t the heart t o ,


undeceive her .

He gripped Lionel s arm suddenly ’


.


I thought Echo was a woman with stuff in her
I fooled myself into belie ving I was develop ing the
strong elements of her character .

He laughed again .


I might hav e known bett er She t old me herself .

that my statue of her e xp ressed some thing disagreeable .

Raoul p aints em al l like the fron t of chocolate boxes


and makes lov e t o em all in the bes t outer ring of the


'

suburbs styl e And they like i t Lionel my lad


.
, , ,

they like it Women are life s inevitable disap point


.

ment unl ess one happens t o be a fool or a rogue .

If you don t believ e me go t o the first auction


sale of furni ture you see advert is ed and look abou t


I4
WHEN A WO MA N I S INFATU A TED
you at the engaged girls as the newsp a pers call
‘ ’

,

em building their little nests
, .

He broke off suddenly because Lionel s face had ’

become very p al e L ionel s fists were clenched so .


that his knuckles showed whi te



The damned scoundrel .

Oh rubbish I tell you he can t help himself


, .

E cho ll fi nd him ou t in time same as Phyllis will



.

Woman is all the be tt er for ge ttin her ex perience ’

of men The real reason why most marriages are


.

failures is tha t most women are inexperienced when


they marry .

A laister took Lionel s arm and led him across the


Iounge to a door at the far end of it He opened the .

door disclosing his workr oom A big statue over .


,

which a dust sheet had been t hrown stood in the


-
,

middl e of the floor A laister p ull ed the shee t away .

and flung it into a corner of the room .


There that s my A ndromeda looki ng at the S ea

M onster .

He stood back to allow his visi t or an uninterrup ted


view of the stat ue He watched Lionel s face with ’
'

greedy eyes He saw a S ligh t frown gather on Lionel s


.

face .


Well
Lionel t ook a st ep b ack from t he stat ue .


Do you know my dear fellow he said It , , ,

it does seem to me t o exp ress something disagree

He cont inued to regard the st at ue frowningly .

“ ” “
Is yo ur idea he asked that Andromeda was, ,

really in lov e with the Monster P



O f course Didn t I tell you that I had
.

fl attered myse lf I was develop ing Echo s chara cter


'

IS
RED S CA R
E cho I fel t was the k ind of woman who
, ,

an honest Monst er to any n umber of lover


"
on their heels .

A light ste p so unded in the lo unge


A l aister t urn ed Sharp ly to gree t Ec ho hen
C H A PTER II

SU RE T Y

EC HO still looked as p ink as arosebud Lionel glanced .

from her merry face to the pleasure— haunted features


“ ”
of A laister s

Andromeda

what a pity tha t so
great an ar t ist as A laister Should see only the sordid
side of human nature He turned to Echo again . .

He comp ressed his lip s In some incomprehensible .

way the girl s face had changed He saw in her face



.

e xactly what A lai ster had seen .

" And then as suddenly as it had come the v ision was

blotted out He took Echo s hand and looked into ’


°

her grey eyes bu t he saw only the girl who bore so


,

bewildering a likeness to his own wife He winced .

under the st ing of that resemblance Echo t urned to .

A laister .


Congrat u late me she cried in eager tones, .


On wha t P
On my engagement to Rao ul She ca ugh t her .


breath I fel t I woul d like t o t ell you the fir st of
.


all.

She stood a li tt le dist ance away from the two men ,

with p arted lips The colour in her cheeks flut tered


.

deliciously A laister raised his eyebrows


. .

But this is S O sudden my dear he mu t tered , , .

O h I have known Raoul a good while Shall


, .

I t ell you a se c ret P I was sitting for Rao ul at the same


I7
RED S CA R
"
time as I was sit t ing for you She smiled and made .

a li t tle grimace Raoul s portrait you know is


.

, ,

much more flat t er ing than your statue .

A lai ster took his p ipe from his pocket and began
to fill i t from a big oilskin p ouch His ra ther clumsy .

fingers made slow work of the p rocess .


Si t down S it down he said Lolotte will be
, .


bringing tea In a minute or two .

He waved his hand towards one of his b ig leather


arm chairs He was going to in vite L ionel to take the
-
.

other arm chair when suddenly a look of uneasiness


-
, ,

appeared on his face Lionel 5 expression was as grim


.

as j udgement Lionel s hands too were clench ed


.
, ,

as they had been clenched while he was t al king


about Phyll is A l aister took a st ep t owards Lionel
.

and caught him by the S leeve .

“ ”
For God s sake don t b e growled It wo uld be

,

, ,

bru t al.

He t ried to lead Lionel bac k to hi s workroom but ,

the at t emp t was made too lat e The soldier was .

al ready cap ti v e to his sense of duty A queer cold . ,

light shone in Lionel s blue eyes as he declared I


“ ”
I am going t o tell her .

He strode across the room t o Echo .

“ “
My wife he s t ated informed me t od ay th a t
, ,

she and Raoul Fea thers t one are so dee p ly in love with

one ano ther that she c an not continue to li v e under

my roof I am very sorry to have to tell you th is but


.


I would be sorrier st ill if you remain ed ignoran t of i t .

Lionel s face became almost gentle as he spoke



.

He ben t down and t ook Echo s hand bu t She snatched ’

it away from him There was a knock a t the


door and then the p le asant j ingle of t ea —
.

c up s on a
metal t ray came to their ears A maid serv an t with .
-

18
S URET Y
red hair entered the room and put the tray do wn on
a corner of A laister s big desk She brought a little ’
.

folding table from th e far end of th e room and set it


u p near the fireplace .


Bring another cup Lolotte A laister ordered , , .

Not for me please I don t want any tea


, Echo s .

.

chee ks as She sp oke flushed hotly Defi an c e glowed


, , .


in her eyes She added . I m having tea with Raoul ’

in town and then we re going to ch oose my engagemen t


r i ng
.

She began to draw on her gloves Lolotte fi nished


se tting up the tea table and put the tray on the table
-
.

She was about to leav e the room when A laister told


her to co ver up his statue He accompanied her to .

the door ofh is workroom so that she shou ld no t cl ose


the door While She was obeying his order Then .

he came and placed himself between Echo and


L ionel .


Listen to me child he said to Echo before you
, , ,

go away Raoul is one of those unlucky fellows with


.

whom every woman he sees fal ls in lov e It isn t his .


fault any more than it s my fault that no woman ev er ’

falls in love with me It s in the nature of things .



.

I don t know whether he ever felt attracted by my


cousin Phyllis or not but I m ready to bet that in ’

your attraction is the genuine art icle Shall .

I t ell you why I know that


He p aused and filled his l ungs with a deep brea th .

He towered o ver Echo .


Because by God I lov e you myself
, , .

He paused again He saw a look of bewilderment .

come into Echo s eyes He laughed in his hoarse


'

.
,

b i tter fashion .


SO don t go asking Raoul S illy awkward q uestion s

I9
RED S CA R
abou t Ph yllis or anybody else Let me be your su re ty
.

for him . Women who can get me can get anybod y .

D ye see

Forget about what you ve been told here


and be happy G ood Lord what s that
.
,
P

A crash had resounded from the workroom A laister .

sp rang to the door He saw hi s statue of Andromeda


.

lying shattered on the fl oor Lolotte stood gaz ing at


.

the ruin sh e had wrought with horrifi ed eyes .


It it fell o v er
.

A laister put his big hand on the girl s shoulder



.


Don t vex yourself he said

,
It s only a ca st
.

.

I ll soon ma ke another Tell your father to come and



.

gi v e me a hand with the plaster of p aris when he s ’


fini shed his tea
.

20
RE D S CAR
that order of humanity whi ch rejoices to act as b uffer
between a rough world and those it cal ls its own that ,

order of humanity which asks no thanks since it knows


h ow to thank itself .


Y our yo u nger daughter has gone out to service ,

hasn t she


Yes sir ,
To Lady A mb led own 5 S ir And I v e
.

, .

ad a v ery good re p ort of er alrea dy from t he o nse


' ’ ’

keeper In a manner of Sp eaki ng sir my Anita s


. , ,

a steadi er going girl than my Lolotte Lolotte Sh e


-
.
,

takes after er poor mother wot ad a dash of French


’ ’

blood in er veins whereby Ani ta takes after me


Your statue now wot Lo lotte broke to—


, .

day "Anita
,

would never ave been so careless ’


.

Kenn edy paused and fidgeted again so that A lai ster


experienced a sharp sense of exasperation But that .

feeling flickered ou t as quickly as it had come .

A lai ster leaned back in his chai r .


Oh p oor Lolotte I blame myself for t elli ng her
, .

to cover it It was much too tall for her


. .

He rose and returned to hi s workroom He set up .

the piece mould of Andromeda and then fill ed a big


-

basin with dry p laster He heard the clock in th e .

steeple of Hamp stead Parish Church strike ten and


stood still listeni ng The ki tchen door op ened
, .

and Kennedy and Lolotte Lolotte first and Kennedy ,

a moment aft erwards as cended the stairs to their ,

bedr ooms What a mind the man had like an e ight


.
,

day cloc k "


A lai ster sat down in the only armc hair the room
po ssessed and began to fill his pipe After all p erhaps .
,

Kenned y was right in his close su pe rv isi on of his


daughters behaviour The maj ority of young women

.

nowadays se emed to be bored to death Th ey expe c ted .

22
IN THE STUDI O
new excitement all the time He lit his p i p e and threw .

the match on the bare fl oor That was the secret of .

the pop ularity of Raoul and men such as Raoul .

They p urveyed the kind of ex citemen t which emp ty


headed unoccup ied women craved for .

A laister clo sed hi s eyes but o p ened them imm e


diately to watch a long whi ff of smoke go coili ng and
"

uncoiling towards the ra ft ered ceiling It was a pity .

that Echo shou ld ha ve fallen a Victim to Raoul s ’

lov e making becau se Ech o was not empty headed


- -

like Phyllis Sooner or later she would see through


.

the b oy an d hate him When that happened anything. ,

might happ en .

A laister awoke wi th a start The sound which .


,

had awakened him was repeated an insisten t knock


, ,

ing on his fron t door He j umped up and strode .

through his lounge to the door He un locked the door .

and flung i t open .


Echo
He took a step back t o allow Echo to enter Then he .

p out his hands to supp ort her because her face was
u t
so dreadfully p al e .


What has happened
Raoul she whispered
, I think .

he s dead

Oh please come
.
, .

Echo leaned agai nst the side of the door a nd then


seemed to p ull herself together A laister noted .

mechanically that sh e was hatless and W ithout a


cloak Then an exclamation of dismay broke from
.

his lips Her neck was streaked wi th blood and the


.

sleeve of her evening frock was torn .


You re hur t ’

No no , Sh e t urned and ran ou t acro ss the


.

23
RED S CA R
lawn t owards the low wall which sep arated
R aoul s studio from A laister s garden A s he
’ ’

followed he felt fear and anxiety cl utching at


his heart a sense of disaster im p endi ng wh ich robbed
,

him of h is streng th They came to the wall and he


.

helped Echo to cross it The windows of the studio


.

were lighted He ran p as t the lighted windows to


.

the d oor and entered before the girl Raoul was .

lying on his back on the floor wi th Echo s cloak


wrapped about his neck There was a big s t ain of


.

b l ood on the white cloak .

He knelt down and lifted Raoul s hand bu t its ’

limpness caused him to release it again immediately .

He bent o v er the boy so tha t his ear nearly touched the


p arted lips He caught the fai ntest sound of br eathing
. .

Aft er a moment he drew the silken cloak gently away


from Raoul s neck “ e xposing the bare skin The

margin of a wound from which blood still trickled


met his gaz e He remov ed the cloak and p ressed his
.

handkerchief into the wound Then he told Echo .

to bring a towel from the boy s bedr oom above the


stu dio He tore the t owel into stri p s and made a


.

rough bandage of it .

He was able to a pply this bandage firmly beca use


th e wo u nd was S ituated low down at the back of the
neck Rao ul groaned while the bandaging was in
.

p rogress an d once he opened h is eyes and murmured


something which A laister could not understand When .

the work was complete A l aister took a pill ow whi ch


Echo had fetched from the bedroom and put i t under
Raoul s head Then he turned to the girl

. .

“ ”
You must go home at once he declared ,
.

"
No I am going to stay here with him
.
.

Echo s face was ghas tl y and the streaks of blood on


24
IN THE STUDI O
her neck and shoulders and her torn frock added to
the ghastliness She caught at A laister s arm to
.

steady herself .


I found him like thi s she declared Then he
, .

attacked me .

Her voice failed and her head san k on her breast .

A laister put his arms about her and lifted her in his
arms He carried her ou t of the studio to the bou ndary
.

wall and raised her on to the wall A moment later .

he brought her to the door of his garage He was going .

to lay her on the grou nd whi le he o p ened the garage ,

but she rec overed her strength and resisted him .


Please you mustn t take me home now she
,

,

p leaded .Oh do leav e me and get a doc t or for
,

No .

There was a peremptory not e in his voice He left .

her leaning against the side of the house and unlocked


the garage door Then he took her arm and led her to
.

I can t look after bo th of you a t the same time


he declared and Raoul is all right for the


moment .

He helped her to ent er th e and t ook his sea t


beside her .
C H A P T ER IV

TE LL N O B O D Y
TE LL me exactly what happened
A laister di d not turn towards E cho as he spoke .

She saw his fa ce set and tense by the light of the


, ,

stree t lam m
The thought fl ashed through her mind
.

that he looked handsomer than Sh e had e v er seen him


look before .


I have told you Raoul went back home t o change
.

a ft er W e fini shed ou r shopp ing He said he woul d come .

for me to go dancing When he didn t come I got .


nerv ous and wen t to see what had ha pp ened to


him.

Echo s voice was low and it had a distant quality


as if She was Sp eaking in a dream She added .

Mother has gone ou t t o a bridge party I was alone



all the e vening .

The car reached the t op of Holly Tree Hi ll A laister .

slackened speed and turned to the girl a t hi s side .

“ ”
Why did he attack you P he asked in his ho arse
tones .


I don t know

.

They came to No 3 Echo p leaded once more that


. .

she might be allowed to return to Raoul but she swayed


in her seat as she spoke A l aister helped her to descend
.

from the car and support ed her across the p avement .

She gave him her key and he o p ened the front door
26
TE LL N O B O D Y
for her He switched up the lights and accomp anied
.

her into the little drawing room -


.


Has yo ur mother come home do you suppose ,

Yes She s taken her hot bottle


.

.

Echo indicated an india rubber bottle whi ch lay on -

a st ool near the fireplace She explained .


That s my one

She clutched at A laister s arm
.

.

Do please go back to him .

She looked up in his face and saw the gathered lines


of anxiety which scarred it His eyes met her eyes and .

challenged them His eyes were full of fear . .

“ ”
Nobody he declared knows that you v isited
, ,

Ra oul s stu di o to night I want you to promise me



-
.


that nobody Shall know not e ven yo u r mother .


Why ?
He grasped her by the Shoulders .


B ecause there s going to be tro uble abou t this

business and the less you are mi xed up in it the


,

better . Do you understand ? Raoul has been


stabbed murdered perhaps .

He broke off and turned away from her .


For God s sake tell me the truth

why he
attacked you .


I don t know why he attacked me

.

Echo was calm now and her face had recov ered a
little of i t s colour He saw on her face the very .

exp ression which he had imp rinted on the features


of his statue of Andromeda a lovely mingling of ,

ecstasy and grief and naughtiness A fierce impulse .

t o seize her and drag the truth from her ripe lips shook
him and for a moment deprived him of breath
, .

“ ” “
Please tell nobody he ordered until I gi ve you
Nobody "
, ,

leav e to tell .

He left her and sprang into his car A S he drove down .

27
RED S CA R
the hill to Frognal his mind became clear again and
cold He left the car in the unl ighted private road
.

whi ch led from Frognal Lane to his garden door .

Then he walked across the lawn to the boundary


wall and cl imbed o ver into Raoul s garden ’
.

Raoul was lying exactl y where they had left hi m .

A red stain had appeared on the bandage but it did not


seem to be spreading He satisfied himself that the
.

boy was still breath ing Then he raised him in his


.

arms and carried him ou t to the wall He lifted him .

on to the top of the wall j us t as he had lift ed Echo


, ,

and wen t back to switch off the lights in the studio .

A moment later he dep osited Rao ul on the couch in


his own room .

His plan was made When he had cleared up the


.

mess in the studio he woul d take Raoul in his car to


the Hampstead G eneral Hospital and say tha t he had
found him lying near his own gate The police migh t .

exercise their wits on that problem He b ent o ver


'

the boy and listened to his breathing He counted .

O ne two t hree four


He stiffened suddenly Raoul s br eathing had ’

stopped He snatched frantically at the pul se but


.

could not feel it Raoul began to moan and he thought


.


he heard the word Echo .

A laister drew hi s hand across his wet brow .

“ ”
It s all ri ght old man he whispered in tones of
’ ‘

, ,

great relief It s all right
.

.

He waited until the brea thing resumed its rhythm .

Then he brought one of the dust Sh eets from his work -

room and Spread it o ver the couch He returned to hi s .

workroom and placed the huge piece mould of Andro -

meda in position for filling He could still detec t .

Raoul s breathing when he came back to the couch


28
RED S CA R
He knelt down Al l the colour had faded ou t of .

Raoul s cheeks '


.


Raoul Rao ul old man R aou l old , .
,

man .

No breathing now N o pulse or anyhow none that . ,

a man who wasn t a doctor could feel So the fellow ’


.

was dead Raoul was dead Murdered How dam ned . .

strange "A laister pulled the dust shee t right ov er


.

Raoul s face and then quickly folded it back again


, , .

Perhaps he wasn t quite dead yet It would be



.

as well to wait and see Whe ther or not he was quite


dead He pu t his hand into his pocke t and took ou t
.

his pipe He was trying to remember wha t are the


.

usual tests for death .

I t was extraordinary how cool his mind was


not a ripple now on that smooth surface If Raoul
, , .

was really dead he must get rid of Raoul s body He ’


.

must hide it where nobody would ever find it so that


nobody could ever be accused of Damned
fool the p olice always found dead bodies sooner or
,

later . Still unless a body was found no charge


,

of murder would lie " e verybody knew that The law “


.

was Clear on that p oint He came back to the .

couch an d listened again to hear if Raoul was breathing .

No he wasn t He lifted on
, e of the boy s hands and

.

released it It fell lM p from his grasp Undoubtedly


. .

he was dea d .

He switched ou t the light and walked to the door .

He looked ou t cautiously on the darkness An owl .

hooted and he waited to hear the second notes of the


call Then he crossed the lawn It was wonderfu lly
. .

cool and calm out here on the hills abo ve L ondon .

He dropped down so ftly over the wall and crept


round to the door of the studi o He struck a match .

30
TE LL N O B O D Y
and Sna t ched up Echo s hat and cloak The match

.

flamed brightly for an instan t and S howed him a dark


w here Rao ul had lain .Blood So .

another j o urney or the p olice a ft er


,

all would disco ver their clue


, .

31
C H A PTER V

T HE STAI N ON T HE FLOO R

A N hour lat er Al aister returned to Raoul s st udio ’


.

He had brought a small bowl of water and an electric


torch with him He p laced the t orch lighted so that
. , ,

its beam fell on the bloodstains on th e floor and then ,

began to scrub the stain with a nail brush Whi l e -


.

he was engaged on this task he noticed that the pillow


which he had placed under Raoul s head was also ’

stained with blood .

He rose from his knees and carried t he p illow up


the wooden stair which led to Raoul s bedroom He ’
.

cleaned the p ill ow as well as he could and then flung


it on the bed Then he descended again torch in hand
.
, ,

t o the studio and resumed his scrubbing He worked .

slowly and methodically .

Suddenly he st arted to his feet Hea vy s t ep s were .

approaching the door of the studi o He flung the .

contents of the bowl of water across the room and set


the bowl down on one of the window ledges then he -
,

strode to the door and op ened it A lantern was .

flashed in his face .


Oh it s you Mr Diarmid a gruff voice apolo
,

, .
,

g ed
iz .


Yes, constable A laister raised his hand
.

to shield his eyes from the light Had this p oliceman .

been watching him ? A sense o f great app rehension


32
THE S T A IN O N THE F LOO R
o verwhelm ed him and made i t im p o ssible to collec t
his thoughts Happily th e policem an shut his lantern
. .


I was a bit nervous when I saw yo ur light the ,

policeman explained because when I was coming up ,

Lan gland Gardens abo ut an hour ago I saw a man , ,

coming ou t of this o use carry ing something in ’

hi s arms The windows were lighted and so I didn t ’


.

thi nk a t the time that there coul d be anything


, ,

amiss .

He paused A laister realized that he was challenging


.

hi m for an explanation He passed the circu m stances .

of the case in swift re view through his min d and took


his dec ision .


Y ou saw me he declared , .

I thought it was you because I appen to know that ,


you and Mr Raoul Featherstone i s friends as well as


.


neighbours .

Still the man s voice seemed to challenge Was i t



.

possible that he had observ ed Echo also when she


came out of the studio or when she re t urned to it
“ “
L isten constable A laister said
, M r Fea t her . .

st one has been the V i ctim of foul p lay I was in my .

garden to night and heard a cry I found him lying


-
.

on the floor here I ca rried him to my house and did


.

What I could for him .

He broke off and st ood wai ting in tense silence


for the policem an s response If the man had seen

Echo he would sca rcely now keep tha t di scov ery , ,

to himself .


Gawd sir e ain t dead is e P,
’ ’

,
'

“’
I m afraid he is .

A laister breath ed once more for the man s fa ce


exp ressed be wilderment as well as shock He added I .

I came o v er here to s ee if I could find any trace of


33
RED S CA R
t he murderer Now that you ve a p peared you d bet t er
.

,

V iew the body at once and make a report .

A laister wi ped hi s brow How glibly these su gges


.

tions came from his li p s and in the proper form too ,

He might ha ve be en rehearsing this scene for weeks .

A nd the policeman obviously was imp ressed He


, , .

had not abated his deference in the least degree .

They came ou t into the night and A laister glanced up


at the stars He called the policeman s attent ion to
.

the fact that Hampstead is darker on starry nights


because then there are no clou ds to mirror the light s
, ,

of L ondon .


It would be the easiest thing in the world t o sli p
away through these gardens to night he -


declared Mr Featherst one had some strange
'

. .

acquaintances .

They gained A laister s lawn When they came to



.

his house A laister stood back to allow the policeman .

to enter before him He followed the policeman into


.

his lounge .

The room was empty .

34
C H A PTER V I

ST RA NG E

T HE policeman t urned to face A laister evidently ,

expecting to be conducted to a bedroom But A laister s .


eyes were blank .


I brough t him in here he s t at ed I le ft him , ,
'

here .

He glanced about him in a bewildered fashion and


then pointed to t he couch .


That s where he was lying

.

The red face of the policeman becam e a sh ade


redder and hi s small eyes develop ed a look of sus
p icion .

coul dn t run away i f e was dead



E

he D

,

remarked in brisk tones Somebody mus t av e .

He looked round the room as he sp oke Then he .

went t o the door of the workroom and o pened it .

He swi tched on the light The floor was S plashed .

with p laster A newly cast sta tu e of Andromeda


.
-

stood facing him on its pedest al .

“ ”
No thing ere ’
.

A l aister ha d accomp ani ed him acro ss the r oom .

N ow he too scan ned the bare walls of the workroom


, , .

He entered the room and lifted one of the d ust sheets -

which had been flu ng into a corner He S hook the .

35
RED SCA R
d ust shee t as i f he feared tha t Rao ul s body might
-

be hidden in its folds .


It s dev ilish s t range

.

He flung the sheet away .


I wonder if he really was dead he e x claimed , .

The p oliceman was shepherding his wits into their


accustomed places He had taken ou t his note book -
.

and he was busy taki ng ou t his pencil He se t pencil .

to page and fil led his big lungs wi th air .

“ ”
A s I understands you he said you carried , ,

Mr Raou l Featherstone in t o this ouse about an


.

hour ago and set im down on that there so fa A nd at



.
,

the momen t of set tin im down e was ’ ’ ’


Wounded wounded in t he neck bac k
of th e neck .

A laister shut t he door of his workroom He O p ened .

the door leading to the garden and stood looking ou t .

The sound of a car p assing thro ugh Frognal Lane


broke the dead sti lln ess of the night Aft er a moment .

he returned to the policeman .


Don t bother to write all tha t stu fi down he

,

said . I ll come wi th you to the st at ion and make


a report myself .


No sir I mu st av e my own report
, ,

.

Th e p encil proceeded firmly on its way un til the


“ ”
words back of the neck had been written Then the .

writer raised his eyes .


In your Op ini on the man was dead he asked .

Dead ? O h yes yes I tho ugh t he was , , ,


"
dead .

And in tha t bel ief you le ft rm to go to Is


st udio where you ad found him in the first ’

i nstance .

“ ’
Yes A n d now he isn t here I t s d amned fu nn y
.

.
,

36
RED S CA R
up the light s The girl was asleep She r ai sed her
.
.

arm to shield her eyes from the light but did not
awake .


I think we can leav e er the policeman said ’

,
.

She s ere any ow as I c an report at the


’ ’ ’

station .

He walked to one of the o ther doors and opened i t ,

and then op ened ea ch door in succession Then he .

came back to the s t air and began to descend it .

A laister closed Lolotte s door and followed him



.

A moment later Kennedy j oined them in the lounge .

The constable e xp lained to him what had happ ened ,

and asked him if he had heard anythi ng a t all .

“ ”
Nothing at all .

You and yo ur daughter as I unders t and ret i red , ,

at ten O clock '

Y es We al ways goes to bed at ten As soon as


. .

my ead touches the pillow I m away wi th it and


,


Lolotte as the same ap py knack
' ’
.

Kennedy was solemn as suited the occasion and the


company But his solernnity did not cover his
.

uneasiness In his red dressing gown he looked ra ther


.
-

owlish and his blinking eyes intensifi ed thi s suggestion .

He kept his eyes fix ed on the note boo k in which his -

answers were being recorded .


Could anybody do you thi nk the poli ceman,

asked , ave moun t ed the stairs w1thou t yo ur bein


’ ’


aware of it P

Oh yes easy I never eard you and Mr Diarmid
, , .

.

coming up the st ai rs
A lai ster dismiss ed Kenn
.

edy and led the policeman


into the garden .


Mr Featherstone
. he decl ar ed m us t ha ve , ,

recovered enough to walk out here He may b e lying .

38
S T RA N G E
among those bushes or he may hav e wandered from ,


the p lace altogether My place isn t locked .
'
.

They s earched the garden and came to the garage .

The constable e xamined that p lace also Then he .

stepp ed into the p ri v at e road and o p ened the door Of


the car .


I think sir he said tha t i t will be necessary
, , ,

for me to ask you to a c comp an y me to the s t a t ion in


A verstock Ill
’ ’
.

A laister wen t back to t he ho us e to ge t his ha t .

Kennedy still solemn and scared was s t anding in


, ,

the hall awai t ing his re t urn A laister told him to go .

to b ed Then he rejoined the policeman


. .

They walked the Short dist ance to the s t at ion in


silence because A laister s thought s were b us y The ’
.

stat ion was brigh tl y li t and v e warm and t he


i nspect or seemed to be a brisk man A lai ster wa t ched .

his expression as he list ened to the policeman s ’

re port and ob s erv ed tha t it did not change E viden tly .

the ins p ector was accu st omed to queer stories But .

the man s eyes had a sharpness when he t urned to


speak which rath er b elied tha t imp ression


'

.
,

You agree wi th the rep ort he asked .

Yes .

Hav e you any idea at all wha t can have happ ened
to Mr Fea ther s tone
. any idea of your own ,

I mean

O nly that he must hav e wandered off the
p remises .

The inspe ct or s e yebrows descended ’


.


F or a man whom you belie ved to be dead an hour
before that sounds rather a b ig performance doesn t ,

i t he asked .

O f course But as he isn t in my ho use now he


.

39
RED S CA R
mu st hav e left i t somehow or other I t isn t easy
.

so I v e been told to be sure that a person is dead



.
,

For all I know he may onl y ha ve been suffering from


shock .

The inspector pick ed u p a telephone instrument .


I ll circulate hi s descri p tion to the p olice if you giv e
'

” “
it to me he said
, . There is always the danger if ,

he is really wander ing about tha t he may come to


,
"
the Regent s C anal
'
.
C H A PTER VII

A N A U G HTY L I TTL E MA N

HA VE you Inspector Biles of Scotland Y ard as ked


,

Dr Eustace Hailey e ver heard of a man named
. ,

Major Lionel Leyland


He watched Dr Hailey s large kindly face as he
.

spoke as if it was important that he should dete ct


the merest flicker of recogni tion But Dr Hailey s . .

face remained impassi ve .


Ne ver my dear Biles
, .

O r of his father in law Colonel Du dley Ti tling


- -
,

Dr Hailey s eyes began to twi nkle



.


Indeed I ha ve Dudley Titling was a t school with
, .

me at Upp ingham Do you mean to say that he has a


.

daughter old enough to be married ? He sighed



and Slightly rai sed his great shoulders Titl ing had .

a v ery pretty sister who is now the mo ther of A laister


,

Diarmid the scu lptor She ran away wi th her h usban d


, .
,

I remember beca use her peo p le were dead agains t her


,

marrying an artist .


So
. Biles inclinedhi s p recise head He remained .

s ilent a moment until a speci ally noisy t axi cab had


,

growled i ts way down Harley Stree t Then he .

announced

I have come to trouble you a t thi s v ery late hour
because Maj or L ionel Leyland th e husband of Colonel ,

Ti tling s daughter was fo und to night lying


'

, ,
-
,

4x
RED S CA R
unconscio us in his s t udy the Vi ctim of a severe head
,

inj ury .

Biles leaned forward in hi s chair .


The curious feature of the case is tha t t he front
door of the house was standing open The discov ery .

was actually made by the poli ceman on duty in Curzon


Street who no t iced the o p en door Yet the serv ants
,
.

heard nothing .

Dr Hailey rose and stood in front of the fire His


. .

huge figure had grown alert He took a silver snuff .

b ox from hi s pocket and opened it d elicately .


Go on he invited
, .

No The story ends there


. unless the fa ct
that Mrs Leyland went t o stay the night wi th her
.

father in Park Street is material Biles p aused and .


seemed t o hesitate a moment Do you think he .
,

asked that I could p ersuade you to come with


,

me now to Curzon Street and make an examination


of the inj ury
Dr Hailey took snuff after the fashion of a French
.

marquis of the old nobility .


I think you could my dear Biles ,
he said ,

pleasantly .

They picked up a cab in C av endish Sq uare When .

they entered the v ehicle Dr Hailey glanced at his wat ch


. .

“ “
It s exactly h lf past two he announ ced When

a
-
.
,

was the discovery made



At a qu arter past midnight .

And when did the serv ants go to bed


About ten I thi nk Perhaps a little la ter The
, . .

butler saw hi s master j ust before ten when he took u p ,

whisky and soda Maj or Leyland was then reading a


.

newspap er The butler locked the front door before


.

he returned to the serv ant s quarters ’


.

42
A N A U G HT Y L ITT L E M A N
Dr Hailey screwed his eyeglass into his eye
. .


So that Maj or Leyland himsel f admit ted his
assa ilant

It seems so .

The cab reached Ox ford S t reet and cro ss ed i t .

“ ” “
I find it di ffi cul t Dr Hailey sai d to associat e , .
,

Dudley Tilting with anything in the nature of a


t ragedy The little beggar was cas t by Na t u re for a
.

comedy p art perhap s low comedy I ha ven t .


seen him for year s i t s tru e bu t I was told some time ,


ago that he hadn t changed a bi t S ince his schooldays ’


.

I once heard a woman describe him as a naughty ‘

little man bu t I always susp ected him m ys elf of


, , ,

being a sentirnentalist at heart He used to write .

silly p oems for the s chool magazine "on the other


hand he was e x ceedingl y resent ful of any sligh t to
,

his personal digni ty His sister s elop ement I remem .


ber made him furious Men who mingle p ride wi th


, .

bu ffoonery and s entiment ality live in glasshouses ,

my dear Biles .

The cab reached Curzon Street and st opped a t


No 4oy A moment later Dr Hailey renewed his
. . .

acquaintance with D udley Titling and was introduced


by him to his daughter Phyllis L eyland Dudl ey ,
.

Titling the doctor thought certainly had changed


, , .

But his manner still clung to him that mixture of the ,

gay and the ungraciou s which once u pon a time had


pass ed for wit And he still cli pp ed al l his speech .

as they used to do in King Edward s time



.

D ev enin Hailey G reat relief to me your comin


’ ’ ’
.
,

Sh ock in a ffair Quite sh ockin Phylli s


’ ’
. .

left him fit s a fiddle Burglar p robably My



. .

readin of the case anyhow Go up at once and see


hi m like a good fella



.
,

43
RED S CA R
Du dley Titling accompanied Dr Hailey to the .

door of the study and came ou t with hi m into the


corridor He rai sed hi s wiz ened little face to the
.

doctor s face ’
.


Phyllis s dreadfully u pset he whispered B lames

,
.

herself for bein away from home and all tha t sort ’
,

of thing d ye see ? Nonsense of co urse but craz y


,

, ,

about him quite crazy If things are serious tell


, . ,

me old man "don t tell her You understand of


,

. ,

course .

Dr Hailey mounted the s tairs slowly


. It was .

extraordi nary how closely Phylli s Leyland resembled


her aunt— the girl who had run away with th e artist .

And yet the resemblance was incomplete Molly


Titling on the occasions when he had me t her had
, ,

given him an impression of great strength of mind ,

almost of hardness whereas Phyll is was gentle , .

Phyllis posse ssed her aunt s grey eyes b u t not her ’

aun t s thin lips Phyllis s li p s were full and soft



.

.

A nurse opened the bedroom door The doctor who .

was attending L ionel L eyland came forward to meet


Dr Hailey and led him to the window
. .


So far as I can see he declared he was stru ck , ,

over the head with a blunt weapon of some sort .

There are definite signs of compression bu t I don t ,


think they are getting any more prono unced .

The doctor was a young man nam ed Lomond , ,

fresh from the schools He had all his symptoms a t .

easy command but Dr Hailey s repu tati on awed , .


him into reticence .


Has he been t al king ?
Oh yes threatening somebody with the u tmost
, ,

violence .

D r Hailey came to the beds ide


. Lionel Leyland .

44
RED S CA R
instantly buttonholed by Dudley Titling He told .

the little man curtly that the patient stood in no


i mmediate danger of hi s life then he walked to the ,

fender and picked u p the poker He examined the .

p oker carefully for a few minu t es When he la id it .

down his face wore its habitual ex pression of v acancy .

He sat down and C lo s ed his eyes He heard Biles .

plying Phyllis wi th questions which Phyllis s father ’

insisted on answering for her abom her


husb and s friends and acquain t ance s and his habits

and temper Dudley Titli ng app arently had no


.
, ,

very good opinion of his son in law though he offer ed - -


,
“ ”
as an extenuation of a shockin temper d ye see ’

,

the fact that Lionel had suffered from a heat stroke -

in India two years ago .


Is yo ur husband a j eal ous man ? B iles ask ed
Phyllis .


I I don t think he is more j ealous than’

other men .

The girl s v oice was so low that Dr Hailey could



.

only j ust hear it Dr Hailey opened his eyes Phyllis s


. . .

eyes were cast down and her cheeks were flaming .


Must correct that sta t ement Inspector Du dley , ,

Ti tling broke in Phyl lis quite right d ye see


.
,

e xcu sin Lionel and all that sort of thing



Fac t is .

Lionel s most j ealous fella livin


’ ’ ’
.

Biles recorded this st a t emen t Dr Hailey rose and . .

came to Phyllis .


Your husband he ask ed in his gentle deta ched
, ,

way , threatened this evening to t hrash somebody ,

di dn t he 7

.

He pau sed and waited B ut the girl 5 reply was .


inaudible Dudley Titlin g j ump ed Up from his chair


.
,

exclairning

46
A N A U G HT Y L ITT L E M AN
This evenin and every evenin Lionel my dear
’ ’
. ,

Hailey is alway s threatenin to t hrash people


,

.

He glanced about him li k e a scared Sp arrow .

Then as s uddenl y as he had ri sen he sa t down


, ,

ag ain .


Please answer the doct or s question M rs Ley ’
, .

” “
land Biles demanded
,
Did your h usband threa t en .


this ev ening t o t hrash anybody ?

Yes .

Whom did he threa t en t o thrash ?


There was no respon se .


Kindly answer my question .

Phyllis rai sed her head suddenly and fa c ed the


de tectiv e .


My husband She declared said tha t he would
, ,

thrash an y man who dared to make lov e to me .


Ah So your husb and fancied tha t he had reason
.


to be j ealo us ?

Yes .

O f whom
O f ev erybody Inspect or Of you and Hailey and , .

the whole world That s Lionel d ye see Dudley


.
'

,

.

Titling screwed his little face into an express ion of



dismay It s a shock in state of affairs
.
’ ’
.

“ ” “
I must ask you C olonel Titling B iles said not , , ,

to interru pt my ex am in ation of your daughter in this


fa shion It is surely ob v ious to you from wha t we
.

ha v e h eard t ha t some part i cu lar individual mus t


ha ve aroused y o ur son in law 5 su spi c ions That ’
- -
.

in div idual may v ery well be the man for whom we



are looking He tu rned agah to Phyllis : Be so
.
f

good Mr s Leyland as to tell me the name of the


, .
,

man against whom p art icu larly y our husband s , ,


threats were u tt ered .

47
RED S CA R
He pa used He held he point of his pencil pois ed
.

above his note book -


.

I would rather no t t ell you


Forgive me You must tell me
.

. .

An angry fl u sh mounted to B iles s ch eeks and th en’

rose to h is forehead .


This is a serious ma tter he rasped
, .

His lean face looked ex traordinarily t hreateni ng .

He was proceeding to point ou t that by withholding


the name Phyllis was possibly shielding a crim inal
when Dudley Titling broke in to declare that his
daughter had a perfect right to say as little or as
much as she chose .


Isn t a C ourt of J usti c e Ins p ector d ye see

, ,

.

The little man hOpped from one leg to th e o th er


as he S poke He declared that he hadn t been a ’

magistrate for twenty years for nothing and assured


Biles that in his native Northumberland the Ben ch
was careful to secure tha t witness es were not b u lli ed
by the police .

The telephone bell rang Biles closed his no t e


.

book and picked up the instru ment with a swiftness


that was aggressive He answered the call in sharp
.

monosyllables and then turned to Dr Hailey . .

“ ” “
I m ust go now he declared
, I ll dri v e you
.

home .

He s trod e ou t of the room wi thou t an y leave taking -


.

As they left the house he informed the doctor tha t


he had been su mmoned to Hampstead

Where it appears that Mrs Leylan d s cousin .

the sc u lptor has j ust lodged information wi th th e


,


police about another case of attempted murder .

48
C H A PTER VIII

M O RE O F T HE DE VI L

WHA T do you make of Mrs L eyland ? .

B iles tu rn ed towards Dr Hailey as he S poke and .

the street lamp showed the doctor his face Even in .

the gloom of the cab his face looked threatening .


N ot much I m afraid my dear Biles

.
, ,

Dr Hailey grasped the hanging arm rest with


. .
-

which the vehicle was furnished and S lightly raised



himself .Phyllis L eyland impressed me as a woman
in deadly fear A s you may have observ ed I tried to
. ,


discover the nature of her fear .

He leaned back again and sighed He added .


She is not I think afraid for her husband s life
, ,

.

She showed no concern about my Opinion of hi s


case though her father pretended that She was deeply
anx ious And yet the fact tha t her husband had
.

threa tened to thrash somebody when I mentioned it , ,

depri ved her of Speech .

Obviously because she fears tha t her lov er made


,

the attack on her husband .

I t may be so A gain Dr Hailey rai sed himself


. . .

On the o ther hand I confess that I had the impression


tha t Phyllis Leyland is in love with her husband .

He moved his hand in a gesture which deprecated



a rgum ent on the subj ect She defended her husband
. ,

if you remember ev en against her father


,
.

49
RED S CA R
The cab turned into Langlan d Gardens and began
to moun t t he s t eep hill t o F rognal L ane A moment .

la t er i t s t opped and a policeman Opened the door .

He salu t ed Biles wi th marked deference .


The I nspector is wai t ing for you in the st udio ,

S Ir
.

Rao ul Feathers tone s s t udio had not been di s ’

tu rb e d in an y wa y S ince A l a ister s last visit to i t



.

T h e Hamp stea d Inspector recounted the s t ory which


A laister had t old him and then indi cated the blood
stain on the fl oor .


0

I ha v e only j u s t go t here myself he stated So , .

f ar we hav e no news of the missing man .

Biles knel t down and examin ed the bloodstain .

He touched i t with his finger and then rubbed it He .

raised p u z zled eyes to the Inspector .

It seem s to hav e been wash ed ou t Are you su re .

"
that it s a recent stain ?

“ ”
I don t know sir ’

, .

Biles got up He saw tha t Dr Hailey was wholly


. .

immersed in the stu dy of a p ort rai t which stood on


one of the eas els He cro ssed the room and glanced
.

at the p or trait .


Good Heavens M rs Leyland , . .

No I don t think so B ut it s ex t raordinarily


,

.

like her i sn t it ? Thi s girl has how shall I p ut i t


,

, ,

more of the devil in her face than Phyllis Leyland


Dr Hailey adj usted his eyeglass and s t ood back a
.

“ ”
few paces from the portrait Mr Raoul Fea t herstone . .
,

he remarked seems to be an art ist wi th more talen t
,

than geni us This is v ery bad work my dear


.
,

Biles .

The de tective did no t rep ly He walked to the end .

of th e room and s tooped down Dr Hailey turned to . .

50
M O RE O F THE DEVI L
see him ex amining wha t app eared t o be the fragments
of a broken walking stick -
.


Doctor look at thi s
, .

He came back to Dr Hailey and showed him the .

handle of the walking stick Th e handle bore a gol d -


.

band on which were engra v ed the words : L ionel


“ ”
from Phyllis and the address 40y C urzon S t reet
, .


The stick seems to hav e been broken very recently ,


Biles remarked in grim tones L ook how clean the .

wood is It was lying agains t t he wall beside the


.
,


fireplace a s if i t had been flung t here when it broke
, .

Dr Hailey s face as he e x amined the walking stick


.

,
-
,

became q uite expressionless He handed t he fragments .

back to Biles and took a pin ch of snuff .

“ ”
This Raoul Featherstone he remarked seems , ,

t o be the kind of man who dese rves to be thrashed .

A sentirnentalist as wi tness his picture of that girl


, ,

and a b ravo as witness t ha t rack of kniv e s o v er the


,

mantelpiece Men who decorate their rooms with


.

kniv es are usuall y unr eliable where women are


con cerned By the wa y one of the kniv es app ears to
.
,

be missing .

Biles nodded So I no t iced. He glanced a t his .


watch . I t s h alf pas t five o clock I think we can

-

.

ro use up t he s c ulp t or now and hear his story from


his own lips Bu t you migh t if you will before we
.
, ,

go confirm my impression tha t tha t b loods tain on


,

the floor ha s been washed .


C H A PTER I X

A TE L E PHON E CA L L
K E NN EDY informed Inspector Biles tha t hi s mas t er
was sleeping .

E S a d a ver y t iring night sir and I sc ar cely


’ ’ ’
, ,

likes to waken im ’
.


You must waken him Biles presented his card . .

Meanwhile we will come in if you please and wait , ,

until he is ready to see u s .

B iles s face looked haggard in the firs t gre yn ess of


t he dawn but his eyes had not los t their gleam of


,

excitement The butler stood back and held the


.

door Open He showed the unwelcome v isitors into


.

A laister s lounge

.

That room appealed instantly and irresistibly to


Dr Hailey who called the detective s attention to
.
,

its beaut y .

What a di fference be tween t his simplicit y and


the pretentiousness of Feath erstone s studio I Feather ’

stone has inscribed coxcomb on all his possessions ‘ ’

whereas this man hides h irnself L ook at that fumed .

oak screen and those black and white panels


-

Dr Hailey sat down in one of the big lea ther


.

arm chairs
-
.


It looks my dear Biles he confessed as if
, , ,

your reading of Phyllis Leyland s agitation may be ’

the right one .

52
RED S CA R

Wha t do you want ? he demanded gru flly ”
.

Biles cleared his throat before introducing him self


and Dr Hailey . .


I am sorry to dist urb you Mr Diarmid he , .
,


said bu t in a matter of this kind we cannot afford
,

to dela y e v en a single hour .

He paused A laister t old him t o sit down and then


.

demanded :

I suppose y ou v e read the p oli c e repor ts If so

,

you know as much abou t the busin ess as I know


myself Feath erstone was stabbed in the nec k I
. .

carried him in here and went back to see i f I co uld


find any trace of his assailant When I re turned here .


with the policeman on the b eat he had disappear ed .

He strode t o the mantelpiece and found his p ip e


and tobacco He began to fill his pipe
. .


A damned queer story isn t it he remarked ,

.


I d have bet my bot t om dollar the fellow was dead


But he wasn t apparently '

, .

“ ”
He may be dead may he no t ? Biles obj ected ,


crisply You have no proof that he is not dead
. .

A l aister struck a match an d laid i t to the bowl of


his pipe .

O nly the evidence of m y own sen ses We searched .

the house and garden .

Quite so But it s possible tha t the body may


.

have been remov ed beyond both the house an d the



garden .


Remov ed ? Who would remov e i t ?
I don t know Possibly the person who s tru ck the

.

b low .

A laister s hru gged hi s shoulders He smoked in .

silence wi th a resentful air B iles s s tream of ques


, .

tions drew from him nothing but a general s t atement


54
A TE L EPH O NE CA LL
t ha t he knew very lit tle abou t Fea therst one and cared
less .

Biles pu t hi s no t e boo k away and rose


-
.


Wha t room is that ov er there he asked p ointing
to the door of A laister s workroo m
, ,


.

“ ”
C ome and see for your self .

A la ister Opened the door of hi s workroom and


stood bac k to allow the detective t o enter A sneer .

curled his lips when Biles lifted one of the dus t


sheets from the floor He took a step forward and .
,

with a ges t ure which betrayed his irrita t ion at this


solemn fuss pulled away the veil from his s t atue
, .


There the room s stri pped for your inspection
,


he exclaimed I doubt i f y ou could hide a dead ra t
.

"
in it .


A drnirab le
He turned Sharply and saw tha t Dr Hailey was .

gazing a t the statue wi th s trained at t ention His .

attitude of hostilit y relaxed a little and a gleam of


p lea sure shone in his eyes .


It s not bad

he declared though I say it
, , .

Dr Hailey allowed his eyeglass to drop from his


.

eye .

And t hat he exclaimed , Is the lady whom

Featherst one ha s p ain ted lIke t he cov er of a


magazine .

His v oice was gen t le Nev er thel ess A laister .


,

st iffened at the sound of i t .


So you ve seen F eath erstone s por trai t have you
’ ’

,

he asked huskily My model told me she was S i tt ing
.


for him He flung the sheet back o v er the statue


.

and walked into his lounge Fea therstone s always ’


.

p rating about women bu t he can t paint em for ,


' ’

toffee .

55
RED S CA R
Biles ap peared in the door of the wor kroom .


What is the name of your m odel he asked If .

she has been sitting for Feath erstone it s j ust possib le ’

that she ma y know somethin g abou t his mo ve .

ments .

There was a momen t of S ilence Then A laister s .


pipe clattered on the brick s of the hear th He stooped .

down to pick it up .


E cho Wildermere .

And her address ?


Holly Tree H ill Numbe r three , .

Biles returned to the fireplace and sat down He .

told A laister abou t the assau lt on Lionel Leylan d


and about hi s dis cov ery of the wal king stick in -

Raoul s studio

.


I know it s a delicate ques t ion he said bu t

, ,

can you t ell me if Leyland had an y real reason to be


j ealous of Featherstone ?
How the devil S hould I kn ow ?
A la ister flushed and a hea vy scowl ga thered on his
brow .


D o you suggest he sn eered tha t it was Lionel
, ,

who carried Featherstone awa y from here



C ertainl y not Biles 3 v oice crackled like dry
.
'


lea v es . O n the o ther hand it seems obvio us t ha t
Maj or L eyland did give Fea therstone a thr ashing
earlier in the night and it is j ust possible that he
,

also wounded him a t the same time .


Rot . A laister j ump ed up an d towered o v er the
"
detectiv e .L ionel L eyland is incapable of drawing

a knife on an ybody Incapable I tell you . He , .

drew his hand across his brow an d a vacant look came



into his eyes . I won t deny t hat he very likely


thrashed him he added, L ionel liv es by a code
.
,

56
A TE LEPH O NE CA LL
and thrashing men who meddle wi th o ther men s '


wives is an item in that code of his .

Biles rose and held ou t his hand .

“ ”
Thank you Mr Dia rmid
, . . He t urned to Dr .

Hailey.


I think tha t be fore we re t urn to t own we ough t
to call on Miss Wildermere he remarked
, .

A laister accompanied the two men to his gate .

Then he strode back to his lounge and snatched up


the t elephone .

Is that you Echo ?


,
Look here old girl as
, ,

a favour to me dress yourself thi s momen t and come


,

down here . N o I can t explain


,

. Don t ’

lose a minu te .

57
C HA PTER X

A "
UE STI ON OF E V IDE N CE

A LA ISTE R walking in hi s garden when Echo


was
arrived He told her what had happ ened and wh y
.
,

he had summoned her :


I couldn t avoid giving them your name he

,

explain ed . T o have refu sed or given a fal se name
would have been asking for it But I was determin ed .

that they shouldn t cross-q ues tion you The Inspector



.

from Scotland Yard seemed harmless enough but I ,

didn t feel nearly so co mfortable about the doctor



.

He was watching Echo as he S poke He saw a look .

of bewildermen t come in t o her ey es Sh e ca ught at .

his sleeve .

What do you mean A laister She deman ded


, .

Why sho uldn t I see th ese men ?



Because because there s going to be troub le ’

ab out this b usin ess


That is not wha t you mean The girl t ook a .


st ep away from him and faced him If you t old the .

t ruth you would say th at you su spec t me of having


wounded Raoul last night I know tha t you suspect
.


me .

He didn t reply for a moment then he sa id



If you tell me you didn t I shall believ e you ’
.

But not stop taking precautions for my safety


A l a ister drew a deep brea th .

58
A " UE S TI O N O F EVIDEN C E
"
My God girl he cried can t you see how it
, , ,

is They ask me to believe tha t L ionel L eyland drew


that knife an d I kn ow in my s oul that the fellow s
,

incapable absolutely and utterly incapable of doing


, ,

an ything of the sort It s j ust possible tha t Phyllis ’


.

may have come to the studio las t night Bu t no " .

Phylli s nev er did i t There s only your self left And .



.

you were bleeding ba tt ered He , .

caught his brea th .


Well
No I ll leave i t a t t ha t
.
'
.


I didn t wound R aoul ’
.

Very well you didn t N ow li st en to me I t old


,

. .

the Scotland Y ard man that I found Raoul by m y self .

That I was alone when I found him I said I was .

walking in the garden and though t I heard somebody


moving about among t he bushes That was my .

reason for going to the s t udio If they question you .

— an d they re bound to ques tion you sooner or la t er


— don t giv e me the lie b y telling them what reall y


happen ed You know no thing absolu t ely no thing


.
, ,

remember about R aoul s mov ements


,

.

Echo flushed and he saw tears start to her eyes .

“ ” “
I t is terrible sh e cried to be disbelieved as
, ,

y ou disbelieve me T o be suspected She


.

raised her hand in a swift gesture of repudia t ion N 0 .


,

don t try to explain please Your statue is enough


, .
,

by it self to discount any exp lanation you can poss ibly


,


make That tells what you really thi nk of me
. .

A laister frowned but did no t Speak He led the .

way to t he ho use He fi lled his pi p e and li t i t be fore


.

he a t tempted to resume the conversation .

“ ”
It s a question he remarked at last of ev iden ce

, ,
.

I f the p olice learn tha t you were wi th Raoul they ll ’

59
RED S CA R
na turall y suspec t you I can t endure that you ’

should be suspect ed .


Why not
I told you yesterday .

A laister Spok e quietly without embarra ssment , ,

as if he were stating the most commonplace fact .

Bu t the g irl s t arted at his words .


If you reall y cared for me she cried you , ,


woul d trus t me .


I t doesn t follow

He came and stood bes ide her .


What I think and what I feel he said are , ,

quite different My brain is always cold


. .

He Spoke earn es tly Echo felt her resentment .

ebbing awa y She was conscio us of a wi sh to con


.

vince him tha t what She had told h im was


t rue .

“ “
Why should I wound Raoul ? she asked Im .

engaged to him .

I don t know

He hesita t ed a moment
. What .

L ionel Leylan d t old you in this room yesterday


must have upset you a great deal I should imagine , .

I believe you resent more than most women be ing


made an obj ect of pity I am p utting the case as .


Sco tland Yard might look at it .

Echo flushed and then paled .


- Oh Raoul told me the tru th about Phyl
,

M rs Leyland I know she s your cousin but I think ’


. . , ,

all the same t hat she s be haved abominably



.
,

The last word was S poken explosively A la ister s .


eyes narrowed but he made no comment He watched


, .

Echo turning her engagement ring roun d and round


on her finger The diamonds gleamed angrily at
.

each turn She pulled the ring down nearly to the


.

60
C H A PTER XI

T HE B L UE STO PPER

M I SS W I L DERMERE
Dr Hailey bowed as he as ked the question He
. .

stood filling the doorwa y wh ile Kennedy held the


, ,

door open for him Then he advanced a few p aces


.

into the room .


I permitted my sel f to hOpe he stated tha t I , ,

shou ld find you here .

You mean tha t Mrs Wildermere t old y ou Echo



.

had come here A laister broke In ,



.


No as i t happens Mrs Wildermere didn t
,
.

kn ow where Miss Wildermere had gone .

The doctor s v oice maintained i t s pleasan t tone


though i t was e v ident that he resen t ed



A la ister s rudeness My informa t ion such as

.
,

it was came a s possibl y you ma y recollect


, ,

from you rself .


What A laister thrus t hi s head forward defiantly
I never told you Miss W ildermere was coming
here .


O f cour se no t You dropped y our pipe howev er
.
, ,

when I nspector Biles as ked you for her name an d


address .

There was a no t e of aspe ri ty now in Dr Hailey s .


v oi ce He turned to Echo
. .


I take it t hat Mr D iarrnid S poke to y ou on the .

62
THE B L UE S T O PPER

telephone a s soon a s Insp ector Biles and I left


house

Yes .

A laister indicated a Chair and the doctor

My reason for t elephoning to Miss Wildermere ,

A l aister said wa s that I knew sh e would be greatly


,

upse t b y your v isi t I wanted t o break the news


.

of wha t has occurred to her before your friend Inspector ,

Biles had an Opp ortunity of distressing her wi th


,


his question s .

He cramm ed some t obacco into his p ipe and began


t o light it He watched the large genial face of Dr
. .

Hailey bu t could detec t nothin g of the man s thoughts ’


.

A sense of helplessness which he had not b efore ,

experienced a ss ailed him


, .


I observ e Dr Hailey said to Echo tha t you
, .
,

are engaged to be married Miss W ildermere



, .

Echo s t arted sligh tly and glanced at her left hand .

She saw the mark on her ring fin ger which her new ,

engagement ring had imprinted She assen t ed . .


A nd yet you do no t wear your engagemen t
ring

It wa s hur t in g me .

Dr Hailey s ey es narrowed Th e reply he rec og


.
'
.
,

nize d was as adroi t a s his ques t ion


, .


You will pardon me he said bu t I glanced , ,

a t y our hand beca use i t had occurred to me that you



might be engaged t o Mr Diarmid . .

A laister flung the lighted match he was holdin g


into the fireplace .


Wha t are you dri v ing at he demanded in tones
t he ea peration of which he did not even try to
.

disgui se .

63
RED S CA R
Dr Hailey fixed hi s eyeglass
. and tu rned to fa ce
A laister .


It occurr ed to me as an al t erna t ive idea he , ,


sta t ed that Miss Wildermere might p o ss ibly b e
,


engaged to Mr Raoul Featherstone . .

She is no t engaged to Featherstone .

Al aister got up His hands were clenche d and his


.
,

hair seemed t o bristle He pu t up one of his hands .

and t ugged a t his collar .


May I ask what difference i t wo uld make anyhow
if she was engaged to Feather stone he demanded
huskil y .

T he d oc t or s ey eglass fell His figure stiffened a


'
.

li t tle .

“ “
There is no reason he said why I should , ,

no t be perfectly frank with you If Miss Wildermere .

had been engaged to Raoul Featherstone she would


necessarily have foun d herself last night in a very
embarrassing p osition when Maj or Lionel
Leylan d thrashed her fiance for making love to his
wife I conceive rightly or wrongly that in such
.
, ,

circu mstances a girl of Spiri t might very easily


,

forget her di scretion or even lose her self restrain t


,
-
.

You have shown in tha t s t atue of yours I think , ,

that Miss Wildermere is emphatically a girl of


Spiri t
Dr Hailey pau sed He saw the muscles in A laister s
. .

face grow tense as i f the man was putting forth all


,

his powers of control .

I see A laister cried He t ook a step nearer


, .

to the doctor and bent over him Your reasoning


a
.

is admirable excellent But there is


, fl aw in i t . .

A fatal flaw Miss Wildermere I ma y as well tell


.
,

you is engaged t o mysel f
, .

64
THE B L UE S T O PPE R
He put his hand into his pocket and t oo k from
i t Rao u l s engagement ring The diamonds glowed in

.

the light of morning He came to Echo and pu t the


.

ring on her finger He added .


So you see Miss Wildermere has no cause to feel

j ealous of Phyllis Leyland or of anybody else .

Dr Hailey rose A S mile broke on his expansive


. .

face .
0

Will you allow me my dear sir my dear Miss
, ,


Wildermere he requested to be among the first
, ,

to congratula t e you
When he left A laister s house Dr Hailey walk ed ’
.

down Frognal L ane to La ngland Gardens The day .

was warm for O ctober and he stood a moment to


enj o y the lovely colouring of the autumn foliage .

N o won der Hampstead people boasted about their


'

gardens an d lan es No wonder generations of artists


.

an d poe ts had made this place their home He con .

tin u ed h is walk slowly "after a few min utes a look


of perplexity came into his eyes If what he had .

j ust heard was true then either L ionel Leyland or


,

Phyllis had inflicted the woun d and yet already in , ,

his own mind he had decided against both of them


, .

It was certainly true as A la ister had pointed ou t to


,

Biles that Leyland was a man with a code of honour


,

which forbade the u se of the knife in any circumstanc es .

It was not less true that Phyllis lacked those qualities


of resolution which Raoul s assailant must almost ’

certainly have possess ed The fact that She and Echo


.

were so like one an other in deed revealed t he full


L
exten t of her weakness by emphasizing it .

The doctor s eyes narrowed It was strange tha t



.

A laister should have himself proclaimed those very


traits in Echo s character which now he seemed so

65
RED S CA R
anxious to di sco unt His statue told the tru th abou t
.

the girl as only genius can tell the truth His statue .


was cast in the primitive mo uld woman with her
p assi ons glowing in her face Was it conceivable .

tha t su ch a girl co uld be Rao ul Fea therstone s model ’

without bec oming personally int erest ed in Raou l


Featherstone
Dr Hailey reached the s t udio and was informed
.

by the policeman on du t y there that no trace of


Featherstone had been found .

“ ”
The Inspector the man said told me a few
, ,

minut es ago t hat e s beg inning to doubt Mr Diarmid s


’ ’
. .

word . If we don t ear someth in pretty s oon e


’ ' ’

told me orders will be gi v en t o dig up Mr D iarrmd s


, .
'


garden .

That prospect seemed to afford the policeman


great satisfaction It was obvious tha t he had no
.

faith in A laister s story and was convinced that


Raoul had been murdered Dr Hailey entered the . .

studio and scrutinized the rack of kn ives on the wall .

All the knives were within e asy reach of a woman s ’

hand " the missing kn ife had been the most con
v enien tly placed of the series He stood in fron t .

of the fireplace , facing the door and fo und that in ,

t his positi on he c o uld snatch a knife from the ra ck


wi thou t the slightest difficult y .

The kn ives were of the same p a tt ern : imi ta t ion


anti que unwhe tted
, B ut the p oin ts of the long
.

b lades were sha rp eno ugh His glance fell to the .

b loodst ain on the floor Raoul had fallen apparen tl y


.

where he was s truck The b low m ust have been an


.

exceedingly s e v ere one therefore or e lse the fellow


, ,

was already in a weak sta t e when he sustained i t


p ossibly t he result of the thra shing he had
66
THE B LUE ST O PPE R
receiv ed Suppose however tha t this blood was
.
, ,

not Raoul s but Lionel Leyland s L ionel Leylan d


’ ’
.

had v ery likely fallen when he was struck and the


wound in his scalp must hav e bled freely a t least ,

during the first few minutes Dr Hailey scanned the . .

floor with eager eyes There were no other stains.

upon it He raise d his eyes t o t he walls He s trode


. .

to the door and focused his eyeglass on the p an el


immediately adj oining it Imprin ted on the wood .

work were the marks of bloody fingers ou t spread , ,

as if seeking support .

So L ionel Leylan d had not fallen With those .

im prints be fore one it was possible to see Leyland


pressing his hand to his hea d and s t aggering t owards
the door and then stretching ou t his hands t o sav e
,

himself from collapse .

It could be said with a b solute assurance that ,

after he received the blow on his head Leylan d was ,

incapable of woun ding anybody .

It could also be sa id that Raoul Fea therst one ,

after he was wounded was incapable of striking the ,

blow which Leyland had rece ived Raoul had been .

wounded therefore after L eyland went away The .

doctor walked to the fireplace and picked up the


poker He held the poin t of the poker up close under
.
,

one of the electri c lamps A dhering t o the poin t of


.

the poker were a number of small hairs clot t ed ,

t ogether with blood .

Dr Hailey laid the poker back in i t s place and


.

turned hi s attention to the bloodstains on th e floor .

He had no doubt now tha t this was Raou l s blood ’

nor could there b e any doubt that an effort had been


made to wash the stain away Was this attempt to .

remove the traces Of blood the real reason for A laister s ’

67
RED S CA R
return to the studio after he had carried Rao u l over
to his own house But in that case A l aister must hav e
intended at first to o ffer an expla nation of the tragedy
d ifferent from the expl an a t ion which in the end he , ,

had o ffered The explanation which he had offered


.

re quired no washing awa y of the bl oodstains .

The doctor took a pinch of snuff There were only .

two possible reasons why A la ister should wish to


hide the fact that R aou l had been wounded he m igh t ,

himself have inflicted the woun d or he might ha v e


,

known that someone whom he desired to Shield had , ,

inflicted the wound His behaviour about Echo


.

pointed to the latter as bein g the true reason unless , ,

indeed Echo had been a mere witness of the attack


,

on Rao u l O ne thing seemed clear : neither A laister


.

nor Echo had b een present when L ionel Leyland


thrashed Raoul for had either of them been present
,

Leyland would scarcely hav e been allowed to go


staggering unsupported across the room after
, ,

Raoul struck him as the imprint of his bloody,

fingers on the panelling showed that he had done .

Dr Hailey started slightly There was Phyllis


. .

Leylan d al so to be fi tted into the picture Sin ce she knew .

that her husband was going t o thrash Raoul she had ,

in all probability visited her lover either to warn


,

him or to p rotect him Suppose that sh e had come.

after her husband went away and had fo und Echo


in the study with Raoul A woman whose nerv es .

were so fiercely wrough t upon as Phyllis s nerves ’

mus t hav e been would be greatly t empted in such


, ,

Circumstances to expo se her fai thl ess lov er to the


,

woman whom as she migh t suspec t had t urned his


, ,

head . And women always believe one ano th er


abou t these matters .

68
C H APTER XII

A TON IC

T HE stopper wa s broken .

Dr Hailey glanced a bo u t him to see i f he could


.

fin d the pi ece wh ich had been broken off A fter a .

few minu t es he di s co v ered it lying against t he wall


,

O pposite the fireplace He fi t ted the one bit o f gla ss


.

to the other The stop per ev iden tl y had been thrown


.

d own forcibly on the fl oor and smashed The smaller .

fragmen t had trav elled f art her than the larger frag
ment .

He made a careful search of the room but could not


discover the bo t tle t o which the stopper belonged .

The stopper was a large size much larger than those


,

fitted to linament bot tles or bo t tle s of antisepti cs .

What had Raoul b een doing with so much p oison


An d where had the poison di sappeared t o
Dr Hailey pu t the fra gments of glass into his p o cket
. .

He glanced at his watch It was ten o clock He left


.

.

the studio and walked down to Finchley Road He .

got a cab there and told the dri ver to take hi m to


4 oy C urzon Stree t Dudley Ti tling received him a t
.

the door of the ho use and conduc t ed him into L ionel


L eyl an d s study

.


Doctor says thing s are goin on as well as can be ’


expected the little mandeclared
, He 3 ou t of danger.

now an d all tha t sort of thing Poor Phy llis tho ugh 3 ’
.


A T O NI C
played out Man from Scotland Yard damned rude to
.

her don t you t hink


,


He has his du t y to perform I m afraid ,

.

Dr Ha iley s tones were unenthusiastic D u dley


.

.

Titling however did not seem to notice that fact


, ,
.

He was smoking a cigarette and had wetted t he end


of it so that it woul d no longer draw He flu ng it .

t estily into the fireplace .


C an t help feelin sorry he st ated tha t Phyllis
’ ’

, ,

didn t tell the detective everything Should have



.

told him everyt hin g myself because d ye see nothing ,



whatev er to hi de Nothing Absolutely He adopted . . .


a confidenti al air F act is my dear Hailey Lionel s
.
, ,

victim of delu sions Most shockin d ye see Got .


,

.

idea in his head Phyllis s in love with an ar t ist ’

man c al led Featherstone Be tween you and me . ,

haystack and all that sort of thing Feathers t one s ,


fella Lionel promi sed t o thra sh



.

He rubbed his small hands together but without


cheerfulness .


Phyllis came to me Spent the whol e .

evening together yet never a word about what had ,

happened O nly heard the truth when this affair


.

began Phyllis s soul of loyalt y d ye see Won t


.

,

.


hear a syllable a gains t Lionel .

Dr Hailey had made no S ign when Raoul Feather


.

stone s name was men t ioned He decided no t to t ell


Du dl ey Titling about the events at Hamps t ead ,

b ecause Biles had S poken of the importance of k eeping


the news ou t of the papers until the police had com
pleted their investiga t ions .

D o you supp ose he as ked that Maj or L eyl a



nd fu l, ,

filled his threa t to thrash this man Featherstone ? .


Not a doubt Lionel s the kind of fella .
’ ’

7I
RED S CA R
v
always fulfils his threats Man wi th a ramrod plum .

thro ugh his soul Titling Opened his cigarette ca se


.
-

wi th a j erk and S pilled its contents He hOpped about .

the fl oor collecting the cigarettes Between ourselves . ,

can t help th inkin Lionel may have got his wo und


’ ’

from Fea therstone Remember a fella a t Aldershot.


once who walked ten miles wi th a cracked


sku ll .

Dr Ha iley took a pinch of snuff


. .


Mrs Leyland didn t communica te with Feather
.


stone did she during the evening ? he inquired
, , .

“ "
I mean to warn him of his danger
, .


May have done Didn t tell me any thing about it
.

.

Telephone in every room in m y hou se Poor Phyll is .

terribly cu t up "went to b ed after dinner Nine .

o clock

.

Dudley Titling shut hi s cigare tt e case and crammed -

it into his pocket He snatch ed a big silk handker


.


chief from hi s pocke t and dabbed a t h is brow NO .

thi ng between Phylli s and Featherstone Nothing . .

Absolutely Met him somewhere dance tha t sort of


.
, ,

t hing .

He broke off The sugges t ion of imp ishn ess which


.

h is features usually conveyed was wholly lost .

Anxiety rolled in his eyes Dr Hailey left him and . .

ascended the stairs to Lionel Leyland s bedroo m ’


.

Dr Lomond had gone away bu t the nurse was st ill


.

on duty She reported that her pati ent had been


.

sleeping peacefully for several hours .


What about his breathing the doct or asked .

Like a child Quiet and regular . .

In that case he ll probably reco v er consciousness


almost i mmediat ely I should l ike to b e informed .


when he recovers consciousness .

72
A TON I C
Dr Hailey fel t t he p atient s pulse and then laid his
.

hand on his brow .


Keep a sharp look ou t he warned because ,
'

once conscious ness re t urns he will be apt to be trouble


some These cases pass through a kind of t wilight
.
'

st age in which almost any thing may happen .

He quitted t he room and desc ended the s t airs .

Du dl e y Titling had seated himself in an arm c hair -

and seemed to be grea tly exhausted He scarcely .

t roubled to inquire how the doctor had found hi s


.

patient .


Feel devil ish queer Hailey he said Swimming , , .

about the head and that sor t of thing Been told I ve .


got a heart and begin to believe it O ld man Ander son .

said I might dr0p in my tra cks one of t he s e days .

He grinn ed uneasily Suppose you co uldn t .


suggest some sort of a pick me u p - -

Dr Hailey felt the little man s pulse


. I t was '
.

rather weak but quite regular .

“’
I ll give you a tonic if yo u like he said I can , .


call at a Chemist s now and tell him to send it to you ?

Oh no If you leave t he prescr iption I ll send


, .

ou t for it Dudley Titling ind i cated the writi ng


.


table with a j erk of his arm You ll find notepaper ’


in one of the drawers .

Dr Hail ey sat down a t t he table He unscrewed


. .

the cap of his fountain— pen and laid the pen on the
desk in front of him Then he opened the top drawer . .

His h an d which was stretched ou t to t ake a sheet


,

of notepaper stiffened Then the fingers tightened


, .

on the pa lm Lying in the drawer on the top of the


.
,

pile of notepaper which a lmos t filled it was a kn ife ,

of the sa me pattern as the kni v es in Raoul Feather

st one s studi o

.

3
RED S CA R
Dr . Hailey glanced over his shoulder at Dudle y
Ti tling The lit tle man seemed to be absorbed in
.

his own troubles and was not lookin g at him He lifted .

the knife ou t o f the drawer with a q uick gest ure and


laid it on the desk in front of him .

The long blade was heavil y stained He glanced .

at the paper on which it had been lying There was .

no stain on the p a per He exam ined the stain wi th his


.

g lass and then hurriedl y slipped the knife back in


t he drawer .

He turned again Dudley Titling was leaning


.

forward in his chair gaz ing at hi m wi th strain ed


attention He wrote his pres cription and checked
.
'

each i t em of it with his u su al care Then he folde d .

it and placed it in an envelope He seal ed the en v elope .

and pressed the gu mmed edge down fi rmly .

He rose from the desk and handed his p resc ri pt io n


to Du dl ey Titling .


IS your da ugh t er in the ho us e he asked .

She s Sleep in I believe


’ ’

, .


I m par t icularly anxious to sp ea k to her Wi th
'
.

y our consent I shall ring and ask her maid to fin d ou t


if she is reall y asleep .

Dr Haile y spo k e in gentle t ones bu t some thing


. ,

in his t ones seemed nev ert heless to alarm his com


, ,

panion .


My dear Hailey the li ttle man cried do p lea se
, ,

have mercy on poor Ph yllis This shockin strains .



enough to unhing e her min d M ust get rest d ye see .
,

.

The d octor thought a momen t Then he said .


I have some reason to thin k tha t your da ught er s ’

relations with this artis t Fea thers t one may ha v e


, ,

been more intima t e than you sup pose I mean .

He t ook a quick step forward and caugh t D u dk y


74
A TON I C
Titling b y the shoulders j ust a s the li t tle man wa s '

about to fall ou t of hi s chair He support ed him for .

a moment and then laid him back in the cha ir He .

took a small bottle of smelling salts from his pocke t ‘

and held the bottle under the little man s n ose ’


.

Du dl ey Titling breathed deeply but the dusky


hue of his cheeks remained u ninflu enced by this effort .

His head had sunk down on his chest it rolled a little


to one S ide A look of alarm appeared on Dr Hailey s ’
. .

face In j ust this fashion as he knew t he v ictims of


.
, ,

certain diseases of the hear t often end their lives .

But t he faintness pa ss ed as quickly as it had come .

Dudley Titling Opened his eyes and gazed vacantly


about him
I feel terribly ill .

His body s tiffened and then relaxed again His .

breathing became normal and he regained a little of


his habitual alertness .

Another of my beastly attack s eh he remarked , .

Dr Hailey took his stethoscope from his pocket


.

and listened to his heart Then he put the stethoscope .

away again .


Rest for a few minutes he orde red in tones which ,

were grave in S pite of his desire to make them reassu r


Ing .

Dudley Titling howev er sa t up in the chair He


, , .

rubbed his small nea t hands toge ther .


It s nothing ’
nothing he mu tt ered Or ,
.

else it s a dev ili sh deal Goodness knows which and



. ,

anyhow what s it matter ’


O nly got Phyllis

to t h ink about now He put ou t his hand suddenly
.

an d caught at Dr Hailey s arm He raised his queer ’


. .

wizened little face to the man who had been his


schoolfellow .

75
RED S CA R
Hailey ,
man he exclaim ed
old I want to
, .

t ell you abou t Phyllis What she s .


b een to me mean t to me all that sort


of thing . And I can t C an t d ye see ’
.

,

.

He caugh t his brea th in a kind of sob that was als o



a kin d of laugh N ev er could t al k tha t sor t of s t uff
. .

Al ways wan ted to Damned hard luck don t you


. ,

think
The doctor did not reply He lowered his gaze .

t ha t he migh t not see the t ears in Dudley Tit ling s ’

eyes He t old hirnself tha t ev eryone tends to be


.

emo t ional after a fainting attack and t hen t ha t this ,

man had b een fore or dained to sentimentalize over


-

son or dau gh t er But there had been a quali ty in


.

Dudley Titling s voice never the less when he Spoke


'

, ,

a bou t Phyllis which had thrilled him For an insta n t


, .

the fa ct tha t he him self was childles s rose stark in


Dr Hailey s mind
.

.

He pu t the tho ught awa y and s crewed his eyeglass


int o hi s e ye .


You m us t not suppose he said gen t l y that I
, ,

am trying in any way to at t ach blame to your daughter .

I am quite sure that were she here she wo uld se t an y


, ,

doubts I ma y ent er t ain fina lly a t res t .

A step sounded behind him He turn ed to .

Phyllis app roac hing from the doo rway .


RED S CA R

blurted out a t las t L ionel had real cau se to b e
.

j ealous
.

Nonsen se Nonsense Dudley .

Titling had half risen from his Chair The dusky


-
.

colour was ret u rning to hi s fa ce Dr Hailey made . .

a s ign to Phyllis t o desist Bu t the girl was too over .

wrought t o ob serve i t .


I think t he do c tor said that when trouble C omes
, ,

we are all if we are a v erag el y decen t folk ap t t o


, ,

exaggerate any faul ts we may ha v e committ ed .

Perhaps most of us are inclined to at tach too much


importance to o u r own share in anyt h ing which
happens around u s .

He t ook ou t his snuff box He saw tha t Dudley -


.

Titling s muscles had relaxed again and t ha t the


little man was brea th ing easily once more .


My own e xp erience he added sp eaking t o
, ,

Phyllis has been tha t i t i s never very wi se t o indulge
,


in confessions .


I am not indulging in a c onfess ion I only wish you .

t o kn ow that L ionel had cause to b e j ealo u s Until .

un t il yesterday I thought I was in love


with somebody e lse I told Lionel I was
goi ng to lea v e him .

She broke off She rose t o her fee t


. .

So if L ionel did use violence she added he , ,

had provocation great pro v ocation .

Phyllis s face was flushed and her big blue eyes


gleamed softly Dr Hail ey felt an impul se to assure


. .

her that she had no cau se for anx iety Then the .

picture of the bloods tained knife lying in the drawer


behind him ros e in his mind He glanced again .

at Dudle y Ti tling T o his surprise the impish little


.

fa ce had reco vered s ome of i ts nativ e Sprigh tliness .

78
L I KE VERM IN

I also Dudley Titling s aid hav e a con fession
, ,

to make T o you Hailey no t t o the p o


. liceman , , ,

d ye see Fa ct I S I v isi t ed Lionel myself l ast night



.

Felt a bit
.

minute or two before midnight .

frightened d ye see Phyllis leav in her home and


,

.

that sort of thing knowin L ionel had hea t


stroke India and that sor t of thing L ight


'

.
, ,

in L ionel s window when I got to the door



.

Knocked on the window Lionel Opened the .

door
He br o
.

ke off He wr iggled forward in his .

chair .

L ionel shock in st a t e of e x ci t ement Eyes



.

rollin ’
face twitchin grind in his ’ ’

tee th too shouted ou t : Damn you what d ye ‘

,

want you lit tl e devil Walked away from me into


, .

this room Walked up and down mu tterin


.


Featherstone s a mu rderer S t opped Pressed

.
D
.

his hands to his head Glared at me with his ro ll in .


ey es . Man who st eals another m an s wife is


‘ ’

a murderer O ught to be killed li ke vermin


. .

Duty of ev ery decent m an to kill h im C aught my .


shoul ders af t er he said tha t and shook me Kept on .

saying O ught to b e killed like vermin as


,

if I was disagreein wi th him Phyllis dear ’


. ,

what s wrong’

The li t tle man j umped t o his fee t and came t o his


daugh ter s s ide Phyllis had grown v ery pale He

. .

p ut his arm round her S ho ulders .


I m so sorry

he exclaimed bu t it s all ,

right now clear O nly the blow on h s head of course


,
i
. , .

Didn t know wha t he w as saying


Phyll is covered her face with her hands and remained


for a few moments bent forward while her father ,

79
RED S CA R
con tinued to a dminis t er comfort t o her .

began to weep bitterly .

There was a knock a t the doo r Lione


.

nurse entered the room .

“ ”
Please doc t or she said will y ou co
, , ,


ag ain M aj or Leyland is conscio us now
. .
C HA PTER XI V

T HE "
U E ST I ON S OF DR . H AI LE Y
D R H AI L EY
. moun t ed the stairs Slowly He stop ped .

half-way up the stairs and stood a moment with his


eyes fixed vacantly on the b ig stained glass w indow -

which ligh t ed the s taircase The police he remembered . , ,

had entered the ho use an d di scovered L ionel L eyland


be ca use the front door of the house was standing
aj ar Was it Dudley Titlin who had left the door
.
g

Op en If so then the little man must have gone away


,

in a grea t hurry and as silently as possible , That .

suggested that Leylan d had collapsed wh ile Du dley


Titling was with him It suggested too a sense of . , ,

gu ilt in Dudley Titling s min d A man especially ’


.
,

a father in law whose conscience was clear would


- -
,

certa inly m such circumstances have summoned a


, ,

doctor and roused the hou sehold .

Why had the little man left his son in law to his - -

fate Why had he come at that la te hour t o hi s son , ,

in law s ho use

-

The doctor resu med hi s ascen t of the stairs A s he .

Opened the door of the sick room L ionel Leyland sat -

up in bed The next moment he j umped out of bed


. .

He stood gl aring at the doctor wi th clenc hed fists ,

and expanded nostrils .


Wh o are you
Dr Hailey walked t o him and laid a hand on his
.

shoulder .

81
RED S CA R
Ge t b ack to bed there s a good fellow he said ,

, .

You ve been ill you know


, .

Leyland s eyes became vacan t as though he was


trying to remember some thing He allowed himself .

to b e conducted bac k t o bed Bu t he refu sed to lie .

down in t he bed His hands moved rest lessly ov er .

the coun t erpane .


I m going to thrash you he mut tered be t ween


his clenched teeth to rib bons , .

He leaned forward and raised hi s right arm His .

brea th hissed Then he became limp and fell bac k on


.

the pillows Dr Haile y sat down beside him and put


. .

his hand on his brow .


Please don t t al k ’

Leyland clo sed h is eyes Bu t he Opened them again .

a momen t la t er He asked where he was Then he. .

mentioned Raoul Featherstone s name ’


.


I Shall giv e him a t hrashing he declared as , ,

soon a s I can walk Again he s a t up You are a . .

doc tor aren t you


,

Yes .


Listen I had a wife once whom I loved She was
. .

a good girl v ery gentle and very kind But a man


, .

s tole her from me Leyland nodded his hea d slowly


.
,

with emphasis He stole her by preten ding tha t he


.

needed he r more t han I needed her She told me She .

was going to lea ve me to go to h im I con sented to ,


.

let her go .

He rai sed his head an d faced the doctor .


Then I met a girl in Ha mpstead who said she was
e ngaged to be married to the man who had stolen my

Leyland s eyes b egan to stare again



. He grasped
Dr Hailey s wrist
.

.

82
THE "
UE S TI O N S O F DR . H A I LE Y

I told Echo Wildermere the tru th about Raoul
” “
Featherstone he cried though A laister tried to
, ,

preven t me from tell ing her And when I got home


I told Phyllis the truth .

The door of the room Opened Phyllis entered the .

room and came s ilen tly t o her husband s side She ’


.

Spoke his name in trembling accents A t the sound of .

her voice Lionel L eyland started v iolently He t u rned .

towards her .


Go away he cried
, Go awa y before I hur t .

you .


Please L ionel forgiv e me , The girl .

stretched out her hands in wha t seemed to be an


agony of remorse .


Go away Go to your lo v er or go to the ,

devil . L eyland caught his breath My .

God if you don t go awa y I ll kill you


,
’ ’
.

He clutched at the bedclothes and s t ruggled t o rise ,

but Dr Hailey held him in a strong grasp The nurse


. .

came between Phyllis and her husband and then led ,

PhylliS out of the room When the door closed behind


.

his wife L eyland s head sank on h is breast



.

“ ”
Horrible horrible he moaned , .

His hands still clutched t he sheets his knuc kles ,

Dr Hailey observ ed were blanched In this mood


.
, .

he was certainly capable of any thing The doc t or .

deliberated whether or no t t o ask him if he knew how


he had been wounded He decided not to ask him . .

It was obvious that Leyland s mind was still engaged ’

with the events which had preceded his visit to Raoul


Fea t hers t one s studio A s so often happened t o the

.

vic tims of head inj u ries the circumstances in which ,

the inj ury had been sus t ained were blot t ed out of
h is memory .

83
RED S CA R
Dr Hailey waited un t il his patien t had calmw
.

down su fficiently to con sent to t ake a sleep ing dra u gh t .

Then he left the house and called a cab He t old th e .

driver to take him back to Hampstead When the .

v ehicle started he lay back an d closed his eyes .

The cab stopped at the end of the private road


leading to A laister s gate Dr Hailey paid the

. .
.

driver and then walked slowly towards the gate .

Kennedy Opened the door in answer to hi s ring .

He announced t ha t his master was bus y casti ng a


st atue and could not see anybody un til tha t op eration
was complete
Tell him will you tha t I will wai t for him in
, , .

the garden .

The doctor turned away from the door A t the same .

momen t A laister came out of his lounge into the li ttl e


"
Come in he cried I m practically finished
, ,

.

A la ister wore a big apron which was plent ift


Splashed with plaster of paris His hair was also .

Splashed with plaster as if he had thrus t his han d


,

through it wh ile engaged on his task He led D r . .

Hailey into his lounge and told him to sit down .

Then he went into h is workroom and Shu t the door .

He emerged from the workroom a few minutes la t er


and again closed the door He was no longer wearing .

his apron .


Well he demanded u ngracio usly
, ha ve you ,

found Featherstone
Dr Hailey shook his head He ha d come to probe
. .

fu rther A laister s relations wi th Echo Wildermere


and he was considering how best to approach tha t


subj ect .


I hav e rea son t o believe he said at las t that , , ,

84
RED S CA R
Th e doctor watched again for even the sl ightest
S ign of relief on the p art o f his companion There .

was no S ign A laister it was certain believed that


. , ,

E cho Wildermere had s t ruck t he blow He must .


,

Dr Hailey concluded have good even overwhelming


. , , ,

reasons for his belief for no thi ng bu t the strongest


,

rea sons co uld sus t ain in a mind such as his ideas


, ,

against which clearl y e v er y inst inc t of his being


revol t ed Had he ac t ually seen Echo then wi th the
.

knife in her h an d The doctor deliberated a moment


and then t old him Wha t Lionel Leyland had said about
Echo s engag emen t t o Rao ul Fea thers t one

He .

added :

L eyland declared tha t you tried to p rev ent him
from telling Mi ss Wildermere abou t Feathers t one s ’


rela t ions wi th his wife .

A laister had risen and seemed to be groping


on t he man t elpiece for ma t ches to l igh t hi s pipe ,

which he had p la c ed bowl down wards in his


mou th .


By your own Showing Leyland is delirious he ,

growled .What s the u se o f bo thering about any thi ng

h e may sa y

Ev en a delirious man wo ul d scarcely inven t a
story of tha t kind I think , I m puz zled . If ’
.

wha t Leyland has told me is t rue then you di d


y our best to prevent Miss Wildermere from hearing
an ything against Featherstone A nd yet you say that .

Miss Wildermere is engaged to yourself Why if she .


,

is engaged to you Should you care wha t she hears


,

about thi s o ther man


A lai ster did not reply He lit his pipe an d surrounded
.

h imself wi th smoke The doc t or finished pol ishing


.

his eyeglass and set it in his eye .

86
THE " UE STI O N S O F DR . H A I LE Y
My own reading of the case is that Miss Wildermere
is not eng aged t o y ou She is engaged to Feathers t one
. .

But you are in love wi t h her That if I may say so .


, ,

is the only theory which fits the facts Lov e in this .

case however is clearly not blind


, , .

There was a menacmg rIng in the last Words which


caused A laister s j aws to tigh ten’
.

“ ”
I don t follow you he snarled

, .

I Shall explain myself Yesterday apparen tly .


, ,

you rec eived a v isit from L ionel Leyland who came t o


t ell you that his wife your cousin Phylli s was in , ,

love with Raoul Fea therstone and was threatening ,

t o leave home and go t o live with tha t young man .

While Leyland was here with you Miss Wildermere


called and t old you tha t she was engaged to Feather
stone .


For God s sake Spare me t he repetition of all that

.

A laister threw hi m self down in an arm chair and then -


,

immediately grasped the arms of the chair and raised



himself again What the devil has all that
.

t o do wi th Raoul s wo und he dem anded



.


This Dr Hailey s eyes flashed
, . that Miss

Wilderm ere left your house with the knowledge tha t


her fiancé was a scoundrel and that the same know ,

le dg e was con veyed a lit t le later to your cousin


, ,

Phyllis Both Miss Wildermere and Mrs Leyland


. .


had good reason to ha t e Rao ul Featherstone The .

doctor held up his hand t o prevent A laister from


interrupting him Let me have my say please
.
, .

Mrs Leyland v i sited Fea therstone s studio last night


.

.

Miss Wildermere also v isited Featherstone s s tudio ’

last night
No l
A l aister shouted the word His eyes the doctor saw . , ,

87
RED S CA R
were glaring His fingers seemed to dig into the soft
.

leathe r with which the chair he was sitting in wa s


cover ed Dr Hailey allowed his eyeglass to drop
. .

from his eye .


We are not he sai d In a police offi ce These
, , .

are my own Opinions and deductions Have the .

courtesy t o allow me to finish .


You are working for t he police .

In a sense yes I have not ye t however p u t my


, .
, ,

views be fore them I wish before I do that to tes t . , ,

my v iews in every p ossible way and I dared to hOpe ,

tha t you wou ld help me to tes t them by


listeni ng to them .

A la ister s scowl deepen ed


'

1

Echo did not visit Raoul Fea thers t one last night ,


he declared Please ge t tha t fact firmly in your mind
. .


Indeed Then why may I ask did you trouble
.
, ,

yoursel f to wash ou t the bloodst ain in Fea therstone s ’


studio P
Dr Haile y launched his q uest ion v ery q uie t ly
.

but the effect of i t was a s great as if he had shouted .

A laister started and h is whole body seemed to grow


stiff Then with a sup reme effor t he mastered hims elf
. .

He forced a laugh .


Here s another q uestion to match your q uestion

,

he cried Why did I tell the police that Featherstone
.

was lying woun ded in my house if I had anything to


hide ? Wh y did I a ctuall y b ring the police to m y
house

Beca use the p olice disco v ered you in Featherstone s ’

a
studio .


G ood God Wha t a reason D o you re lly rate my
, .

powers of invention so low as to suppose that I couldn t ’

hav e t old them some tale to cover my presence


88
THE " UE STI O N S O F DR . HA I L E Y
I v e known Featherstone for years We ve been

.


constantly in one another s studios

.

A laister s v oice rang ou t as he Spoke and t he fact


that th e d octor looked sligh t y nonp lussed increased


l

his confidence .

"
There he added 15 one point a t any ra t e to set
, ,

ag ain s t the views you seem to have fo rmed It is .

true of scientific work isn t it tha t a single excep tion ,


disproves the rule


Dr Hailey thought a momen t
. .


I ha v e asked myself your ques t ion a lready he ,

declared and I have answered it in this way When


,

the police found you in Featherstone s studio you ’

were alone But when you made the discovery that


.

Featherstone had been wounded you were not alone .

It must ha ve occu rred to you at once that your actions


during the last hour or so had possibly been kept under
ob se rv ation The safest co urse in the circumstances
.
, ,

was to be quite frank .

“ "
What i A l aister start ed up again Bring
the police on the scene of action before I had time even
to dispose of the evidence of my gu ilt
He stopped suddenly and laughed again But of .
,

course you thi nk that I had disposed of the evidence


,

of my guilt Featherstone s body was no longer in ’


.

Hislips were curled now in a sneer D r H ai ley . .

ha d a swift impression of a t ension which was nearing


the breaking point -
.


I have not he said been S peaking of your , ,

g uil t. He moved in his seat and for a moment ,


seemed to hesitate My interest you see is fixed not , ,
"
on yourself but on Miss Wildermere .

89
C H A PTER XV

MY T E M PER A G AI N

A emp t ied his pipe into a big metal a sh t ray


L A IS T E R -

which stood on the table bes ide him His p i pe .

rattled on the edge of the tray .


Thank God he declared ferv ently I was ab le
, ,

to rescue poor Echo from your clutches this morning .

I told her that the fact th at she had been Feather


stone 5 model wo u ld be quite enough t o conv in ce you


t hat she had murdered h im .

Dr Hailey rose to his fee t


. .

“ “
My difficulty he declared is no t that I may
, ,

suspec t Mi ss Wildermere b u t tha t you do ac t ually



susp ec t her .

He turned on hi s heel The next momen t A laister .


,

pale with fury s t ood bes ide him


, .


Tha t is a lie .

A laister grasped the doctor s arm


a
The two men ’
.

f ced one ano t her Dr Hailey s colour heigh t ened


. .

.

” “
When he said I have pla ced the fact of your
, ,

telephone c all t o Miss Wilde rmere th is morning


before the p olice I fancy tha t they will arriv e at the
conclusion a t which I ha v e arrived wi th the
additional ev idence o f t he washed ou t bloodstains -

be fore them Hands off Sir


.
, .

Dr Hailey Sprang back and pu t up his arms to


.

defend h imself But the a c tion was taken a moment


.

90
M Y TEMPER A G A IN
t oo la t e A laister s hand sho t ou t and the do ct or fel t
.

himsel f se ized by the t hroa t His head wa s forc ed .

back and he saw A laister s eyes glaring a t him ’


.

“’
I ll put i t ou t of your p ower damn you to t ell , ,

the police anything A l aister shouted , .

His grasp tigh t ened Dr Hailey thru s t ou t hi s right


. .

foo t and at the same moment flung hims elf b ackwar f


away from the sculptor The two men went
'

against the door of the room .

A laister s grasp relaxe d He staggered Dr Hailey



. . .

closed wi th him an d forced him to his knees But .

as he did so he saw t hat the fury in the man s eyes was ’

e xt inguished A laister looked bewildered and dis


.

t ressed The doc t or wa s a bout to release him when the


.

door of the room agains t which they had fallen was


, ,

p ushed op en A woman s scream shrilled in the


.

S ilence .

Next momen t the doc t or fel t himself s eized from


behind and fl ung backwar ds away from his an t agonist .

The assaul t was s o v iolent and unexpected that he fell


hea v ily on the carpe t When he picked himself up .

Kennedy the bu tler was helping his master t o rise


, ,
.

A laister s t ill looked bewildered He passed his .

hand uneasil y across his brow several times Then .

he waved his servan t away and tu rned to Dr Hailey


. .


Forgive me My nerv es are rotten
. .

A bitter smile broke on his lips .


Kennedy .

Yes sir, .

The butler ret urned from t he door .


Was tha t Lolotte who screamed
Yes , S ir .

Tell her t o come here . I want her


come back yourself .

91
RED S CA R
A la isterap proached the doc t or .


I m damned sorry he declared bu t you wound

, ,

me up too high I break when I m wou nd up too high



. .

Dr Ha iley shrugged his Shoulders K ennedy had


. .

re t urned t o the room wi th his daugh ter A la ister .

sea ted h iIn self on the arm of one of his leather


chairs .

I wan t you to t ell this gentleman Kenned y abou t , ,

the quarrel I had here two night s ago wi th Mr Raoul .

Fea thers t one he said , .

The butler s express ionless face reddened sligh tl y



.

He glanced from his master to the doctor and


back again .


Begging your p ardon sir , .

I mean it Tell him ex actly wha t hap

I amnot aware sir of what appened exac tly ’


.
, , ,

Good Heavens you kno w what you did yourself , ,

Yes your orders sir I t urned Mr Feather


, sir, on , , .

stone out of the ouse Kennedy addresse d hl ’


to .

Dr Hailey " Mr Fea therstone called ere the night


.

.


before las t he s t ated and the ouse bei n small I
, ,
’ ’


eard igh words be tween im and t he master Then
’ ’
.

I eard a crash same as I eard a few minutes ago


,

.

I ran to the door of thi s room fearin that something ’

migh t be amiss "there be in no sound I went back to ’

my kitchen when the master ere rang is bell ’ ’

K ennedy paused and cleared his throa t H esita ti o


.
,

n .

had gripp ed him .


Go on Go on cried A laister Tell .

him what you saw when you answered the bell .


Mr Featherstone sir I saw Mr Feathers t one
.
, . .

ly ing on the floor wiv is mouth bleedin The master ’ ’


.

92
RE D S CA R
some remarks abou t Echo which I res en t ed—no thing
much— bu t from him damned intolerabl e I hit him .

on the mou th . Told him if he ev er dared to mention


her again I d kill him

.

He broke off He ro se and c ame across t he room to


.

the doc t or
.


Las t nig ht he said I began t o feel I had been
, ,

a bi t rough on him My damned temper again So


. .

I went over to his s t udio He s an unforgiv ing brut e


.

and he repeated his offence Then I st u ck


.

kni fe in his neck 3 .


C HA PTER X VI

A STA M PED RECEI PT

A LA IST E R beg an t o fi ll his p ip e and Dr Hailey no t iced .

that his hands were now s t eady The t ension which .

had so greatly dis tressed him was resolved The .

doctor sat down bu t offered no comm en t


, .

So now you unders t and the s cu lpt or said


, ,

why I was anx ious to keep Mi ss Wil dermere ou t of


.

this bus iness She knew abou t the quarr el and must
.

have t old what she knew had She been ques t ioned .

No man put s his head in a noose if he can help it


Haven t you j ust pu t your head in a noo se

A l aister rai sed hi s head Sharp ly .


As y ou said I m in lov e wi th Echo he st a t ed
,

, ,


and you v e been accusing her You ve got me

.

.


He li t his pipe I had meant after I had washed ou t
.
,

the bloodst ain to t ake Fea the rs tone in a cab to t he


,

Hampst ead General Hospital and te ll them I had


fo und him l y ing in Frognal Lane The arrival of the .

poli ce sc upp er ed t ha t pl an Y ou v e Scu pp ered the ’

p lan I made a ft er the police arriv ed—to keep my own


.

and everybody else s mouths shut Y ou v e forced me



.

to t ell you t he t ru th .

Dr Haile y rose He st ood a momen t cons i dering


. .

wha t he ough t t o say Then he walked to the door


. .

He Opened the door .

I think you had be t ter underst and he st a t ed , ,

95
RED S CA R
th a t I do no t believe wha t you have jus t t old me .

He passe d through t he door and closed it behind


him Then he Opened the front door and strode away
.

from t he ho use He drove s traight back to Harley .

Street When he reached Harley Street he r an g u p


"

Biles a t Sco tland Yard and asked whether or not there ,

was an y news of Featherstone .

“ ”
N ot a syllable Biles added : If we hear no thing .

b e fore to morrow morning I m going to ha ve the


-
,
'

sc ulptor s garden dug Fr an kl y I don t b elieve his



.
,


story .


You hav en t circula t ed a descrip t ion to t he news

p apers P

No Don t intend to ei ther N ot anyhow till
.

, . , ,

the Leylands share in the busin ess has been cleared


Haven t heard hav e t hey about the disco ve ry


'

up .
, ,

a t Hamp stead P
“ ”
N o .

Dr Hailey told t he det ective t ha t Lionel Leyland


.

had recovered consciousn ess Then he ha d a ba th and .

was shaved by his man Jenkins .

“ “
What would you do J enkins he asked if , , ,

you suddenly found yourself with a dead body on yo ur



hands and an hour to Spare in which to get rid of it P

J enkins shook his hea d Dunno Sir But I knows .
, .

I wouldn t bury it Every t ime I ears o f a murder



.

with the body m issin I says to myself : They ll ’ ‘ ’

b e diggim to morrow and sure enough t hey are


’ ’
-
, , .

You remember that young fella wot buried is swee t


’ ’

heart on is poultry farm ’


.

“ ”
What about lifting a plank In th e floor P
Migh t do for a b it Police as q uick eyes .

for t hat sort of thing .

Jenkins finished his work and the doc t or wen t down


96
A ST A MPED RE CE I PT
to luncheon He Spen t the afternoon v isiting p atien t s
. .

During the afte rnoon he stopped his car at a public


call offi ce and rang up the Hampstead police He
-
.

Sp oke to the Inspector wh om he had met with Bil es


in the morning and as ked that Raoul s garden migh t
,

b e ca refully searched for a blue glass bottle


A big bottle—such as doctors use to keep their
.

“ -


stoc ks of poisonous drugs in .

A fter din ner Dr Hailey drove u p to Hampstead


.

again He was tired but his brain refused to relinquish


.

the problem which he had set it The j olting of the .

somew hat ancient taxicab in whi ch he w as seated


served as a fresh stim ulant of his thoughts The .

policeman on duty in the studio a differen t man from ,

the one he had met earlier in the day told him tha t ,

no bottle had been found in th e garden But a blood .

stained pillow had been found in Raoul s bed upstairs ’

, .


And we found this S ir in the pocket of one of
, ,

Mr Featherstone s lounge suits


.

.

Dr Hailey took the folded slip of paper which the


. .

constable offered to him He Opened it It was a


. .

s t amped receipt from the Goldsmith s C ompany in ’

Regent Street for an engagement ring set with


di amonds The receipt bore the date of the pre vious
.

da y .
C HA PTER XVII

FO O T S T E PS

SO A la ister had lied when he sta ted that Echo was


engaged to him and not Rao ul and when he pre ,

tended that the di amond engagement ring had b een


bought by h imself .

Dr Ha iley handed the receipt back to the police


.

man He t ook a piece of chalk from hi s pocket and


.

made a mark wi th it on the floor at the Spot where he


had picked up the glass stop per He measured the .

di stance between this S pot and the bloodstain and


found that it was five yards He now marked the Spot
.

where he had found the smaller fragment of the stopper


and then drew a line on the floor from the bloodstain
to this last spot The line passed close to the S pot where
.

the larger fragment of the stopper had been found .

In a ll probability then the stoppe r had been


, ,

flung by someone stan ding near the bloodstain It .

had b een flung too wi th a good deal of violence for the


, , ,

glass was thick of a quality which is not easily broken


, .

Dr Hailey stood up and contracted hi s brow


. .

Had the thing bee n used as a missile P But in that


case the pe rson a t whom it had been thrown must
have bee n lying on the ground for the stopper had
,

certa m ly been thrown down wards The doctor knelt .

and examin ed the floor with his eyeglass He coul d .

detect on the dusty boards no S ign of anyone hav ing


98
F OO T STEP S
lain on them recently The dus t was undis t urbed.

except for a few footprin t s .

In that case the stopper had b een thrown awa y ,

rather than thrown as a missile Why had i t been .

t hrown away wi th v iolence ? Violence in such an


action always implies that the t hrower has reason t o
resent ei ther the thing thrown or some thing of
which the thing thrown is a remin der or a symbol .

The stopper of a poison bottle is doubtless a symbol


of suicide ye t why throw t he s t opper without the
,

bottle
Dr Hailey explained his ac t ions to the policeman
. ,

wh o seemed an unusually int elligen t young


fellow .


You ha v e never by an y chance heard he asked , ,

that Mr F ea therstone t ook drugs P
.

No sir , The man hesi t a t ed a momen t


. A ll I .

” “
ever heard a bout him he said was tha t he was a
, ,

bad lo t women and wine Bu t if he .

was bad he was care ful too I nev er saw any thing
, .


amiss myself .

They heard steps approaching the door The .

constable Opened the door and a dm itted t he Inspector .

The man look ed tired and rather crestfallen He .

confessed to Dr Hailey t ha t all his efforts t o find


.

Raoul had been fruitless .


We have orders from Sco t land Yard to begin

diggin Mr Diarmid s garden up to morrow morning
’ ’
-
. ,

he stated “ They seem to think down there that it s


.
‘ ’

a clear case of murder .


D o you agree with them P
The Inspector hesita t ed .


Mr Diarmid he said doesn t strike me -as the
.
, ,

sort of man who is likely to commit a murder though , ,

99
RED S CA R
of course you never can t ell I m goi ng to see him now
,
.

to info rm him of the Yard s dec ision



.

It was eviden t that the task was not one to which


the man l ooked forward with any sa t isfaction When .

he went away to perform i t he t ook the policeman


with him Dr Hailey resumed his invest igations
. . .

He examined the pill ow in the bedroom and noted


that an at t empt had been made to cleanse it of blood .

Then he descended and pick ed up the piec es of Lionel


Leyland s walking s t ick whi ch was still lying on a

-
,

t able in the room He submi t ted bo th of them to a


.

prolonged scrutin y and found as he had expected to ,

find tha t the s t ick a cherry was heavily indented


, , ,

in several places There coul d b e no doubt that it had


.

been broken by a blow from the poker during the


e ncounter between Leyland and Raoul .

Leyland then had been compelled to defend him


, ,

self with this fragile weapon against a most murderous


assaul t The d octor laid the pi eces of walking stick
.
-

down again on the table and Opened his snu ff box -


.

I t was the old story of the weak man driven into a


corner and rendered desperate Probably Leylan d
, .

had struck Raoul a severe blow in the first instance


an d so unb alanced the fe llow s nerv es

.

Dr Ha iley took a pinch of snuff and clo sed the b ox


. .

He stiffened suddenly and listened in tently So ft .

footsteps which he could only j ust hear were moving


, ,

ro und the studi o .

He strode t o the door and t urned ou t the lights .

He lifted the corner of one of the curtains and peered


ou t . A street l amp in Langland G ardens throw n
feeble illumination over the garden He could no .

longer hear the sound which had disturbed him He .

returned t o the door and t hrew i t Open There was .

1 00
RED S CA R
Dr Hailey picked up the t orch and extinguished it
.

He handed it back t o the terrifi ed girl wi th a bow .


You were aware then he said in gentle tones , ,


that you r husband had left his walking stick here P -

Phyllis did no t reply for a moment She seemed to .

be trying t o collect her thoughts A t last she s t ated .


I had an appoin tmen t with Mr Featherstone . .

I hap pened to see the walking stick She added -


.


p iteously I came with my father I hav e left him .

in the cab at t he gate .

When if I may ask was this appoin tmen t made


, ,

Phyllis raised her head and gazed at him .

She did no t seem t o hav e comprehended his question .

He repeated it .

I I oft en come t o v isit Mr Feathers t one


llo
. . . .

She a wed Dr Hail ey t o see the key with which


.

She had Opened t he door Suddenl y she put ou t her .

hand and caught a t his arm .


Where is Mr Featherstone P She asked
. .

I don t know Nobody knows The whole police



. .

force of L ondon i s now looking for him .

A n expression of utter bewildermen t settled on t he


girl s features giving her a curiously childi sh look

.

The doctor saw a fain t t inge of colour appear in her


cheeks .


How strange How terrible
.
,

ej acula t ed .

Many questions hovered on her lip s bu t she did ,

no t dare t o ask them He saw ineffable relief gradually


.

replace her surprise .


The strangest thing of all he sta t ed is the fact , ,

t ha t your cous in A laister Diarmid found Fea ther


, ,

stone lying woun ded here last nigh t and c arried him ,

o v er to his studio I t was from your cousin s studi o


.

T OZ
F OO T ST EP S
tha t Fea thers t one di sappeared At the time of his
.

disap pearance your cousin thought that he was dead ,

and so info rm ed the Hampstead police .

Phyllis s colour faded again


“ ”
How could he disappear if he was dead P She asked

in a whisper addi ng
, He can t hav e been dead can

he
Dr Hailey laid his finger suddenl y on his lips
.
, ,
.

The soft foo t steps which he had heard before the


girl arrived were audible once more .

He sprang to the swi t ch and again plunged the


studio in darkness .

10 3
C H A PTER XVIII

M URDER 1

DR H AI L EY s t ood behind the door undecided what he


.

had better do next The idea that Phyllis had come to .

the studio to mee t A la ister flashed t hrough his min d ,

but he dismissed i t Phyllis had certainly not known .

about the discovery of Raoul s body whereas if She ’

had been in co mmunication with her cousin S he would


have known about it He did not wish A laister to .

discover Phyllis in t he s t udio .

He heard the girl s agitated brea thing and re tu rned ’

to her side .


Please try to be strong he whispe red I don t , .

think tha t there is anything to fear I m going ou t .


to see who it is b u t on t turn on the lights



.


O h no ,
no
. Phyllis clutched his .

arm .


L ist en I have reason t o think that it 5 your cou sin
,

.

If so I ll t ake h im away from the door t ill you


,
'

rej oin your father



No No . .

The gir l s grasp t ightened She seemed to b e in



.

most deadly fear .


I m bound to be seen she moaned

.
,

The doctor remained silen t for a few moments .

Then very gently he disengaged himself


, , .


Please remain here .

1 04
C H A PTE R XIX

P A N IC
"
PHYLL I S had wi thdrawn to the deep es t shadow of the
s tudio when Dr Hailey opened the door From t hat
. .

position she saw nothing of the en counter at the door .

But the cry for help rang dreadfully in her ears She .

rushed forward in time to see two dark figures s t rug


gling together on the threshold A s she drew near one .

of the figu res was hurled to the ground .

The other figure Sprang acro ss the t hreshold in t o


the studio and came lurching t oward her She felt .

her strengt h forsake her and crouched on t he floor -

The figu re passed her and she heard the crash of an


overturned table She rose and was ab out to run
.

towards the door when again the man p assed her .

a
He returned to the door He shut the door so violen tly
.

that the floor on which she was s t nding trembled .

Had he left the studio or w as he still beside her P


He had not left the studio she could hear him brea th
ing His breathing w as laboured like that of a sick
.
-

p erson He seemed t o be s t anding quite still beca u se


.
,

ap ar t from the s ound of his breathing the silence ,

was absolute A terror new and nameless clutched a t


.
, ,

the girl s hear t What had happened to t he doctor



.
,

and who was this man who had so b rutally assaulted


him P She could not believ e tha t A laister would act
in such a fashion so tha t the doc t or must have been
,

1 06
P AN I C
mi staken abou t t he footsteps Her mind .

rushed from one idea to ano ther and from one fear to
ano ther Who had uttered tha t dreadful cry P If the
.

lights were t urned up now she would be disco v ered


instantly It was s t range tha t he ha d not
.

turned up the lights Perhaps she could reach .

the stair leading to Raoul s bedr oom ’


.

She took a s t ep in the darkness and then s t ood s t ill ,

listening He was still brea thing as heav ily as


.

ever but he had no t stirred Ano ther s t ep


, .

Ano ther She put out her hand


. .

ban ister of the stair S hould be within reach .

No she co ul d not find i t


, P erhaps She had .

p assed it She co u nted the heavy b reat hs .

One two three


, Ah He w as moving again
, . .

Another step H er hand clutched a t the wooden rail


. .

She began to ascend He was trying to find .

the switch because She could hear his hands mov ing
,

on the wooden panels .

She reached the top of t he s t air and suddenly , ,

Raoul s bedroom was revealed the white bed the


, ,

black oak furniture everything She glanced back , . .

The s t udi o was full of light She ran across the bed .

room and crouched down behind the bed Lionel s .


broken walking stick ra t tled in her hand -


.

If only S he had t aken her fa ther s advice and not come ’

to the studio at all Her father would be .

dreadfu lly anxious about her He would be .

terribly upset too when he heard tha t Dr Hailey ha d


, , .

seen her She had promi sed him that no one


.

should see her .

Her min d grew clearer as the s tress of the pan ic ,

which had seized her aba t ed Since Dr Hailey had , . .

seen her i t cou ld not matter v ery much whether or


,

1 07
RED S CA R
no t anybody else saw her The mischief was done . .

Dr Hailey though had been her father s friend


.
, ,

and he was a doctor no t a policeman It was the


, .

police of whom her father was so greatly afraid .

The man who was prowling about downstairs


coul d not be a policeman beca use he had attacked
Dr Hailey Who co u ld he be ?
. . Was that a
foo t on the stair P
She glanced wil dly abou t her The window ? .

It wasn t high because t he bedroom was built into


the studio and there were fl ower beds below it She -


.

Opened it and looked ou t It was all dark in the garden


. .

She clutched at the sill wi th her h ands as though She


felt herself already being thrust out into the darkn ess ‘

The sta irs creaked He must be half way up now


.
-
,

Fresh panic seized her because in that creaking sound , ,

there was a quality of menace O h if only sh e .


,

possesse d courage If onl y sh e coul d stay where she


.

was and receive him calmly No she must run away .


, .

How S lowly he C limbed the sta ir


a S ick man . She would be quite ca lm if she
was ou t of this trap bu t in the trap she couldn t
,

She rushed to t he door She slammed it so that its


.

feeble panels started with the violence of the Shock .

There was no key in the lock Frantically She p u lled .

the bed to the door She switched up the l ight and


.

began pil ing on the bed everythin g on which she could


lay her hands chairs a sma ll table Raoul s , ,

trou ser stretchers ev en his b rushes an d combs She


,
.

tried to move the wardrobe but it was too solid for


her streng th . Her hat fell off and her hair was
streaked over her brow .

He had reached the door .

1 08
RED S CA R
She sank on her knees How cou ld she make him
.

hear her If he o nl y knew how she hated her cowardi ce


he would pity her .


I t was for your sake dear tha t I came to ni ght
, ,
-
,

because I was so a fraid t ha t t he police wo uld find


your stick . L ionel you won t hurt me You
,

.

mus tn t hur t me Lionel I m a fraid of you



.
,

.

He thrust t he bed aside and came towards her .

She saw his fingers stiffen She sp rang t o the window


.

and clambered on to the sill .

Oh God help me
, .

She j umpe d .

I IO
C H A PTER XX

RA O U L S G IR L
'

SHE wa s not hur t So God had heard her prayer


. .

How beauti ful the stars look ed with the bare trees
covering them like a lattice How cool it was ou t .

here She sat up She could see A laister Diarmid s


. .

house with its lighted windows .

She pressed her hands to her eyes and squeeze d


them She was get t ing frightened again
. She .

rose to her fee t and leaned against the wa ll To .

reach her L ionel woul d require t o come half way -

round the house bu t it woul d not take long If only


, .
'

she had not grown so weak Her legs seeme d


to be scarcely able to carry her .

She heard the bang of a door She started ou t . .

across the flower bed into which she had fallen


-
.

The wall of A laister s garden was close be side her



.

She t u rned at the wall and looked back but the ,

darkness revealed no thing She lis t ened Footstep s


. .

were approaching She summoned all her strength


.

and managed to raise herself to the top of the wall ,

but her s t rength failed her with that effor t and she
sank back again The footsteps were close beside
.

her now but she j udged that her husband could


,

not see her because his steps halted and then moved
again and then halted once more She did not dare
, .

I II
RED S CA R
to stir in case she disclosed her wherea bou ts "she
cr ouched down u nder the wet bricks .

Had he hunted Raoul in thi s way be fore he wounded


him Raoul was bold enough bu t she did not think ,

that he was brave His nerv es would fail him j us t


.

as her nerves h ad failed her He was mov ing .

ag ain
,
coming nearer She s t ood erect and graspe d
.

the top of the wall once more She felt her hear t .

thumping against her ribs A moment later she was .

ru nning across A laister s lawn towards the ligh t ed


windows .

His hands seized her .

She shrieked and struggled in his gras p She tried .

to fling herself down away from those terrible hands


, ,

which already choked at her throa t Pleas and promi ses .

surged to her dumb lips .

And then suddenly a grea t peace envelop ed her


, , .
.

She ceased t o s truggle t o be afraid Onl y .

her love for t his man who was killing her remained
in her mind Her love grew and glo wed until it fi lled
.

her min d wi th light .

Help help "


She Opened her eyes She was aware dimly of .
, ,

a st ruggle t aking place beside her She drew a deep .

breath and t hen her hands sough t her throat .

Sh e s t aggered to her feet but fell again instantly .

Someone b en t ov er her a

A re you all right P


O h yes
, .

The woman chafed her hands Then she put her .

arms round her .


I ll help you to ris e I m afraid I m not strong
’ ’ ’
.


enough to carry yo u .

n :
RED S CA R
She sway ed in her sea t and wou
Echo had no t caught her Wh en
.

be t ter Echo rang the bell for Lolotte


.


Ge t me some bran dy.

They heard A laister c oming in fro


C HA P TER XXI

r C O UL D N T ’
HE L P Ir

PH YLL I S told A l aister what ha d happened while


Echo gave her sips of brandy and Lolotte stood
waiting beside her .


I m afraid Dr Hailey was very much hurt

. .

Damn Dr Hailey . We must find L ionel . .

I have only a minute or two to Spare He t urned .


to Lolotte When will your father be back
.


He s usually pretty late sir He s gone to Flask

, .

Wa lk I think
, .

A laister strode out of the room and Opened the


front door He switched up the garden lights an d
.

then crossed the lawn Lying on the terra ce below .

the lawn was a black obj ec t which showed up against


the fl agstones He called to Echo to j oin him and
.

then descended t o the terrace .

"
He s unconscio u s I think We ll have to carry
'

, .


him .

They laid L ionel on the couch on which Rao u l


had been laid His breathing had become stertorous
.

again and his cheeks were cyanosed A laister ra ng .

up hi s own doctor on the telephone and asked him


to come at once .


Dr Brown w ill b e here in five minutes
. he ,


announced What about your father Phyllis ?
. ,

If you like I ll run down to his cab and t ell him


115
RED S CA R
what has happened It s not fair to kee p him in .

$ q ense any longer

Phyllis was kneel i ng beside her husband holding


.

one of his hands i n her han ds She turned to A laister . .

O h no please When he saw you he would


, , .

think something awful had happened to me and ,

his heart w on t stand any m ore shocks I must go



.

to him myself .


Don t be silly you can t go yourself

,


I must go Phyllis rose as she Spoke
. L ionel .

is quite s a fe now I think I shall send father home , .

and then come b ack Perhaps you ca n wait .

till the doctor comes .

She wal k ed to the door B ut before she reached .

it She had begun to stagger A laister put his arm .

round her w a ist .


I ll ta k e you down in t he ca r if Echo doesn t
’ ’

mind being left alone for a few minutes ’ He turned .

to Lolotte Stay with Miss W ildermere please


.
, ,


till we co m e b ack .

Lolotte still held the glass of brandy in her hand .

She looked scared Echo on the contrary was en t irely .

self possessed
-
.

I don t mind in the least she said


,
.

A la iste r gave Phyllis his arm and conduc t ed her


to t he car .

I wish I wasn t such a fool A laister she ’

, ,

apologi z ed But my legs don t seem to have any


.

strength left in them I would give anything to .

possess Echo s self control ’


-
.


Echo hasn t been half murdered has she

-
,

No but she s brave She has daring She can


,

. .

fight If onl y I could fight


. sometimes .

A la ister di dn t reply He helped her into the ca r



.

1 16
RED S CA R
and Echo he was mos t terribly exci ted He said that .

Raoul was a scoundrel an d tha t I had been deceived


and ruined and heaps of other dreadful
t hings I was fearq y up se t becau se I thought that
.

that — Raoul cared for me .

“ ”
Yes I know
, .

Wha t Lionel didn t tell you abou t me did he ?


,

Yes Said if you cam e back to him he would


.

welcome you He needed you and the world seemed


.

damnab l y emp t y without you A l aister g uided the


.
.


car past S wi ss Co t tage Poor dev il I was sorry.
,

for him .

Phyllis gasped He heard her m urmuring


.

words to herself .


If you knew how I loa the mysel f l A la ister de ar , ,

will you believe me when I say tha t I love L ionel ?


Raoul was nothing r ea lly o nly a dreadf ul foolish ,

mistake Th ere was something about him which got


.

me at first and made me feel I had never rea lly loved


L ionel as a husband ough t to be loved I was so .

terribl y sorry for Lionel more sorry for him


even than for myself I made up my mind that I .

must leav e him at once I t seems j us t like a.

wild dreadful nigh t mare When Lionel told me that .

Raoul was engaged to Echo I woke up I tried to tell .

L ionel that it was all a dream and tha t he mustn t ’

worry any more but he wouldn t listen to me


, ,

.

He said that he was going to thrash Rao u l to


ribbons .

She put her hand on A laister s arm and grasped it ’


.

As soon as L ionel left the ho use I rang Raoul up


on the telephone but t here was no reply so I thought
, ,

he must ha v e gone away for the night I waited .


,

exp ecting Lionel to come home It got fearfully .

1 18

I C O U LDN T HE L P IT
late and I grew so frightened tha t I coul dn t rest
,

.

I rang up father and asked him if Lionel had gone


there but he hadn t A t l as t I fel t I must go to the
,

s tudio myself .

She caugh t her brea th .

Go on

.

When I was coming up the path to the hou se I


saw someone a woman running across your lawn
, , .

Your windows were lighted you see The door of , .

the s t udio was shut bu t I had my key—Raoul gave , ,

me a ke y so tha t if he was ou t an y t ime I could go


in and wai t for him Raoul was lying on the fl oor .
,

full leng th on his face I ran t o him and then I


, .
,

saw that there was a knife sticking i n his neck .

I pulled the knife ou t There was a dreadful gush of .

blood I am such a coward A laister E v erything


.
, .

began to Spin round and round I felt I was going to


fain t I tried to find a t owel
. something to
s t op the bleeding wi th Then I saw L ionel s walking .

s t ick lying broken on the floor bes ide Raoul And .

then at that v ery momen t a policeman blew his


whistle close to the house .

She stopped and pressed her hands to her eyes .

I can scarcely remember what happened a fter


that Bu t I mus t hav e lost all my nerve I ran
away—I ran and ran
. .

The s tree t s were emp ty . .

I realized all of a sudden that I still had the knife


in my hand There was blood too on my frock
.
, , .

I had meant to take the knife in case it belonged to


Lionel I hid it in my bodice I got a cab and drov e
. .

to father s : I felt I couldn t face L ionel j ust then


’ ’

k nowing what he had done and that I was the cause


of i t all A nd then I remembered tha t I had left
.

his walking stick I didn t dare to go back for i t ’


-
. .

119
RED S CA R
The car en t ered Baker Street She turned and .

glanced at her companion .


I couldn t help it she pleaded I j ust couldn t

, ,

help it .


I know Was Raoul
. He didn t try to ’

a tt ack you when y ou p ulled t he knife ou t of the

Phyllis star t ed .


Oh no no I tho u gh t he was dead Father
, , . .

wasn t in bed when I got back because my telephone


call had upset him I t old him everything D O you . .

know I felt too frigh t ened and exhausted to go


,

wi th him to C urzon S t reet when he said he must


see whether or no t L ionel was there I ru shed off to .

my bedroom In the middle of the night he roused


.

me to te ll me t hat L ionel had been inj ured .

A laister remained s ilent If this w as a true story .

then Phyllis s coming had surprised Echo and driven


her ou t of the studio She had gone back to the .

studio t hough before Sh e came to him b ecause


, , ,

when he found Raoul t he woun d in his neck had


been bandaged .

They reached Dudl e y Titling s door Phylli s '

Op ened the d oor She ran in t o her father s smoking


.

room and came out of it with a white face .

“ ”
He s not here

.

She glanced at the hat rack and then moved the -


,

coats which hung on the rack .

A laister he hasn t come home "he hasn t come


“ ’ ’

home . She se iz d A laister s arm What _



.

can have hap pened to h m

Perhaps he s gone to bed ’


.

O h no never He would never go to bed t ill


, , .

he kn ew I was safe .

1 20
RED S CA R
He put down the receiver He t urned to face the .

women .


He s at my place

.


O h thank G od I Phyllis sat down in a chair
,

an d covered her face with her hands A la ister signed .

to Margaret to accompany him to the hall .


I want to leav e something here he told her , .

A cast I m t aking to the country wi th me to night



z
.

There won t be room in the car if I bring Phyllis


an d Uncle Dudley back .

He ran down the steps and re t urned wi th a big


p ackage done up in sacking .


I ll take it upstairs to Uncle Dudley s dress ing
’ ’

room because i t s rather precious



.

Phyllis was still seated where he had left her


when he returned to the smoking room She looked -
.

so dreadf u lly tir ed that he asked Margare t t o gi v e

her some more brandy before he took her back wi t h


him to Hamps t ead .

In the car he asked his cousin for her latchkey .

Bu t you will be bringing father back with you ,

won t you

“ ”
NO . He drew the car t o the kerb and laid his
hand on Phyllis s arm ’
.

I hav e bad news for you dear , .

Not not abou t L ionel Phyllis s ’

v oice was hushed to a whisper .


NO about Uncle Dudley
f ather He he s de ad dear

. .
,

1 22
C HA PTER X X II

NEUR OT IC WO M A N
'

DR .H AI L EY had discov ered Dudley Titling s b ody ’

when he r ecovered from the effec t s of his encounter


with L ionel L eyland whom in the las t stages of the
, ,

encounter he had recognized The body was lying


,
.

on the fl agstones near the door of Rao ul s studio


'

huddled up as though the li t tle man had been crouch


ing at the moment of his death The doctor p icked .

the body up and carried it into the study .

He laid it on the floor and sank down into a chair .

His head was t hrobbing and he felt shaken nev erthe ,

less he congratulated hi mself ou a for t unate escape .

Falling with that force he might easily have fractured


his S kull When he had res t ed for a few moments
.

he knelt down and made a quick examin a t ion of the


body There was no S ign of violence and he had
.
,

little doubt that Dudley Titling had met his death


as the result O f one of his heart at t acks He covered .

the little wizened face wi t h a handkerchie f and


walked to the door of the studio He must find a .

policeman at once for it was quite likely that L ionel


,

L eyland had assaulted others as well as himself .

The man was temporarily in sane and was likely to ,

mistake everybody he met for Raoul Featherstone


.
.

He was about to close the door when he heard some


one approaching Next momen t Echo Wildermere
.

appeared in the beam of light .

1 23
RED S CA R
Thank goodness you re all righ t she cried
,

, .

Mrs Leyland told us you had bee n attacked and


. ,

I fel t I mus t come and make sure tha t nothing had


happened to you She s aw t he body lying on the
.

floor of t he studio and s t arted What


, .

wha t has happened ?


Dr Hailey told her
. He no t ed the fa ct tha t .

t here were tears in her eyes when he finished


his s t ory She informed him about Phylli s s
.

es cape .


Dr Brown is with Maj or Leyland now she
.
,

declared I think he t akes ra ther a serious V iew of


.

his condi t ion He wanted to ring up t he Hampstead


.

police bu t I t old him the case was in the hands of


Scotland Yard so he rang t hem up instead Inspec t or
, .

Biles is coming t o the house at once .

She put her hand on t he doctor s arm '

The police called on Mr Diarmid t o nigh t .


-
,

she said while I wa s wi t h him to t ell him tha t


, ,

the y are going to dig up his garden t o morrow morn -

ing Tha t means doesn t i t t hat t hey think he


.
,

killed Raoul and buried his body


T here wa s j us t a tremor of anxie t y in the girl s

v oice Dr Hailey glanced at her beautiful interesting


. .
,

face b efore he answered her .


It means that they think he may hav e buried the
body cer t a inly
, .

Echo hesitated for a moment .


Has A laister Mr Diarmid s aid tha t .

he killed Raoul she asked in low t ones

She was master of herself bu t the doc tor observ ed ,

t ha t her gras p of his arm had t ightened .


I don t think I can answer tha t ques t ion he

said .

1 24
RED S CA R
M y own Opinion my dear Biles ,for wha t i t may
,

be wor th is that the knife was not carried to C urzon


,

Street by Leyland A S I ha v e said Leyland could


.
,

scarcely have infl icted a wo und within a few minutes


of receiving t hat blow on his head on the

cont rary he mus t almos t certainly have lain uncon


,

scious on the floor for a good half hour after receiving -

the blow O n the other hand Feathers t one could


.
,

not have s truck so heavy a blow at Leyland after he


had been wounded I feel pret t y sure that Feather
.

stone sustained h is wound some t ime after he struck


L eyland .

Biles frowned How did t he knife reach C urzon


.


S t reet if Leyland didn t t ak e i t t here ? he asked

.


I think Dudle y Titling took it there Y ou will .

admit tha t i t wa s s t range that he should have asked


me for a prescription in the way he did an d

told me tha t I would fin d a S heet of notepa per in the



v ery drawer in which the knife was lying .

Dr Hailey took a pinch of snu ff


. .


Ti t ling s midnigh t visi t t o hi s son in law s ho use

- -

sugges t s that he was uneasy abou t something I .

have asked myself : Wha t could have happened at


that late hour to rouse h is anx ie t y and I think I


have foun d the answer His daugh t er Phyl lis as .
, ,

we know Spent the night with him


, We know also .

that She had been to Featherstone s studi o beca us e '

, ,

had she no t been there She wo uld no t have come ,

back t hi s eveni ng to r ecover her husband s walking ’

stick She knew that her husband s walking stick


.
'
-

was in the s t udi o .


Yes. That seems reasonable .

Why did she come back for the walkin gstick so -

secretly ? Why didn t she visi t the studio boldly


1 26
A NEUR O TI C WO M A N
in the daytime and take t he stick awa y Op enly ?
O bviously because the stick was co nnec t ed in her
m ind with some terrib le event I t w as not a mere

walk ing stick tha t she was recovering but a damning


-

piece of evidence The walking— s tick showed that


.

her husband h ad b een in the s t udio and had u sed


.

v iolence in the studio .


You mean that when M rs L eyland came to t he .

studio Featherstone was lying there


,


Yes I feel sure too that she thought he was
.
, ,

dead and that her husband had killed him A s I .

told you before I believe that Mrs L eyland loves


, .

her husband— in Spite of her infatuation for Feather


stone. The conviction t hat she had driven her
husband to murder must have overwhelmed her with
fear and grief I imag ine that she snatched up the
.

knife which she thought no doubt belonged to


, , ,

L ionel L eyland and fled in terror from the studio


, .

L ater on she would remember that she had seen the


walking stick lying on the floor
-
.

Dr Hailey adj usted his eyeglass and leaned forward


.

in hi s chair .


Her first impulse wou ld be to go home Her .

second t o ob t ain her father s help A s we know S he ’


.
,

went to her father Very shortly after her arrival at


.

his house Dudley Titling v isited his son in law He '

- -
.

found his son in law in a highly exci t ed state tal k ing


- -
,

about murder He must I think have reached the


.
, ,

same conclusion as his daughter had reached—that


Leyland had killed Fea t herstone For which reason .
,

probably he made a hurried and very quiet exit


,

from the house and t ook t he precau t ion this morning


to place the knife which his daughter had so rashl y
,

brought home with her in his son in law s desk '

,
- -

1 27
RED S CA R
on the principle doubtle ss tha t evidences of guilt
, ,

belong to the guil t y Dudley Titling would have.

s acrificed a dozen s ons in law to save hi s daught er - -

from an y danger .

The detec t ive got up and began t o pace the floor .

“ ” “
It sounds plausible he said But how can you, .

be sure tha t M rs Le yland did not hersel f wound


.

Fea therst one ? After all she had a strong mo t ive , .

I can t be absolutely sure O f course But from


, ‘
.

my knowledge of her I feel that she didn t Unless ’


.

sh e had believed t ha t her husband was guilt y she

would no t have run the risk of coming to the s t udio


t o nigh t to recover his walk ing stick T he fac t that
- -
.

she brough t her fa ther with her on this expedition


Shows tha t she had no idea that her fa ther had placed
the knife in her husband s desk Phyllis Leyland ’
.

was despera t ely anxious to a v er t suspicion from her


husband not t o direc t it t owards him She went out
, .

Of her way this morning to t ell me tha t She had given


her husband grea t provoca t ion .

Hm O ne of the bes t ways of a ccus ing p eople


.
,

my dear Hailey is to excuse them


, .

They heard a car approaching the house A moment .

later A laister ushered Phyllis Leyland into the room .

“ ” “
I should like Biles said to S pe ak to Mrs
, , .

Leyland alone for a few minut es .

The sculptor withdrew Phyll is who h ad been .


,

weep ing sat down in one of the big lea ther arm chairs
,
-
.


I think Biles remarked in grave tones that
, ,

the t ragedy of your fa ther s death Mrs Leyland ’

, .
,

should convince you of t he du ty which lies on you


of te lling the whole t ruth about this deplorabl e
” “
b usiness . He added : You need not be afraid for
y our husband s safety I t is p ractically certain that

1 28
RE D S CA R
Dr Hailey saw an exp ression of fear in the girl s
.
'

face .


Y es I did For his sake as well as for my
, .


own .


La t er on t he same da y did y our husband t ell
, ,

you tha t he had heard tha t Mr Fea therstone was .

engaged to be married to Miss Echo Wildermere


Yes And then m y feelings changed comple t ely
. .

The scales seemed to fall from m y ey es I knew .

suddenl y and wonderq y tha t I had nev er loved


Raoul for a s ingle momen t A ll my lov e had been .

Lionel s from the v ery beginning



.

B iles made a no t e in h is b ook .


Did y ou tell y our husban d a bou t this ch ange in
your feelings he asked .


NO I didn t I wan ted him to learn it for himself
,

. .

I wan t ed him to feel day b y da y tha t our t ime of , ,


darkness had pa s sed for ever .


I see And meanwhile you knew that he was
.


going t o the st udio t o give your lov er a thra shing .


O h I begg ed him no t to do that I was drea dfull y
, .

frigh t ened .

The detec t iv e t hru st ou t his l ong n eck and fixed


hi s eyes on the girl s f ace

.

I suggest to y ou he s aid tha t you did not , ,

believe what yo u r husban d t old you abou t Fea ther


s t one and Mi ss Wildermere .

Phyllis s e y es fell before the searchi ng scrut in y



.


It is difficul t t o believ e tha t one has been grossl y
deceived she m u rmured
, .


And t hat consequen t l y when you v is ited
, ,

Fea t hers t one s s t udio you expec t ed to find yo ur


lov er unchanged in his feeling s t owards you ?



I wen t t o the studio bec ause I was a fraid .

1 30
A NEUR O TI C WO M A N
Po ss ibly I sugges t tha t on the contrary you
.
, ,

fou nd Miss Wildermere wi th your lover



I t isn t t rue

Phyllis clutched a t t he arms of
.

the chair and strained forwards I have told you .

ex actly what I found .

Please don t interrup t me I suggest further that



.

Feathers t one ordered you ou t of his house and that


y ou refused to go In the q uarrel which follo wed either
.


yo u or Miss Wildermere wounded F eatherstone .

The colour sank ou t o f Phyllis s cheeks ’


.


It isn t true

She turned suddenly to
.


Dr Hailey
. . D o tell him plea s e tha t yo u saw me
, ,

trying t o find L ionel s walking stick before L ionel



-
,


di scovered us in the studio .


I have already told him that Dr Hailey . .


addressed the detective Why should Mrs Leyland
. .

hav e come back for her husband s walking stick if ’


-

she herself was gu ilty

Because the fact that her husb and had t hrashed


Featherstone if it was discov ered wo u ld inevitably
, ,

connect her with Featherstone s murd with ’

Featherstone s inj ury ’


Mrs L eyland refused
. .

this morning as no doubt you remember t o t ell me


, ,

the name of her lover .

Phyllis was weeping bit t erly .

1 31
C H A PTER XXIII

W HI S K Y AN D SO DA

I T HI N K my dear B iles Dr Hailey S aid when


, , .

Phyllis had left the room tha t you are pu t ting too
,

little emphasis on A la ister Diarmid s share in thi s ’

b usiness The sculp t or did not even t ake the trouble


.

t o ring up his uncle and cousin and t ell them that


Feathers t one had disappeared whereas he t ook the
,

u tmost pains to shield Echo Wildermere Is it con .

ce iv ab le that if your ideas are correc t he would have


, ,

held no co mmunication with Phyllis Leyland Echo


Wildermere would have told him t ha t Phyll is Leyland
had been present .

How do you know t ha t he held no c ommunication


wi th her

Be cause she came to reco v er the walk ing stick -
.

She would not have come had she S O much as suspe cted
that the police were in possession of the premise s .

The doctor S poke earnestly "he saw tha t he had


made some impression on his companion .


That certainly is a point Biles conceded
, Isn t .

i t possible though that Miss Wildermere t old Di armid


,

nothing about Mrs Leyland s share in wha t had


.

occurred

I could see no reason why she should not tell him
and a great many reasons why she S hould tell him .

Phyllis Leyland is h is cousin Mi ss Echo Wildermere


.

1 32
RED S CA R
A laister rang the bell and Kennedy ap peared .


Whisky and s od a please , .

The sculp t or sat down and began t o fill his


p ip e .

You have sta t ed haven t you Biles ask ed him


,

, ,

that so far as you kn ow Miss Wildermere did no t


visit Featherstone s s t udio last night


Yes I kno w that she didn t visit it
.

.

The de t ec t ive t urned to Echo .


D id you v isit the studio he asked
Echo remained silent .

“ "
Please answer me .

The silence was unbrok en Biles u t tered an e x clama .

t ion of anger .

“ ”
I see he cri ed Mr Diarm id has ex t racted from
, , .

you a promise no t to open your mou th L et .

me tell you that such a course may have v ery serio us



consequences for yourself as well as for him .

A laister scowled .


L et me tell you Inspe ctor t ha t you ll gain , ,

noth ing here by browbeating women Miss Wildermere .

i s engaged to me I ll answer for her if you please



. , ,

until a j udge or somebody wit h a j udge S au thori ty


,

orders d ifferently .

The detecti v e controlled himself but Dr Hailey , .

saw that he had become quite pale round t he lips .


Very well Will you be good enough then t o
.

e xplain on Miss Wildermere s behalf how it has come ’

about that whereas yesterday she accepted a diamond


engagemen t ring from F eatherstone t o day she is ,
-


engaged t o yourself .


That s a personal ma t ter

.

It s a matter which bears very closely on t his


ca se
.

I 34
W H I S K Y A ND SO D A
Ver y well then Miss Wildermere changed her ,

mind .


We hav e the receipt for Featherstone s engage ’

” “
ment ring Biles sneered , May I ask if when t he .
,

engagemen t was broken Off the ring was returned ,


It was no t re t urned .

Why not
Because the engagemen t was not broken off .

A laister j umped up and s t ood in front of the fire .

His coa t fell op en revealing t he strong lines of his


neck .


Unfor tunately m y t emp er got the better O f me
be fore Miss Wildermere had t ime to break O ff the
engagement .

May I ask when you and Mi ss Wildermere became


engaged
This mornin g .

The detective leaned forward in his chair :



So tha t if Miss Wildermere did in spi t e of your ,

denial v isi t Featherstone las t nigh t She probably


, ,


broke Off her engagemen t to him .

B iles s v oice rasp ed



If If I hav e told you that
she didn t v isit him ’
A laister turned to Dr . .


Hailey . You saw Fea t herstone s engagemen t ’

ring here t hi s morning didn t you ,



I saw a ring which you led me t o suppose was
your engagement ring .


That isn t t he poin t wha t I m trying t o
’ ’

make clea r is that Echo di dn t b reak Off her engage ’

ment las t night Had she done so she wouldn t have


.

been in possession of her engagemen t ring this


morning .

Biles made an entry in his book .

1 35
RED S CA R
Y our cousin Mrs Leyland he said has j us t
, .
, ,

t old me t hat when S he arrived at Featherstone s ’

st udio last nigh t she saw a woman running awa y


across you r lawn .


She saw me as a matter of fac t Her visit to the
, .

s t udio took place while I was there—j ust after I had


wounded Featherstone I hea rd her coming and .

cleared ou t in a hurry A fter she went away I returned


.


an d brough t Featherstone across here .


Mrs Leyland s t ated posi t ively tha t it was a
.

woman whom She saw .

A laister li t his pipe .

“ ’
I t s so easy t o be sure abou t a t hing l ike that in
p i t ch darkness isn t it ,

There was a kn ock at the door Kennedy en t ered .

the room wi t h a tray He set it down on a side table . .

Where s the soda ’

O h I beg your p ardon sir I ve omit t ed


, , ,

The servan t hurried away t o repair his mistake .

A la ister t ook the s t op pe r ou t of the whisky bottle .

You see Even a well trained butle r can look a


.
-

tray in the face in broad light and fail to observe


the absence from it of a siphon Wha t p eople see or
.
.

fail to see in the dark d oesn t signi fy a hoo t ’


.

There was a knock at the door Phyllis Leyland .

appeared at the door and s igned to Dr Hailey to .

j oin her The doctor left the room j ust as Kennedy


.

returned wi th the S iphon .

1 36
RED S CA R
and c ame to t he door of A laister s workroom Echo ’
.
,

who wa s wa t ching him saw him start sligh tly


'

, .


Is your s t a t ue still on th e premises he asked .

It is D o you wan t to see it


.

A laister t ook a step forward and then turned b ack


t o face the detec t ive Biles had risen from his chair
. .

The sculptor strode across the room and Opened the


door of his workroom He left th e d oor Open so that .

Echo migh t Share in the v ie w He unv eiled the .

statue .


There you are twice as large as life .

The detec t ive measured the big cast with his eyes .

A laister saw his eyes gl eam .


When did y ou make thi s cast ? he aske d
sh arp ly .


La st nigh t I t s the second edition as a mat t er
.

of fact My ho us emaid broke the firs t edition yest erday


.

when she was co v ering i t .

Biles walked round the cas t He examined


Andromeda s bo und fee t with close a tt ention and then

glanced upward s a t her p inioned arms He turned .

to A laister .


Be fore my men begin t o dig your garden to
morrow he said I p ropose to examine t he con
,

ten ts oi this cas t .

His voice rasped "he kept his eyes fix ed on the


scul pt or s face ’
.


Wh y wai t t ill t o morrow my dear s ir when -
, ,

there s to nigh t

-

A laister step p ed to his work bench and p icked u p -

a mallet He held i t ou t to the detec t ive


. .


Go ahead .

C ertainly not I hav e no au thority to break yo ur


.

p ropert y .

1 38
T HE M O N S TE R
What not if I give you authority
,


No .

A la ister turned He struck the cas t a blow which


completely shattered it The air of the workroom .

was fi lled with fine dust He walked ou t of .

the workroom leaving Biles to search if he chose , ,

among the debris He saw Dr Hailey his eyeglass


. . ,

in his eye surveying the wreckage from the door of


,

the lounge .

Another ill u sion dissipated my dear d oc tor he , ,

remarked in biting t ones .

Dr Hailey informed Biles that Lionel Leyland


.

desired to make a statemen t to him and that both


Dr Brown and h imself considered tha t L eyland
.

should be humoured in this mat ter .


He s undoubtedly in a v ery serious condition

.

The detective emerged from the workroom and


walk ed to the door withou t even glancing at A laister ,

who s t ood glass in hand watchi ng him pass


, When
, .

the door closed behind him A laister turned to


Echo .


Serves him right he exclaimed , He asked for .

it But didn t he l ook sick


.

.

why did you mak e


me promise not to tell A l aister ? They re bound t o
,

find ou t tha t you ve lied t o t hem about me and


then

How are they bound to find out ? Unless
we tell them they ll never find ou t
,

Y ou don t .

suppose I b uried your cloak and hat in Fea therstone s ’

garden do you , He came to the girl and took her


“ ” “
hand . Dear he asked woul d you
, would ,

you care still if if i t was t ru e tha t I did really


wo und Featherstone
I3 9
RED S CA R
His v oice was huskier than usual . Echo gazed a t
him wi th horrified eyes
What "she whispered
.


.

Would y ou care for me even then ?


He gazed down hungrily in t o her face He saw the
.

face of Andromed a a s he had portrayed it looking a t


the Monster .

Echo s lips par t ed



I shall alwa y s care for you she said w hatever
, ,


y ou do.

1 40
RED S CA R
He cont inued his scouting and found several small
piec es of straw A second appli cation of his finger to
.

the lea ther cushions yielded the same results as the


first application .

He Opened the door of the car and was about to


descend from the vehicle when suddenly his body , ,

grew rigid F ootsteps were approaching the vehicle


.

from the house He j umped ou t and stood in the .

beam of th e car s lamps He p u lled his snuff b ox from



.
-

his pocket and t oo k a p inch wi th much delibera t ion


, .

But his pose of indifference was not necessary after


all for the f ootsteps ceased t o advance
, .

Kennedy the butler perhaps making a round


, , ,

before going to bed .

Dr Hailey walk ed back slowly t o the front door


.

and t e e ntered the lou nge A laiste r was gulping the


-
.

last mouthfu l s of his drink .

Miss Wildermere has bee n good enough to say


that she ll stay here till the male n urse comes he


announced I shoul dn t like to leave Phyllis alone
.
” ’
.


Oh Dr Bro wn is staying til l the nurse comes
, . .

D r Hailey left th e room and closed th e door b ehind


.

him . He went ou t across the la wn towards Rao u l


F ea therst one 5 studio His head was still thr obb ing

.

and he foun d the descent of the garden wall rather


diffi cult He w alked straight down t o Langland
.

G ardens withou t enter ing the stu dio .

He pic ke d up a cab at the bo t tom of Langland


Garden s a nd gave the man Dudle y Titl ing s home ’

address He lay back wearily in the vehicle promising


. ,

him se f th at if the reasoning on which he was now


l
,

acting proved unsound he would return home a t ,

once When the cab began t o approach its destina


.

tion he t u rned and looked ou t O f the small windo w


142
C IT IZE I
THE DUT Y O F EVER Y
L

at the back He continued to look 0 of the w indow


.

un t il the vehicle came to the kerb He descended .

quickly and handed the dr iver his fare then he ,

ascended the steps of t he house and rang the bell .

There was no light in any of the windows and


silence b rooded over the place The doctor wondered .

whe ther or not it was the fac t that he knew that


Dudley Titling was dead which gave him on this ,

thresh old a feeling of loneliness and emptiness


, .

Houses he thought derive some sub tle qualit y from


, ,

their occupants .

He rang a second t ime He kept turning his head .

anx iously to wa t ch the approaches to the house "


every time a private car appeared in the street he
drew back a little towards the door ah ,

someone coming at last .

The door was Opened b y Margare t She started .

back on seeing a stranger but Dr Hailey s genial , .


face seemed to reassure her .


I have come D r Hailey said because Mrs, .
, .

L eyland is staying the nigh t a t her cousin s house ’

a t Hampstead and d oesn t wish you to wait up


,

for her any longer Mr A laister Diarmid left a . .

pa ckage here didn t he ? ,



Oh yes sir He took i t up st airs to the Mast er s
, , .

Quite so Well he s coming back for it to night


.
,

-
.

I m going to wai t here till he comes So you can



.


go to bed now .

Dr Hailey clo se d the front door as he Spoke


. .

Margaret led him across the hall to a room which


faced the street She switched up the lights She
. .

seemed to be about to enter in t o a discussion of her


anxieties about her master and mistress When the
I 43
RED S CA R
doctor cu t her shor t b y saying tha t sh e looked very
tir ed and that he advised her to go to bed at once .

A s soon as he was alone Dr Hailey turned ou t the


.

lights Then he O p ened the door of the room and


.

listened He could hear no soun d He walked on


. .

tiptoe t o the switch controll ing the hall light and -

extinguished that also Then he listened again


. .

The servants quarters were p robably situated a t


the back Of the house and alrnost certainly p ossesse d


a stair of their own He began to ascend the main
.

stair stopping at e v ery s tep to s t rain his ears When


, .

he came to the bend in t he sta ir ca se he lighted his


electric torch .

The landing a t the top of the stairs was a wide one


and man y doors O p ened from i t He tried several .

of t hese doors in succession with out finding wh a t

he wanted Then he came to a locked door


.

SO .

A laister had t aken the precaution of securing his


cast from an y possible scru tiny He Opened the .

door next to the locked door and entered the room


to which i t belonged a bedroom furnished
in mahogany unthriftil y Splendi d
, The beam of .

his t orch touched the v arious pieces of the furniture .

This was t he rea l Dudle y Ti tling He crosse d the .

room to a door whi ch e v iden tl y led direc tl y into


the locked dressing room But that door also was
-
.

locked tho ugh the key remained in the lock


,
.

He sa t down in a b ig arm chair and rested his -

head in his hands I t would be easy enough prob


. ,

ably to break Open one of these doors But if he did


,
.

that the servants wo u ld be sure to hear him and


their in tervention would be ruinous to his hopes
of examin ing th e cast before A la ister arrived In .

his presen t weak s tate on the other hand he was


, ,

1 44
RED S CA R
discovery .The finding of this body must inev i t ably
involve both A laister an d Echo Wildermere in
tragedy and he wished ev il t o neither of them
, .

If he left the house a t once before A laister s arriv al ’

Featherstone s body would probably never be found



.

And in the absence o f Fea therstone s body the p olice


would scarcely dare to prefer a charge whatev er ,

suspicions they might enter t ain .

For the first t ime in his expe rience Dr Hailey .

felt him self placed in the position of a j ury calle d


upon to try the i ssue of life or death If he forced thi s
.

window it was probable tha t an ac cusa t ion of murder


,

would follow It was probable even that the sudden


. , ,

irnpu lse of a high Spirit ed girl to strike down a b u lly


-

wo ul d b e punished on the scaffold . F or Law


and Justice are not the same thing .

O n the other hand it is the duty of ev ery citiz en


to assist in e very way the de tection and pu nisM ent
of crime and there can be no dis ch arge from
that duty .

Almos t unconsc iously the doc t or s hands sought


the sash of the window He p ress ed h is thumbs on the


.

sash to raise i t bu t i t res isted hi s pressure He slipp ed


.

his hand in t o his pocke t and took out a knife He .

Opened the kni fe and pu shed i t s blade be tween the


window sashes " he worked the blade agains t the
-

Spring catch which secured the up per to the lower


sash .

Th e cat ch resis t ed his efforts .

And j ust then the so und of an app roaching car


came to his ears .
C HA PTER XX VI

A RI SO NER
P

DR . H AI L EY s trained on the blade of the knife and


it snapped off clo se to the handle .

He heard the car stop He glanced down and s aw


.

A laister cross the pavemen t to the front door A faint .

sound o f a key being in serted in a loc k came to hi s


ears He wai t ed an instan t A laister had no t closed
. .

the front d oor beh ind him .

Should he smash the window ? It was a plate glass -

window and migh t inflict severe inj ury on him And .

even if he did succeed in entering the room A laister


must discover him there A l aister would fight like
.

a tiger . He s tretched ou t his arm and grasped


the side of the Window by which he had emerged
from the house He stepped back from sill to sill
and re—
.

entered Dudley Titl ing s bedroom ’


.

A laister was c omin g up the stair q uite slowl y in ,

t he manner of a man who has ample time at hi s dis


p OSa l The doc t or crossed the bedroom and too k up
.

a position from which he c ould command a v iew of


the dressing room door He heard the sculptor arrive
-
.

at the door and then fit the key into the lock A .

momen t later the dressing room was illum inated -


.

Dr Hailey mov ed forward


. He saw A laister .

stand ing in the dressing room bes ide hi s big cast


-
,

p reparing to lift it A laister s face was c alm wi th the


.

x47
RE D S CA R
calmness of c omple t e assurance A gain the sense of .

being charged with a hea vy responsibility assailed


the doctor .

The sculp tor lifted the cast and came wi th i t to the


door of the room He se t it dOwn for an instant while
.

he switched ou t the ligh t Dr Hailey caught his . .

breath as new darkness swallowed up the uneasy


Spectacle Then he Sprang forward and flung himself
.

on the scu lptor .

He managed to grasp the cas t and t ear i t away from


A laister s hands He tried to get back with it to

.

Dudley Titlings bedroom ’


Bu t before he could .

ex ecute the intention the landing was again fl ooded

with light A la ister stood faci ng him


. .

A la ister s expression had not lost its tranquillity


nor did the young man be tray any considerable


surp rise .


SO it s you is it he remarked in cool tones

, , ,

a t the same time taking the precaution t o advance


towards the bedroom door .

Dr Ha iley did not reply His mind was b usy on


. .

the problem whether or not to shout for help and so


rouse the servants or to take his chance of concluding
this business himself He decided not to shout because
.

in all probability the servants wo u ld take A laister s ’

side against him .


What a damned fool you were A l aister sneered , ,

to come here alone But I suppo se the silly ass


.
-

mistake of that Scotland Yard fellow made you want


to go one better Didn t occur to you I '

. ,

a
suppose that I would lock the doors
,
He

sc owled savagely Bright idea to put the c st in a
.

cab an d drive up with it j ust after Biles had drawn


a blank No you don t ’
. , .

148
RED S CA R

He walked into the bedroom A laister shut and .

locked th e door b ehind him He heard A laister .

descend ing the s t airs He flung the window Open and.

leaned ou t A p oliceman was coming slowly along


.

the street towards the house Dr Hailey shouted to . .

him and he began to run At the same moment


, .

A la ister emerged from the house carrying his huge


burden He saw th e policeman and Sprang across the
.

p av emen t to his car He flung the door of the car O pen


.

and hurled the cas t in t o i t He set the engine running . .

Next instant the car lurched forward .

A t the same moment the policeman reached the car


and Sprang on to t he runn i ng board Dr Hailey . .

saw the v ehicle swerv e wildl y Then he heard the cra sh .

of breaking glass The policeman reeled on his


.

dangerous stance so tha t it seemed that he must lose


his foo thold An excl amation of j oy esca ped
.

the doctor s lips Another car was coming along th e



.

street He left th e window an d ran acr oss the room


.

to the door He flung his whole weight against the


.

door .

The l ock resist ed him He ran t o the fender and .

snatched up the poker He struck with it on one of the .

panels of the door A t the first blow the wood began


.

to S plinter He forced the panel from its socket and


.

p ut hi s hand through the a pe rture he had made .

Thank God th e key was in the lock


, .

He rushed down the stairs A cry escaped .

his lips The policeman was lying in the roadway


. ,

huddled up A laister s car was turning ou t from the


.

kerb on the Opposite side of the street towards which ,

i t had apparently swerved In an other momen t .

There was a sound of swiftly changing gears The .

1 50
A PRI SO NE R
doc t or glanced in the direction whence it came and ,

saw an Open car being turned a short distance farther


down the street He ran towards the policeman
. .

A laister s car swung out into the roadway gathering


speed as it W ent The policeman j umped up suddenl y


.
,

s t umbled a few paces and then sank to his knees



A fter him sir I m all righ t

. .
,

ej acula t ed
.

The dri v er Of the Op en car wa s bes ide t hem D r . .

Hailey t urned and Sprang into the car .


F or God s sake don t lose sigh t of him
’ ’
.

He l eaned forward Opp resse d by a sudden giddiness


, .

1 51
C HA PTER XXVII

HEAD L I G HTS

A LA IST E R drove to Park Lane and turned right


handed towards O xford Street Before he reached .

the Marble A rch he glanced behind him The pursuing .

car was well in sight .

He j udged that it belonged to t he small car t ype -

p ossibly an Thank God he had 1 4 to Oppose to it ,

and knew how to get the maximum ou t of h is horse


power He cut the c orner at the Park gates and ran
.

straight across the Open Space between the gates and


the Marble A rch so as to en t er the Bayswater R oad
, ,

as close to the kerb as possible The long dipping .


,

lines of lamps flanked an empt y thoroughfare The .

muscles of his j aw tightened .

A moment later he leaned forward in his seat


and put his hand under the dash board His fingers -
.

encountered the cock of the petrol tank and the pe trol

pipe They closed for an instant o v er the narrow pipe


. .

Then he leaned back again The saloon was throbbing


.

now drumm ing Would he be lucky a t Notti ng Hill


,
.

Gate A nother glance back .

Good God they were holding their own


,

gaining if anything
, .

What a pity he hadn t u sed violence on the doctor


'
.

A single blo w Such a blow as he had


s tru ck at the police man wo uld have Spared
1 52
RED S CA R
Nothing behind How damn funny if the policema n
.

had held up the other car 1


Again he lean ed forwa rd and again his fi ng ers c aresse d
the slim petrol p i pe N ot yet He
. .

set tled himsel f a t the wheel and felt in his p ocket for
his pipe No he couldn t ligh t a pipe bu t ’
.
, ,

he had some cigare t tes somewhere He O pened .

the case and spilled its contents He retriev ed one .

of the cigarettes When the match fl ared up the car


. ,

swerved badl y and very nearly fouled one o f the


,

lighthouses Bu t how blessed the cigarette was


. .

He wo u ld j ust have t ime and no more if he c o uld , ,

maint ain this pace for another eight or nine miles .

And then let them find what they could find .

The road gleamed before him sm ooth as the s urface ,

of a deep river Far awa y on the road he saw the


.

white glare of headl amp s like silver arrows thrust ,

into the bosom of night The red lamps of the l ight .

houses fl u ttered in dim distances And against the .

glare of hi s own hea dl ights the steady bonnet of the


car He trod the accelerator hard down and saw the
.

Speedometer needle register sixt y He start ed . .

The gleam of following headl ig hts had fl ashed suddenly


on his wind screen-
.

He bent forward over his wheel so that th e gleam


might not distract him But those pitil ess eyes found
.

him again in his darkness They held him He put . .

ou t hi s hand and pull ed the cord which blind ed the

rear window It was out of action and sagged


.
,

wret ch edl y in his grasp The blaz ing eyes played on


, .

his screen like summer ligh t n ing .

They re gaining

.

He shouted this discovery twice He glanced a t .

the quivering needle and sa w i t t ouching the six ty


1 54
HE A D L I G HT S
mark like a feverish antenna touching and losing , ,

and touching again He was getting the maximum


.

out of her and it was not e nough .

Oh damn those lights


, .

Rage possessed him suddenly Rage against the .

lights against those who had kin dled the m


,

against Raoul Featherstone Rage too against , ,

Echo In the name of Heav en why had Echo engaged


.

herself to th at fell ow ? He began to shout


with the maddening lights dancing in his eyes He .

knew why Echo had engaged herself to Featherstone .

He kne w by Heaven he knew , It was her greed, .

of sensation A pretty b oy . Kisses .

The car swerved plunging irito blessed darkness


, .

He hated Echo with Fea therstone s kisses on her ’

lips
.

He sat up and once more met the full glare .

Undoubtedly they were gaining on him But he had .

something in hand even ye t half a mile ,

perhaps A t this Speed they would not


.

dare .

Ah the ligh t s were moving t o the O ff side Steady


,
-
.

now . He drew his hand over hi s eyes He .

wa t ched the ligh t s appear in hi s driving mirror ,

one and then two The road before him cleared


.

like a focused glass He stra ined his ears to ca tch


.

the first sound of the pursuit Queer ho w his .

rage had passed now that the l ights tormented


his eyes no longer " And his j ealousy along wi th
hi s rage It was his own faul t that Echo h ad got
.

engaged to Featherstone If he had not kept .

her waiting so long N ow he cou ld hear .

C om e on ge t past " Echo . Echo ,

1 55
RED S CA R
Echo , that bad streak in you that gets me do you
it s

know . Whereas Featherstone mistook you for a fool .

H e d e c e iv in g ,

n
S h e b e lie v i g ,

a
W h t c a n w om an ask for more
a
W h t c a n w om an ask for more
a
W h t c an w om an .

The lights crept close and they were full O f anger .

A n ger too roared and ru shed in the shadow behind


, ,

the lights .

So they were going to pass and block the roadway


in front A la ister glanced again at the needl e
.

Six ty They would have to lea d by half a mile before


.

they dared anyhow , .

N eck and neck now B u s was a 2 0 .

big A merican Doing six ty five . Se v enty -


.

p erhaps .

H e d ec e iv in g ,

n
S h e b e lie v i g .

n
S h e d e ce iv i g .

His ligh t s caught the car s bonne t and ran along ’

its fla nks Dr Hailey was looking back


. . .

Kindly sort of face h e had I t wa s a p ity they .

hadn t met in better circumstances



.

A la ister raised his foot from the accelerator and


t ransferred it to the brake The car shuddered to a .

standstill He bent down and put his hand under the


.

dash board He grasped the petrol pipe and tore it


-
.

from its seating in the ta nk A gush of petrol followed .

his hand .

He descended from the car and struck a ma tch .

He tossed the light ed match into the vehicle .

The n he walked out of the red glare across the road ,

1 56
C HA PTER XXVIII

A V ERY FOOL I S H I DEA

WHE N he realized that A laister was pull ing up ,

Dr Ha iley remembered the petrol tins wh ich he had


.

seen in the car a t Hampstead A grim exp ress ion came .

upon his features .

Tha t expression had not entirel y disap peared when


the car was t u rned The young man who had put .
,

himself at the doctor s diSposal for thi s adventure ’

observed it A s they nea red the blazing car he glanced


.

again at his companion The fir s t irnpression he had .

had of Dr Hail ey an impression of mere benevolen ce


.
, ,

was effaced .


Won t be much left after tha t eh

he remarked , , .


You must confess it s an origin al sort of idea

.


It s an exceedi ngly foolish idea

.

Wha t you don t mean to say that any thing short


,

Of a lump of iron co ul d withsta nd t hat heat


The car came to a standstill Dr Hailey got ou t . .

and held up his hands to shield his face A la ister s .


car was spouting flame like a whale Tall col umns .

of flame qui v ered and fell and rose again abo v e it .

The air was full of fire and heat .


G ood evening my dear doctor , .

Dr Hailey turned to se e A laister s tanding bes ide


.

h im .A s he t urned the sculp t or t ook his p ip e ou t o f

1 58
A VE R Y F OOL I S H IDE A
Don t happen to carry an ext ingui sher do you

he asked .


NO sir, .

A la ister glanced at the young man who had answered


him and met a pair of wonder struck eyes eyes which -
,

admired rather than condemned .


In that case I m afraid I must ask for a lift b ack

to town I take it that you are going back to town P


.

The b oy glanced a t Dr Hailey before he replied . .

When he saw the doctor nod he replied a ffirmatively , .

Dr Hailey s t ill had his hand before his eyes He was


. .

trying to wat ch the burning car be t ween his fingers .


This end u p doesn t al t er t he fact tha t you won
-

” “
the race A laister remarked
,
Although I m bo und .

to say your headl ights upset me a good deal .


I was doing sixty after C hiswick .


O h we were doing S ixt y five
, She s a -
.


twenty thirt y you see
-
, .

Dr Hailey turn ed awa y from th e fire and wal k ed


.

towards the car leaving A laister and the boy together


, .

He entered t he car and sat down and then helped ,

himself to a p inch of snuff He was not sure whe t her.

he ought to stay beside A l aister s car till Biles ’

whom the boy had p romised to su mmon arri v ed or , ,

whether he had be t ter go back to London He closed .

his eyes .

Doctor .

He woke up with a s t art The glare of the fire .

showed him A l aister and the b oy stan ding beside him .

Bu t he could not distingu ish their features He .

turned his hea d A laister s car had emerged from the


.

flames a heap of twisted iron like a bunch of snakes


, , .

The flames lapped it .

Have I slept long


I 59
RED S CA R
Half an hour .

A laister and th e boy s eem ed to be on good terI rns

with one ano ther A laister Opened one of the doors


.

of th e car and got in behind The b oy took the wheel . .


Where shall I take you he asked Dr Hailey . .

T o Harley Street NO . .

Dr Hailey fell asleep again as soon as the car


.

start ed But when the car stopped at his own door


.

he was wide awake He thanked the b oy in earnest


.

“ ”
t ones and then bade A laister Good morning
, .

He Opened his door and h u rri ed to his telephone .

An hour later Biles stepp ed ou t of a big Daimler


car at his door .

Dawn was grey in the sky when they t urned in t o


O xford Street O ne of those cold L ondon
dawns which makes the Spectacle of the huddled
figures on the sea ts around Hyde Park so pitiful .

Dr Hailey finished telling his story an d lay back on


.

the cushions He could see the detective s hard


.

p rofile as a shadow against the window .

"
Surely everything must have been b u rned in such
a furnace my dear Hailey
, .

"
O h no I don t thin k so for a moment
, ,

, .

I t was broad day when they drew up at the fire


station at C hiswick Biles descended and rang the .

alarm be ll He told the man who answered his


.

summons who he was .


C an you send a salvage car now
Yes S ir, .

Very well The car s on the Staines Road about


.

a mile beyond the Bath Road .

They continued their j ourney A s they crossed .

the Bath Road Biles pointed to a thin wisp Of smoke


rising into th e air in front O f them
1 60
C H A PTER XXIX

A W E DDI N G RI N G

DR . H AI L EY p ressed t he las t piece of charred bone


into the big sheet of wax in fron t of him and then ,

rose to his feet He s t ood surv eying his work with


.

critical a t tention .

The door of the room Opened and he heard B iles s ’

v oice But he did not turn his head T he de t ectiv e


. .

c ame and s t ood beside him .


Y ou v e go t nearly the whole s k eleton

.

Yes I warned you t hat bone is the mos t di ffic ult


.

of all things to dispose of in a hurry and the easies t ,

of all things to reco gn ize if one knows one s ’


.

anatomy From a single fo ss il bone remember


.
, ,

an entire animal has been reconst ruc t ed .

Dr Haile y s eyes had no t for an ins t an t been


.

, ,

removed from the charred bones while he was Speak


ing He bent forward suddenly and raised one of the
.

ver t ebrae out of the wa x He placed it fu rt her up .

the S p inal column Then he filled the space which


.

had been left vacan t by a v ertebrae t aken from abo ve .

“ “
A young skele t on cert ainly he stated , L ook , .

a t those long bones C harred and disfigured a s they


.

are the y possess all the elements of youth B u t t hey


,
.

are small bones slight bones , .

Quite Featherstone b y all accoun ts was almost


.
, ,

girli sh in hi s build .

1 62
A WEDDIN G RIN G
B iles S voice thrilled The man hunter had found his

.
-

scent This S pectacle of the black bones set in the


.

whi te wax the distorted skull the shrivelled shoulder


, ,

bla des the t wisted shafts so macabre so terrifying


, , ,

ev en left him unmoved The skeleton so far as he was


, .
,

concerned was a clue That and nothing more


, . .

He walked away from it to the fireplace and took his


pipe ou t of his pocket He st ood watching a string .

of great laden barges being towed u p river on the -

flood tide .


I fancy he remarked that you have added a
, ,

fresh S pec imen to the Black Museum my dear ,

Hailey I mus t congratulate you on an admirable


.

p i ece of work .

His t ones suggested tha t he was con t emplating


already the effect of the charred skeleton on a j ury .

“ ”
Dr Hailey heard the zip of a match The clanging
. .

of the tramway cars on t he Emb ankment made a


background for that sharp confiden t sound Sc otland , .

Yard was making ready to strike The doctor s eyes .


grew melancholy as he reflected that the direct


responsibili ty lay in this case on himself,
F or ,
.

what was to come he and he alone was accountable , , ,

seeing tha t i t had lain in his p ower to leave A laister


undisturbed .


Do you suppose Biles asked that the fac t , ,

that the b ody was encased in plas t er saved it to some


ex tent from the hea t

O h no Plaster of paris soon cracks and powders
, .

when it is exposed to flame There are small pieces .

of the cast among the ashes O f course but they , ,


aren t even recogniz able as such

.

SO that if Diarmid had b u rnt his car ou t in some


q uiet co un t ry lane as he eviden tl y mean t to do


, ,

1 63
RED S CA R
there would have been nothing to show what he had
in it—I mean granting that nobody thought of having
,

the ashes examined b y a docto r



Nothing .

Biles smoked for a moment in silence .

“ "
I v e sent for Williamson he announ ced

to , ,

make the offi cial ex amin ation of th e b ones Do you .

wish to meet him particularl y



N ot p articularly I flatter mysel f th a t my know
.

ledge O f anatomy will not be found wanting even i f ,

I do not rema i n to vindica t e it .


Good we can go to Hampstea d Th e t ime has c ome
,
.
,

I think to persuade M iss Echo Wildermere tha t


,

Obedience to Diarmid is the wrong policy in her


case .

A gain the no t e of triumph sounded in the de t ective s ’

voice His ex perience of the prev ious evening had


.

left apparently a sense of inj ured professional pride


, , .

The o fficial be he great or small forgets no thing and


, ,

forgives nothing in his offi cial capacity Dr . .

Haile y sighed He pick ed up two blackened obj ects


.

from the table and held them ou t to his com

B efore we go to Hamp stead he said I think , ,

that it would be well my dear Biles if you looked , ,

at these things They ap p ear to be pi eces of j ewellery


. .

The metal in one instance has run


, , .

Jewellery B il es s small eyes widened He ’

received the pieces and walked with the m to the


window .

The piece that is intact the doctor added was , ,

evidently a plated brooch or buckle I haven t be en .


able to decide fi na lly what the other piece was .

He watched Biles and saw a shadow of annoyance


1 64
RED S CA R

You see my dea r Biles these chains are used on
, ,

c loa ks the kind of cloaks women wea r over


evening dress the kind of cloak which Miss
Echo W ildermere may ver y well have been we aring
if and when she v isited Raoul Featherstone on the
night of his disappearance Let us suppose
that this cloak was made O f white material an d tha t .

it beca me stained with blood .

A gain the doc t or paused .

In tha t case is i t not a possibility I


put it no higher than t ha t that A laister
Diarmid may have hidden the cloak also in hi s cast
A fter all he was engaged in making the cast at t he
,

tirne when perhaps the cloa k became bl oodstained


, , .

It was late a t night and hi s fire probably was ou t .

So it would be a difficul t matter to burn it A nd he .

coul dn t possibly t ake the risk of hiding it seeing


that it was damning evidence agains t the woman he


lov ed .

Biles nodded approvingly .


That s it of course The buckle was on the

, .


cloak .


Possibl y But not the ring The ring my dear
. .
,

Biles is the one inexplicable fact in this case


, .

Dr Hailey s face h ad lost its habi tual express ion


.

of aloofness He leaned forward towards his com


.

p anion .


It is possible but not probable t hat Phyllis
, ,

Leyland dropped a ring in the car She was wearing .

only two rings her weddi ng — ring and a kee per


,

when she came to Featherstone s studio I dis tin ctly ’


.

remem ber that because I saw her hands reaching ou t


in the beam of her elec tric t orch to t ake th e pieces
1 66
A WEDDIN G RIN G
of her husband s walking stic k from t he table I

-
.

think I sho u ld have noticed if either of those rings


had been missing when you talked to her in Diarmid s ’

ho u se Ech o Wildermere j us t before Diarmid drov e


. ,

away was wearing the engagement ring which


,

Feathers t one gav e her I wondered why she continued


.

t o wear it .

He paused The eagerness in his eyes had not


.

abated .


Still Biles said rings are oft en dropped you
, , ,

know If it really is a ring i t may have been lying


.

unno t iced in the car for da ys weeks .


Rings are not often dropped A sk the people .

who deal with lost property and they will t ell you ,

t ha t t he y very seldom receive rings and tha t when ,

rings are lost the loser is usually a man and not a


woman Almost all t he ins t ances in which women
.

lose their rings occur when the ring s hav e been t aken

off deliberately .

Biles shrugged his shoulders .


It sounds like psychoanalysis my dear Hailey ,
.

It is psychoanalysis The conclusion to be drawn .

i s that this ring was no t dropped in Diarmid s car ’


.

How t hen did it find its way into his car ? Rem ember
, ,

that I used my electric t orch to examine the car .

“ ”
I don t know ’
.

Dr Hailey fix ed his eyeglass in his eye


. .


My own idea is t hat it was enclosed in the cas t ,

with Echo Wildermere s cloak What I wan t to ’


.

discover is why Echo Wildermere was carrying a


ring a plain gold ring in the pocket o f her
, ,

cloak .

He spoke these la st words signifi can tl y The .

de t ective started .

1 67
RED S CA R
Good Heavens you don t mean that it was a
,

weddi ng ring
-


I think it was a wedding ring L ook at it I t is -
. .

quite smoo th There is no t even the s uggestion of


.

a setting and it seems t o hav e been of uniform width


, .

I t was that fact which made me th nk at firs t tha t it i



might ha v e been a pendant .

Biles picked up the ing and beg an to rub it wit h r

his handkerchief Then he walked to a cupboard


.

in the room whi ch seemed to be full of the appara t u s


,

of cleansing and took ou t a small tin of me t al polish


,

and a leather He Sp ent a fe w minutes in restor ing


.

the brightness of the me t al while the doctor helped


hi mself to snu ff .


I believe you re right I ll have it examined by

.

our j eweller y expe r t a t once The detective raised .


his head sharply If Miss Echo Wildermere was
.

in fac t Featherstone s wife then the case against


'

A laister Diarmid is complete .

Again the look of trium ph gleamed in his eyes .

Dr H ailey clo sed his snu ff box w ith a snap


.
-
.

“ ”
I hav e never yet he said in gentle tones kno wn
, ,

or heard of any woman who omitted to wear the


wedding ring to which she was legall y entitled I
-
.

do not believe tha t Mi ss Wildermere was married to


'

Featherstone .

Have you ever kn own a woman who carried a


wedding ring in her pocke t without being married
-


A number of women do that .

Um But there was nothing to prevent Feather


.

st one from marrying this girl They had no need to .

"
pretend to be married .


Exactly my dear Biles Tha t if I may say so
, .
, ,

is where the mystery begins in this case E ch o .

1 68
C H A PTER XX X

A N DR O M EDA
'

T HE v ery manner in which Biles ins t ruc t ed his



cabman proclaimed his belie f that the Hampstead
Mys tery as the morning papers had called i t ,

was solved When the cab started he sa t back and


.

C rossed his long legs .

“ ”
I propose he s t a t ed
,
to exam ine Mi ss ,

Wildermere first and then charge A l aister Diarmid


,

with the actual murder The girl was an accessory .

both before and after th e fact .

His tones were positive and yet they conveyed ,

a challenge Dr Hailey contracted his brows


. . .


If A laister Diarmid killed Fea therstone he ,


asked why did he take such great care to shi eld
,
-

Echo Wildermere from suspicion even to the


exten t of accusing himself in the end when e very
other means of sa v ing her from suspicion had
failed

I suppose because he was in lo v e with her He .

makes no secret of being in lov e with her Besides .


,

the girl as I think saw him stab Fea therstone


, , .

In the firs t instance he was probably concerned to


prevent her from being compelled to answer any
awkward questio ns .


In that case if we are to believe Phyllis L eyland s
,

story A la ister Diarmid and Echo Wildermere must


,

1 70
A NDR O MED A
have been in hiding during Phyll is Leyland s visi t ’

t o the studio .


Quite M rs L eyland saw a woman
. . if you ,

remember as she was coming t o the s t udio door


, ,

running awa y across Diarmid s lawn Diarmid ’


.

tried to persuade me tha t it w as himself whom she


saw only him self Probably he was behin d .

the wall a t tha t momen t .

Dr Hailey sighed
. I have only two facts to set
.


against your conclusions he s t ated and I confess , ,

that both of them are isolated and unrelated to any


of the other facts in the case The one is the wedding .

ring "the other is the glass stopper of the poison


bottle which I picked up in the studio The wedding .

ring suggests to me that there is an undiscovered


element in the case as it affects Echo Wildermere .

I have as ye t no suggestion at all to make about


, ,

the stopper Nevertheless I can t help feeling that ’


.


b oth these pieces of ev idence demand inv estigation .

Biles did not reply He had got hi s case and was


.
,

scarcely even interested in fac t s whi ch did not


immediately support i t Biles the doctor reflected .
, ,

b elonged to that large group of men and women


Who use science and the me thods of science as a
, ,

means to an end and no t as ends in themselves .

He habitually began his work with a theory of the


case and then looked abou t for proofs of that theo ry
, ,

whereas the true man of science begins with an


empty mind and collec t s his evidence withou t caring
in the least t o what conclusions it may lead him .

B iles s method was the irnmemorial method of folk


lore and magic of credulity which seeks to bolster


,


up i ts b elief by an imposing array of facts and
figures "the me th od of science is the method of

1 71
RED S CA R
doub t for science is not concerned t o belie v e anything
,

or to prove anything— no t even to disprove anythin g .

There flashed into the doctor s mind the though t ’

o f all e blessings which this method of doub t


h as giv to humanity— mode m surgery modern ,

h ygiene the prevention of di sease the leng thening


, ,

of life pure food pure wa t er and the grea t er b lessing


, , ,

of freedom from s uperstition and the Op p ression


which is always a ss ociated wi th supersti t ion What .

had the me thod of credu li ty ever bes t owed on men


and women excep t inj ustice and misery
The cab reached Hamp stead Village and b egan to
clim b Holly Hill Dr Hailey s eyes sough t the
. .

National Ins t itute of M edical Research which s tands


on the top o f the hill A new temple of a new faith .
,

fai th in honest doub t He thought of all the s ma ll .


,

c are ful patient researches being c arried on da y b y


, ,

day and even night by night within these red


, ,

walls to w in from reluc t an t Nature a single grain of


tru th and his p ul ses were q uic kened
, There was .

the real romance th e true p rogress the sure promise


, ,

of a happier and a better world From thes e doors .

had come forth and wou ld con t in u e to come for th


, ,

help and healing no t for the British people onl y bu t


for all peoples and all races for humani t y i t sel f , .

The cab sto pped and Biles j umped ou t and handed


,

the driver his fare which he had counted ou t in


'

readiness Before Dr Ha iley had descended to the


. .

pavement the door Of the li tt le old world h ou se - '

had been Opened .


M rs Wildermere.

Yes .

They pas sed into the dirnness of a tin y en t rance


h all in which oak beams were deliciously m ing led
1 72
RED S CA R
incorp ora t ed every tint of autumn The room had com .

for t without indulgence one might be glad in it but


no t perhaps con t en t ed unless the su n was shining
, , , .

The big basin like lamp shade of p ink silk bordered


- -

with black which hung in t he c entre of the room


seemed t o be i t s most characteris tic furnishing ”

The lamp shade began to sway on its silken cords


-
.

The doctor t urned sharp l y to see E ch o s tanding in


the Open doorway .


Good afternoon Dr Hailey Good afternoon , . .
,

Inspector Biles .

Echo closed the door and came across th e room


t o where Biles was standing Dr Hailey had a swi ft . .

irnpression of courage and self possession only a -

little tempered by nerv ousness The girl s cheeks .


were bright bu t she wa s sligh tl y pale round the


,

l ips
.

More ques t ions ? she asked with j us t a t race of


r es en t ment in her t ones .

Biles had assumed his mos t inquisitional manner .

T o intensity that effect of gravity he t ook his note ,

book from h is pocke t and reques t ed t he girl to be


s ea t ed He O pe ned his note b ook wi th deliber
.
-

a tion .


I m afraid I must ask you some fur ther ques t ions

y es
, he said and I hOpe that in view of what has
, ,

h appened y ou will no longer pu t any diffi culties in


,

my way by refusing t o answer them He fixed .


his eyes on Echo s face The body of Mr Raoul

. .


Fea therstone he declared has j us t been found
, , .

It was encased in t he cast of Mr A laister Diarmi d s .



s tatue of yourself .

He paused to give hi s disclosure its fulles t eff ect .

Echo did no t flin ch .

1 74
A NDR O MED A
There can be no doub t that Mr Diarmid himself .

concealed the body in the cas t .

A gain Biles paused They heard a messenger b oy .


-

go whistling p as t the windows do wn Holly Hill .


There was also found in the cas t a me t al chain
belonging evidently t o a woman s even ing cloak
, ,

.
.

I may say tha t Mr Diarmid at t empted to .

burn the cast and tha t eve rythi ng other t han metal
and bone which it contained was ,

destroyed .

The words and bone were Spoken in the tones


of a j udge prono uncing sentence but st ill the e ffec t ,

on t he girl t o whom they were Spoken w as incon

siderab le Echo pulled her chair up t o the table


.

so that sh e faced t he window and Dr Hailey rather .

than the de t ectiv e She rested her forearms on the


.

table and clasped her hands together The doctor .

noticed that she was no longer wearing Raoul s ’

engagemen t i ng

.

I knew she s t a t ed tha t A l aister had got rid


,

of my cl oak somehow t hough I didn t know that ,


he had put it in the cas t .

Her v oice was steady bu t i t conv eyed never theless ,

a sense of tension She was waiting and watching


. .


So you admi t tha t the cloak belonged t o y ou
O h yes
, .

And the buckle with which t he chain was


fas t ened

The buckle was on my hat not on my cloak ,
.

My ha t was s t ained wi th blood as well as m y


cloak
.

Biles s t arted slightly in Spite of himself He ,


.

began to make a note and then suddenly closed , ,

his note book-


.

I 7S
RE D S CA R
Will you please t ell me he demanded e x a ct ly , ,

wha t happened d u ring yo u r v isit t o Mr Featherstone s .


s t udio on the las t nigh t of th at unhappy young


man s life

Ech o nodded in t he manner of a person who is


p reoccupied and does not wish for the momen t , ,

to be disturb ed Then she repea t ed the s t ory which


.

Sh e had told A laister When she finished Biles


.

reopened h is no t e book -
.


Hav e y ou any ide a why Mr Feathers t one sho uld .

hav e a tt acked you he asked .


O f course no t .

Was he l y ing down or s t an ding up wh en you


en tered the s t udio ?

He was leaning against the wall A ll his S hi rt
fron t was stre ake d wi t h blood .


A nd wh en he saw you he Sprang a t you ,

N o it did n t happ en like t ha t Echo fi xed


, .

her eyes on her ou ts tretched hands as if she had ,

disco v ered some thing in her hands which pe rplexed


"
her . Whe n I came in t o t he s t udio Raoul didn t ’

seem t o recogni z e me at first He didn t even see m .


'

to see me I got a pre tt y b ad shock but I think I


.
,

managed to keep my head I ran to him and put my .

arms round him .


And then he a t tacked you
N o not even then
, He leaned against me for
.

a minu te or two I t was only when I called to him


.

that he suddenly ga thered new strength and began


to tea r my fro ck He scratched my shoulders
. ,

b u t otherwi se he di dn t h u rt me much But I wa s



.

very frightened .


Did you defend yourself
I don t reall y know what I did I sup pose I tried

1 76
RED S CA R
you himsel f ? We have the independen t test imony
of Maj or Lionel Leyland I may say about that , , .


No I don t den y t hat e ither
,

.

Biles thru st his hea d forward .


From t he momen t when Diarmid declared him
self you were finish ed with Featherstone eh
, ,

I knew then that I had made a mistake in becoming



e ngaged t o Raoul .

A nd yet you allowed Feathers t one to buy you


a v aluable engagement ring that same afternoon

Yes .

A n d t old him no thing abou t your change of


feeling
Echo s t ruck the t able sharp l y with the point s of
her fingers .


I don t think she said

that your way of
, ,

looking at things Inspector Biles and my wa y of


, ,

looking a t things are the same I m not inhuman .


exactly Naturally I was t erribly sorry and upse t


.

when I realized that I didn t care for Raoul so much ’

as I had thought tha t I cared It seemed to be my .

du t y almost to marry him in S pite of my feeling s .

When I left A laister s house I made up my ’

mind to keep my promise I met Raoul in town .

and allowed him to buy the ring as he had arranged .

I t was when I was waiting at home afterwards for


him t o t ake me ou t that I knew that I couldn t keep my ’

promise I meant to tell him that evening that I must


.

break off ou r engagement and that was reall y why I ,

went to his studio when he didn t come to me I ’


.

felt I couldn t wai t till the next day



.

I see A gain Biles thru st his face forward


. .


Suppo se he demanded
, tha t Featherstone had ,

refu sed to release you from your promise


1 78
A NDR O MED A
How ab surd O f course he wouldn t have refused ,

.

I said Suppose that he had refused


,

If he had refused I should have broken off the


engagement j ust the same I had made up my mind .

t o break it O ff .

The detective m ade a long note Then he asked : .


You realized of course t h at Featherstone h ad
, ,

been wounded ? I mean that his inj ury was not ,

due to an acciden t
Yes .

Whom did you susp ec t of having inflic t ed t hat


wo und

I didn t think of anybody a t the ti me

.

Did you think of anybody afterwards


Perhaps I did .

Mrs L eyland ?
.

I knew she had been v ery friendly with Raoul .

And that her husband was sure to tell her abou t


your engagement to him
Yes I did think it was likely he would tell
,

her. Again E cho tapped on the table I don t .

wan t you to go away with the idea that I ever really



suspected Phyllis she added ,
I merely thought .

of her I feel quite sure now that Phyllis would


.

never wound anybody .


Did you think about Diarmid in the same way
Echo stiffened in her chair Dr Hailey saw her . .

knuckles blanch as she clenched her fists .


O f course not Would I hav e gone t o him for
.

help if I had
Biles frowned slightly .


What was Diarmid doing when you reached his
house he asked .

I think he was making a new cast of his statue .

I 79
RED S CA R
hou s emaid in the a fternoon b roke t he
Th e
firs t ca s t he had made .


Did you tell him t hen t hat you had be en going , ,

to break off your engagemen t to Featherstone



O h no I begged him to come to the studio
, , .

I was much too frightened to t hink about any thing


else.


A nd y et you allowed him to drive you home
be fore Featherstone s wound wa s at t ended to ? ’

For the first t ime Echo seemed ill at ea se .

“ ”
Yes I allowed him she agreed
, , .

Did you tell him on the way home abou t t he


engagement
"
No I didn t I ha v en t t old him ye t
,
’ ’
.

Biles made a final no t e and closed hi s book .


I m going to b e perfectly frank with you he

s t a t ed .

I thi nk your s t ory is unsatisfactory Wh y .
,

for example should the man you are engaged to


,

attack you ? O n the face of i t i t s an extremely ,


improbable occurrence .

Echo rose to her feet If you wai t a moment .


,


she said I ll show you the frock I was wearing
,

la s t nigh t .

She left the room Biles t urned t o Dr Hailey . . .

What do you think


It s tru ck me that she was Speaking the tru t h .

She volunteered the information that the chain


belonged to her cloak .


Bu t why should Featherstone hav e a tt acked
her
I don t kn ow ’
.

Echo returned carrying a green frock of t he colour


,

of olives She held it up for the detec t ive s inspec t ion ’

. .

O ne of the sho ulder s t raps was t orn across and -


,

1 80
C HA PTER XXXI

A G REA T AR T I ST

B I LE S wa s unable to hide his as t onishmen t F or .

an i nstan t indeed his eyes exp ressed admiratio n


, ,

as we ll as surprise In this attitude of defiance Ech o


.

was very lovely .


That is not my reading of the case he declared ,

col dl y . I do not think that you wounded Fea ther


s tone I feel sure on the contrary th at the wo und
.
, ,


was inflicted by A la ister Diarmid .


A laister ? How could A laister ha v e infl ic ted the
wound

He has already confesse d tha t he inflicted it .

The girl winced F or a moment Dr Hailey thought


. .

tha t she was going to collap se but her courage ,

sustained her .


He told you tha t she dec lared in firm t ones
, ,

to shield me .


T o shield yo u
Yes A laister thinks tha t I wounded Raoul
. .

She was completely master of hersel f again Biles .

drew a sharp breath .


Why should he think that
Because because he belie v es that I am
capable of of t hat sort o f thing .

She starnrnered a deep blush oversp read her fa ce .

She added
1 82
A G RE AT A RTI ST
When I came to call him my frock was t orn and
there was blood on my shoul der .


I though t that Diarmid was in lov e with you ,

Biles said .


A la ister is a great artis t .

The girl sp ok e the words proudl y .


I don t understand you Wha t has tha t go t t o

.

do with his atti tude to yourself



I t exp lains his atti t ude to me to every ’

th ing .

B iles sighed He glanced a t Dr Hailey and raise d


. .

his eyebrows To his as t onishmen t he saw tha t the


.

doc t or was leaning forward gazing at Echo with an


expression of the deepes t in t erest .

You mean I think Dr Hailey said


, tha t , .
,

Mr Diarm id never allows his feelings to run awa y


.

wi th his j udgement .


Yes And his j udgemen t you see is against
. , ,

me bo th on the facts themselves as he knows t hem


and on his reading of my character .

Again Echo blu shed The doc t or turned away to


a v oid causing her grea t embarrassmen t .


His statue of An dromeda he said in low t ones ,
.

Exactly His statue is his reading of my character


. .

That is wha t he believ es about me L ike you he .


,

can t understand why Raoul S hould have at t acked


me .


In other words Biles said in sharp t ones he , ,


doesn t believe what you told him

.


He does and he doesn t ,
I really can t ’
.

explain it any better than tha t But I understand .

it.

The detective shrugged his sho u lders His eyes .

began to gleam again .

1 83
RED S CA R

Wh y b e asked did you carry a wedding ring
, ,
-

in the pocket of your cloak when you went to


Featherstone s s tudio ’

I didn t '
.

A wedding ring h as been found along with the


-

chain and the buckle which you admi t belong to you .

Either you or Featherstone must have been in


po ssess ion of the ring .

“ ”
I know nothing about it .

Did F eatherstone wear a S igne t ring


NO He disliked seeing a ring on a man s fi nger
.

.

Well then did he buy a wedding ring when he


, ,
-

bough t yo ur engagement ring


O h no "we hadn t even fixed the time of ou r
,


marriage .

"
The ring is there an yhow Biles considered a ,


momen t and then added : I am going to sugges t ,

Mi ss Wildermere that when you attempted to break ,

off your engagement to him Featherstone lost hi s

head and became violen t N o doubt when he at t acked .


,

y ou ,you cried for help I put it to you tha t your .

cries brought Diarmid on the scene and t hat when ,

he saw how you had been t reated he murdered your ,

lover .


It is not t ru e .

Then you heard foo tst ep s approachi ng the s t udi o


and ran away acr oss Diarmid s lawn When M rs ’
. .

Leyland had gone you and Diarmid returned to the


studio to fin d that Fea therstone was dea d .

They heard footsteps approaching the house The .

bell rang loudly .

Dr Hailey glan c ed back through the window of


.

the room .

That s Mr D iarmid himself he announced



.
, .

1 84
RE D S CA R
I don t accoun t for i t Why should I

.

The bones are there sir , .

Very well they re there


,

.


B iles fro wned You sta t ed t ha t Mi ss W ildermere
.

did not visit Featherstone s s tudio on the night of ’

of his disap p earance whereas Miss Wildermere ,


p

now t e lls us that she did v isit Feathers tone s studio ’

on that nigh t .

Very well then I was wrong She did v is i t


, , .

Featherstone s s t udio

.


Where She was at t acked b y Fea therstone She .

ran to your hous e and summ oned you to help


"
her .

The detec t ive pau sed His p ale face exp ressed .

j udgement without mercy .


Have it your own wa y Suddenly A l a iste r .


rai sed his head I t s o unds a p robable story doesn t
.
,

"
it he sneered
, .

It sounds a mos t improbable s t ory .

Then why not believe the story I t old you


that I wounded Featherstone myself

I feel sure that you wounded him but I fee l ,

equally sure that Miss Wildermere was present ,

"
aiding and abetting you on t hat occasion , .

A laister sat down a t the table and rested his chin


on his hands Dr Hailey saw his brows contract
. . .

He had heard the worst and seemed now to be , ,

attempting s ome arra ngement in his own mind o f


the vario u s Charges .

Why in the name of G od he asked Should


, , ,

Miss Wildermere aid and abet me to wound her


fiancé

Because she had made up her min d that she
cared for you and not for Fea therstone She went .

1 86
W I L FU L M U R D E R
to t he s tudio for the purpose of breaking off her
engagement to Featherstone .

A la ister started slightly .


Rubbish .

Miss Wildermere will tell you that it is



true .

A laister j umped up cas t ing as he did so a side


, , ,

long glance at Echo who sat with pa rted lips and


,

strain ed features watching him .

“ ”
L isten to me l he cried The story which .

Miss Wildermere has told you is true My personal .

feelings towards her urged me to shelter her from


any possible suspicion of being concerned in the
tragedy and so I insisted on her going home and
leaving me to take care of Feathers t one It was these .

personal feelings which caused me to deny that she


had visited the studio Her v isit took place after I
.

had wounded Fe atherstone and she had no connection ,

of any sort with my w ounding of him Dr Hailey . .

will tell you that I had quarrelled violently with


Featherstone the night before t he wounding .


I see SO that having wounded Featherstone
.
, ,

you calmly returned to your house and left him to


bleed t o death Is that wha t you wish me to believe
.


I didn t think I had hurt him very much

.

A nd yet a little later after Miss Wildermere


, .

called you you bandaged the wound and carried


,

a
the wounded man across to your house .


Because then I realized th t I had hurt him
, ,

terribly .

Biles raised his shoulders in a contemptuous


shru g .

"
'
There is a S impler and a more satisfying explana
” “
tion O f your conduc t he declared " namely the , ,

1 87
RE D S CA R
explana t ion I ha v e already g i v en y ou Th a t e xpl ana.

tion if I may say so h as the merit of e x plaining the


, ,

a t tack by Feathers t one on Mi ss Wildermere y our


. ,

efforts to wash awa y th e evidences of the crim e


—in wh i ch efforts the police happily s urprised you
your plans to preven t th e examina t ion of Mi ss
Wildermere and finall y y our a t tempt to dispo se
,

of t he murdered bod y o f your v i ct im — to say nothing


of your accomplice s bl oodstained cloak and ha t

.

A s he S poke Biles t oo k a s t ep fo rward .

“ ” “
I charge you , he declared wi th t he wilful
,

murder of Raoul Fea therstone and I warn you that,

anything you may sa y after this will b e us ed in



ev idence agains t you .


You mean th at you arres t me
,

Yes And Miss Wildermere


. .

The detective turned to Echo and repe a t ed his


formula with such amen da tion as accused her O f
,
“ ”
be ing an accessor y aft er the fac t

1 88
RED S CA R
him and herself O n the o t her hand he had c on t inued
.
,

t o tr y to seal Echo s lips long a ft er he had him self


confessed to the crirne Tha t might be merely his.

desire to shield his ac c ompli ce but it might eq ually ,

well be the ou t come o f a belief in the girl s gu il t ’


.

I f he had in fac t stabbed Raoul becau se Raoul


, ,

was ill using Echo why sho uld he hide Echo s


-
,

share in the tragedy ? A woman who is at t acked is


enti tled to defend herself .

Dr Hailey drove down to S c o t land Y ard imme


.

diately after brea k fast and p u t t hi s poin t to Biles .

But t he detective was in no mood to give it


weight .


Tha t will be their defence of course he said , , .

Diarmid will sa y tha t Fea thers t one was a ss aulting


th e girl and that he took the onl y c ourse O pen to
him to s ave her .


He has no t said so ye t , .

O f course not Becau se t he s t ory not be ing t ru e


.

he has not y et s uffi ciently collected his wits to t hink



of i t as a good explana t ion of his conduct The .


detective smiled grimly O ur answer will be that
.

a man of Diarmid s build had no need t o u se a knife


against a weakling such as Fea thers t one esp ecially ,

a s he had the girl t o help him The tru th Obv iously .


, ,

is that Diarmid was violently j ealous of Fea therstone


and saw red Don t forget tha t Echo Wildermere
.

told u s she had not Spoken to D iarmid ab ou t her


'

change of feeling towards her fi ancé Diarmid .

believed he had lost the girl to Fea t herstone .

Dr Hailey prepared t o go away


. .


You have had the ring examined he inquired .

O h yes "it s a w edding ring all right I fan cy


,

-
, .

we shall have to be con t en t to lea v e i t at tha t .

I 90
T HE D O U B T S OF DR . H A I LE Y
When he re t urned to Harley Stree t the doc t or

t old his butler Jenkins t o bring him the Pos t
, ,

Ofli ce Directory He made a lis t of the Chemist s ’

shop s situated within half— a mile of Raoul s studio -


He rang each of them up in turn gave his name , ,

and asked if a glass s t opper had been missed from


a poison bo t tle The inquiry prov ed fruitless Jus t
. .

when he had concluded it Jenkins informed him that


Mrs L eyland had called t o see him
. .

“ ”
Show her in please , .

Phyllis s eyes were red and she looked haggard



.

She seized the doctor s hand and held it for a moment


as if se eking support .


It s aw fu l isn t i t about A laister and Echo ?
’ ’

, ,


she wh ispered I fel t I mus t come and see you and
.

ask you to help me .

She sank into a chair She allowed her umbrella


'

and handbag t o fa ll on the fl oor beside her .

“ “
I v e taken L ionel home She added

The house , .

at Hampstead is shut .


How is y our husband
N o better Dr L omond wan t s you to come and
. .

see him again He says an operation will be neces sary


.


to take the piece of bone out of his brain She .

raised her tear s tai ned face -


A ll these terrible .

colu mns in the papers abou t A l aister have frightened


me dreadfully It looks almos t as if he must hav e
.

done it and yet I kno w t hat he didn t Is there ’


.

no way of of saving him



Things look prett y black I m a fraid ,

.

If only he hadn t put the body in hi s cas t Tha t



.

was to shield Echo of course ,


.

She put out her hand and grasp ed Dr Hailey s .


arm .

1 91
RED S CA R
Do you do y ou reall y thin k tha t E cho
killed Raoul
“ "
No .

Phyllis shook her head A laister m ust ha v e th ought .

t hat she killed him she said , .

Silence fell in the room Then Phyllis said .

I t is fright ful to t hink that I am the ca use of


all t his I feel tha t I am the one who is rea lly guilt y
. .

I fee l that I must work and work to save these two ,

or I can never be happ y again O nce more .


sh e grasped the doc t or s arm Is the Operation on

.

L ionel s brain a very dangerous one


"
It is a se rious Operation .

I know he won t recover I feel i t some


how A nd then I shall have kill ed him too


. , .

She drew herself up She was as pale as marble


'

. .

I shall have killed my husband my fa ther Raoul , , ,

A laister Echo , .

Dr Hailey laid his hand on her sho u lder


. .


It is foolish he said to talk in that wa y
, , .

It s the truth If I hadn t yielded to my fee lings


' ’
.

none of these terrible things could have happe ned .

She covered her face wi th her hands And my feelings .

were false false I have never cared


.

for anybody but L ionel in my whole life D O you .

know I was far more up set by the thought that


,

Lionel might have killed Raoul th an I was b y seeing


the knife in Raoul s sho u lder '
.

Dr Hailey started
. .


His shoulder I understood you to sa y tha t the
wound was in the neck

It was where the nec k j oins th e shoulder .

Phyllis put her hand on the back of her neck Her .

fingers rested on a Spo t a few inches ou t from the


1 02
t he v olume on his shelf The t roub le i s he added
.
, ,

that i t i s O pen to t he p olice t o sugges t that this was

than yo ursel f whose

1 94
C HA PT ER XXX I V

ACC O RDI N G To P A TTER N

T HE Op era t ion on Lionel Leyland was successf ul .

A piece of bone whi ch had been dr iven into the


,

brain was removed Within a wee k the patient


, .

was restored to his normal mind But tha t normal .

mind retained no memory of th e terrible events which


had followed R ao u l Fea the rst one s blow ’
.


I can remember seeing Featherstone coming at

me with the poker L ionel Leyland told Dr Hailey
, . ,

but after that everything is a blank .


You had struck hi m
O h yes I broke my stick over his shoulders
, . .

To do him j us t ice he beha v ed with more courage


t ha n I had expected but he was half craz ed all the
,
-

same . The sick man closed his eyes wearily I .

shoul d have taken A l a ister s advice and exercised ’

self restraint
-
.

Dr Hailey found Phyllis waiting for him in the


.

reception e of the nursing home as she had been


- -

waiting every day since the O p era t ion He told her .

that her husband was ou t of danger and had his ,

reward in the gleam of happ iness which for a moment


transformed her pale face but happiness was quenched ,

the next instant in fear .

You ve seen the morning pape rs



she whispered .


The trial is to begin next week .


Yes .

1 05
RE D S CA R
A nd we hav e no thin g no t hing .

The doc t or did not repl y The meetmgs whi c h .

he had had with A laister s legal represen t ativ es had ’

discouraged him so profoundl y th a t he did not dare


to discuss them T o all his obj ect ions the lawy ers
.

had made the same answer : people who a t t emp t


to dispose of bodies condemn t hemse lv e s in advance .

He re t urned home profoundl y dej ec t ed The case .

had b een t ried already in t he newspapers and the ,


v erdic t was guil t y Worse s t ill arti c les were .
,

“ ”
a p pearing on the subj ec t of Vamp s who lured
men to their ru in articles o bv iously mean t to refer
,

to E cho Wildermere The public v iew was t hat .

Echo had made use of Raoul to in fl ame A laister s ’

p assion A laister on t he other hand was looked


.
, ,

“ ”
on a s t he t yp ical Ca v e Man who loses all self -

c on t rol when f ace to fa c e with a rival What were .

the wre t ched scraps of ev idence which he had col


lected wor t h against t his raging t ide of prej udice
He rang t he bell and when Jenkins answered it ,

asked him for hi s Opinion The butler shrugged h is .

s houlders .


Ain t mu c h doub t sir is there ? By my way

, ,

of thinkin i t s t he old story of a man wo t s been


,
’ ’

driv en to distraction by a woman Gone temp rary ‘

.

hinsane ,e as

W en e sees the other fella i t s

.
’ ’ ’ ’

good nigh t .

Um " I m no t so s ure The fact is Jenkins I



. , ,

don t believ e tha t either Diarmid or Miss Wildermere



is gu ilty .

The b utler surv eyed his master wi th amazement .

Bu t h e knew his master s p owers as a detective too ’

well to o ffer any obj ection .

Ow do you make t ha t ou t Sir he a sked



.
,

1 96
RED S CA R
women he admires are s t rong minded pe rhap s ev en -
,

wild women .


Spice of the devil eh ,

Oh no N ot tha t even Some thing much


, . .

much more real than that much simpler more , ,

human I think that from the v ery beginnin g Diarmid


.

had made up his mind tha t the woman with whom


he Should fall in love must conform strictly to his
own parti cular p attern " an d of course she did , ,

conform We can alwayS see wha t we wan t to see in


.

the people we love .

The butler clutched at the last sen t en ce which ,

it seemed reminded him of a standing dispute be tween


,

his own father and mother Dr Hailey heard him . .

with vacant eyes .


Diarmid s pa tt ern g irl migh t ha v e drawn a knife

-

” “
on Raoul Featherstone he went on and so the , ,

real girl whom he lov ed had probably done so


indeed had certainly done so I t isn t t h e kind of
, .

reasoning I m afraid though which a j u ry is going


, , ,

to listen to .

No sir it ain t It s facts wot j uries must ave


, ,

.
’ ’

not hidea s .

The doctor took ou t his snuff bo x and Opened i t -


.


There are one or two fact s which the p olice have
not been able to explain I found the stopper of a .

poison bottle on the floor of Featherstone s studio ’

but no bottle I rang up all t he chemists Shop s in


.

the district .

He stopped A l ook of dismay had ap p eared on


.

Jenkins s face ’
.


I beg your pardon sir the man exclaimed , , ,

but there was a call for you from a Che mist s shop ’

in A m pstead yesterday I was ou t and Mary Ellen



.
,

I 98
ACC O RDIN G T O P ATTERN
ans wered it .She didn t get the name
'
I
.

meant to tell you bu t by no t av ing the name the


,

call slipped from my mind .

Dr Hailey thrust his snuff box back in t o his


.
-

Did they leave any message .

“ ”
N o sir
, .

Get me t he Hampstead Directory Jenkins , .

Fortunately I marked the names of the firms with


,

whom I communicated .

I 99
C H A PTER XXX V

TI N C T . O PII

T HE manag er of t he Ch emis t s shOp condu cted by ’

Messrs Smy th e and Johnes in Finchl ey Road was a


.

yo un g man wi th a v er y loud v oi ce He st ated .

tha t his nam e was O lip h an t and rec eiv ed ,

Dr Hailey as i f h e k new him


. He conducted .

th e doct or in t o a room which h e desc ribed as my



sanc tum .


I t is v ery cur io us he said tha t you sho uld
, ,

have as ked us tha t q ues t ion abou t th e glass stop per .

In poin t of fact you see m to have known of ou r loss


,


before we knew abou t i t ourselv es Mr O liphant . .

hooked hi s thumbs in t o t he arm holes of his waist -


coa t and drew himsel f up N o doub t sir y ou .
, ,

remember that story of Edgar Allan Poe s in which ’

an obj e ct was successfu ll y hidden b y being placed


dir ec tly under the eyes of the p eople who were looking
for i t .

Y es .

So i t has h appen ed again Th e bot t le from .

whi ch the s t opper is missing was standing on a shelf


fa cing the ma in c ounter of the es tablishmen t E v ery .


body Saw it Nobody noticed i t . .

M r O liphan t mov ed hi s fingers rhyth mically on


.

his fawn coloured waistcoat li k e a v iolinis t t es t ing


-

his strings .

2 00
RED S CA R
Th e t rial b egins does it no t on Monda y ? I f , ,

thi s new C lue possesses the significance which m y


ins t inct see ms t o tell me it does possess five days ,

is all too short a p eriod in which to follow it up


.
.

Dr Hailey rais ed v aca nt eyes to the manager s


.

face .


I take i t you know who was on du t y in the shOp
on the nigh t of the trag edy he ask ed .

“ ”
I can find ou t .

Mr O liphan t left the room He clo sed the door


. .

of the room carefull y and silently behind hi m .

Wh en he cam e back his p ale face was tens e with


excitemen t .


We have t he man here now he s t a ted Wi th , .

your consent doctor I propose to inv i t e him to


, ,


come t o this room .


Yes .

Dr Hailey leaned back in his chair When t he


. .

assistant en t ered he pu t his eyeglass in his eye .


Do you know Mr Rao u l Featherstone by sig h t .

he asked .

The young man started He glanced nerv o usly .

from t he doctor to his emplo yer .


N o sir , .

Bu t you remember the night on which Mr .

Featherstone is said to have been murd ered


I was on late du t y t ha t night I —I have
read a bout the case in the papers .

Again t he assistan t dir ect ed an an xious glance


at Mr O liphant. .


Was it a busy night so far as you were concerned ,

th e doc t or asked .

Ab out the usu al I t hink Three or f our , .

pre scrip tions and some sales .

2 02
TIN CT . O PII
contracted hi s brows and then relea se d them again
“ ” “
sharply I believe he stated
. that that was
, ,

the night a gent le man came in and ordered a pick


me u p
-
.


A young man
O h yes quite young I—I thought he had had
, , .

a few drinks He was in ev ening dress He looked


. .

rather excited .


D o you remember if he was wearing an over

a
coat
The a ssis t nt shook h is head .


No sir I only know tha t he was in evening
, .


dress .

Dr Hailey allowed his eyeglass to drop


. .


What did you give him he asked .

O h the usual Spirit Ammon Arom


, . Sp irit . .


A eth N 1
. and a few drops of C ap sicum .


A stimulant
Yes The assis t ant again contracted his brows
. .

I do remember now that he had no overcoat because


he Spilt some of the dose over his shirt front and -

turned in the lapels of his j acket to try to cover the



stain
Where did you dispense the pick me—
.


up -


In the dispensary behind the shOp .

So that he was left alone in the shOp for a few


minutes

Yes but another customer came in before I got
,

back to the shOp I m su re of that because I recollec t


.

the new customer that s Mr Davidson who keeps ,



.
_

the fruit shOp next d oor asking me who he was ,

and saying tha t he thought he was drunk And .


,

Oh yes
, it was the night of the murder because t he
,

murder was on early closing day and Mr Dav idson , .

2 03
RED S CA R
came for a headache p owder for M rs Dav idson . ,

who had caught a ch ill on a bu s going ou t to se e


her fa ther and mother at St Albans tha t day . .

Dr Hail ey nodded The reasoning sa t is fied him


. . .

"
How was Mr Da v idson dressed do you .
,

remembe r he asked .

The assistant shook his head I c o ul dn t sa y .



.

He had a coat on
Boo ts
I— I c ouldn t say

The doc t or ro se I can ask him th a t qu es tion


.

m yself Meanwhile I m v ery much obliged to you ’


.
,

to you also Mr O liphant There is onl y one


, . .

more question You hav e no idea ha v e y ou how


.
, ,

much laudanum this bottle ought to contain .

I mean no writ t en record of the amount of laudanum


,

which was originally put in t o it



Mr O lip han t shook his head
. I m a fraid not .

.

We don t usually disp ense from the se bottles They



.

were filled some time ago partly as a reserv e ,

partly as a shOp dressing -


.

When he le ft the Chemis t s sh Op Dr Hailey ’


.

en t ered that Of Mr Davidson This man a Scot . . , ,

had preserv ed a clear recollection of the incident in


the Chemis t s '
.

I mind him well he s tated a young man with , ,

a soft face I had my slip p er s on and got to the door


.

o f the shOp be fore he heard me When I Opened the .

door he seemed to be lea ning on the counter but


he pulled himself up sharp and turned round I .

saw then that he had had a drop too much .


You are sure of t hat ?
"
Aye I m sure
,

Mr Dav ids on p ermitted himself
. .

a smile .

2 04
RED S CA R
laudanum whi ch aft e r al l is conj ec ture on yo ur
, , ,

p art tha t drug can hav e had v er y little effect on


,

him su rely
, .

“ ”
Ah no , Dr Hailey began to p ace t he fl oor
. . .

Don t forge t tha t Fea therstone had had one or mo re


drinks before he t ook t he laudanum Don t forget .


too t ha t he swallowed a p ick me u p immediately - -

after he t ook t he laudan um a p ick me—


,

u p contain ,
-

ing aroma t i c sp iri ts of ammonia among o ther things .

The eff ect of the drinks and the p ick me u p is o pp o sed - -

to t he e ffec t s of O p ium Some time would be bound .


to elap se be fo re the opi um was able to take e ffect .


E ven so the e ffec t would b e drowsiness not
,
'

excitement surely , .


N O that is not the case
, Opi um like all the .
,

other narco t ic drugs h as an excitement stage before ,

the drows y s t age Sometime s v ery violent excite .

ment is ca us ed and in this instance clearly the


,

excitemen t s t age was likely to be v ery much pro


longed owing to t he alcohol and the ammonia .

The doc t or s t op ped in his walk If the account .

of the wound which Phyllis L eyland has given me



is t o be relied on it was certainly not a fatal wo und
, .

Bi l es lit his pipe be fore he rep lied .


By her own Showing Phyllis Leyland did not
wait to make an y inv estigation he said at last , .


The wound in the neck may not hav e been th e

only wound .


I grant that On the o ther hand there is t his
.
,

to be said Phyllis Leyland drew the kni fe ou t


.

of the w ound That as a ru le is a v ery painful


.
, ,

process and I don t supp os e that sh e took any pre


,

cautions to render i t less p ain ful The pain i f the . ,

effec t of the op i um was not yet fully develo ped "


2 06
TIN C T . OPII
would cer t ainly rouse Featherst one from his s t up or .

It seems to me no t only p o ss ible bu t ev en p robable , ,

that after Phyllis went away he tried to rise to his


fee t If E cho Wildermere did in fac t en t er the s t udio
.

at tha t momen t i t is quite likely that sh e may ha v e


been a tt acked because as I hav e t old y ou t he ex c i t e
, ,

ment of Op ium is oft en of a v iolen t charac t er .

Featherstone would be maddened by pain "a t t he


same time his wits would be scat t ered by the dru g
It is very lik ely tha t he did not re c ogni ze E ch o .

Biles st ruck ano t her ma tch and applie d it to the


b owl of his pipe .


I m afraid tha t t hings don t hap pe n in t ha t
’ ’


way he said
, M y experience h as been tha t i t is
.

the S imple and no t the v ery complica t ed which is


usually true in t his world Do you mean to sa y .

that if there had be en any p ossible explanation of:


Featherstone s dea t h o t her than the explana t ion

that he was murdered A laister Diarmid wo uld ,

have t aken such t remendous trouble to disp o se oi


'

h is body
Yes I think he would
, Dr Hailey approached . .


the detective and stood before him Diarmid was .

convinced at the time an d is conv in c ed st ill I


, ,

believe that Echo Wildermere k ill ed Fea t hers t one


, .
1

He was in no mood even supposin g tha t he p ossessed


,

the necessary knowle dge to dist in guish between , .

the effects o f laudanum and the effects of bleeding"


from a wound Featherstone sank in t o unconscio us
.

ness and died before his eyes Echo Wildermere .


was c overed with blood dishevelled dis t raught, , .


But she told him that Sh e had not wounded
Feathers t one Don t forget t ha t fac t And he is
.

.

her lover .

2 07
RED S CA R

The do ct or sighed deeply Th ere my dear Biles
.
. ,

he said we come u p against the p urel y p ersonal


,

fa ct or the fac t or of A la ister Diarmid S syc o


p h

lo gy Remember t ha t you are dealing wi th a gen i u s


.

abo ut whom the world is agreed that h e sees humani t y


wi th p i t il es s eyes ruthlessly e v en brutall y
, , .

Biles rose and rea ched for his ha t .


M y b usiness he said in crisp t ones IS with
, ,

j uries no t art cri t ics Ne v er fear we Shall give the


, . ,

accu sed every benefi t of e v ery doub t— the laudanum


included And then my dear doc t or we Shall S how
.
, ,

th em that arra y of ch arred bones which you pu t


t oge ther so cleverly I m afraid that ev en the ps y ch o
.
'

logy of geni us will co un t for li t tle or against


these material facts .

208
RED S CA R
t ha t sp oken in app rehen s ion he rec eiv ed the ,

repl y :

O nly one of ou r gu es t s ringing for a whisk y and -

soda Sir
, .

Dr Haile y glanced at the man and met smiling


.

eyes He made hast e t o adj us t his eyeglass His


. .

min d tra v elled swiftly bac k to the day on wh ich ,

as a medical s t uden t he had en t ered the dissec t ing


,

room for the fi rst t ime Dismay had o v erwhelmed .

him on the threshold whereas t h e older s t udents


, , ,

p a ss ing in and ou t had shown complete indifference


, .

Th e thought wa s st ill in his mind w hen he Shook


hands with Dr Daylight the C hief M edi cal Officer
.
,

of t he prison and explain ed to him tha t he held a


,

permi t to visit A laister Diarmid .


I wanted to talk to y ou Daylight because I , ,

know wh at fine work your serv i ce is doing on the


psychology of crime and Diarmid is a man who has
,

bo t h interested and puzzled me .

Dr Daylight indicated a ch air near the fire from


.

which though he seemed t o b e unaware of the fact


, ,

an excellent view could be obtained of t h e prisoners


t aking exercise in the prison yard Dr Hailey sat . .

down and immedia t ely grew interested in an elderly


con v ict who was walking round a circular patch of
grass in a manner which recalled irresistibly the
, .

canter of a circus horse round the ring The man


-
.

looked plump and white and his face expressed j ust ,

t hat S hade of de t achment which characterizes the


bearing of plump white horses in circuses He seemed .

bored ra ther than resentful Ther e was a young man .

behind him who wa s also walking ro und the patch


of grass The young man s face was red and i t wore ’
.
,

a look of hatred The doctor s eyes strayed from


.

21 0
Y E LLOW S TRE A K
the se two fi gu res to o ther figu res walking in o ther
parts of the y ard Then he saw the small shed which
.

is u sed every day a s a tool house but some days -


,

a s a place in which to p ut men to death Dr C rip p en . .


,

t ha t quiet nea t little man had trotted on a foggy


, ,

morning in t o t he t ool shed Roger C asement -


,

too secu re in his adamantine van ity


,
and
Bywaters the well mannered b oy whose death
,
-
, ,

more even t han the death of Edith Thompson his ,

“ ”
poor Edie Piedi with its unwhispered horror , ,

had made hear t s sick Was A la ister Diarmid to .

foll ow where these had passed ? Dr Hail e y started . .

He realized s uddenly that his colleagu e was looking

The t oo l shed -

Yes .

Dr Daylight nodded his round head


. .

“ ”
I see it ev ery day of my life he remarked in ,


v ague tones I t hink that in time I shall be able
.

to look a t i t wi thout seeing it He lit a cigarette . .

“ ” “
Diarm id interests me he declared bu t I haven t , ,


made up my mind abou t him yet .


You know his work of course ? Dr Hailey , .

took snu ff He turned his eyes re solutely away from


.

the window .

O h yes And h is nickname Yellow Streak


, .
‘ ’
.

Tha t s wha t his friends c all him I understand


, ,

because ev ery thi ng he does has a streak of ev il in


it
. I m no j udge but I thi nk the charge in this

case is j ustifi ed Did you see his Samson wi th


.

Delilah ’

NO .

The prison doctor shook his head A ll the s trength .

of weakness all the weakness of strength in a frightful


,

21 1
RE D S CA R
ming li ng The t hing haun t ed me j ust as a few o f the
.
"

faces I see here haun t me hi s own face among the,

number He told me y esterda y b y t he way tha t


.
, ,

he had alwa ys tho ugh t he would b e hanged He .

kept q uo t ing
H an gi ng W ivi n g go b y d e sti n y
‘ ’
and .

I suppose the t rut h is t ha t he k illed his riv al in


a fit 0 j ealousy .


I am not sure i f t hat is the tru t h .

Dr Hailey t ook a p inch O f snuff The y wen t ou t


. .

across the yard where t he p risoners were ex ercisin g


to t ha t wing of t he p rison in which p ersons awai t ing
trial are lodged T he p ri s on doct o r conduc t ed hi s
.

colleague t o the room where prisoners are pe rmi tt ed


to receive v i s itor s He left him there A f ew minutes
. .

la t er A laister en t ered t he r oom ‘

The sculp t or bowed s t i ffly then he glanced t owards


,

th e Open door through which the back of the warder


who had b rough t him from h is cell was v i s ible .

There was ho st ili ty a s well as contempt in hi s glance .

“ “
This is an honou r he exclaimed bitterl y wi th
, ,

which I could well hav e dispensed


He s t ood challenging and unfriendly Dr Hailey . .

sa t down at the bare deal t able with which the room


was furnished In quiet methodical fashion he told
.

A laister abou t the in v estigations he had made in


connection with t he glass stopper .

"
T wo fac t s emerge he concluded : tha t Raoul
,

Feathers t one wa s prob ably under the influence of


Opium when he was wounded and tha t the wound ,

he received was neither severe nor fa t al Hi s death .

was due in all probabili t y to Opium poi soning


, ,
.

A la ister frown ed bu t a momen t la t er he sa t down


,

212
RED S CA R
of accept ing t he challenge in his last sen t en c e The .

sculp t or however re main ed s ilen t


, , .


I ha ve as ked my self v ery often in these las t few
day s why you re fu se d A t fi rs t I was inclined to
'

think tha t y our genius as an art i st had revealed


some fl aw in Miss Wildermere s character which ’

made it s eem p robable to you that She wo uld act


violen t l y if her feeling s were inj ured Y our sta tu e .

of A n dromeda S hows p erhaps that such a fl aw


, ,

exis ts But your s t a t ue Shows also another quality


—comple t e fearless c andour
.

, The woman you have .

modelled migh t s t rike a blow sh e wo uld no t aft er


wards deny that She had struck i t .

Again t he doc tor pa used The clang of an iron .

do or s t ru ck S harply on the silence .


A n d Miss Wildermere did deny that she had
wounded Feathers t one Why th en did you con .
, ,

tinu e to doubt her ? Wh y in other words di d y o u , ,

rej ec t yo ur own readi ng of her Character


“ ”
I don t know why ’
.

A laister s voice was so low tha t Dr Ha ile y was



.

only j ust able to hear it .


You did rej ect your own rea ding of her charac t er
Yes .

The d oct or took h is snu ff box from his pocke t -

and rubbed i t s lid S lowl y with his thum b .


Th ere are people who fin d crime in any form

irresistibly attrac t ive he said , .

“ ”
What do you mean ?
Tha t I ha v e come s t ep by step to the conclusion
, ,

that you be liev e Miss Wildermere t o be guilty


because wi thou t knowing it you want her to b e
, ,

gu ilty becau se the idea that She is gu il ty is


in some secre t way ple as ing to you .

214
YE LLOW S TRE A K
The doct or Spok e Slowly He kept his eyes fixe d
.

on A laister s face

.

"
Psychoanalysis ? the sc ulp t or sneer ed .

You may call i t tha t if you choose I p refer .

to call it a series of logical deduc t ions from y ou r


condu ct Wh en a man persis t s in an op inion which
.

the available e v iden ce discoun t s he mu st h av e ,

some private some p urel y personal reason for his


, ,

pe rsistence A ll y our work Shows how greatly you


.


are a t tra c ted by the ma cabre .

A la ister rose and began to p ace the s t one fl ags .

“ ”
Somebody wounded Featherst one he declare d ,

explosively .

Dr Hailey t ook t he glass s t opp er and t he fragment


.

which had been broken off from i t from his pocke t


and laid them on the table in fron t of him .

“ ”
I ha v e sa t isfied myself he s t ated tha t t hi s
, ,

was broken b y being flung down violen t l y on the


fl oor I can think of no spe cial reason why Feathers t on e
.

should have fl ung i t down O n the other hand he


. ,

may well have shown it to one of his visi t ors


as a proof that he had only a short time to live .

He paused A laister re t urned to the table and


.

stood looking down at the broken glass .


Why S hould he wish to prove that he had only
a S hort t ime to live ? he asked .


It is one way of getting out of a tight co rner ,

isn t it

You mean t hat the v isi t or flung the s t opper down


on the floor ?

Yes The visitor who perhaps was a ngry and


.

unbelieving and determined not to be put off with


'

any cock and bull story Men who make lov e to


- -
.

every woman they meet are liable to receive such


21 5
RE D S CA R
visitors H usb ands and fa thers and bro thers or even
. , ,

i t ma y be the di senchant ed lady hersel f


, Dr . .

Ha iley t oo k a p inch of snuff I t hink he added .


, ,

th a t we ma y a ss ume wi th c on fi dence t hat if Miss
Wildermere had been t old the sto ry about the dose
Of laudan um she wo ul d not ha ve kept the s tory to

hersel f .


O h no of co u rse not
'

.
, ,

And th e s ame app li es to y ou r co usin Mrs , .

Le y land doe sn t i t
,

A laister nodded .

"
C onse q uen t l y these two were not the only v i sitors
,

to th e st udio Ther e was ano ther v isitor who was


.

t old the story an angry v i s i t or wi th a subs tan ti a l


,

You don t mean Lionel Leyland do you


N o Leyland wa s on his way home with


. a bro ken
sku ll when F ea therstone re turned from the Ch emist s


sh Op .

21 6
R ED S CA R
A bo y of s ev en t een lov es wi t hou t t hought j u s t ,

a s he breathes or is hungry and eats Lo v e is pa rt o f .

Na t ure But i t is not t he less overwhelming on


.

that account I saw onl y Grizel da heard o n


. ly ,

Grizelda imagined only G r iz elda I had the sense


, .

o f being caught u p ou t of t he world and borne to the

gateways of the stars Heavenly music rang in m y .

ears .


But benea t h t hat ecstasy there were other feelings ,

dim unreal ized v ery real nev ertheless


, , G rizelda .

had killed—for what b oy of se venteen in his secre t


hear t doubts the v erdic t of his mother So She was
cruel and terrible as well as beauti ful and al luring
, .

That knowledge pierced me : it possessed me until


G rizelda s crime b ecame p art of her at t ractiv eness

I grew to love her crime to cherish i t to gloa t o v er , ,

i t I would not hav e had i t that she was innocent


. .

A laister stood up He flung out his arms v iolently


. .


I t is diffi cult to explain that feeling but prob ,

abl y as a s t uden t of the mind you know wha t I


, ,

mean C ompared with Grizelda the other girls whom


.

I knew were shadows They seemed so pale so life .


,

less so insipid They were wa t er whereas She was


, .
,

red wine Because they were innoc ent whereas she


.

was guilt y But I didn t think these things I was


.

.

only aware of them as you are aware of the perfume ,

of flowers in a hothouse Ac tually I told myself .

that Grizelda was innocent and t hat those who said


she was guil t y slandered her .

He raised his hand to his brow and dr ew it wearilv


a cross his eyes .


So I became her champion a s well as her lov er ’

One day a friend of our family a man of thirt y , ,

Spoke disparagingly of her at our dinner table I -


.

21 8
SLA VE O F MEM O R Y
followed him out of the house and demanded that
he should retract his calumny He t old me to go to .

the devil ca lled me a young fool


, I s t ruck him .

between the eyes We fought in the darkness of the


.
_

avenue among the win t er trees He thrashed me I


, . .

fled away from him to my bedroom and locked myself


in. I wept till S leep came The next day I told .

Grizelda what had happened .


I can see her face now as She listened to me
her eyes a little wild as if they were full of blushes
and laughter Full of shame and laught er and excite
.

ment Suddenly I thought that She was in t erested


.

in this man about whom I was telling her and I ,

became fiercely j ealous Don t you hate him ? I .


‘ ’ ’

cried and when she said O h no I should like to


,

, ,

meet him I grew cold Because t hat was ex actly


,

.

what I had suspected I shouted and stormed and . , ,

called her names Bu t She soothed me v e ry quickly


. .

A few days later I met her walking with the man .

A la ister pau se d again His face was drawn as .

tho ugh the pain of that moment of revelation lay


living still in his memory His v oice assumed a t
.

deeper huskier tone


, .


I j oined them and walked beside her but I , ,

wasn t able to S peak a S ingle word and m y S ilenc e


made them Silent I knew that Grizelda was angry .

with me and I guessed that I had Spoiled her game


,

with my rival The man s face was as black as n ight .


.

Awful feelings of despai r and rage possessed my


mind— suspicions too I left them but that evening
, . ,

I went to see Grizelda I demanded that she Should .

have nothing t o do wi th any man but myself .


A laister s fists were clenched Grizelda looked

. .

prettier tha t nigh t than I had ev er before seen her .

219
RED S CA R
She was e x ci t ed be cau se a t la st She had got a man

interes ted in her and her e x ci t emen t c olo ured her


,

cheeks an d b rightened her eyes She began to play .

with me G od how c ruel sh e was And the colour


.
,

k ept heigh t ening in her cheeks ea ch t ime sh e scra t ched .

She looked like all the angels and all the devils I .

bore i t as long as I cou ld and then something


snapped I laid m y hand s on her
. on her
white throa t .

He O p ened his hands and held t hem p a lms down


ward with stiffened fingers
, .


I called her murderess and t hen t he fury went
‘ ’

ou t of me I Opened m y eyes and saw that She was


.

in great fear of me I t hough t that I di dn t desire ’


.

her an y longer tha t I wa s done with her for ever


, .

I fl ung her away from me and wen t out into the


dark His voice fell to a whisper
. You are right . .

i T here are s c ars which never heal whi ch are youth s ,


pe rpetual rev enge red scars ? From that


s hOur until now as you say I have been the Slave
, , ,

iof memor y of t he memory of my lo v e of

(h iz elda f
' ’

2 20
RED S CA R
a

you found such gloating pleasan t In th ese l ast wee ks .


,

belie v e me you ve drunk deeply of the same sa t is


,

fa c tion while persuading yourself tha t you Were


ac t ing a heroic part .

Dr Hailey s face was stern Bu t t here was a quality


.

.

of kindness in hi s v oice which rather discounted


th a t expre ss ion The sculptor sa t gazing a t him
.

blankly .


I am quite sure t ha t I am genuinely in lov e with
” “
Echo he declared though I don t deny t hat t here
, ,

may be something in wha t you say



I think tha t y ou ma y possibly learn to lov e her .

Lov ing a w oman is a man s j ob I t demands self ’


.
"

sacrifice and self discipline qualities of manhood


-
, .

Had you e x ercise d these q ualities you could no t hav e


be liev ed Miss Wildermere to b e guil t y of this crime ,

and would not therefore have act ed in the i ncredibly


, ,

fooli sh wa y in which yo u hav e ac t ed The doctor .


paused for a moment Then he added : It is j ust .

p ossible tha t if you be gin to exerci se these qualities


now t he danger which threatens bo th Mi ss Wildermere
,

and yourself may be av erted .


What do you mean
I mean tha t you may be impelled t o tell the t ruth
a t y our t rial to admit that you suspe ct ed
Miss Wildermere and that every step you took was
,

dicta t ed by tha t suspicion The evidence which I .

hav e been able t o collect may be j ust enough to


raise a doubt in the minds of the j ury whether or
not Featherstone really died as a result of his
wound .

Dr Hailey wa t ched his companion closely as he


.

S poke He saw resis t ance to his suggestion smouldering


.

in the man s eyes He held ou t h is hand and then



.

2 22
THE L A ST H O PE
-

tu rned leav e t he ce ll Before he reached the door


to .

A laister was at his side .

I wan t to thank you for coming he ex claimed , .

A nd I wan t t o th ank you also for what you have said


to me I . I S hall try to p rofi t by what you


have s aid .

When he re t urned t o Harley S t ree t Dr Ha iley , .

experienced a S harp reaction of feeling The ho pes .

whi ch he had cherished fled away from him What .

did it ma t ter now t hr ee days be fore the trial what


, ,

A la ister resolved A sigh escaped t he doctor s lips ’


. .

A l aister s case was the case of thousands of other


men Everywhere as he knew there were husbands


.
, ,

and lovers wh o cherished the scars of their boyhood


and who lived l ike dreamers in a world of reality .

They demanded tha t the women they married sh o uld


:
conform to some adolescent ideal or satisfy some : ,

longing of the past Nor did the fac t that these


.

demands were unco nscio us make them less Oppressive


or insistent Hundreds of marriages were wrecked
.
-

0
0

every year because men refused to b e men and t o put .

away childis h things "because they refused t o look .

their wives in the face and see them as human beings :


In h is has t e t o transform Echo Wildermere t o the
im ag e of Grizelda A laister had des t royed the evidence
,

which must almost certainly hav e saved both Echo


and himself .

The doctor began t o p ace his consult ing room -


.

The only hOpe which remained was t he discovery


of the person who had broken the glass stopper ,

and there existed so far as he could see not a


, ,

single scrap of evidence which might lead to


that discov ery The u nknown person had left no
.

traces .

2 23
RED S CA R
He had le ft t hough clear proof t ha t he had exper
fenced a sudden gust of rage O nly the hand of a ve ry
.

an gry indiv idual could have c lashed the s t opper to


th e fl oor wi t h su fli cient v iolence to break it Had t his
.

gus t of rage been occa sioned by Fea t herstone s ’

announcement tha t he had t aken poison He stopped


in his walk I f t hat was so then the unknown prob
.

ably s t o od to lose heav ily by Featherstone s dea th’


.

Dr Hailey s eyes assumed the v acant e xp re ss ion


.

whi ch be t okened rap id a ct ion of his mind .

2 24
R ED S CA R
There were s ev eral photographs on t he chest of
drawers He recognized one of these as Lolotte the
.

housemaid and guessed that anot h er represented the


,

girl s sister He Opened one of the drawers and saw


that it was fu ll of shirts and collars Then he drew .

back the cu rt ain which covered the wardrobe The .

butler had not removed his clo t hes .

There w ere several coa t s and wais t coa ts each ,

suspended on a hanger He dismounted one of the .

coats and carried it to the window He focused his .

eyeglass on each of the sleeves In turn Then he .

replaced t he coa t and dismounted its neighbour .

He repeated tha t process three times without ,

apparently fin ding anythi ng unusual Bu t his first


, .

glance a t the fou rth coa t caused him to stiffen pe r


cep tib ly There was a stain on the right arm of the


.

coat j ust above the bend O f the elbow .

He passed his finger lightly o v er the s t ain He was .

able to detect some hardening of the cloth though ,

rath er less than he had expected His glass revealed .

the presence on th e black S urface of a number of very


small whi te threads 50 the s t ain h ad been rubbed
.

with a handk erchief He carried the coat downstairs


.

with him and laid it on the table in the entrance hall .

He walked t hrough A laister s lounge t o h is work ’

room an d stood looking a t t he apparatu s wi th


,

which the place was littered Then he glanced .

at his watch and immediately went out across


, ,

the lawn to t he wall separa t ing the house from


,

Raoul Fea t herstone s studio He j mrnped the wall



.

and walked t o the studio door and aga in consulted


his watch .

He returned to A l a ister s ho use and t ook po ssess ion


of K enn edy s coa t The po li ceman was wait ing for



.

2 26
THE S ME LL O F I O D O F O RM
him a t the garden ga t e He ga v e the man a t ip and .

t old him wha t he had done .


I wan t you t o report the ma tt er he added , .

I shall rep or t i t myself to Scotland Yard .

He looked a t his wa t ch again and then drov e


rapidl y ou t of t he private road and over the hill to
Hampstead v illage When he reached t he end of .

Flask Lane he t imed himself once more The j ourney


, .

from F rognal to Flas k Lane had occupied exactly


three minutes and he had suffered a S ligh t chec k at
,

t he en t rance t o the High Street .

He drove back to Harle y S t ree t and wen t a t once


to his labora t o ry a small apar tmen t behind his
,

con sul t ing room He S hut t he door and laid Kennedy s


-
.

coa t on t he work t able Then he t ook a wa t ch glass


-
.
-

and poured a few drop s of clear liquid in t o i t He .

dip ped the s t ain on the coa t into the watch glass -
.

A few min u t es la t er he saw in t h e field of his micro ,

Spectroscope the characteristic Spec t rum of haemo


,

globin—that is to say of blood , .

I t was qui t e possible that Kennedy had lift ed


Raoul Fea therstone ’s b ody in his arms the position
of the stain on the sleeve of his coat corresponded

t o the position which Featherstone s wound must ’

have occupied had he been lifted .

Dr Hailey re entered his car and drove back to


.
-

Hampstead He left the car outside a shOp in the


.

High Street and wal ked into Flask La ne A t a fruit .

stall in the lane he asked for the butler s address ’


.


That ouse over there wiv the red blin ds the

, ,

saleswoman told him .

He glanced across the narrow roadway and saw a


house of the type common in O ld Hampstead a ,

house beautiful in its lack of any kind of ornament ,

227
RED S CA R
small bu t not inconsiderable Th e red b linds .

he noticed were faded window curt ains Nevertheless


, .

they made harmony wi th the ri ch colour of t he


b rickwork He crossed the stree t and knock ed on the
.

door Kennedy Opened the door


. .

The butler took a step backward s when he saw who


his v isitor was Then he recovered his sel f possession .
-

and wi t h i t his profession al manner


, He s t ood
, .

S ilen t awai t ing exp lana t ions


, .


I wi sh to Speak to you alone .

Dr Hailey s voice was chill The Chill comm uni


.

.

cate d i t self to Kennedy who began to loo k frigh t ened , .


Very good S ir , .

The butler stood back He c lo sed the door carefull y .

aft er the doctor had entered .


I t so appens tha t I m alone t his afternoon
’ ’


he explained My daughter A ni t a wot s keepin
.
,
’ ’


ouse for me at the presen t time av ing gone ou t to ,


t he p ic t ures He coughed nervously . M y S is t er .
,

S he s stOppin with friends in t he coun t ry whereas


’ ’

Lolotte w ot was with me a t F rognal Lane as t aken



, ,

the uff and gone off to a place by erse l i


’ ’
.

He had Opened the door of his S i tt ing room while -

he was Speaking Dr Hailey beheld wha t a t first . .


,

S ight looked like a remote corner of a mu se um in a


,

c ountry t own I t appeared tha t in his leisure


.
,

momen t s Kennedy was a stuffer of birds and beas ts


,

and fishes The doctor glanced at him to observe


.

whe ther or no t he was aware of his treasures at this


momen t Kennedy s eyes were blank Dr Hailey
.

. .

sa t down on the only chair which see med a t all .

capable of suppor t ing his we igh t He screwed his .

eyeglass into his eye .

“ “
You were off du ty I th ink he said on the

, , ,

2 28
RED S CA R
deposit it in th is ho use and ge t b ack a gain while ,

your mas t er was ma k ing t he last of his vis i ts to Mr .


Featherstone s s tu dio Wha t do you s ay to tha t ?

.


Not hing sir, .
,

You deny tha t you brough t the b od y ov er here


C ertainly Kenned y brought his agi t ated hands
.

t o res t on t he arms of the chair in whi ch he was


“ ”
sittin g
. Suppose I ad brough t i t ere he asked ’ ’

wi t h a trace of in solence in h is v oice ow did I ,


carry it back again I t was fo und was n t i t in Mr ,


, .

A laister s car wo t he se t aligh t on the igh road


’ ’
,

Y es it was fo und there


, .

A nd accordin to th e newspapers you made a


search of the car y ou rself j us t before Mr A laister .

drov e away in i t and found no thin g .


That is true I a dmit , .

There wasn t f irne on t ha t occasion any ow


,

t o run across ere and pick the body up



I .

m ean between the time of your searchin the car ’


and the time of Mr A laister driv in awa y in it .

.


N 0 there wa sn t The doc t or brough t the po ints
,

.

of his fingers t ogether Nobody could ha v e made .

t he j ourne y to Flask Lane and back in t he t ime


'

I agree that tha t single fact see ms t o n ega t i v e


absolutel y th e idea that you had anything to do with

the t ragedy He raised his head sharply And ye t
. . ,

a s I have told you there s a bloodstain on the sleeve ’

of one of y our coats on the exact spot where a blood


,

s t ain might be if you had lifted a man wi th a wound


in his left Sho ul der on t he exact Spot where

I looked for a bloodstain .

Th e last words were S poken Slowl y Bu t they .

exer t ed very li t tle effect on Kennedy who seemed to ,

have recov ered all his habit ual self possession -


.

230
THE S ME LL O F I O D O F O RM

I m afraid sir you mus t p ut that down to a

, ,

b leedin of the nose wha t I ad a few da y s ago he


’ ’

said .

Dr Hailey rose
. .


I understood your mas t er to say th a t you helped
him occasionally with t he casting of his st atues ,

is that S O

Yes S ir , .

But no t with the cas t ing of the s t a t ue of


A ndromeda

With the first cas t ing of tha t sta t ue onl y .

The butler s irnpassive features were in perfec t


keepin g with his air of detachment He Opened the .

door of t he room and sto od back to allow his v is itor


to pass But Dr Hailey lingered
. . .


A m I righ t in thinking he inquired t ha t you , ,

use iodoform to p reserv e the skins of the animals


y ou s t uff
Qui t e righ t sir , .

E x traordinarily pene t ra t ing smell i t has I felt .

the smell the moment I crossed y our t hreshold .

You re stuffing some thing now I take it ?



Yes S ir in the kitchen S ir a pe t dog belonging
, , ,

to a lady in A mpstead

.

The doctor passed through the doorwa y into the


narrow entrance hall Suddenly before Kennedy . ,

had time to follow him he turned towards the k itchen , ,

the door of whi ch stood aj ar and pu shed the door ,

wide Open The kitchen table was bare There was


. .

no S ign in t he little room of any work or any animal .

Dr Hailey turned and fa ced the butler


. .


I m afraid the Hampstead lady must hav e t aken


her pet dog away he remarked in gent l e tones
,
.

Kennedy v ouchsafed no reply .

23 1
C H A PTER X L

DEAD L OC K

T HE day be fore the trial o f A l aister and Echo b e gan ,

Dr Hailey visited the o ffices in C lement s Inn of


.

Messrs Smy the and Gravesend A laister s so lici t ors


. ,

.

He was received b y Sir Hector Smythe in an impres ,

sive but rather dusty room which o v erlooked the Law


C ourts .

Sir Hector was a small fat man wi th a geni al '

e xpression and an irritable tem per a man who lived ,

v ery close to t he gout bu t a shrewd lawyer He and


, .

Dr Hailey were old acquaintances


. .


AS ever he remarked minding o ther men s
, ,

b u smess for them My dear Hailey you will die


.
,

young .

Lawyers do not die young .

Bu t we get paid for our serv ice s Suddenly .

the smile on Sir Hector s face disa ppe ared



You .


come as a friend I t ake it he asked or you wo ul d
, , ,

not come at all ?



Y es .

The d octor ex t racted his snuff b ox He g ave the -


.

lawyer an account of his investiga t ions and offered


t he suggestion that A laister h ad merel y hidden
Echo s bloodstained hat and cloak in his statue and

that Raoul s bod y had been p u t in t o the car by


another ha nd .

2 32
t heory is cert ainl y in accord wi th Miss E ch o Wilder

mere s s t ory of the a tt ack on h er self

.

Qui t e S0 and th e drawing of t he kn i fe ou t of the


,

wound b y Mrs Leyland a ct ed j us t as th e p ick me u p


.
- -

had ac t ed a s a whip on Fea th ers t one s nerv es ’


.

I t serv ed to p rolong and to . in t ensify t h e


e x citemen t s t age of the Opi um Dr Hailey t ook . .


another p in ch of sn uff The real ques t ion w hich
.

” “
we ha v e to an swer he declared , concern s t he ,

identi ty of Fea t herst one s v is itor th e pe rson


'

who stood to lose hea v ily b y his dea th I confess tha t .

the sole rea son why I allowed my su SpicionS to fall


on Kenned y the butl er is tha t Kenned y h as a
, ,

daughter a remarkably pre tt y daugh t er ‘


.

Lolotte ma y v ery well ha v e a ttracted the noti ce of


Raoul Fea thers t one I t hink tha t she did a t tract
.

his notice becau se I have ascertained tha t she o v er


,

turned t he s t a t ue of Andromeda and smashed it , ,

j us t af t er she learn ed t ha t Echo Wilderm ere was


engaged to him She was in t he room when Lionel
.

Leyland t old E cho a bo ut his wi fe s rela t ions with ’

Feathers t one .

A gain S ir Hect or nodded .


Fea t herst one h ad promised to marry her no ,

doubt .


O f c ou rse Men of his s t am p liv e b y pro mises
. .

Lolotte may v ery well have confes s ed to her father ,

after she smash ed t he s t a t ue and tha t confession ,

probably sent Kennedy to the studio But the man is .

nerv ous . He must hav e s u ffered agonies of fear


.

when he realize d t h at hi s master had brought the


body of the man he had j us t s t abbed back to the house .

The mo t i ve t o remov e the b ody be fore the police


2 3
4
DE A D LO C K
arri ved was cer t ainly overwhelmingly s t rong
, , .

Dr Hailey b roke off and Spread ou t his hands


. .

“ “
I stop t here he added because I hav e failed
, ,

to ca rr y the stor y an y far ther Kennedy ma y hav e .

driven the wounded man o v er to Flask Lane But .

in that case he mus t hav e brough t him back again


the same night nd hidden him in t he house And
, a .

the police searched the house a dozen times tha t night


and t he following day .


Is it not possible th a t the girl Lolotte herself
wounded Fea therstone ? She would be q uite lik ely
to confess to her father when S he began to reali z e

wh at she had done .


I hav e though t of that I t is c ert ainl y po ss ib le .

tha t Lolotte and not her fa t her stru ck t he blow


, , .

Dr Ha iley took a paper from his p ocket and un folded


.

” “
it
. I came this aftern oon he said to gi v e yo u , ,

t his It s a lis t of questions which I thi nk ought to


.

be p u t to Kennedy in cross examination The obj ec t -


.

is to discov er what he knows o f Lolotte s relations ’

to Featherstone B y the wa y the prosecution aren t


.
,

calling Lolotte are the y ,

Sir Hector shook his head We tried t o find her .

“ ”
ourselv es he sta ted bu t we failed
, ,
.


It seemed she quarrelled wi t h her father and took
a place somewhere in the country Kennedy says She .


h asn t communica t ed with him since she left home

.

The lawyer contracted his brow .


If what you hav e suggested is t rue he probably ,

sent her away himself and is now hiding her ,
.

They sat silent facing one another the victims o f


, ,

desponden cy What after all were these conj ectures


. , ,

worth against the fact of the charred b ones


Sir Hec t or broke the silence
23 5
RED S CA R
Kennedy he declared in t he t ones of a man who
,


ha s j us t made u p his mind c ert a inl y did not put ,

the body in his master s car ’


.


NO .

A nd therefore he did no t t ake the b od y to his hou se


in Flask L ane .


I su p pose tha t fo llo ws .

So we are lef t wi th th e b are chan c e th a t h e and


not A laister Diarmid enca sed t he b ody in the
st a t ue .


I don t think h e would ha v e dared to a tt empt

th a t single handed a t a tim e when his ma st er might


,

re turn a t an y momen t .

The lawy er incl ined his head .


C o ul d he hav e managed to hide the b ody in his
b edroom o v er night He had t ime hadn t he

, ,

b e tween y o ur se arch of t he c ar and D iarmid s ,


'

dep artu re to c a rry the bod y ou t of the ho us e and


,

p ut i t in t o th e car

Plen ty of t ime Bu t the p ol i c e sear ched hi s
.

bedroom t wice o v er A mo use could not ha v e esc a p ed


.

"
th a t scru t in y .


Wh a t abou t the g arden or t he garage ,

S ear ched a s t horoug hl y as th e bedroom .

So we rea ch deadlo ck Kenned y did not hide


.

the b ody .

Dr Haile y ro se
. .


Tha t is the lo gi c of th e S i tu a t ion cer t ainly he , ,


st a t ed . And y e t somehow I can t accep t the l ogic
, ,

O f th e s i t ua t ion I ha v e a feeling all the t ime that


.

we ha v e o v erlooked s ome v i t al p iece o f evidence .


He pau sed . I feel like a man grop ing in the dark
t o fin d the ele ct ri c switch .

2 36
RED S CA R
He began t o p ace his cell on troubled fee t I t mu st .

be true then tha t for t wenty years h e had been


, ,

hankering secretl y after th is woman Her infl uence .

must have been a t work in all his act iv it y


t hose sta t ues which th e whole world called ruthle ss
and unp leasan t hi s con t empt for the ordinary
j oys of life his a tt i tu de of angry scorn against his
,

c on t emp orary art is ts He had none Of th e


.

feeling s now which u sed to sup port t ha t manner .

O n the contrary he felt as he had fel t once in his ,

childhood on emerging from a period of high fev er


, .

He s t op p ed su ddenly A look of great per .

p le xity came in t o his eyes A ll h is f ears and


. s u spi c i ons

abou t Echo had v a ni sh ed from hi s m ind .

He glanced roun d the miserable apar tment and ,

then walked to the bed He sat down on the bed and


.

pu t h is head be tween his hands He tried to recall .

the reasons which had induced him t o conclude that


Echo was guil ty her dishev elled appearance
at hi s door on t he night of th e tragedy the reckless
, ,

ness which he had lov ed to see in her ey es the faint ,

l ikeness which she bore sometimes to Grizelda .

He rai sed hi s hea d


, ,

shadows shadows .

an d gazed in f ront of him a t the bare wall He knew .

now t ha t e v ery word which Dr Hail ey had S poken .

was tru e .

Again he beg an to p a ce the ce ll I f only he had not .

hidden Ech o s hat and cloak in his s t a t ue or hav ing


hidden them there had no t t ried to b urn them I


,

The s t atue ha d it fallen into the hands of the poli ce


, ,

would have proved hi s innocence Ech o s ‘



.

innocence He press ed his hands t o his brow as the


.

horror which ha d dwelt wi th him day and night Since


his arre s t rose again stark before his eyes— those
23 8
C RI S I S
bones which th e p ol ice had found in hi s car He had .

not dared ev en to mention them to the doctor b eca use ,

there was no man li ving who wo uld believ e tha t he


had not known of their presence .

He felt that h e woul d go mad i f he th o ught abou t


them any longer because i t was irnpossib le tha t
,

Fea therstone s body had lain hidden in the ho use


all night and all da y while the police were searching


,

ev ery cupboard and every corner for i t And ye t it .

was eq uall y impossible that if it had been taken awa y


, ,

it could hav e been b rough t back again His car had .

bee n emp ty when he returned wi th Phyllis and ,

Dr Hailey had examin ed i t aft er tha t Was he to


. .

supp ose t ha t somebody had snatched the body awa y


t he night before and t hen returned i t a t the v ery
,

moment when he was about to leave home


He t hrew him sel f on his b ed He tried t o re call .

E cho s face to his memory and a t las t s ucceeded


in that endea v ou r A smile lingered on his lips aft er


.

he had fallen asleep


He was smiling when he s t epped in t o the doc k
at the O ld Bailey E cho was already seated in the
.

dock "she greeted him wi t h a cheerfulness which


had the ins t an t effec t of s oo thing all his anx ieties .

A curio us ex ul t ation po ssessed him as if a hea vy ,

weigh t of d istress had b een lifted from hi s sp iri t .

He bowed t o the j udg e Mr Justice Tindale who


, .
, ,

he though t looked formidab le in his scarlet before


, ,

sitting down and then turned t o t al k t o his c o u nsel


, ,

a young man named Ralph Herrick whom he had


known sligh t ly for some years He saw t ha t the.

court was crowded in every place and he recognized ,

Dr Hailey S it t ing in the part Of t he court reserv ed


.
,

for expert wi t nesses And then the Sp ectacle of


.

2 39
RED S CA R
j ustice grew dim before his eyes and he g av e himself , ,

easily to the happiness which th e presen c e of Echo


,

best owed .

He was c ommanded t o p lead and declared that he


“ ” “
was Not Gu il ty He heard Ech o p lead Not
.

G uilty in clear firm t ones The j ury were sworn


, .
,

and then Sir Mark Wilson leader for t he p rosecu t ion , ,

rose and b egan to address them A laister glanced at .

the twelv e men who were in process of t rying him .

He felt unable to distingu ish one from an other A .

hOpe that the y would listen attenti v ely flickered in


his mind He looked at Echo again and decided
.
,

soberly tha t She was the mos t desirable woman


whom he had ever seen t he lovelies t woman Her , .

recklessness as he saw i t now was a gift from


, ,

Nature s own hands



I t wa s you th t riumphant
.
,

infinitely candid and infini t ely daring He .

started slightly Wha t was the fellow sa y ing


.


I sh all lead e v idence gen tlemen to pro ve that , ,

the prisoner A laister Diarm id adopted a v ery


, ,

novel me thod of disposing of the body of his


v ictim .

That old s t ory again He glan ced round the


.

court and saw B iles s lean face Several women in



.

the public p ar t of t he cour t were gazing at him .

A new sense of exci t emen t t hrilled him He sat up .

an d folded his arms on h is chest When would this .

ins ufferable trial end and he be free to walk once


,

more in the Open air with Echo under the t rees ?


He would tell her everything then abou t G rize lda , ,

and the red scar whi ch Griz elda had laid on him ,

abou t his finding of herself and the real ization of ,

her that had come to him And he would beg her .

24 0
RE D S CA R
A S to who infl i ct edthe wo und on Fea thers t one ,

I shall not v en tur e to Speculate Enough if I p ersuade


.

y ou that this yo ung j man who was c ons t antl y in


,

trouble wi th women was cert ain l y no t wo unded by


,

Diarmid .

E c ho n odded app rov al of this sp eech She ex changed


.

sm iles with Herrick . A laister wa t ched the Sl ight


fl ush whi ch had risen to her cheeks fade awa y from
them again He s ummoned his
. of a tt ention
.

2 42
C HA PTER XLII

A TERRIB L E B L O W

W HE N Ralph Herrick rose to cross examine Lionel -

Leyland Dr Hailey leaned forward in his seat


, . .

The crisis of the trial so far as the defence was


,

concerned was he realized at hand, , .

The young barrister began b y asking Lionel


Le yland if Lolotte A laister s hou semaid was in
,

the room on the occasion when he told Echo


about t he relations of Raoul Featherstone wi th his

Yes I think she was


, Lionel Spoke slowly .
,

with difli cu lty His head was bandaged and he


'

seemed to suffer some pain in it for he kept p ressing ,

his hand against his brow .

C ould you be quite certain on tha t point ?


The witness thought a momen t " suddenly his
face cleared .


Oh yes of course I cou ld I remember now
, , .

that Diarmid told the girl to cover up his s tatue


and that she knocked it o ver and smash ed i t She .

"
came in with tea in the first instance, .


So that She h eard what you said abou t Raoul
,

Fea therstone
She mus t have done Yes I suppose I was too .
,

up set to bother about her presence .

243
RED S CA R
Did she smash the sta t ue before or after She

heard what you said ?

A ft er She heard .

Immediately after
Yes Within a minut e or two
. .

Dr Hailey glanced at the faces of the j urymen


. .

He saw with satisfaction that they were l istening


in tently Herrick had made his first point exactly
.

as such a po int ought t o b e made clearl y without ,

over emphasis And he had contented him self with


-
.

making that one poin t Phyllis Leyland followed .

her husband She told the j ury the sto ry which


.

sh e had already t old t he p olice She broke .

down several times in the narra t ion and once she ,

expresse d the v iew that her cous in A laister was


incapable of commi t ting any cr ime The j udge .

told her t o confine herself to matters of faCt When .

counsel for the prosecution suggested that the figure


she had seen running away from the studio on the
nigh t of the tragedy might hav e been a man and
not a woman she declared positively tha t sh e had
,

seen a woman Herrick fas t ened on t ha t piece of


.

evidence .

“ ”
Did you recogniz e the figure ? he asked .

N o .

Does th a t mean tha t th is was someone you had


never seen before
I have no idea who i t was .

Ha ve you ever seen your cousin A l aister s house ’

maid Lolotte
,


O h yes often
, , .

C ould you say tha t the figure you saw was not
Lolotte 9

N o . I t migh t ha v e been her .

24 4
RED S CA R
wi th almos t b reathless interest Herrick i t was .
'

obviou s was da ring a line of atta ck of his own


, .


It is t he Whole tru th
C ome come "Y ou can t ask us to believ e tha t
.

a girl will cut hersel f off from her father and her
home merel y because her fa ther d iffers from her
abou t the charac t er of a v is itor t o somebody else s ’

house .


She ad t aken a gr ea t liking to Mr Fea therstone

. .

Kennedy s c onfus ion was ev ident



.


Whereas you had taken a grea t dis like to
him

Yes , S it .

O n Wha t grou nds ?


Again the butler hesita t ed His hesi t a t ion ga v e .

Herrick the answer he wished for .


Why not be hones t Mr Kennedy he ex claimed, .
, ,

and admit tha t you kn ew of a relationship between


y our daugh ter and Mr Feathers t one and v ery .

na tu rall y feared its c onsequences


Kennedy did not repl y but he h ung his head , .


You don t deny that you knew of such a rela t ion

ship

I t may have been so I can t say .

.

The butler k ep t clasping and unclasping his hands .

Beads of swea t were standing on his brow Bu t .

Herrick had further questions to ask him .


Will you tell me if I am righ t in be liev ing ,


he said in v ery low tones that your wors t fears ,

about your daughter had unhappily been realiz ed ?
The question produced a dead silence in court .

If caused Dr Haile y to s t art sligh t ly in his seat


. .

The doc t or adj usted his eyeglass an d fixed his eyes


on Kennedy s face He saw the blood S lowly ebb

.

246
A TE RRI B L E B LOW
ou t of Kennedy s face ’
. The man reeled in
- t he b ox .


Yes Sir , .

Herrick paused and then suddenl y declared ,



So you do know after all where your daughter , ,

is living
The colour re turned to the b u t ler s cheeks ’
.


I do not .

You mean tha t you turned your daughter


adrift
I did not turn her adrift sh e left me of her own

free will .


When did she leav e you
Kenned y thought a moment The day Mr . .

Diarmid was arrested early tha t morning .

A hush had fallen over the crowded court Dr ’

. .

Ha iley allowed his eyeglass to drop He began to .

t ug on the cord by which i t was suspended A laister .

was listening eagerly The doctor glanced at Echo .

and Observed that her face had become rather paler .

Herrick asked

Did your daugh t er te ll you on the night of the ,

t ragedy that she had v isited Mr Raoul Featherstone s


, .

studio

NO S ir My daugh t er went to b ed that night
, .

a t ten o clock She a lways went to bed at ten



.

o clock

.


She might hav e left her bedroom might She ,

not and gone out


,


I don t think so ’
.

You have already said remembe r that you are , ,

a heavy sleeper and that you heard nothing on ,

the night of the tragedy until the police awakened


y ou .

A gain Kenned y looked confused .

2 47
RE D S CA R
Will you pleas e t ell me Herrick requested , ,

when you becam e aware of y our daugh t er s in t imacy ’

with Mr Fea t herstone


.


A fter e was wo unded ’
.

HOW long after



The ne x t da y .

She con fessed to you


Yes Kennedy glanced anxiou sly round the
.

court He grasped the fron t of t he witness b ox as


.
-


though he so ugh t to support himself My daughter .


told me he added in low t ones that Mr Feather
, , .

stone ad promi sed to marry er



The news tha t ’
.


e ad been killed came as a t errible blow to er
’ ’ ’
.

“ ”
I see Herri c k consul t ed a note which he held
. .


in hi s hand Did you ge t the impression that your
.

daugh t er reall y be liev ed that Mr Fea therstone .

intended to marry her he asked .


I did sir My Lolotte was always a good girl
, . ,

even if She did make er mistake ’


.

The j udge asked Herrick if Lolotte was to be


called as a wi t ness .

We t ried to call her my lord bu t we have so , ,

far been unable t o fi nd her .

That is rat h er e x traordinary isn t i t ,


It i s v ery ext raordinary my lord , .

T he S ilence which follow ed was brok en b y a


tinkling sound Dr Hailey ben t down and p icked
. .

up his eyeglas s Wi th hands t hat were not ably


.

uns t eady he tied together the broken ends of the


cord by which the eyeglass had been su sp ended
from h is n ec k .

248
RED S CA R
He drove to Harley Stree t and t old Jenkins to
order his coup é a t once Then he walked into his .

c onsulting room and slip ped his electric torch into


-

his pocke t A few minu t es later he was driving alone


.

through Regent s Park t owards Hampstead His ’

, .

face wore an expression of deep anx ie ty .

He left his car in C hurch Row near the O ld Parish ,

Church and walk ed quickl y across Heath Street to


,

Flas k Lane He entered the bottle nec k of the lane


.
-

on the side Opposite to Kenn edy s house There ’


.

was a ligh t in the window of Kennedy s hou se He ’


.

crossed t he lane and came back to t he ho use He .

kn ocked loudly on the door .

It was Opened immediately by a young girl wi th


red hair whom he recognized eas ily as Lolotte s ’

sister .


IS your fa t her at home
N 0 S ir He h as n t come back yet
, .

.

You re expec ting him back



Yes 5 11 any minute
, , .

Dr Hailey removed his hat


. .


I must see him at once he s t ated If you , .


don t min d I ll come in and wait for him
’ ’
.

The girl offered no obj ec t ion She shu t the door .

carefull y b ehi nd him an d then conducted him to


the sitting— room She lit the gas fire in th e room
.
-

and drew the faded red blinds .

“ ”
Who shall I say i t is ? she asked .


Dr Hailey
. .

She started sligh tly and her face became t roubled .

You were at the court to day weren t yo u



-
,


she asked I saw your name in the ev ening pape r
. .

Yes Dr Hailey stood in front of the fire with


. .


his hands behind his back It is very un fortunat e .

2 50
SO METHIN G W R O N G
that nobody knows where your s is t er ha s g one t o ,

he remarked .

He watche d the girl as he Spoke and saw the t roub led


look in her face become intens ifi ed .

“ ”
I don t k now W hy S he exclaimed b u t I fee l

, ,

s o dreadfully nerv ous a bout Lolotte It isn t l ike .



her to go away .


I think your father is nerv ous abou t her too , .

O h yes Dad s terribly up set That s why he


, .

.

sent for me She broke off and then added


.
,

You see m y aun t that s Dad s sister has her own
, ,
’ '

house still She had to go home a week ago


. .

Footsteps approached the door and the doctor


remained silent li st eni ng to them They pas sed , .

and grew faint .


Your name is Anita isn t i t ? he ask ed Y o ur ,

.

fa ther Spoke abo u t you when I was here last .

"
Yes .

A s a ma t ter of fact it s ab out your si st er tha t ,


'

I ve come to see your father


He paused Anita took a q u ic k s t ep forward


. .


Not oh p lease te ll me if there s an y ,

thing wrong Liv ely fear p o ssessed her


.

eyes
"
I don t know Nothing has been heard o f her

. .

Nobody not even the police can find her


, ,
.


It looks as if there must be something wrong ,

doesn t it ’

The girl s tones were strained It was Obv ious



.

that this anxiety h ad been preying on her mind for


many days and nights .

“ ”
I think it does .

A nd ye t Dad says there s no t hing t o worry abou t ’


,

really .

2 51
RED S CA R
Dr Hailey sat down beside the fire
. .


Y our father told the cour t this evening he ,

s t a t ed that your S is t er had be en under the iinpres
,

sion tha t Mr Fea t hers t one was going t o marr y her


. .

Did you know t ha t


“ ”
Yes Ani t a b lushed scarle t as she Spoke
. .

You mean that your father t old you


No Lolotte t old me the last time I saw her
. .

Did She D o you think tha t she really


'

trus t ed Mr Featherstone ? .


O h yes I know she did
, , That s Lolotte s .
’ ’

weakness sir put t ing too much t rus t in every


, ,

” “
body . Again t he girl blushed I k now S he t rust ed .

him because she told me tha t I didn t ought to go ’

foolin about with young chaps seeing that marriage


was so sacred an affair How will you like .


to t hink A nita she said that you ve been mak in


, ,

,
‘ ’ ’

yourself so cheap when y ou meet the man tha t really


and t ru ly loves y ou as you love him
The doc t or sighed New foo t s t ep s ap proached .

the house and he list ened to t hem until t hey had


,

p assed He glanced at his watch


. .


Did your fa ther say that he would come ba c k
here after the court h e asked .


O h yes sir I v e got his dinner ready for him
, , .
“ ’


now .


Your a un t has been ill hasn t she ,

N ot reall y ill b u t She had a bad foo t Dad says , , ,

b efore She went away He was dressin g i t for her .

with some s t uff the chemist ga v e him .


Iodoform I can smell it O nce you get tha t
. .

smell in t o a house you can scarcely ge t it ou t again .

I sup pose your aun t took her iodoform awa y with .

2 52
C H A PTER XLIV