Silhouette or shadow?, or, A question of evidence

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Silhouette or shadow?, or, A question of evidence

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Silhouette or shadow?, or, A question of evidence
Series Title:
Shield Weekly
Bradshaw, Alden F.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
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1 online resource (31 pages)


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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Detective and mystery stories, American ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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024870490 ( ALEPH )
64021306 ( OCLC )
S75-00021 ( USF DOI )
s75.21 ( USF Handle )

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No. 2. Price, Five Cents. SILHOUETTE OR SHADOrt? or A Question of Evidence DY ALDEN F. BRADSHAW PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY STREET & SMITH, 238 William Street New York City. Copyright 1900, by Strut & Smith. All r1Khts rrsnved. I::nturd ot Ntw York Post-Offict as Second-Class Maller.


' TRUE DETECTIVE STORIES STRAnGER THArt FICTIOtl WeeR(y. By Su!JScrljJtlon $2.SO /Jt-r year. Entered as Stcond-Cla.r.r Matter at the N. Y. Post Office, l)y STREBT & SMITH, 238 Wi!Uam St., N. Y. Entered Accordi:nz to Act of Con;:ress, in the year .1900, in the Office o/ the Li/JraritJn of Congress, Washington, D. C. No. 2. NEW YORK, December 15, 1900. Price, Five Cents. Silhouette or Shadow? OR, 1\ QUBSTl0N 6F EVIOENeE. Bv ALDEN f. BRADSHAW. / CHAPTER I. SOMETHING WRONG. "Mr. Officer! Mr. Officer I" "Yis, mum!" And Patrolman Patrick Maginnis gallantly tapped the rim of his gray helmet with the tip of the locust dangling jauntily from his wrist, and turned on his heel with military precision and toward the person who had addressed him. This son of the "ould sod" was a new / officer on the day force of the police patrol, and was proud of the distinction. His uni form was as fresh and bright as the circle of bright red galways adorning hisroseate Irish face. He had a twinkle in his eye and (. a smile on his broad. mouth, for the party who had addressed him in his official capac ity was a woman. The party in question was a corpulent matron in middle life, with her large, round face reflecting at just" that moment a state of serious mental anxiety and distrust. She stood bareheaded on the stone steps of a reputable lodging-house, one of a long, brick block in a rather Bohemian quarter of the city. A narrow yard about three feet in width fronted each of the several houses, and was separated from the brick sidewalk by a wicked-looking picket fence of iron. It was after ten o'clock on a cold winter morning, and the sun was shining.


2 SHIELD WEEKLY. "Yis, mum!" repeated Policeman Patrick Maginnis, with pursed lips. "How d'ye Maginnis. know the man's not gone out?" The woman came down the steps to im"Because he never takes his key with him !" part her communication more confidentially, was the sharp rejoinder. "Besides, he was in for the passers-by were numerous. his room late last evening, and has not been "I'm afraid there is somet?ing wrong with seen since. I feel sure he's in the room now, one of my lodgers, sir," she anxiously ex plained. "Would you mind advising me?" "Is it a tnan or a woman1 mum?" in quired Maginnis, possibly with an eye to contingencies. "A man, sir A young man named Car roll Banks." "And phat makes you think there be anything wrong with him, mum?" "Because he is not up yet, and it is nearly eleven o'clock." "Not yit, mum!" "Well, he never lies abed like this, and his door has been locked and the key taken away." "Phat's your name, mum?" "My name is Nancy Stratton." "D'ye keep this lodging-house?" "I do, yes I But what has that to do with it?" protested the woman. "If the lodger--" "You will plaze answer me questions, mum, if ye want me advice!" counseled Mr. Maginnis, with an air C!f serious profundity. "Have ye banged good and hard on the man's door?" "I have!" "And he didn't wake up?" "He did not If he had, do you think I'd be out here paJavering with ?" cried Mrs. Stratton, angrily. "What kind of an officer are you, anyway?" "I know my bizness, mum!" frowned Mr. in one state or another!" "Phat room is his, mum?" asked Mr. Ma ginnis, with oily imperturbation. "It' s the third floor front!" snapped the matron. The patrolman backed away as far as the curbing, and, with an indescribable ex pression of stud{ on his florid face, stared up at the plain red front of the lofty building. But the closed windows of the third floor front conveyed to his mind no appreciable fund of information. While he thus stood gazing, a quick, au thoritative voice from near by sounded in his ears. "What's the trouble, officer?" Like a flash it brought Patrolman Magin nis to "attention." And he at once recognized the erect ath letic figure and clean-cut, forceful face of the young detective, Sheridan Keene. "Bedad, sir!" cried Maginnis, saluting, "this woman says there be something wrong wid one of her lodgers Keene swung round to thewaitingwoman, "Why do you think there is anything wrong, madam?" he demanded, p-ravely. In a few words conveying about the same information as before, Mrs. Stratton ex plained the situation, which the detective thought best to investigate. "I will go up to the room with you," he said, shortly. "Lead the way."


SHIELD 3 "Begorra !" said Mr. Maginnis, to himself, as the detective ente red the house with the corpulent matron; "that divil of a Keene must be after thinking there's something wrong, as well as the woman! Sure, phat'll I do but be after sendin' word to the chafe inspictor !" CHAPTER II. THE CRIME IN THE BOHEMIAN QUARTER. Keene followed the woman into the hall. It was carpeted with a heavy Wilton, com paratively r;ew. Well-furnished double par lors lay to the right, with a dining-room off the end of the hall. In the latter room a group of three or four women were standing, ap parently talking in subdued tones, and with mystified and anx-ious faces. I Before climbing the stairs, which made upward opposite the front door, the landlady paused to ask, rather doubtfully: "You spoke to the officer like one in authority, sir. Are you?" "Yes, tmtdam. My name is Sheridan Keene. I am a detective." "Then I am glad you happened along, sir. Please come this way. I will show you Mr. Banks' door." "What is the man's full name, madam?" "Carroll Banks, sir." 1 curred, Mr. Banks himself can inform you, if he so desires. That is not my business." It was said with quiet courtesy, but in a way that gave no encouragement to further inquiries, and already the two had ascended the second flight of stairs and reached the third landing. There still was one above. Mrs. Stratton at once indicated a door to ward the front. "That is the room, sir." Keene listened for a moment, then bent and sniffed at the key-hole, and finally knocked loudly on the panel. The summons brought no response. Silence only-a silence that became irre sistibly grim and uncanny as the moments passed. "I've tried knocking, sir, in vain," mut tered Mrs. Stratton, dubiously. "There is no odor of gas," rejoined Keene. "How do you know that Mr. Banks has not gone out?" "I don't know, sir! I know only that he was here late last night, and has not been seen this morning. Besides, he never has locked his door in this way and carried off the key." "Haven't you a duplicate key?" "No, sir, I have not, and Mr. Banks knows it. He has always left the door unlocked, so that I may enter to put the room in order." Here two of the women whom Keene had "Ah! I know of him. How long has he d h d" 'dl notice m e mmg-room came tlm1 y up been lodging here?" "For ten days, sir. He came here a stranger. May I ask you to tell me just who he is?" "If you are wrong in your apprehensions, and nothing out of the ordinary has oc-the stairs. One was young and pretty, and quite stylishly dressed. The other was a sal low spinster by the name of Quincy, with a very yellow skin, and with golden ringlets to match. Having overheard what last had been said, the saffron maiden approached, and


4 SHIELD WEEKLY. aired her convictions m quite a decisive fashion. "I'm just positive that some awful _thing has happened in that room !" she declared, shrilly, shaking an animated accompaniment with .her yellow curls. "I heard terribly angry voices in there last night, and not a sign has been seen of Mr. Banks this morning. I slept hardly a wink all night, I was so nervous." "Step back a little," Keene now said, curtly; "and I'll try to force the door." And drawing away a few steps, while he waved the women aside, the detective threw all his weight against the closed door. Twice and thrice this was repeated, but the stanch woodwork held firm, and the land lady-ventured to exclaim, nervously: "I'm afraid you'll hurt yourself, Mr. De tective!" "Dont be alarmed about my hurting my self," said Keene, shortly. "Is there a lock smith near?" "Two blocks away, sir." "Send for him," commanded Keene. "Ill wait. There is no occasion for battering down the door." The spinster's stylish companion at once volunteered to go for the smith, and Keene nodded his approval and coolly took a seat on the upper flight of stairs, the landlal:ly and Miss Quincy, standing nervously in the narrow hall. Addressing the latter, the detective took up her recent observations. "You say you heard voices m altercation last night, my good woman. Where were you at the time?" "In my room, sir. That one back there." "Could you distinguish what was said?" "No, sir; only the sound of the voices." "Men's voices?" "Two of the speakers were men, and one a woman," replied Miss Quincy. "Or, rather, sir, she was but little more than a whisp of a girl." "You saw her then?" "Yes, sir." "How was that?" "When I came to my door to lock it for the night, I opened it for a moment to glance into the hall. The girl had just come out of this room, and was hurrying down the stairs." "Was she alone?" "Yes, sir." "Can you describe her?" "I caught only a glimpse of her, sir," demurred Miss Quincy. "But she seemed to be a slight gi_;l of about medium height, and with a very pretty face." "Light -or dark?" "Dark, sir, I should say, though she struck me as being very pale But perhaps that was my imagination, sir, for after hearing such angry voices I guess I was quite pale myse1f." "How old should you say the girl was?" "About nineteen or twenty, sir." "Did she leave the house at once?" "I think so. I heard her close the front door." "Do you know when she came here?" "She probably came in with Mr. Banks, for I heard him enter his room, and presently the sound of both their voices." "Were they in anger at that time?" "Oh, no, sir! Quite the contrary, for I heard them laughing. I do not think there


SHIELD WEEKLY. 5 was any trouble till after the other man came." "He came in later, did he?" asked Keene, with an interest that was steadily increas ing. "I did not hear him enter. Yet I imagine so, sir, for I did not hear his voice till later." "Didn't he knock at 1Mr. Banks' door before entering?" "I did not hear him.'! "What time was it when you heard the dispute?" "About a quarter after eleven." "Before the girl had gone?" "Both before and after." "Then the strange man remained after the girl had gone?" exclaimed Keene. "Yes, sir." "You are sure of that?" "I am positive, sir! It was after the girl left that the dispute became the most vio lent." "Did you hear any indications of a per sonal conflict?" "No, sir. It appeared to be a conflict of words only." "Could you identify the stranger by the sound of his voice?" Miss Quincy hesitated, but finally shook her ringlets. "I don't think I could, sir," she replied, doubtfully. "It was quite a deep, heavy voice and that's all I can say of it. I could not distinguish a single word that was said, sir, and I did not see the stranger at all. Neither did I hear him depart." "And all this occurred about eleven o'clock?" From then till the half after, sir." "Mrs. Stratton, has it been the habit of this man Banks to receive--" "Oh, sir, here is the lcx:ksmith !" Detective Keene now was beginning to ap prehend something serious ii:i the affair, but the appearance of a slouch hat over the bal uster rail, and the diminutive figure of a bent man laboriously climbing the stairs at the heels of the sylish young lady, led him to drop .further inquiries until he should have established actual need for them. The locksmith shambled into the hall, jingling a huge ring of assorted keys, and straightway began his operations at the door. The work required but a few moments. Presently the bolt was heard to shoot, when the detective instantly thrust the mechanic aside and laid his hand on the knob of the door. "Remain here in the hall, all of you !" he commanded, sharply. "If there is anything amiss in this room, I wish to investigate it before anything 'is disturbed. Iwill leave you in suspense only briefly." He gave the instructions with a display of authority not wisely to have been disre garded, and immediately entered, closing the door behind him. The chamber was square, with evidently a smaller room adjoining, the door of which was closed. At a glance his experienced eyes took in the main features of the larger room. There was but one window, which was closed, with the curtain lowered. There were no lace draperies. The furniture was a new parlor set in purple plush, a cherry centre table, and a sideboard to match against the left wall. On this were several decanters


6 SHIELD wEEKLY. and glasses, a cut-glass jar of fancy crack ers, part of a Dutch cheese on a china pla,te, ftnd an open box of cigars. On the table was a small tray of japanned w-0od, containing two liquor glasses. One was empty and standing upright. The other had been overturned, and its contents spilled in the tray. The close, stuffy air of the room was heavy with the odor of the liquor. Quickly approaching the door 0 the inner chamber, Detective Keene threw it open. A shocking spectacle instantly met his gaze The room was furnished with a bed, one chair and a chiffonier. It had but one win dow, which, like that in the adjoining room, was closed, with the curtain drawn nearly to the lower sash Upon the unopened bed, stretched diag onally across it, still and cold in death, lay the rigid figur.e of a young man, still clad as when he had entered. His bloodless hands still held in convulsive clutch the snowy cov erlid, his head was thrown back, his distorted face upturned, and his white throat revealed with terrible distinctness the livid marks of the hands and fingers which had throttled the Hfe from out his body. "Good heavens!" muttered Keene, shocked for the moment "The landlady was right!" ,,.,. Of the crime, and its horribly brutal character there could be no possible doubt. Before the startled detective could give further consideration of the tragic picture, his quick ear caught the sound of a deep and eommanding voice from the direction of the hall. "Make room here, please I Allow me to pass!" Detective Keene wheeled about as the outer door was unceremoniously opened, and at once beheld the imposing ngure and gravely forceful face of his superior officer, the head and front of the Boston secret service-Chiem Inspector Watts. CHAPTER III. A MYSTERIOUS TRAGEDY. Chief Inspector Watts was not surprised at finding Detective Keene on the scene. Through Maginnis and the divisi0n superin tendent he already had been informed of the fact by wire. "Good-morning, Keene," he at once said, brusquely. "'What do you find here?" "A crime of the most brutal character, Chief/' said Keene "Do you mean it?" "See for yourself." Inspector Watts surveyed the inner room with outward indifference. Whatever his feelings, he was one who rarely suffered them to show on the surface "The man has been strangled," he said, presently. "Brutal, indeed. How long have you been in here?" "Scarce a minute, sir." "He has been dead some hours. Do these people know him?" "I know him by reputation, sir," said Keene. "His name is Carroll Banks. He is the youngest son of Perry Banks, the wealthYJ jeweler." "Is he married.?" "Not to my knowledge, sir." "Hasn't he been living with his parents?" "He has been lodging here for ten days, I am told. He has been a rather popular


SHIELD WEEKLY. 7 clubman, and in a sly way was inclined to be I fast. I fear, Chief, that there is a rather dark side to this affair, and that the truth will not be easily obtained." "You've been making some inquiries?" said Inspector Watts, quickly. "Yes; while waiting for the l ; cksmith "What have you learned?" In a few words Keene imparted the infor mation gathered from Miss Quincy and the landlady, and the Chief led the way to the outer room. "The case wears a surface aspect,'' he now said, curtly. "Banks brought some young woman here; evidently a willing visitor. These glasses indicate that they had been drinking together." "Or possibly the girl refused, since one is overturned and its contents spilled." \ "You are right. That speaks well for the girl. Their telations seem to have offended some third party, possibly a brother, a be trothed, or a husband, who followed them to this room. An angry interview occurred. "Bring those women in!" he commanded. "I'll question them further." Keene stepped to the hall door and obeyed. "As you apprehended, Mrs. Stratton," he gravely explained, "your lodger is dead. Please step inside with your companions. The Chief Inspector wishes to question you." This confirmation of her. fears quickly sent the landlady into a clamor concerning the threatened reputation of her house, but the authoritative voice of the Chief as quickly cut her short. "Silence!" he commanded, sternly. Yours is not the first house to suffer such a tragedy. Listen to me, now, and answer my questions Just when did Mr. Banks engage these rooms and come here to lodge?" I "One week ago Monday las t, sir," moaned Mrs. Stratton, too subdued by her question er's austerity to give further expression to her feelings. "Diq he give any reasons for coming here?" "He said that he only desired the rooms for a time, and he paid two weeks in adThe girl departed, or was sent away, fright. '\lance/' ened. The altercation between the men continued, till personal violence and the murder of Banks resulted. Then the criminal extin guished the gas, secured the windows and door, and stole from the house. That's the surface aspect. We'll see if aught lies beneath.'' And Chief Watts raised the curtain, then t!nfastened and threw open the window. For a moment he gazed down at the red face of the building and the picket fence far below, then abr uptly turned and closed. the door of the room in which the body lay. "Is this his furniture?" "He furnished this room, sir, but not the bedroom. He thought my set here was not nice enough." "Did he say why?" "No, sir." "Has he been in the habit of receiving vis itors.?" "I don't know of his having had any before last night, sir." "Has he slept here each night?" "Yes, sir." "How about days?"


8 SHIELD WEEKLY. "He went away each morning, and seldom returned before evening." "Early or late?" "About ten o'clock, sir, usually.' "He was later last night. Did you see him?" "No, sir." "Did you see the lady who came here with him?" "I did not." "Or the man who is said to have been here ? V "No, sir.'' "Who admitted the latter at your front door?" "He must have entered without ringing, sir. I always answer the bell in the evening; but no person rang last night. I was about my room, which is off the back parlor, unti1 r;early midnight." "Do you habitually leave your front door so that one may enter without a key?" "I do evenings, sir, till I retire for the night, because all of my lodgers are not provided with latch-keys; and I don't find it pleasant to answer the bell too frequently.'' "It is a careless way to leave your door!" said Inspector Watts, curtly. "Nothing. ill ever happened before, sir!" I etorted the landlady, who could readily de velop a spirit of her own. "Most of my lodgers are women, sir ; and reputable women, as well.'' "I didn't imply the contrary. Do you "Has Mr. Banks had any mail delivered here?" No, sir.'' "Anybody been here to inquire after him?" "No, sir." "Has he a trunk here?" "No, sir." -"Humph! Evidently these rooms were taken temporarily, and for some special pur pose!" growled the Chief, with the frown of one feeling rather baffled. "Which is the w0man who saw the girl depart, Mr. Keene?" "I am, please you, sir!" exclaimed Miss Quincy, tripping forward, with a shake of her ringlets. "Could you identify the girl?" demanded Inspector Watts, with a searching glance. "I think I could, sir.'' "How was she dressed?" "In a black suit and jacket, sir, with hat to match.'' "Wear a veil?" "No, sir." "Did she look like a girl of means, or a poor girl? In a word, was she stylishly clad?" "Her style did not impress me, yet she was dressed neatly," declared Miss Quincy, who rather enjoyed her prominence, possibly be cause of the novelty. "I noticed chiefly her face, of which I caught a quick glance. She appeared young and pretty." "Did she see yuu ?" know of any person who saw the strange man "She heard me open my door, sir, for she enter or leave?" immediately quickened her step and hastened "No, sir; I do not. He must have come and gone very quickly and quietly, or I should !Jave seen or heard him myself.'' down stairs.'' "As if wishing to escape unobserved?" "Precisely, sir.:.


SHIELD WEEKLY. 9 "How are these halls lighted at night, land lady?" "With bracket lamps, sir, which are left burning till daylight." "That's all, now, madam!" exclaimed the Chief; then he turned sharply to the young woman who had gone after the locksmith. "Are you a lodger here, also?" "Yes, sir," she bowed, composedly. "But I occupy a back room on the floor below, and I can add nothing to your present fund of in-and hurriedly writing two addresses upon a leaf torn from hfs notebook. "Maginnis," he said, sharply, when that of ficer appeared at the door; "go send the dis trict medical examiner here at once. His ad dress is the upper one on this paper." "Yis, sir !" "Then go to the lower-it's the large jew elry __house on Tremont street-and inform the proprietor that a young man said to be his son is dead h e re. Ask him to come at formation. I was abed and asleep at nine once and see if he can identify him." o'clock." The Chief knit his brows. The testimony was not encouraging. He stood for a moment as if framing another question, then abruptly exclaimed: "That's all, !adies Vacate the room, please, all of you Speak to the officer on the sidewalk, Mr. Keene, and order him up here. There's no use protesting, landlady! You must wait for particular s till I am ready to give them First of all, this affair must my official investigation." And, despite the manifest umbrage of the landlady, whose impatience was scarce to be contained, Chief In_ spector Watts a g ain ex cluded the women from the room and closed tbe door. Keene meantime had leaned from the win dow and called cl. own to the officer. The Chief's carriage now stood at the curbing. A small crowd had collected near by, and the news of the crime had leaked out. Two "Yis, sir." "Also send here first officer you meet, to take your place at the house door." Maginnis took the slip of paper tendered, respectfulJy touched his helmet, then vanish ed into the hall. At the same moment the shrill, girlish voice of some person on the stairs was heard, protesting forcibly: "I guess I know! Do you think I'm blind, Mrs. Stratton? I guess I know what I saw with my own eyes!" Chief Watts started slightly. "What have we here?" he muttered, striding to the door. .He was met at the threshold by' the two women whom Detective Keene had lately seen crossing the street. CHAPTER IV. WHAT POLLY MARKS SAW. One of these persons was a middle-aged women were crossing the street, with heads woman in a pale-blue morning-gown, be bare, and the withdrawal of the officer left decke d with white lace. The other was a the way clear for them to enter the house. buxom young servant-girl, with round When Keene turned back into the room the cheeks, a pretty face, and the brightest of Chief was using the sideboard for a desk, bright black eyes.


10 SHIELD WEEKLY. "What do you want here ?" demanded the Chief, the moment he saw them. The elder at once made known her mis.: sion. "I saw the people gathered about the street door, sir, and was told that a crime had been committed. While I was at breakfast this morning, my table-girl casually remarked upon certain things which she saw last night from the window of her room across the way. Thinking her testimony might shed some light on this matter, I felt it was my duty to bring her over here." -"I'm obliged1 to you, madam," bowed the Chief, with rather less austerity. "Is this the girl?" "Yes, sir." "What's your name, miss?" "Polly Marks, please you, sir," said the girl, glibly. "Step in here, Polly Marks, and I'll hear your story. None other, madan:i, if you'll pardon me Clear your halls of all but your lodgers and this lady, If' any object to vacating, speak to me and I'li attend "Oh, I'm not alarmed, sir!" said Polly, with a quick flash of her dark eyes. "I've done nothing to be alarmed about. 'Twas the mis sus' idea bringing me over here at all." "Well, what did you see last night that led her to do so?" "I was sitting in my room, sir--" "One moment! Show me your room from this window." "That one,.sir, on the top floor," said Polly, indicating a chamber in one of the houses of a block across the wcty. "The one where the curtain's blowing." "Very good. It is directly opposite, and a story higher than this. Now go on." That this girl was unustfally bright there could be no doubt. Keene pricked up his ears and slipped his notebook and pencil into the palm of his hand. "I was sitting by the window," began Polly Marks, when Inspector Watts inter rupted her: "Do you know the hour?" "Just before it struck eleven, s1 While I sat looking down into the street I saw a to the case. Then close and lock your street man and woman come along and enter this door, and if anybody rings bring me the house. The man was the one who had this caller's name. See to this at once, madam." room, sir." With which curt instructions, Chief In"Did they approach on this side of the spector Watts agajn closed the door against street?'" the persistent curiosity of both landlady and "Yes, sir." "From which direction?" Polly Marks had entered rather gingerly, "That, sir." as if afraid of beholding some sickening "Walking fast or slow?" sight. She appeared relieved when the in"Medium like, sir!" Polly, not at all terior of the room met her gaze. confused by the Chief's fusillade of ques"N ow, my girl, what have you to tell?" tions. asked the Chief. "Don't be alarmed. Tell "Could you see them plainly?" your story in your own way." "Not so very, sir. Still, I could see them


SHIELD WEEKLY. 11 the same's anybody sees in the evening. There's an electric light on the corner, sir." "That's a hundred feet away. Could you see their faces ?" "Not to know 'em, sir." "Did either of them show any hesitation before entering?" "I reckon not, sir. They turned right up the steps and went in. But what made me watch after that, sir, was a man who came along right after them; and I guess he was following them." "Why so?" "Because, after they went in, sir, he ran across to my side of the street and stood staring up at the windows of this house, as if he was trying to see what room they had. I leaned out to see what he. was up to, sir; but he soon backed close against the house, and I couldn't see him for the gutter." ''Can you describe the man at all?" "Only that he was a pretty big man, that's all. I couldn't see his face. But I'd say he was rather a young man, sir, by the way he walked." "Smartly, do you mean?" "Yes, sir." "What more, Polly?" "Well, sir, while I was trying to look down at him over the gutter, I saw the gas fl.ash up in this room, so I stared over here. The man who had rooms here had just lit that burner there," and Polly Marks indicated one of the arms of the pendant chandelier; "and the girl was standing right here by the table. She was laughing and clapping her hands. The curtain was high up and I could see tbem plainly." "Was the girl young?" "I'd say about my age, sir, and dressed in black. The window was shut, but I could see right in here. The man threw away his ,match, and was laughing at something the girl had said. Then he turned and said something to the girl, and she let him kiss her; and very kind like he seemed about it, sir!" "Respectful, do you mean?" j "Yes, sir. And then he came and pulled clown the curtain,_ sir." "And you were tmable to see anything more?" "Not then, sir!" exclaimed Polly, whose bright eyes and feminine curiosity had sup plied her with quite a fund of valuable in" formation. "But I'm not done yet, sir," she contin ued, volubly. "When I couldn t see in here, I went back to the party down below. I kind of thought there might be something up, and I wanted to know what 'twas." "I'm glad you felt so!" said Inspector Watts, dryly. "What next?" sir, there wasn t any next for quite a little time, and I'd begun to fear the man on the sidewalk had gone about his business. But pretty soon I saw him cross the street again, and he ran up the steps and entered this house." "With a key?" v "No, sir. He went right in, as if he al-' ready knew the door would open." "Can you state whether or not he was one of the male lodgers here?" "I know he was not, unless he is a new one, sir. Except the man who has this room, there have been but two. Both of them are small men, and I happen to know 'em both!" added Polly, with a quick smile and blush.


12 SHIELD WEEKLY. "Did the stranger hurry?" "Did you see anything more?" "Rather, sir "Not much sir. I sat watching the win "W ere there many people passing at that

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