The Hampstead Mystery eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 406 pages of information about The Hampstead Mystery.

“I could hear them quite plainly.  Mr. Holymead was telling him what he thought of him.  And no wonder.  It made my blood boil to think of such a scoundrel sitting on the bench and sentencing better men than himself.  I thought of the way in which he had killed my girl by giving her five years.  It was the shock that killed her.  Five years for stealing nothing, for she didn’t handle the jewels.  And here he had been stealing a man’s wife and nothing said except what Mr. Holymead called him.  I stood there listening in case they started to fight, and I might be wanted.  But they didn’t.

“I heard Mr. Holymead step towards the door, and I slipped away from where I had been standing.  I saw the door of another room near me, and I opened it and went in quickly.  I closed the door behind me, but I did not shut it.  I looked through the crack and saw Mr. Holymead making his way downstairs.  He walked as if he didn’t see anything, and I watched him till he went through the curtains on the stairs at the bend of the staircase and I could see him no more.

“Then I heard a step, and looking through the crack I saw the judge coming out of the library.  He walked to the head of the stairs and began to walk slowly down them.  But when he reached the bend where the curtains and the marble figure were, he turned round and walked up the stairs again.  He walked along as though he was thinking, with his hands behind his back, and nodding his head a little, and a little cruel, crafty smile on his face.  He passed so close to me that I could have touched him by putting out my hand, and he went into the library again, leaving the door open behind him.

“Then suddenly, as I stood there, the thought came over me to go in to him and tell him what I thought about him.  I opened the door softly so as not to frighten him, and walked out into the passage and into the library, and as I did so I took my revolver out of my pocket and carried it in my hand.  I wasn’t going to shoot him, but I meant to hold him up while I told him the truth.

“He was standing at the opposite side of the room with his back towards me and a book in his hand, but a board creaked as I stepped on it, and he swung round quickly.  He was surprised to see me, and no mistake.  ’What do you want here?’ he said, in a sharp voice, and I could see by the way he eyed the revolver that he was frightened.  Then I opened out on him and told him off for the damned scoundrel he was.  And he didn’t like that either.  He edged away to a corner, but I kept following him round the room telling him what I thought of him.  And seeing him so frightened, I put the revolver back in my pocket and walked close to him while I told him all the things I could think of.

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The Hampstead Mystery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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