She awaited the coming of the inspector in a small sitting-room, and when he entered she pointed quickly to a chair, but remained standing herself. In appearance Miss Fewbanks was a charming girl of the typical English type. She was of medium height, slight, but well-built, with fair hair and dark blue eyes, an imperious short upper lip and a determined chin, and the clear healthy complexion of a girl who has lived much out of doors. The inspector noted all these details; noted, too, that although her breast heaved with agitation she had herself well under control; her pretty head was erect, and one of her small hands was tightly clenched by her side.
“Have you found out—anything?” she asked the inspector as he entered.
The girl had chosen a vague word because she felt that there were many things which must come to light in unravelling the crime, but, from the police point of view of Inspector Chippenfield, the question whether he had found out anything was a stinging reflection on his ability.
“I consider it inadvisable to make any arrest at the present stage of my investigations,” he said, with cold official dignity.
“Do you think you know who did it?” asked the girl.
“It is my business to find out,” replied the inspector, in a voice that indicated confidence in his ability to perform the task.
The girl was too unsophisticated to follow the subtle workings of official pride. “The papers call it a mysterious crime. Do you think it is mysterious?”
“There are certainly some mysterious features about it,” said the inspector. “But I do not regard them as insoluble. Nothing is insoluble,” he added, in a sententious tone.
“If there are mysteries to be solved you ought to have help,” said the young lady.
She glanced at Mrs. Hewson significantly, and then proceeded to explain to Inspector Chippenfield what she meant.
“I have asked Mr. Crewe, the celebrated detective, to assist you. Of course you know Mr. Crewe—everybody does. I know you are a very clever man at your profession, but in a thing of this kind two clever men are better than one. I hope you will not mind—there is no reflection whatever on your ability. In fact, I have the utmost confidence in you. But it is due to my father’s memory to do all that is possible to get to the bottom of this dreadful crime. If money is needed it will be forthcoming. That applies to you no less than to Mr. Crewe. But I hope you will be able to carry out your investigations amicably together, and that you will be willing to assist one another. You will lose nothing by doing so. I trust you will place at Mr. Crewe’s disposal all the facilities that are available to you as an officer of the police.”