“And what do you make of the disappearance of Sir Horace’s revolver?” asked Rolfe, who seemed to his superior officer to be in danger of displaying some admiration for deductive methods.
“I’m no good at guess-work,” replied Crewe, who felt that he had given enough information away.
“Well,” said Rolfe, “here is a glove which was found in the room. The other one is missing. It might be a clue.”
Crewe took the glove and examined it carefully. It was a left-hand glove made of reindeer-skin, and grey in colour. It bore evidence of having been in use, but it was still a smart-looking glove such as a man who took a pride in his appearance might wear.
“Burglars wear gloves nowadays,” said Crewe, “but not this kind. The india-rubber glove with only the thumb separate is best for their work. They give freedom of action for the fingers and leave no finger-prints. Have you made inquiries whether this is one of Sir Horace’s gloves?”
“Well, it is the same size as he wore—seven and a half,” said Inspector Chippenfield. “The butler is the only servant here and he can’t say for certain that it belonged to his master. I’ve been through Sir Horace’s wardrobe and through the suit-case he brought from Scotland, but I can find no other pair exactly similar. Rolfe took it to Sir Horace’s hosier, and he is practically certain that: the glove is one of a pair he sold to Sir Horace.”
“That should be conclusive,” said Crewe thoughtfully.
“So I think,” replied the inspector.
“Well, I’ll take it with me, if you don’t mind,” said Crewe. “You can have it back whenever you want it. Let me have the address of Sir Horace’s hosier—I’ll give him a call.”
“Take it by all means,” said the inspector cordially, referring to the glove. And with a wink at Rolfe he added, “And when you are ready to fit it on the guilty hand I hope you will let us know.”
Crewe made a careful inspection of the house and the grounds. He took measurements of the impressions left on the sill of the window which had been forced and also of the foot-prints immediately beneath the window. He had a long conversation with Hill and questioned him regarding his movements on the night of the murder. He also asked about the other servants who were at Dellmere, and probed for information about Sir Horace’s domestic life and his friends. As he was talking to Hill, Police-Constable Flack came up to them with a card in his hand. Hill looked at the card and exclaimed:
“Mr. Holymead? What does he want?”
“He asked if Miss Fewbanks was at home.”