The Hampstead Mystery eBook

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

The newspaper accounts of the case threw some light on the private and domestic affairs of the victim.  He was a widower with a grown-up daughter; his wife, a daughter of the late Sir James Goldsworthy, who changed his ancient family patronymic from Granville to Goldsworthy on inheriting the great fortune of an American kinsman, had died eight years before.  Sir Horace’s Hampstead household consisted of a housekeeper, butler, chauffeur, cook, housemaid, kitchenmaid and gardener.  With the exception of the butler the servants had been sent the previous week to Sir Horace’s country house in Dellmere, Sussex.  It appeared that Miss Fewbanks spent most of her time at the country house and came up to London but rarely.  She was at Dellmere when the murder was committed, and had been under the impression that her father was in Scotland.  According to a report received from the police at Dellmere the first intimation that Miss Fewbanks had received of the tragic death of her father came from them.  Naturally, she was prostrated with grief at the tragedy.

The butler who had been left behind in charge of Riversbrook was a man named Hill, but he was not in the house on the night of the tragedy.  He was a married man, and his wife and child lived in Camden Town, where Mrs. Hill kept a confectionery shop.  Hill’s master had given him permission to live at home for three weeks while he was in Scotland.  The house in Tanton Gardens had been locked up and most of the valuables had been sent to the bank for safe-keeping, but there were enough portable articles of value in the house to make a good haul for any burglar.  Hill had instructions to visit the house three times a week for the purpose of seeing that everything was safe and in order.  He had inspected the place on Wednesday morning, and everything was as it had been left when his master went to Scotland.  Sir Horace Fewbanks had returned to London on Wednesday evening, reaching St. Pancras by the 6.30 train.  Hill was unaware that his master was returning, and the first he learned of the murder was the brief announcement in the evening papers on Thursday.


Inspector Chippenfield, who had come into prominence in the newspapers as the man who had caught the gang who had stolen Lady Gladville’s jewels—­which included the most costly pearl necklace in the world—­was placed in charge of the case.  It was to his success in this famous case that he owed his promotion to Inspector.  He had the assistance of his subordinate, Detective Rolfe.  So generous were the newspaper references to the acumen of these two terrors of the criminal classes that it was to be assumed that anything which inadvertently escaped one of them would be pounced upon by the other.

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The Hampstead Mystery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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