“It’s this way,” said Allerdyke. “I’m not at all satisfied about what these doctors say, so far. They may be right, of course—probably are. Still I want to know all I can, and, naturally, I’d like to know who the people were that my cousin was last in company with. You never know what may have happened—there’s often something that doesn’t show at first.”
“There was—nothing missing in his room, I hope?” asked the manager with professional anxiety.
“Nothing that I know of,” answered Allerdyke. “My man and I have searched him, and taken possession of everything—all that he had on him is in that bag, and I’m going to examine it now. No—I don’t think anything had been taken from him, judging by what I’ve seen.”
“You wouldn’t like me to send for the police?” suggested the manager.
“Not at present,” replied Allerdyke. “Not, at any rate, until these doctors say something more definite—they’ll know more presently, no doubt. Of course, you’ve a list of all the people who came in last night?”
“They would all register,” answered the manager. “But then, you know, sir, many of them will be going this morning—most of them are only breaking their journey. You can look over the register whenever you like.”
“Later on,” said Allerdyke. “In the meantime, I’ll examine these things. Send me up some coffee as soon as your people are stirring.”
He unlocked the hand-bag when the manager had left him. It seemed to his practical and methodical mind that his first duty was to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the various personal effects which he and Gaffney had found on the dead man. Of the valuables he took little notice; it was very evident, in his opinion, that if James Allerdyke’s death had been brought about by some sort of foul play—a suspicion which had instantly crossed his mind as soon as he discovered that his cousin was dead—the object of his destroyer had not been robbery. James had always been accustomed to carrying a considerable sum of money on him; Gaffney’s search had brought a considerable sum to light. James also wore a very valuable watch and chain and two fine diamond rings; there they all were. Not robbery—no; at least, not robbery of the ordinary sort. But—had there been robbery of another, a bigger, a subtle, and deep-designed sort? James was a man of many affairs and schemes—he might have had valuable securities, papers relating to designs, papers containing secrets of great moment; he was interested, for example, in several patents—he might have had documents pertinent to some affair of such importance that ill-disposed folk, eager to seize them, might have murdered him in order to gain possession of them. There were many possibilities, and there was always—to Allerdyke’s mind—the improbability that James had died through sudden illness.