The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation eBook

J. S. Fletcher
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation.

“We have just got news of something that relates, I think, to the very subject we were discussing,” he said.  “A young man has been found dead in bed at a City hotel this morning under very suspicious circumstances—­circumstances very similar to those of the Eastbourne Terrace affair.  And,” he went on, glancing at a scrap of paper which he held in his hand, “the description of him very closely resembles that of this man Federman.  Of course, it’s not an uncommon type, but—­”

“Another of ’em!” exclaimed Allerdyke.  He had suddenly remembered what Chettle had said about the new bill being a possible death-warrant, and the words started irrepressibly to his lips.  “Good Lord!”

The chief gave him a quick glance; it seemed as if he instinctively divined what was passing in Allerdyke’s mind.

“I’m sorry to trouble you,” he said, without referring to Allerdyke’s interruption, “but I’m afraid I must ask you—­all of you—­to run down to this City hotel with me.  We mustn’t leave a stone unturned, and if any of you can identify this man—­”

“Oh, you don’t want me, surely!” cried Celia.  “Please let me off—­I do so hate that sort of thing!”

“Naturally,” remarked the chief.  “But I’m afraid I want you more than any one, Miss Lennard—­you and M. Bonnechose.  Come—­we’ll go at once—­Blindway has gone down to get two cabs for us.”

Blindway, M. Bonnechose, and Fullaway rode to the City in one cab; Celia, Allerdyke, and the chief in another.  Their journey came to an end in a quiet old street near the Docks, and at the door of an old-fashioned looking hotel.  There was a much-worried landlord, and a detective or two, and sundry police to meet them, and inquisitive eyes looked out of doors and round corners as they went upstairs to a door which was guarded by two constables.  The chief turned to Celia with a word of encouragement.

“One look will answer the purpose,” he said quietly.  “But—­look closely!”

The next moment all six were standing round a narrow bed on which was laid out the dead body of a young man.  The face, calm, composed, looked more like that of a man who lay quietly and peacefully asleep than one who had died under suspicious circumstances.

“Well?” asked the chief presently.  “What do you say, Miss Lennard?”

Celia caught her breath.

“This—­this is the man who came to Hull,” she whispered.  “The man, you know, who called himself Lisette’s brother.  I knew him instantly.”

“And you, M. Bonnechose?” said the chief.  “Do you recognize him?”

The cafe-keeper, who had been making inarticulate murmurs of surprise and grief, nodded.

“Federman!” he said.  “Oh, yes, monsieur—­Federman, without doubt.  Poor fellow!”

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The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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