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The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation eBook

J. S. Fletcher
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 228 pages of information about The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation.

“Merrifield—­just the type of man who would!—­has made a clean breast of the whole thing,” answered the chief.  “He made it to me—­an hour ago.  He thought it best.  He wants—­naturally enough—­to save his neck.”

“Will he?” growled Allerdyke.  “A lot of necks ought to crack, after all this!”

“Can’t say—­we mustn’t prejudge the case,” said the chief.  “But that’s his desire of course.  He would tell me everything—­at once.  I had it all taken down.  But I remember every scrap of it.  You want to hear?  Well there’s a good deal of it, but I can epitomize it.  You’ll find that you were much to blame, Mr. Fullaway—­just as that smart young woman, your secretary, was candid enough to tell you.”

“Oh, I know—­I know!” asserted Fullaway.  “But—­this confession?”

“Very well,” responded the chief.  “Here it is, then but you must bear in mind that Merrifield could only tell what he knew—­there’ll probably be details to come out later.  Anyway, Merrifield—­whose chief object is, I must also remind you, the clearing of himself from any charge of murder—­he doesn’t mind the other charge, but he does object to the graver one!—­says that though he’s been playing it straight for some time, ever since he went into Delkin’s service, in fact—­he’d had negotiations of a questionable sort with both Schmall and Van Koon before years ago, in this city and in New York.  He renewed his acquaintance with Schmall when he came over this time with Delkin—­met him accidentally, and got going it with him again—­and they both resumed dealings with Van Koon—­who, I may say, was wanted by Chilverton on a quite different charge.  Schmall had set up a business here in the East End as a small manufacturing chemist—­he’d evidently a perfect and a diabolical genius for chemistry, especially in secret poisons—­and down there Merrifield and Van Koon used to go.  Also, there used to go there the young man Ebers, or Federman—­we’ll stick to Ebers—­who, from Merrifield’s account, seems to have been a tool of Schmall’s.  Ebers, a fellow of evident acute perception, used to tell Schmall of things which his calling as valet at various hotels gave him knowledge—­it strikes me that from what we now know we shall be able to trace to Schmall and Ebers several robberies at hotels which have puzzled us a good deal.  And there is no doubt that it was Ebers who told Schmall of the two matters of which he obtained knowledge when he used to frequent your rooms.  Mr. Fullaway—­the pearls belonging to Miss Lennard, and the proposed jewel deal between the Princess Nastirsevitch and Mr. Delkin.  But in that last Merrifield came in.  He too, knew of it, and he told Schmall and Van Koon, but Ebers supplied the detailed information of what you were doing, through access, as Miss Slade said, to your papers—­which you left lying about, you know.”

“I know—­I know!” groaned Fullaway.  “Careless—­careless!”

“Very!” said the chief, with a smile at Allerdyke “Teach you a lesson, perhaps.  However, there this knowledge was.  Now, Schmall, according to Merrifield, was the leading spirit.  He had the man Lydenberg in his employ.  He sent him off to Christiania to waylay James Allerdyke:  he supplied him with a photograph of James Allerdyke, which Ebers procured.”

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