“Because my cousin had in his possession a consignment of such things, of great value, and we believe that he was murdered for them—that’s why,” replied Allerdyke. “He had them when he left Christiania—he had them when he entered the Hull hotel—”
Fullaway, who had been listening intently, leant forward with a shake of his head.
“Stop at that, Allerdyke,” he said. “We don’t know, now, that he did have them when he entered the hotel at Hull! He mayn’t have had. Miss Lennard—we’ll drop the professional name and turn to the real one,” he said, with a bow to the prima donna—“Miss Lennard here thinks she had her jewels in her little box when she entered the Hull hotel, and also when she came to this hotel, here in Edinburgh, but—”
“Do you mean to say that I hadn’t?” she exclaimed. “Do you mean—”
“I mean,” replied Fullaway, “that, knowing what I now know, I believe that both you and the dead man, James Allerdyke, were robbed on the Perisco. And I want to ask you a question at once. Where is your maid!”
Celia Lennard dropped her knife and fork and sat back, suddenly turning pale.
“My maid!” she said faintly. “Good heavens! you don’t think—oh, you aren’t suggesting that she’s the thief? Because—oh, this is dreadful! You see—I never thought of it before—when she and I arrived at Hull that night she was met by a man who described himself as her brother. He was in a great state of agitation—he said he’d rushed up to Hull to meet her, to beg her to go straight with him to their mother, who was dying in London. Of course, I let her go at once—they drove straight from the riverside at Hull to the station to catch the train. What else could I do? I never suspected anything. Oh!”
Fullaway leaned across the table and filled his hostess’s glass.
“Now,” he said, motioning her to drink, “you know your maid’s name and address, don’t you? Let me have them at once, and within a couple of hours we’ll know if the story about the dying mother was true.”
THE SECOND MURDER
It had been very evident to Allerdyke that ever since Fullaway had mentioned the matter of the missing maid, Celia Lennard had become a victim to doubt, suspicion, and uncertainty. Her colour came and went; her eyes began to show signs of tears; her voice shook. And now, at the American’s direct question, she wrung her hands with an almost despairing gesture.
“But I can’t!” she exclaimed. “I don’t know her address—how should I? It’s somewhere in London—Bloomsbury, I think—but even then I don’t know if that’s where her mother lives, to whom she said she was going. I did know her address—I mean I remembered it for a while, at the time I engaged her—a year ago, but I’ve forgotten it. Oh! do you really think she’s robbed me, or helped to rob me?”
“Never mind opinions,” answered Fullaway curtly. “They’re no good. Is this the maid you brought with you once or twice when you called at my office some time ago, over the Pinkie Pell deal?”