This was the substance of the evidence which Bamberger’s lawyer and the detective would lay before the District Attorney-General on receiving the cable.
When Lady Maud stopped at Margaret’s house on her way to the theatre she had been dining at Princes’ with a small party of people, amongst whom Paul Griggs had found himself, and as there was no formality to hinder her from choosing her own place she had sat down next to him. The table was large and round, the sixty or seventy other diners in the room made a certain amount of noise, so that it was easy to talk in undertones while the conversation of the others was general.
The veteran man of letters was an old acquaintance of Lady Maud’s; and as she made no secret of her friendship with Rufus Van Torp, it was not surprising that Griggs should warn her of the latter’s danger. As he had expected when he left New York, he had received a visit from a ‘high-class’ detective, who came to find out what he knew about Miss Bamberger’s death. This is a bad world, as we all know, and it is made so by a good many varieties of bad people. As Mr. Van Torp had said to Logotheti, ‘different kinds of cats have different kinds of ways,’ and the various classes of criminals are pursued by various classes of detectives. Many are ex-policemen, and make up the pack that hunts the well-dressed lady shop-lifter, the gentle pickpocket, the agile burglar, the Paris Apache, and the common murderer of the Bill Sykes type; they are good dogs in their way, if you do not press them, though they are rather apt to give tongue. But when they are not ex-policemen, they are always ex-something else, since there is no college for detectives, and it is not probable that any young man ever deliberately began life with the intention of becoming one. Edgar Poe invented the amateur detective, and modern writers have developed him till he is a familiar and always striking figure in fiction and on the stage. Whether he really exists or not does not matter. I have heard a great living painter ask the question: What has art to do with truth? But as a matter of fact Paul Griggs, who had seen a vast deal, had never met an amateur detective; and my own impression is that if one existed he would instantly turn himself into a professional because it would be so very profitable.