The woods seemed to receive an ashy illumination from the passage of the snowflakes. Katherine walked a little faster.
“Don’t be discouraged, Bobby,” she begged him. “Everything will come out straight. You must keep telling yourself that. You must fight until you believe it.”
The nearness of her dusk-clothed, slender figure filled him with a new courage, obscured to an extent his real situation. He burst out impulsively:
“Don’t worry. I’ll fight. I’ll make myself believe. If necessary I’ll tell everything I know in order to find the guilty person.”
She placed her hand on his arm. Her voice fell to a whisper.
“Don’t fight that way. Uncle Silas is dead; Howells has been taken away. The police will find nothing. By and by they will leave. It will all be forgotten. Why should you keep it active and dangerous by trying to find who is guilty?”
“Katherine!” he cried, surprised. “Why do you say that?”
Her hand left his arm. She walked on without answering. Paredes came back to him—Paredes serenely calling attention to the fact that Katherine had alarmed the household and had led it to the discovery of the Cedars’s successive mysteries. He shrank from asking her any more.
They left the thicket. In the open space about the house the snow had spread a white mantle. From it the heavy walls rose black and forbidding.
“I don’t want to go in,” Katherine said.
Their feet lagged as they followed the driveway to the entrance of the court. The curtains of the room of death, they saw, had been raised. A dim, unhealthy light slipped from the small-paned windows across the court, staining the snow. Robinson and Rawlins were probably searching again.
Suddenly Katherine stopped. She pointed.
“What’s that?” she asked sharply.
Bobby followed the direction of her glance. He saw a black patch against the wall of the wing opposite the lighted windows.
“It is a shadow,” he said.
She relaxed and they walked on. They entered the court. There she turned, and Bobby stopped, too, with a sudden fear. For the thing he had called a shadow was moving. He stared at it with a hypnotic belief that the Cedars was at last disclosing its supernatural secret. He knew it could be no illusion, since Katherine swayed, half-fainting, against him. The moving shadow assumed the shape of a stout figure, slightly bent at the shoulders. A pipe protruded from the bearded mouth. One hand waved a careless welcome.
Bobby’s first instinct was to cry out, to command this old man they had seen buried that day to return to his grave. For there wasn’t the slightest doubt. The unhealthy candlelight from the room of death shone full on the gray and wrinkled face of Silas Blackburn.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE GRAVE