“Recurrent aphasia.” The doctor’s expression came back to him. In such a state a man could overcome locked doors, could accomplish apparent miracles and retain no recollection. And Bobby had hated and feared Howells more than he had his grandfather.
Dully he saw Katherine go out at Graham’s direction. As one in a dream he moved toward the door they had had to break down on entering.
“Stand close to it,” Graham said. “We’ll cover everything.”
“You’ll find no one,” Bobby answered with a perfect assurance.
He saw Graham take the candle and explore the large closets. He watched him examine the spaces behind the window curtains. He could smile a little as Graham stooped, peering beneath the bed, as he moved each piece of furniture large enough to secrete a man.
“You see, Hartley, it’s no use.”
Graham’s lack of success, however, stimulated his anger.
“Then,” he said, “there must be some hiding place in the walls. Such devices are common in houses as old as this.”
Bobby indicated the silent form of the detective.
“He believed I killed my grandfather. The only reason he didn’t arrest me was his failure to find out how the room had been entered and left. Don’t you suppose he looked for a hiding place or a secret entrance the first thing? It’s obvious.”
But Graham’s savage determination increased. He sounded each panel. None gave the slightest revealing response. He got a tape from Katherine and measured the dimensions of the room, the private hall, and the corridor. At last he turned to Bobby, his anger dead, his face white and tired.
“Everything checks,” he admitted. “There’s no secret room, no way in or out. Logically Groom’s right. We’re fighting the dead who resent the intrusion of your grandfather and Howells.”
He laughed mirthlessly.
“After all, we can’t surrender to that. There must be another answer.”
“From the first Howells was satisfied with me,” Bobby said.
Graham flung up his hands.
“Then tell me how you got in without disturbing those locks. I grant you, Bobby, you had sufficient motive for both murders, but I don’t believe you have two personalities, one decent and lovable, the other cruel and cunning to the point of magic. I don’t believe if a man had two such personalities the actions of one would be totally closed to the memory of the other.”
Bobby smiled wanly.
“It isn’t pleasant to confess it, Hartley, but I have read of such cases.”
“I wish to the devil I had shared your room with you to-night,” Graham muttered. “I might have furnished you an alibi for this affair at least.”
“Either that,” Bobby answered frankly, “or you might have followed me and learned the whole secret. Honestly, isn’t that what you were thinking of, Hartley? And I did go to sleep, telling myself it would help me if something of the sort happened to Howells. Now I’m not so sure that it will. I—I suppose you’ve got to notify the police.”