“Panama!” I answered. “Just that—Panama.”
“Well, and he’s picked up lots of these things in those parts—Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico,” he said. “And very interesting matters they are. But—you see, superintendent?—there’s not a paper nor anything in this chest to tell us who this man is, nor where he came from when he came here, nor where his relations are to be found, if he has any. There’s literally nothing whatever of that sort.”
The police officials nodded in silence.
“And so—there’s where things are,” concluded Mr. Lindsey. “You’ve two dead men on your hands, and you know nothing whatever about either of them!”
MR. JOHN PHILLIPS
He began to put back the various boxes and parcels into the chest as he spoke, and we all looked at each other as men might look who, taking a way unknown to them, come up against a blank wall. But Chisholm, who was a sharp fellow, with a good headpiece on him, suddenly spoke.
“There’s the fact that the murdered man sent that letter from Peebles,” said he, “and that he himself appears to have travelled from Peebles but yesterday. We might be hearing something of him at Peebles, and from what we might hear, there or elsewhere, we might get some connection between the two of them.”
“You’re right in all that, sergeant,” said Mr. Lindsey, “and it’s to Peebles some of you’ll have to go. For the thing’s plain—that man has been murdered by somebody, and the first way to get at the somebody is to find out who the murdered man is, and why he came into these parts. As for him,” he continued, pointing significantly to the bed, “his secret—whatever it is—has gone with him. And our question now is, Can we get at it in any other way?”
We had more talk downstairs, and it was settled that Chisholm and I should go on to Peebles by the first train that morning, find out what we could there, and work back to the Cornhill station, where, according to the half-ticket which had been found on him, the murdered man appeared to have come on the evening of his death. Meanwhile, Murray would have the scene of the murder thoroughly and strictly searched—the daylight might reveal things which we had not been able to discover by the light of the lamps.
“And there’s another thing you can do,” suggested Lindsey. “That scrap of a bill-head with a name and address in Dundee on it, that you found on him, you might wire there and see if anything is known of the man. Any bit of information you can get in that way—”
“You’re forgetting, Mr. Lindsey, that we don’t know any name by which we can call the man,” objected Chisholm. “We’ll have to find a name for him before we can wire to Dundee or anywhere else. But if we can trace a name to him in Peebles—”