“Kindly tell me what you noticed.”
“My dear man,” he said, “there’s absolutely nothing to say. I did exactly what you said: I hardly spoke to him at all: I watched him very carefully indeed. I really can’t go on doing that day after day. I’ve got my own work to do. It’s the most utter bunkum I ever—”
“Tell me anything odd that you saw.”
“There was nothing odd at all, except that the boy looked tired, as you saw for yourself this morning.”
“Did he behave exactly as usual?”
“Exactly, except that he was quieter. He fidgeted a little with his fingers.”
“And he seemed very hard at work. I caught him looking at me once or twice.”
“Yes? How did he look?”
“He just looked at me—that was all. Good Lord! what do you want—”
“And there was nothing else—absolutely nothing else?”
“Absolutely nothing else.”
“He didn’t complain of ... of anything?”
“Lord...! Oh, yes; he did say something about a headache.”
“Ah!” The old man leaned forward. “A headache? What kind?”
“Back of his head.”
The old man sat back with pursed lips.
“Did he talk about last night?” he went on again suddenly.
“Not a word.”
Mr. Morton burst into a rude uproarious laugh.
“Upon my word!” he said. “I think, Cathcart, you’re the most amazingly—”
The other held up a gloved hand in deprecation; but he did not seem at all ruffled.
“Yes, yes; we can take all that as said.... I’m accustomed to it, my dear fellow. Well, I saw Miss Deronnais, as I told you I should in my note.... You’re quite right about her.”
“Pleased to hear it, I’m sure,” said Mr. Morton solemnly.
“She’s one in a thousand. I told her right out, you know, that I feared insanity.”
“Oh! you did! That’s tactful! How did she—”
“She took it admirably.”
“And did you tell her your delightful theories?”
“I did not. She will see all that for herself, I expect. Meantime—”
“Oh, you didn’t tell me about your interview with Lady Laura.”
The old face grew a little grim.
“Ah! that’s not finished yet,” he said. “I’m on my way to her now. I don’t think she’ll play with the thing again just yet.”
“And the others—the medium, and so on?”
“They will have to take their chance. It’s absolutely useless going to them.”
“They’re as bad as I am, I expect.”
The old man turned a sharp face to him.
“Oh! you know nothing whatever about it,” he said. “You don’t count. But they do know quite enough.”