“What is it? who is it?” she asked, gasping with the hurry and the fright.
“Go back, Agnes, go back,” cried Garvington, looking up with a distorted face, strangely pale in the moonlight.
“But who is it? who has been killed?” She caught sight of the fallen man’s countenance and shrieked. “Great heavens! it is Hubert; is he dead?”
“Yes,” said Silver, who stood at her elbow. “Shot through the heart.”
With amazing and sinister rapidity the news spread that a burglar had been shot dead while trying to raid The Manor. First, the Garvington villagers learned it; then it became the common property of the neighborhood, until it finally reached the nearest county town, and thus brought the police on the scene. Lord Garvington was not pleased when the local inspector arrived, and intimated as much in a somewhat unpleasant fashion. He was never a man who spared those in an inferior social position.
“It is no use your coming over, Darby,” he said bluntly to the red-haired police officer, who was of Irish extraction. “I have sent to Scotland Yard.”
“All in good time, my lord,” replied the inspector coolly. “As the murder has taken place in my district I have to look into the matter, and report to the London authorities, if it should be necessary.”
“What right have you to class the affair as a murder?” inquired Garvington.
“I only go by the rumors I have heard, my lord. Some say that you winged the man and broke his right arm. Others tell me that a second shot was fired in the garden, and it was that which killed Ishmael Hearne.”
“It is true, Darby. I only fired the first shot, as those who were with me will tell you. I don’t know who shot in the garden, and apparently no one else does. It was this unknown individual in the garden that killed Hearne. By the way, how did you come to hear the name?”
“Half a dozen people have told me, my lord, along with the information I have just given you. Nothing else is talked of far and wide.”