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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 271 pages of information about Paradise Garden.

“Yes, sir.”

“When did he begin?”

He paused a moment.

“I think it was the day after the fight, that very night, to be hexact, sir.”

“I see.  The night after the fight.  He spent the evening out and when he came home, was he intoxicated?”

“Not then, no, sir.  But ‘e’d been drinkin’, just mildly lit—­in a manner o’ speakin’ sir, not drunk, but gay and kind o’ sarcastic-like; not like Master Jerry ’imself, sir.”

“Had he been with some other gentlemen during the evening?”

“No, sir.  ’E ‘ad been callin’ on a lady, but stopped at ’is club on the way around—­”

“What lady?”

“I—­I—­”

“You may speak freely, Christopher.  Miss Van Wyck?”

“I—­I think so, sir.  They ’ad an appointment.”

“I see.  And did he drink again that night?”

“A few brandies—­yes, sir.  Ye see, sir, it got to him quick-like—­breakin’ training so suddent.”

“I understand.  And you put him to bed.”

“Yes, sir, in a manner o’ speakin’ I did, sir.”

“When did you notice his drinking again?”

“Not for some days, sir.”

“And what then?”

“The same thing happened again, sir.”

“I see.”  I paced the floor silently, my inclination to question further struggling against my sense of the fitness of things.  Was not Christopher, after all, a friend as well as a servant, a well-tried friend of Jerry’s clan?  “Did you connect the fact of Master Jerry’s drinking with his visits to the lady I have mentioned, Christopher?” I asked in a moment.

He paused a moment scratching his head in perplexity, and then blurted forth without reserve.

“I’m glad you’ve spoken, Mr. Canby.  I’m not given to talkin’ over Master Jerry’s private affairs, sir, but it’s all in the family, like, though I wouldn’t ’ave Master Jerry know—­”

“Master Jerry will not know.”

“Well, Mr. Canby, if you’d ask my hopinion, sir, I’d say that this young lady—­sayin’ no names, sir—­is doin’ no good to Master Jerry.  She’s always got ‘im fussed, sir, an’ irritable.  ’E’s not like ’imself—­not like ’imself at all, sir.  Why, Mr. Canby, I’m not the kind as listens behind keyholes, sir, but one night last week when she comes to the ’ouse in New York to visit ’im—­”

“Ah, she came to the house?”

“Yes, sir, alone, sir, at night; a most unproper thing for a nice girl to do, sir, if I must say it, Mr. Canby.  I couldn’t ’elp ‘earin’ in the next room, or seein’ for the matter of that.  Master Jerry is out of ’is ’ead about ‘er, an’ no mistake, sir.  I could ’ear ’is voice soft-like an she indifferent, leadin’ ‘im on, a-playin’ with ’im, sir.  Seemed to me like she was sweet an’ mad-like by turns.  She’s a strange one, Mr. Canby, an’ if the matter goes no further I’d like to say, sir, that I’ve no fancy for such doin’s in a lady.”

“Nor I, Christopher.  You heard what she said?”

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