“Keep up courage, Lois,” Margaret encouraged. “You have accomplished a great deal in a short time, and I know that father’s lawyer has not been idle.”
“Has he found out anything yet?” Lois eagerly asked.
“I am afraid not. There has not been much time, you see. But he is a very able man and will leave no stone unturned. But, come, dear, it is time for us to get ready. We must not keep father waiting as he is very busy these days.”
A STRANGE COMMISSION
Robert Westcote did not go to his luncheon the day of Lois’ visit to the city. He intended to go but was unexpectedly detained. He had been very busy all the morning in his office. His lawyer had been with him for some time, and when he was at last alone he turned his attention to a type-written manuscript lying on the desk before him. This consisted of several sheets of legal paper, attached to which was an official seal which had been recently broken. This was the third time that Mr. Westcote had read it and when he was through he sat for a while in deep thought. He paid no attention to the click of the typewriters in the adjoining room, and so engrossed was he that he did not at first hear a tap upon the office door. When it was repeated, he started from his reverie and called to the visitor to enter, thinking that perhaps it was one of the clerks. It was not his habit to be caught off guard, for he prided himself upon his alertness and strict attention to every business detail.
The office door slowly opened, and instead of a clerk, there stood before him a man dressed in rough working clothes. He recognised him at once as one of the men employed at the falls, and whom he had met on several occasions. It was Mr. Westcote’s kindness and courtesy which always won for him the hearty support of his employees. They knew that they would receive justice and consideration at his hands and that he did not look upon them with contempt and as inferior beings. Mr. Westcote at once arose from his chair and held out his hand.
“Why, Dobbins,” he exclaimed, “this is a surprise. I did not know you were in the city. How are things going on at the falls? Nothing wrong, I hope? Sit down, please,” and he motioned him to a chair.
“The work is going on all right, sir,” Dobbins replied, as he took the offered seat. “But I have come to see you, sir, on very important business. It has troubled me so much that I have not been able to sleep ever since Randall was arrested.”
“Oh, I see, it has to do with that murder case, has it?” Mr. Westcote asked, now greatly interested.
“I wouldn’t like to say that, sir,” and Dobbins twirled his hat in his hands. “But it might throw some light upon the matter. You see, somebody killed old David. That’s certain, isn’t it?”
Mr. Westcote nodded his assent.