Lane was not entirely satisfied with what he had been told, but he knew that Foster had said all he meant to say. One thing stuck in his mind as the gist of the hint. The attorney was advising him to go to the court-house and check up the marriage licenses.
He walked across to the Equitable Building and dropped in on his cousin James. Cunningham rose to meet him a bit stiffly. The cattleman knew that Jack had already been in to see him or had got him on the wire.
Kirby brushed through any embarrassment there might be and told frankly why he had come.
“I’ve had a sort of row with Jack. Under the circumstances I don’t feel that I ought to let you stay on my bond. It might create ill-feelin’ between you an’ him. So I’m arrangin’ to have some Wyoming friends put up whatever’s required. You’ll understand I haven’t any bad feeling against you, or against him for that matter. You’ve been bully all through this thing, an’ I’m certainly in your debt.”
“What’s the trouble between you about?” asked James.
“I’ve found out that he an’ Miss Harriman were in Uncle James’s rooms the night he was killed. I want them to come through an’ tell what they know.”
“How did you find that out?”
The eyes of the oil broker were hard as jade. They looked straight into those of his cousin.
“I can’t tell you that exactly. Put two an’ two together.”
“You mean you guess they were there. You don’t know it.”
A warm, friendly smile lit the brown face of the rough rider. He wanted to remain on good terms with James if he could. “I don’t know it in a legal sense. Morally, I’m convinced of it.”
“Even though they deny it.”
“Practically they admitted rather than denied.”
“Do you think it was quite straight, Kirby, to go to Miss Harriman with such a trumped-up charge? I don’t. I confess I’m surprised at you.” In voice and expression James showed his disappointment.
“It isn’t a trumped-up charge. I wanted to know the truth from her.”
“Why didn’t you go to Jack, then?"’
“I didn’t know at that time Jack was the man with her.”
“You don’t know it now. You don’t know she was there. In point of fact the idea is ridiculous. You surely don’t think for a moment that she had anything to do with Uncle James’s death.”
“No; not in the sense that she helped bring it about. But she knows somethin’ she’s hidin’.”
“That’s absurd. Your imagination is too active, Kirby.”
“Can’t agree with you.” Lane met him eye to eye.
“Grant for the sake of argument that she was in Uncle’s room that night. Your friend Miss Rose McLean was there, too—by her own confession. When she came to Jack and me with her story, we respected it. We did not insist on knowing why she was there, and it was of her own free will she told us. Yet you go to our friend and distress her by implications that must shock and wound her. Was that generous? Was it even fair?”