“It must have been about 7:47 or 7:48, because the program had changed and the first commercial was just over, when we heard a loud noise from somewhere upstairs. Neither of us thought of a shot; my own first idea was of a door slamming. Then, about five minutes later, we heard Anton, in the upstairs hall, pounding on a door, and shouting: ’Lane! Lane! Are you all right?’ We ran up the front stairway, and found Anton, in his rubber lab-apron, and Fred, in a bathrobe, and barefooted, standing outside the gunroom door. The door was locked, and that in itself was unusual; there’s a Yale lock on it, but nobody ever used it.
“For a minute or so, we just stood there. Anton was explaining that he had heard a shot and that nobody in the gunroom answered. Geraldine told him, rather impatiently, to go down to the library and up the spiral. You see,” she explained, “the library is directly under the gunroom, and there’s a spiral stairway connecting the two rooms. So Anton went downstairs and we stood waiting in the hall. Fred was shivering in his bathrobe; he said he’d just jumped out of the bathtub, and he had nothing on under it. After a while, Anton opened the gunroom door from the inside, and stood in the doorway, blocking it. He said: ’You’d better not come in. There’s been an accident, but it’s too late to do anything. Lane’s shot himself with one of those damned pistols; I always knew something like this would happen.’
“Well, I simply elbowed him out of the way and went in, and the others followed me. By this time, the uproar had penetrated to the rear of the house, and the servants—Walters, the butler, and Mrs. Horder, the cook—had joined us. We found Lane inside, lying on the floor, shot through the forehead. Of course, he was dead. He’d been sitting on one of these old cobblers’ benches of the sort that used to be all the thing for cocktail-tables; he had his tools and polish and oil and rags on it. He’d fallen off it to one side and was lying beside it. He had a revolver in his right hand, and an oily rag in his left.”
“Was it the revolver he’d brought home with him?” Rand asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “He showed me this Confederate revolver when he came home, but it was dirty and dusty, and I didn’t touch it. And I didn’t look closely at the one he had in his hand when he was ... on the floor. It was about the same size and design; that’s all I could swear to.” She continued: “We had something of an argument about what to do. Walters, the butler, offered to call the police. He’s English, and his mind seems to run naturally to due process of law. Fred and Anton both howled that proposal down; they wanted no part of the police. At the same time, Geraldine was going into hysterics, and I was trying to get her quieted down. I took her to her room and gave her a couple of sleeping-pills, and then went back to the gunroom. While I was gone, it seems that Anton had called our family doctor, Dr.