“Our friend Osborne would say the document we have just perused made strongly for his theory, and was simply another fabrication to blind the eyes of the insurance company. That’s what comes of wedding one’s self to a theory founded on imperfect data.”
“And what do you think?” Gwen inquired.
“That Rama Ragobah has small hands and feet,” he replied. “That his left foot has met with an injury, and is probably deformed; that most likely he is lame in the left leg; that he had the motive for which we have been looking; that he may or may not have the habit of biting his nails; that he is crafty, and that if he were to do murder it is almost certain his methods would be novel and surprising, as well as extremely difficult to fathom—in short, that suspicion points unmistakably to Rama Ragobah. That is easily said, but to bring the deed home to him is quite another thing. I shall analyse the poison of the wound and microscopically examine the nature of the abrasion this afternoon. To-night I take the midnight train for New York. To-morrow I shall sail for Bombay, via London and the Continent. I will keep you informed of my address. While I am away I would ask that you close the house here, leaving everything just as it is now dismiss the servants, and take up your abode with the Doctor and his sister.” He rose to go as he said this, and then continued, as he turned to me: “I shall depend upon you to look after Miss Darrow’s immediate interests in my absence.” I knew this meant that I was to guard her health, not permitting her to be much by herself, and I readily acquiesced.
The look of amazement which had at first overspread Gwen’s face at the mention of this precipitate departure gave place to one of modest concern, as she said softly to Maitland: “Is it necessary that you should encounter the dangers of such a journey, to say nothing, of the time and inconvenience it will cost?” He looked down at her quickly, and then said reassuringly: “Do you know one is, by actual statistics, safer in an English railway carriage than when walking the crowded streets of London? I am daily subjecting myself to laboratory dangers which, I believe, are graver than any I am likely to meet between here and Bombay, or, for that matter, even at Bombay in the presence of our recent acquaintance Ragobah.”