“I am anxious that you should not become involved in this morbid business.”
“But you surely know me better than to expect me to faint or become hysterical, or anything silly like that! I was certainly shocked when I came down to-night, because—well, it was all so frightfully unexpected"...
Dr. Cumberly shook his head. Helen put her arms about his neck and raised her eyes to his.
“You have no right to refuse,” she said, softly: “don’t you see that?”
Dr. Cumberly frowned. Then:—
“You are right, Helen,” he agreed. “I should know your pluck well enough. But if Inspector Dunbar is gone, the police may refuse to admit us"...
“Then let us hurry!” cried Helen. “I am afraid they will take away"...
Side by side they descended to Henry Leroux’s flat, ringing the bell, which, an hour earlier, the lady of the civet furs had rung.
A sergeant in uniform opened the door.
“Is Detective-Inspector Dunbar here?” inquired the physician.
“Say that Dr. Cumberly wishes to speak to him. And”—as the man was about to depart—“request him not to arouse Mr. Leroux.”
Almost immediately the inspector appeared, a look of surprise upon his face, which increased on perceiving the girl beside her father.
“This is my daughter, Inspector,” explained Cumberly; “she is a contributor to the Planet, and to various magazines, and in this journalistic capacity, meets many people in many walks of life. She thinks she may be of use to you in preparing your case.”
Dunbar bowed rather awkwardly.
“Glad to meet you, Miss Cumberly,” came the inevitable formula. “Entirely at your service.”
“I had an idea, Inspector,” said the girl, laying her hand confidentially upon Dunbar’s arm, “that I recognized, when I entered Mr. Leroux’s study, tonight”—Dunbar nodded—“that I recognized—the—the victim!”
“Good!” said the inspector, rubbing his palms briskly together. His tawny eyes sparkled. “And you would wish to see her again before we take her away. Very plucky of you, Miss Cumberly! But then, you are a doctor’s daughter.”
They entered, and the inspector closed the door behind them.
“Don’t arouse poor Leroux,” whispered Cumberly to the detective. “I left him on a couch in the dining-room."...
“He is still there,” replied Dunbar; “poor chap! It is"...
He met Helen’s glance, and broke off shortly.
In the study two uniformed constables, and an officer in plain clothes, were apparently engaged in making an inventory—or such was the impression conveyed. The clock ticked merrily on; its ticking a desecration, where all else was hushed in deference to the grim visitor. The body of the murdered woman had been laid upon the chesterfield, and a little, dark, bearded man was conducting an elaborate examination; when, seeing the trio enter, he hastily threw the coat of civet fur over the body, and stood up, facing the intruders.