“Good-bye,” Granice echoed.
He stood watching the two men move away from him through the long light hall; and as he watched them a tear ran down his face. But as soon as they were out of sight he turned and walked hastily toward his room, beginning to hope again, already planning a new statement.
Outside the building the two men stood still, and the journalist’s companion looked up curiously at the long monotonous rows of barred windows.
“So that was Granice?”
“Yes—that was Granice, poor devil,” said McCarren.
“Strange case! I suppose there’s never been one just like it? He’s still absolutely convinced that he committed that murder?”
The stranger reflected. “And there was no conceivable ground for the idea? No one could make out how it started? A quiet conventional sort of fellow like that—where do you suppose he got such a delusion? Did you ever get the least clue to it?”
McCarren stood still, his hands in his pockets, his head cocked up in contemplation of the barred windows. Then he turned his bright hard gaze on his companion.
“That was the queer part of it. I’ve never spoken of it—but I did get a clue.”
“By Jove! That’s interesting. What was it?”
McCarren formed his red lips into a whistle. “Why—that it wasn’t a delusion.”
He produced his effect—the other turned on him with a pallid stare.
“He murdered the man all right. I tumbled on the truth by the merest accident, when I’d pretty nearly chucked the whole job.”
“He murdered him—murdered his cousin?”
“Sure as you live. Only don’t split on me. It’s about the queerest business I ever ran into... Do about it? Why, what was I to do? I couldn’t hang the poor devil, could I? Lord, but I was glad when they collared him, and had him stowed away safe in there!”
The tall man listened with a grave face, grasping Granice’s statement in his hand.
“Here—take this; it makes me sick,” he said abruptly, thrusting the paper at the reporter; and the two men turned and walked in silence to the gates.
AFTER his wife’s death Mason Grew took the momentous step of selling out his business and moving from Wingfield, Connecticut, to Brooklyn.
For years he had secretly nursed the hope of such a change, but had never dared to suggest it to Mrs. Grew, a woman of immutable habits. Mr. Grew himself was attached to Wingfield, where he had grown up, prospered, and become what the local press described as “prominent.” He was attached to his ugly brick house with sandstone trimmings and a cast-iron area-railing neatly sanded to match; to the similar row of houses across the street, the “trolley” wires forming a kind of aerial pathway between, and the sprawling vista closed by the steeple of the church which he and his wife had always attended, and where their only child had been baptized.