From a bullet wound over the right ear blood was slowly oozing and trickling over her white cheek.
“Help! Help!” he shouted loudly. “Mademoiselle has been shot from outside! Help!”
In a few seconds the elderly manservant burst into the room in a state of intense excitement.
“Quick!” cried Hugh. “Telephone for a doctor at once. I fear your mistress is dying!”
Henfrey had placed his hand upon Mademoiselle’s heart, but could detect no movement. While the servant dashed to the telephone, he listened for her breathing, but could hear nothing. From the wall he tore down a small circular mirror and held it against her mouth. There was no clouding.
There was every apparent sign that the small blue wound had proved fatal.
“Inform the police also!” Hugh shouted to the elderly Italian who was at the telephone in the adjoining room. “The murderer must be found!”
By this time four female servants had entered the room where their mistress was lying huddled and motionless. All of them were in deshabille. Then all became excitement and confusion. Hugh left them to unloosen her clothing and hastened out upon the veranda whereon the assassin must have stood when firing the shot.
Outside in the brilliant Riviera moonlight the scent of a wealth of flowers greeted his nostrils. It was almost bright as day. From the veranda spread a wide, fairy-like view of the many lights of Monte Carlo and La Condamine, with the sea beyond shimmering in the moonlight.
The veranda, he saw, led by several steps down into the beautiful garden, while beyond, a distance of a hundred yards, was the main gate leading to the roadway. The assassin, after taking careful aim and firing, had, no doubt, slipped along, and out of the gate.
But why had Mademoiselle been shot just at the moment when she was about to reveal the secret of his lamented father’s death?
He descended to the garden, where he examined the bushes which cast their dark shadows. But all was silence. The assassin had escaped!
Then he hurried out into the road, but again all was silence. The only hope of discovering the identity of the criminal was by means of the police vigilance. Truth to tell, however, the police of Monte Carlo are never over anxious to arrest a criminal, because Monte Carlo attracts the higher criminal class of both sexes from all over Europe. If the police of the Principality were constantly making arrests it would be bad advertisement for the Rooms. Hence, though the Monte Carlo police are extremely vigilant and an expert body of officers, they prefer to watch and to give information to the bureaux of police of other countries, so that arrests invariably take place beyond the frontiers of the Principality of Monaco.
It was not long before Doctor Leneveu, a short, stout, bald-headed little man, well known to habitues of the Rooms, among whom he had a large practice, entered the house of Mademoiselle and was greeted by Hugh. The latter briefly explained the tragic circumstances, whereupon the little doctor at once became fussy and excited.