Meantime Mr. Fenton was rapidly counting one roll and Knapp the other. The result was an aggregate sum of nine hundred and eighty dollars, just the amount Sweetwater had promised to show them.
“A good stroke of business,” cried Mr. Fenton. “And now, Sweetwater, whose is the hand that buried this treasure? Nothing is to be gained by preserving silence on this point any longer.”
Instantly the young man became very grave. With a quick glance around which seemed to embrace the secret recesses of the forest rather than the eager faces bending towards him, he lowered his voice and quietly said:
“The hand that buried this money under the roots of this old tree is the same which you saw pointing downward at the spot of blood in Agatha Webb’s front yard.”
“You do not mean Annabel Page!” cried Mr. Fenton, with natural surprise.
“Yes, I do; and I am glad it is you who have named her.”
THE SLIPPERS, THE FLOWER, AND WHAT SWEETWATER MADE OF THEM
A half-hour later these men were all closeted with Dr. Talbot in the Zabel kitchen. Abel had rejoined them, and Sweetwater was telling his story with great earnestness and no little show of pride.
“Gentlemen, when I charge a young woman of respectable appearance and connections with such a revolting crime as murder, I do so with good reason, as I hope presently to make plain to you all.
“Gentlemen, on the night and at the hour Agatha Webb was killed, I was playing with four other musicians in Mr. Sutherland’s hallway. From the place where I sat I could see what went on in the parlour and also have a clear view of the passageway leading down to the garden door. As the dancing was going on in the parlour I naturally looked that way most, and this is how I came to note the eagerness with which, during the first part of the evening, Frederick Sutherland and Amabel Page came together in the quadrilles and country dances. Sometimes she spoke as she passed him, and sometimes he answered, but not always, although he never failed to show he was pleased with her or would have been if something—perhaps it was his lack of confidence in her, sirs—had not stood in the way of a perfect understanding. She seemed to notice that he did not always respond, and after a while showed less inclination to speak herself, though she did not fail to watch him, and that intently. But she did not watch him any more closely than I did her, though I little thought at the time what would come of my espionage. She wore a white dress and white shoes, and was as coquettish and seductive as the evil one makes them. Suddenly I missed her. She was in the middle of the dance one minute and entirely out of it the next. Naturally I supposed her to have slipped aside with Frederick Sutherland, but he was still in sight, looking so pale and so abstracted, however, I was sure the young