The two men went away through the midnight streets, and kept silence until they were near the door of Jettison’s hotel. Then Mitchington spoke.
“Well!” he said. “We’ve had a couple of tales, anyhow! What do you think of things, now?”
Jettison threw back his head with a dry laugh.
“Never been better puzzled in all my time!” he said. “Never! But—if that young doctor’s playing a game—then, by the Lord Harry, inspector, it’s a damned deep ’un! And my advice is —watch the lot!”
JETTISON TAKES A HAND
By breakfast time next morning the man from New Scotland Yard had accomplished a series of meditations on the confidences made to him and Mitchington the night before and had determined on at least one course of action. But before entering upon it he had one or two important letters to write, the composition of which required much thought and trouble, and by the time he had finished them, and deposited them by his own hand in the General Post Office, it was drawing near to noon—the great bell of the Cathedral, indeed, was proclaiming noontide to Wrychester as Jettison turned into the police-station and sought Mitchington in his office.
“I was just coming round to see if you’d overslept yourself,” said Mitchington good-humouredly. “We were up pretty late last night, or, rather, this morning.”
“I’ve had letters to write,” said Jettison. He sat down and picked up a newspaper and cast a casual glance over it. “Got anything fresh?”
“Well, this much,” answered Mitchington. “The two gentlemen who told us so much last night are both out of town. I made an excuse to call on them both early this morning—just on nine o’clock. Dr. Ransford went up to London by the eight-fifteen.
“Dr. Bryce, says his landlady, went out on his bicycle at half-past eight—where, she didn’t know, but, she fancied, into the country. However, I ascertained that Ransford is expected back this evening, and Bryce gave orders for his usual dinner to be ready at seven o’clock, and so—”
Jettison flung away the newspaper and pulled out his pipe.
“Oh, I don’t think they’ll run away—either of ’em,” he remarked indifferently. “They’re both too cock-sure of their own ways of looking at things.”
“You looked at ’em any more?” asked Mitchington.
“Done a bit of reflecting—yes,” replied the detective. “Complicated affair, my lad! More in it than one would think at first sight. I’m certain of this quite apart from whatever mystery there is about the Braden affair and the Collishaw murder, there’s a lot of scheming and contriving been going on—and is going on!—somewhere, by somebody. Underhand work, you understand? However, my particular job is the Collishaw business—and there’s a bit of information I’d like to get hold of at once. Where’s the office of that Friendly Society we heard about last night?”