“Oh, I say, what’s that for?” exclaimed Dick Bewery. “Shut up?—what a lot of rot! I say!—can’t you let us go in—just for a minute?”
“Not for a pension, sir!” answered the policeman good-naturedly. “Don’t you see the notice? The Dean ’ud have me out of the force by tomorrow if I disobeyed orders. No admittance, nowhere, nohow! But lor’ bless yer!” he added, glancing at the two young people. “There’s nothing to see—nothing!—as Dr. Bryce there can tell you.”
Dick, who knew nothing of the recent passages between his guardian and the dismissed assistant, glanced at Bryce with interest.
“You were on the spot first, weren’t you?” he asked: “Do you think it really was murder?”
“I don’t know what it was,” answered Bryce. “And I wasn’t first on the spot. That was Varner, the mason—he called me.” He turned from the lad to glance at the girl, who was peeping curiously over the gate into the yews and cypresses. “Do you think your father’s at the Library just now?” he asked. “Shall I find him there?”
“I should think he is,” answered Betty Campany. “He generally goes down about this time.” She turned and pulled Dick Bewery’s sleeve. “Let’s go up in the clerestory,” she said. “We can see that, anyway.”
“Also closed, miss,” said the policeman, shaking his head. “No admittance there, neither. The public firmly warned off—so to speak. ’I won’t have the Cathedral turned into a peepshow!’ that’s precisely what I heard the Dean say with my own ears. So—closed!”
The boy and the girl turned away and went off across the Close, and the policeman looked after them and laughed.
“Lively young couple, that, sir!” he said. “What they call healthy curiosity, I suppose? Plenty o’ that knocking around in the city today.”
Bryce, who had half-turned in the direction of the Library, at the other side of the Close, turned round again.
“Do you know if your people are doing anything about identifying the dead man?” he asked. “Did you hear anything at noon?”
“Nothing but that there’ll be inquiries through the newspapers, sir,” replied the policeman. “That’s the surest way of finding something out. And I did hear Inspector Mitchington say that they’d have to ask the Duke if he knew anything about the poor man—I suppose he’d let fall something about wanting to go over to Saxonsteade.”
Bryce went off in the direction of the Library thinking. The newspapers?—yes, no better channel for spreading the news. If Mr. John Braden had relations and friends, they would learn of his sad death through the newspapers, and would come forward. And in that case—
“But it wouldn’t surprise me,” mused Bryce, “if the name given at the Mitre is an assumed name. I wonder if that theory of Archdale’s is a correct one?—however, there’ll be more of that at the inquest tomorrow. And in the meantime—let me find out something about the tomb of Richard Jenkins, or Jenkinson—whoever he was.”