Mitchington whistled; the detective, who knew nothing of Simpson Harker, glanced at him as if for information. But Mitchington nodded at Ransford, and Ransford went on.
“I know this for this reason,” he continued. “You know where Harker lives. I was in attendance for nearly two hours that evening on a patient in a house opposite—I spent a good deal of time in looking out of the window. I saw Harker take a man into his house: I saw the man leave the house nearly an hour later: I recognized that man next day as the man who met his death at the Cathedral. So much for that.”
“Good!” muttered Mitchington. “Good! Explains a lot.”
“But,” continued Ransford, “what I have to tell you now is of a much more serious—and confidential—nature. Now, do you know—but, of course, you don’t!—that your proceedings tonight were watched?”
“Watched!” exclaimed Mitchington. “Who watched us?”
“Harker, for one,” answered Ransford. “And—for another—my late assistant, Mr. Pemberton Bryce.”
Mitchington’s jaw dropped.
“God bless my soul!” he said. “You don’t mean it, doctor! Why, how did you—”
“Wait a minute,” interrupted Ransford. He left the room, and the two callers looked at each other.
“This chap knows more than you think,” observed Jettison in a whisper. “More than he’s telling now!”
“Let’s get all we can, then,” said Mitchington, who was obviously much surprised by Ransford’s last information. “Get it while he’s in the mood.”
“Let him take his own time,” advised Jettison. “But—you mark me!—he knows a lot! This is only an instalment.”
Ransford came back—with Dick Bewery, clad in a loud patterned and gaily coloured suit of pyjamas.
“Now, Dick,” said Ransford. “Tell Inspector Mitchington precisely what happened this evening, within your own knowledge.”
Dick was nothing loth to tell his story for the second time —especially to a couple of professional listeners. And he told it in full detail, from the moment of his sudden encounter with Bryce to that in which he parted with Bryce and Harker. Ransford, watching the official faces, saw what it was in the story that caught the official attention and excited the official mind.
“Dr. Bryce went off at once to fetch Harker, did he?” asked Mitchington, when Dick had made a end.
“At once,” answered Dick. “And was jolly quick back with him!”
“And Harker said it didn’t matter about your telling as it would be public news soon enough?” continued Mitchington.
“Just that,” said Dick.
Mitchington looked at Ransford, and Ransford nodded to his ward.
“All right, Dick,” he said. “That’ll do.”
The boy went off again, and Mitchington shook his head.
“Queer!” he said. “Now what have those two been up to? —something, that’s certain. Can you tell us more, doctor?”