The Paradise Mystery eBook

J. S. Fletcher
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 314 pages of information about The Paradise Mystery.

“I think just what I said before—­in there,” replied the detective.  “That man knows more than he’s told, even now!”

“Why hasn’t he spoken sooner, then?” demanded Mitchington.  “He’s had two good chance—­at the inquests.”

“From what I saw of him, just now,” said Jettison, “I should say he’s the sort of man who can keep his own counsel till he considers the right time has come for speaking.  Not the sort of man who’ll care twopence whatever’s said about him, you understand?  I should say he’s known a good lot all along, and is just keeping it back till he can put a finishing touch to it.  Two days, didn’t he say?  Aye, well, a lot can happen in two days!”

“But about your theory?” questioned Mitchington.  “What do you think of it now—­in relation to what we’ve just heard?”

“I’ll tell you what I can see,” answered Jettison.  “I can see how one bit of this puzzle fits into another—­in view of what Ransford has just told us.  Of course, one’s got to do a good deal of supposing it’s unavoidable in these cases.  Now supposing Braden let this man Harker into the secret of the hidden jewels that night, and supposing that Harker and Bryce are in collusion—­as they evidently are, from what that boy told us—­and supposing they between them, together or separately, had to do with Braden’s death, and supposing that man Collishaw saw some thing that would incriminate one or both—­eh?”

“Well?” asked Mitchington.

“Bryce is a medical man,” observed Jettison.  “It would be an easy thing for a medical man to get rid of Collishaw as he undoubtedly was got rid of.  Do you see my point?”

“Aye—­and I can see that Bryce is a clever hand at throwing dust in anybody’s eyes!” muttered Mitchington.  “I’ve had some dealings with him over this affair and I’m beginning to think —­only now!—­that he’s been having me for the mug!  He’s evidently a deep ’un—­and so’s the other man.”

“I wanted to ask you that,” said Jettison.  “Now, exactly who are these two?—­tell me about them—­both.”

“Not so much to tell,” answered Mitchington.  “Harker’s a quiet old chap who lives in a little house over there—­just off that far corner of this Close.  Said to be a retired tradesman, from London.  Came here a few years ago, to settle down.  Inoffensive, pleasant old chap.  Potters about the town—­puts in his time as such old chaps do—­bit of reading at the libraries—­bit of gossip here and—­there you know the sort.  Last man in the world I should have thought would have been mixed up in an affair of this sort!”

“And therefore all the more likely to be!” said Jettison.  “Well—­the other?”

“Bryce was until the very day of Braden’s appearance, Ransford’s assistant,” continued Mitchington.  “Been with Ransford about two years.  Clever chap, undoubtedly, but certainly deep and, in a way, reserved, though he can talk plenty if he’s so minded and it’s to his own advantage.  He left Ransford suddenly—­that very morning.  I don’t know why.  Since then he’s remained in the town.  I’ve heard that he’s pretty keen on Ransford’s ward—­sister of that lad we saw tonight.  I don’t know myself, if it’s true—­but I’ve wondered if that had anything to do with his leaving Ransford so suddenly.”

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The Paradise Mystery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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