“You’re absurd, Elliott,” cut in Hendricks. “Mr. Stone is a psychologist. He learns what he wants to know not from what we say—but the way we say it. Right, Mr. Stone?”
“Right, Mr. Hendricks.” Stone looked grave. “Anything more to say, Mr. Elliott?”
“Yes, I have! And it’s this: I asked you to come here. I asked you to take this case—as you’ve already surmised—to free Mrs, Embury from wrongful suspicion. Wrongful, mind you! I do not want you to clear her if she is guilty. But she isn’t. Therefore, I want you to find the real criminal. That’s what I want!”
“And that’s what I’m doing.”
“Of course he is,” Eunice defended him. “I wish you’d keep still, Mason! You talk too much—and you interfere with Mr. Stone’s methods.”
“Perhaps I’d better go home, Eunice.” Elliott was clearly offended. “If you don’t want me here, I’ll go.”
“Oh, no—” Eunice began, but Hendricks said, “Go on, Elliott, do. There are too many of us here, and as Eunice’s counsel, I can look after her interests.”
Mason Elliott rose, and turned to Eunice.
“Shall I go?” he said, and he gave her a look of entreaty—a look of yearning, pleading love.
“Go,” she said, coldly. “Alvord will take care of me.”
And Elliott went.
FIBSY’S BUSY DAY
“It’s this way, F. Stone,” said Fibsy, earnestly, “the crooks of the situation—”
“The crooks—that’s what they call it—”
“Oh, the crux.” Stone did not laugh.
“Yessir—if that’s how you pronounce it. Guess I’ll stick to plain English. Well, to my way of thinkin’, the little joker in the case is that there raspberry jam. I’m a strong believer in raspberry jam on general principles, but in pertikler, I should say in this present case, raspberry jam will win the war! Don’t eat it!”
“Thought you were going to talk plain English. You’re cryptic, my son.”
“All right—here goes. That jam business is straight goods. The old lady says she tasted jam—and she did taste jam. That’s all there is about that. And that sweet, pleasant, innercent raspberry jam will yet send the moiderer of Mr. Embury to the chair!”
“I think myself there’s something to be looked into there, but how are you going about it?”
“Dunno yet—but here’s another thing, Mr. Stone, that I ain’t had time to tell you yet, that—”
“Suppose you begin at the beginning and tell me your story in order.”
“Supposin’ I do!” Fibsy thought a moment before he began. It was the morning after the two had dined at the Embury home, and they were breakfasting together in Stone’s hotel apartment.
“Well, Mr. Stone, as you know, I left Mrs, Embury’s last night d’eckly after Mr. Hendricks took his deeparture. As I s’pected, there was trouble a-waitin’ for him just outside the street doorway, that Hanlon chap was standing and he met up with Mr. Hendricks—much to the dismay of the latter!”