“But if he were poisoned,” began Hendricks, “as you have implied, surely, you could find some trace.”
“That’s just the point,” agreed Marsden. “I certainly think I could. And, since I can’t, I feel it my duty to report it as a mysterious and, to me, inexplicable death.”
“You’re right,” said Elliott. “If you can’t find the cause, for heaven’s sake get somebody who can! I don’t for a minute believe it’s a murder, but the barest suspicion of such a thing must be set at rest once and for all! Murder! Ridiculous! But get the Examiner, by all means!”
So Eunice’s continued objections were set aside and Dr. Crowell was called in.
A strange little man the Examiner proved to be. He had sharp, bird-like eyes, that darted from one person to another, and seemed to read their very thoughts. On his entrance, he went straight to Eunice, and took her hand.
“Mrs, Embury? “he said, positively, rather than interrogatively. “Do not fear me, ma’am. I want to help you, not annoy you.”
Impressed by his magnetic manner and his encouraging handclasp, Eunice melted a little and her look of angry scorn changed to a half-pleased expression of greeting.
“Miss Ames—my aunt,” she volunteered, as Dr. Crowell paused before Aunt Abby.
And then the newcomer spoke to the two doctors already present, was introduced to Elliott and Hendricks, who were still there, and in a very decided manner took affairs into his own hands.
“Yes, yes,” he chattered on; “I will help you, Mrs, Embury. Now, Dr. Harper, this is your case, I understand? Dr. Marsden—yours, too? Yes, yes—mysterious, you say? Maybe so—maybe so. Let us proceed at once.”
The little man stood, nervously teetering up and down on his toes, almost like a schoolboy preparing to speak a piece. “Now—if you please—now—” he looked eagerly toward the other doctors.
They all went into Embury’s room and closed the door.
Then Eunice’s temporary calm forsook her.
“It’s awful!” she cried. “I don’t want them to bother poor Sanford. Why can’t they let him alone? I don’t care what killed him! He’s dead, and no doctors can help that! Oh, Alvord, can’t you make them let San alone?”
“No, Eunice; it has to be. Keep quiet, dear. It can do no good for you to get all wrought up, and if you’d go and lie down—”
“For heaven’s sake, stop telling me to go and lie down! If one more person says that to me I shall just perfectly fly!”
“Now, Eunice,” began Aunt Abby, “it’s only ’for your own good, dear. You are all excited and nervous—”
“Of course, I am! Who wouldn’t be? Mason,” she looked around at the concerned faces, “I believe you understand me best. You know I don’t want to go and lie down, don’t you?”
“Stay where you are, child,” Elliott smiled kindly at her. “Of course, you’re nervous and upset—all you can do is to try to hold yourself together—and don’t try that too hard, either—for you may defeat your own ends thereby. Just wait, Eunice; sit still and wait.”