“Nothing doing,” he said, with an attempt at lightness. “He won’t listen to reason—nor to bribery and corruption—” this last was said openly and with a smile that robbed the idea of any real seriousness.
And then Dr. Crowell again lifted the telephone and called up Headquarters.
Of the two detectives who arrived in response to the Examiner’s call, one almost literally fulfilled Eunice’s prophecy of a rude, unkempt, common man. His name was Shane and he strode into the room with a bumptious, self-important air, his burly frame looking especially awkward and unwieldy in the gentle surroundings.
His companion, however, a younger man named Driscoll, was of a finer type, and showed at least an appreciation of the nature of the home which he had entered.
“We’re up from the homicide bureau,” Shane said to Dr. Crowell, quite ignoring the others present. “Tell us all you know.”
In the fewest possible words the Medical Examiner did this, and Shane paid close attention.
Driscoll listened, too, but his glance, instead of being fixed on the speaker, darted from one to another of the people sitting round.
He noted carefully Eunice’s beautiful, angry face, as she sat, looking out of a window, disdaining any connection with the proceedings. He watched Miss Ames, nervously rolling her handkerchief into a ball and shaking it out again; Mason Elliott, calm, grave, and earnestly attentive; Alvord Hendricks, alert, eager, sharply critical.
And in the background, Ferdinand, the well-trained butler, hovering in the doorway.
All these things Driscoll studied, for his method was judging from the manners of individuals, whereas, Shane gathered his conclusions from their definite statements.
And, having listened to Dr. Crowell’s account, Shane turned to Eunice and said bluntly, “You and your husband good friends?”
Eunice gasped. Then, after one scathing glance, she deliberately turned back to the window, and neglected to answer.
“That won’t do, ma’am,” said Shane, in his heavy voice, which was coarse and uncultured but not intentionally rude. “I’m here to ask questions and you people have got to answer ’em. Mebbe I can put it different. Was you and Mr. Embury on good terms?”
“Certainly.” The word was forced from Eunice’s scornful lips, and accompanied by an icy glance meant to freeze the detective, but which utterly failed.
“No rows or disagreements, eh? “Shane’s smile was unbearable, and Eunice turned and faced him like an angry thing at bay.
“I forbid you to speak to me,” she said, and looked at Shane as if he were some miserable, crawling reptile. “Mason, will you answer this man for me?”
“No, no, lady,” Shane seemed to humor her. “I must get your own word for it. Don’t you want me to find out who killed your husband? Don’t you want the truth known? Are you afraid to have it told? Hey?”