Shane’s secret theory was that of a sort of third degree applied at the very beginning often scared people into a quick confession of the truth and saved time in the long run.
Driscoll knew of this and did not approve.
“Let up, Shane,” he muttered; “this is no time for such talk. You don’t know anything yet.”
“Go ahead, you,” returned Shane, not unwillingly, and Driscoll did.
“Of course we must ask questions, Mrs, Embury,” he said, and his politeness gained him a hearing from Eunice.
She looked at him with, at least, toleration, as he began to question her.
“When did you last see Mr. Embury alive, ma’am?”
“Last night,” replied Eunice, “about midnight, when we retired.”
“He was in his usual health and spirits?”
“You have two bedrooms?”
“Open or shut—after you said good-night to Mr. Embury?”
“Who shut it.”
“Did he bang it shut? Slam it?”
“Mr. Embury was a gentleman.”
“Yes, I know. Did he slam that door?”
“He did,” and Driscoll nodded his head, as if not minding Eunice’s stammered denial, but not believing it, either.
“Now, as he closed that door with a bang, ma’am, I gather that you two had a—well, say, a little tiff—a quarrel. Might as well own up, ma’am,—it’ll come out, and it’s better you should tell me the truth.”
“I am not accustomed to telling anything else!” Eunice declared, holding herself together with a very evident effort. “Mr. Embury and I had a slight difference of opinion, but not enough to call a quarrel.”
“What about?” broke in Shane, who had been listening intently.
Eunice did not speak until Elliott advised her. “Tell all Eunice—it is the best way.”
“We had a slight discussion,” Eunice said, “but it was earlier in the evening. We had spent the evening out—Mr. Embury at his club, and I at the house of a friend. We came home together—Mr. Embury called for me in our own car. On reaching home, we had no angry words—and as it was late, we retired at once. That is all. Mr. Embury closed the door between our bedrooms, and that is the last I ever saw of him until—this morning—”
She did not break down, but she seemed to think she had told all and she ceased speaking.
“And then he was dead,” Shane mused. “What doctor did you call?”
Dr. Crowell took up the narrative and told of Dr. Harper and Dr. Marsden, who were not now present. He told further of the mysterious and undiscoverable cause of the death.
“Let me see him,” said Shane, rising suddenly.
Most of this man’s movements were sudden—and as he was in every respect awkward and uncouth, Eunice’s dislike of him grew momentarily.