“Isn’t he dreadful!” she cried, as the two detectives and the Medical Examiner disappeared into Embury’s room.
“Yes,” agreed Hendricks, “but, Eunice, you must not antagonize him. It can’t do any good—and it may do harm.”
“Harm? How?” and Eunice turned her big, wondering eyes on Hendrick.
“Oh, it isn’t wise to cross a man like that. He’s a common clod, but he represents authority—he represents the law, and we must respect that fact, however his personal manner offends us.”
“All right, Alvord, I understand; but there’s no use in my seeing him again. Can’t you and Mason settle up things and let Aunt Abby and me go to our rooms?”
“No, Eunice,” Hendricks’ voice was grave. “You must stay here. And, too, they will go through your room, searching.”
“My room! My bedroom! They shan’t! I won’t have it! Mason, must I submit to such horrible things?”
“Now, Eunice, dear,” Mason Elliott spoke very gently, “we can’t blink matters. We must face this squarely. The police think Sanford was murdered. They’re endeavoring to find out who killed him. To do their duty in the matter they have to search everywhere. It’s the law, you know, and we can’t get away from it. So, try to take it as quietly as you can.”
“Oh, my! oh, my!” wailed Aunt Abby; “that I should live to see this day! A murder in my own family! No wonder poor Sanford’s troubled spirit paused in its passing to bid me farewell.”
Eunice shrieked. “Aunt Abby, if you start up that talk, I shall go stark, staring mad! Hush! I won’t have it!”
“Let up on the spook stuff, Miss Ames,” begged Hendricks. “Our poor Eunice is just about at the end of her rope.”
“So am I!” cried Aunt Abby. “I’m entitled to some consideration! Here’s the whole house turned upside down with a murder and police and all that, and nobody considers me! It’s all Eunice!” Then, with a softened voice, she added, “And Lord knows, she’s got enough to bear!”
“Yes, I have!” Eunice was composed again, now. “But I can bear it. I’m not going to collapse! Don’t be afraid for me. And I do consider you, Aunt Abby. It’s dreadful for you—for both of us.”
Eunice crossed the room and sat by the cider lady, and they comforted one another.
Shane came back to the living-room.
“Here’s the way it is,” he said, gruffly. “Those three bedrooms all open into each other; but when their doors that open out into these here other rooms are locked they’re quite shut off by themselves, and nobody can get into ’em. Now that last room, the one the old lady sleeps in, that don’t have a door except into Mrs, Embury’s room. What I’m gettin’ at is, if Mr. and Mrs, Embury’s room doors is locked—not meanin’ the door between—then those three people are locked in there every night, and can’t get out or in, except through those two locked doors.