When they reappeared, it was plain to be seen the mystery was solved.
“There is no doubt,” said the Medical Examiner, “that Sanford Embury met his death by foul play. The means used was the administering of poison—through the ear!”
“Through the ear!” repeated Elliott, as one who failed to grasp the sense of the words.
“Yes; it is a most unusual, almost a unique case, but it is proved beyond a doubt. The poison was inserted in Mr. Embury’s ear, by means—”
He paused, and Driscoll held up to view a small, ordinary glass medicine dropper, with a rubber bulb top. In it still remained a portion of a colorless liquid.
“By means of this,” Driscoll declared. “This fluid is henbane —that is the commercial name of it—known to the profession, however, as hyoscyamus or hyoscyamine. This little implement, I found, in the medicine chest in Miss Ames’ bathroom "
“No! no!” screamed Aunt Abby. “I never saw it before!”
“I don’t think you did,” said Driscoll, quietly. “But here is a side light on the subject. This henbane was used, in this very manner, we are told, in Shakespeare’s works, by Hamlet’s uncle, when he poisoned Hamlet’s father. He used, the play says, distilled hebenon, supposed to be another form of the word henbane. And this is what is, perhaps, important: Mrs, Embury’s engagement book shows that about a week ago she attended the play of Hamlet. The suggestion there received—the presence of this dropper, still containing the stuff, the finding of traces of henbane in the ear of the dead man—seem to lead to a conclusion—”
“The only possible conclusion! It’s an openand—shut case!” cried Shane, rising, and striding toward Eunice. “Mrs, Embury, I arrest you for the wilful murder of your husband!”
“Don’t you dare touch me!” Eunice Embury cried, stepping back from the advancing figure of the burly detective. “Go out of my house—Ferdinand, put this person out!”
The butler appeared in the doorway, but Shane waved a dismissing hand at him.
“No use blustering, Mrs, Embury,” he said, gruffly, but not rudely. “You’d better come along quietly, than to make such a fuss.”
“I shall make whatever fuss I choose—and I shall not ’come along,’ quietly or any other way! I am not intimidated by your absurd accusations, and I command you once more to leave my house, or I will have you thrown out!”
Eunice’s eyes blazed with anger, her voice was not loud, but was tense with concentrated rage, and she stood, one hand clenching a chair-back while with the other she pointed toward the door.
“Be quiet, Eunice,” said Mason Elliott, coming toward her; “you can’t dismiss an officer of the law like that. But you can demand an explanation. I think, Shane, you are going too fast. You haven’t evidence enough against Mrs, Embury to think of arrest! Explain yourself!”