“No explanation necessary. She killed her husband, and she’s my prisoner.”
“Hush up, Shane; let me talk,” interrupted Driscoll, whose calmer tones carried more authority than those of his rough partner.
“It’s this way, Mr. Elliott. I’m a detective, and I saw at once, that if the doctors couldn’t find the cause of Mr. Embury’s death, it must be a most unusual cause. So I hunted for some clue or some bit of evidence pointing to the manner of his death. Well, when I spied that little medicine dropper, half full of something, I didn’t know what, but—” Here he paused impressively. “But there was no bottle or vial of anything in the cupboard, from which it could have been taken. There was no fluid in there that looked a bit like the stuff in the dropper. So I thought that looked suspicious—as if some one had hidden it there. I didn’t see the whole game then, but I went around to a druggist’s and asked him what was in that dropper. And he said henbane. He further explained that henbane is the common name for hyoscyamin, which is a deadly poison. Now, the doctors were pretty sure that Mr. Embury had not been killed by anything taken into the stomach, so I thought a minute, and, like a flash, I remembered the play of ‘Hamlet’ that I saw last week.
“I guess everybody in New York went to see it—the house was crowded. Anyway, I’ve proved by Mrs, Embury’s engagement book that she went—one afternoon, to a matinee—and what closer or more indicative hint do you want? In that play, the murder is fully described, and though many people might think poison could not be introduced through the intact ear in sufficient quantity to be fatal, yet it can be—and I read an article lately in a prominent medical journal saying so. I was interested, because of the Hamlet play. If I hadn’t seen that, I’d never thought of this whole business. But, if I’m wrong, let Mrs, Embury explain the presence of that dropper in her medicine chest.”
“I don’t know anything about the thing! I never saw or heard of it before! I don’t believe you found it where you say you did!” Eunice faced him with an accusing look. “You put it there yourself—it’s what you call a frame-up! I know nothing of your old dropper!”
“There, there, lady,” Shane put in; “don’t get excited—it only counts against you. Mr. Driscoll, here, wouldn’t have no reason to do such a thing as you speak of! Why would he do that, now?”
“But he must have done it,” broke in Miss Ames. “For I use that bathroom of Eunice’s and that thing hasn’t been in it, since I’ve been here.”
“Of course not,” and Shane looked at her as at a foolish child; “why should it be? The lady used it, and then put it away.”
“Hold on, there, Shane,” Hendricks interrupted. “Why would any one do such a positively incriminating thing as that?”
“They always slip up somewhere,” said Driscoll, “after committing a crime, your criminal is bound to do something careless, that gives it all away. Mrs, Embury, how did that dropper get in that medicine chest in your bathroom?”