“Certainly,” said Eunice, in a cold voice, and gave the address desired.
“And, now, we’ll move on,” said Shane, rising.
“You ain’t under arrest, Mrs, Embury—not yet—but I advise you not to try to leave this house without permission—”
“Indeed, I shall! Whenever and as often as I choose! The idea of your forbidding me!”
“Hush, Eunice,” said Hendricks. “She will not, Mr. Shane; I’m her guaranty for that. Don’t apprehend any insubordination on the part of Mrs, Embury.”
“Not if she knows what’s good for herself!” was Shane’s parting shot, and the two detectives went away.
“Oh, yes, indeed, Mr. Shane, Mrs, Embury is a dear friend of mine —a very, very dear friend—and I’d so gladly go to see her—and comfort her—console with her—and try to cheer her up—but —well, I asked her last night, over the telephone, to let me go to see her to-day—and—she—she—”
Mrs, Desternay’s pretty blue eyes filled with tears, and her pretty lips quivered, and she dabbed a sheer little handkerchief here and there on her countenance. Then she took up her babbling again.
“Oh, I don’t mean she was unfriendly or—or cross, you know—but she was a little—well, curt, almost—I might say, cool. And I’m one of her dearest friends—and I can’t quite understand it.”
“Perhaps you must make allowances for Mrs. Embury,” Shane suggested. “Remember the sudden and mysterious death of her husband must have been a fearful shock—”
“Oh, terrible! Yes, indeed, I do appreciate all that! And of course when I telephoned last evening, she had just had that long interview with you—and your other detective, Mr. What’s-his-name—and—oh, yes, Mr. Elliott answered my call and he told me just how things were—but I did think dear Eunice would want to see me—but it’s all right—of course, if she doesn’t want my sympathy. I’m the last one to intrude on her grief! But she has no one—no one at all—except that old aunt, who’s half foolish, I think—”
“What do you mean, half foolish?”
“Oh, she’s hipped over those psychic studies of hers, and she’s all wrapped up in Spiritualism and occult thingamajigs—I don’t know what you call ’em.”
“She seems to me a very sane and practical lady.”
“In most ways—yes; but crazy on the subject of spooks, and mediums and things like that! Oh, Mr. Shane, who do you suppose killed Mr. Embury? How awful! To have a real murder right in one’s owns circle of acquaintances—I had almost said friends —but dear Eunice doesn’t seem to look on me as her friend—”
The blue eyes made a bid for sympathy, and Shane, though not always at ease in the presence of society ladies, met her half way.
“Now, that’s a pity, Mrs, Desternay! I’m sure you’d be the greatest help to her in her trouble.”