“May I see the envelope in which they arrived?” he asked.
“Sorry,” replied Bampton, “but I burned it. I thought it was playing the game to do so. It wouldn’t have helped you much, though,” he added; “It was an ordinary common envelope, posted in the City, address typewritten, and not a line enclosed.”
Bampton stood looking at us with a curious expression on his face, and suddenly:
“There’s one point,” he said, “on which my conscience isn’t easy. You know about that poor devil who fell out of a window? Well, it would never have happened if I hadn’t kicked up a row in the street. There’s no doubt he was leaning out to see what the disturbance was about when the accident occurred.”
“Did you actually see him fall?” asked Harley.
“No. He fell from a window several yards behind me in the side street, but I heard him cry out, and as I was lugged off by the police I heard the bell of the ambulance which came to fetch him.”
He paused again and stood rubbing his head ruefully.
“H’m,” said Harley; “was there anything particularly remarkable about this man in the Lyons’ cafe?”
Bampton reflected silently for some moments, and then:
“Nothing much,” he confessed. “He was evidently a gentleman, wore a blue top-coat, a dark tweed suit, and what looked like a regimental tie, but I didn’t see much of the colours. He was very tanned, as I have said, even to the backs of his hands—and oh, yes! there was one point: He had a gold-covered tooth.”
“I can’t remember, except that it was on the left side, and I always noticed it when he smiled.”
“Did he wear any ring or pin which you would recognize?”
“Had he any oddity of speech or voice?”
“No. Just a heavy, drawling manner. He spoke like thousands of other cultured Englishmen. But wait a minute—yes! There was one other point. Now I come to think of it, his eyes very slightly slanted upward.”
“Like a Chinaman’s?”
“Oh, nothing so marked as that. But the same sort of formation.”
Harley nodded briskly and buttoned up his overcoat.
“Thanks, Mr. Bampton,” he said; “we will detain you no longer!”
As we descended the stairs, where the smell of frying sausages had given place to that of something burning—probably the sausages:
“I was half inclined to think that Major Ragstaff’s ideas were traceable to a former touch of the sun,” said Harley. “I begin to believe that he has put us on the track of a highly unusual crime. I am sorry to delay dinner, Knox, but I propose to call at the Cafe Dame.”
A CRIMINAL GENIUS
On entering the doorway of the Cafe Dame we found ourselves in a narrow passage. In front of us was a carpeted stair, and to the right a glass-panelled door communicating with a discreetly lighted little dining room which seemed to be well patronized. Opening the door Harley beckoned to a waiter, and: