“Act as you please,” added Zani Chada, speaking even more softly. “But I have not advised lightly. I will receive you, Chief Inspector, at any hour of the night you care to return. By to-morrow, if you wish, you may be independent of everybody.”
Kerry clenched his fists.
“And great sorrow may be spared to others,” concluded the Eurasian.
Kerry’s teeth snapped together audibly; then, putting on his hat, he turned and walked straight to the door.
DAN KERRY, JUNIOR
Dan Kerry, junior, was humorously like his father, except that he was larger-boned and promised to grow into a much bigger man. His hair was uncompromisingly red, and grew in such irregular fashion that the comb was not made which could subdue it. He had the wide-open, fighting blue eyes of the Chief Inspector, and when he smiled the presence of two broken teeth lent him a very pugilistic appearance.
On his advent at the school of which he was now one of the most popular members, he had promptly been christened “Carrots.” To this nickname young Kerry had always taken exception, and he proceeded to display his prejudice on the first day of his arrival with such force and determination that the sobriquet had been withdrawn by tacit consent of every member of the form who hitherto had favoured it.
“I’ll take you all on,” the new arrival had declared amidst a silence of stupefaction, “starting with you”—pointing to the biggest boy. “If we don’t finish to-day, I’ll begin again to-morrow.”
The sheer impudence of the thing had astounded everybody. Young Kerry’s treatment of his leading persecutor had produced a salutary change of opinion. Of such kidney was Daniel Kerry, junior; and when, some hours after his father’s departure on the night of the murder in the fog, the ’phone bell rang, it was Dan junior, and not his mother, who answered the call.
“Hallo!” said a voice. “Is that Chief Inspector Kerry’s house?”
“Yes,” replied Dan.
“It has begun to rain in town,” the voice continued, “Is that the Chief Inspector’s son speaking?”
“Yes, I’m Daniel Kerry.”
“Well, my boy, you know the way to New Scotland Yard?”
“He says will you bring his overall? Do you know where to find it?”
“Yes, yes!” cried Dan excitedly, delighted to be thus made a party to his father’s activities.
“Well, get it. Jump on a tram at the Town Hall and bring the overall along here. Your mother will not object, will she?”
“Of course not,” cried Dan. “I’ll tell her. Am I to start now?”
“Yes, right away.”
Mrs. Kerry was sewing by the fire in the dining room when her son came in with the news, his blue eyes sparkling excitedly. She nodded her head slowly.
“Ye’ll want ye’r Burberry and ye’r thick boots,” she declared, “a muffler, too, and ye’r oldest cap. I think it’s madness for ye to go out on such a night, but——”