Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership


A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook

Title:      The Body in the Bunker
Author:     Herbert Adams
eBook No.:  0500761.txt
Edition:    1
Language:   English
Character set encoding:     Latin-1(ISO-8859-1)--8 bit
Date first posted:          August 2005
Date most recently updated: October 2007

Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created from printed editions
which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice
is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular
paper edition.

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this
file.

This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online at
http://gutenberg.net.au/licence.html

To contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to http://gutenberg.net.au


Title:      The Body in the Bunker
Author:     Herbert Adams




CHAPTER ONE: THE FLAG COMPETITION

"SAY what you like," protested Farmer, "it isn't playing the game."

"What isn't?" asked Neave.

"Deliberately missing a foot putt so that your partner has to sink it and 
you get the next drive. Escott says it's permissible and I say it's jolly 
near cheating."

"I thought the partners drove at alternate holes," said Bruce.

"Not in a flag competition," explained Farmer. "You carry straight on. So 
when one holes out the other has the drive. The fellow purposely missed 
his putt. Owned up to it. The girl sank it and he got the next tee shot. 
Decent people don't do such things."

"Who did it?" asked someone else.

"Hann. He was partnering Vera King. Not her fault. I was playing with 
Maureen Hobart and at the fourteenth both balls were a foot from the pin. 
I holed out, but Hann deliberately missed. Played to the side so that his 
partner had to play again."

"Cost them a stroke," said Major Escott.

"Yes, but it gave him the drive at 'Hell.' Put it on the green and they 
got a three."

"What happened to you?" asked Broughley.

"Maureen went into the far bunker--into a heel mark too. Took us three to 
get out. Down in six. But what happened to us is not the point. I say it 
was a dirty dodge. It isn't cricket." Henry Farmer undoubtedly felt very 
much annoyed about it.

"There you are wrong," declared Escott. "Whether it is golf or not, it 
most certainly is cricket. The better player runs one instead of two at 
the end of the over to keep the bowling. Do you blame him?"

"Not quite the same," said Dean. "At cricket you are out to make a high 
score and at golf a low one. If all my centuries at golf had been made at 
cricket I should be near the top of the averages! I agree with Farmer 
that to miss a putt purposely is not playing the game."

"But it's the fellow's own loss," remarked Broughley.

"Not when it's done deliberately to get the next drive," said Farmer.

"Have you never played short at a bunker for safety?" demanded Escott. 
"What's the difference?"

"A great deal. You play short at a bunker to make sure of doing the hole 
in as few as possible. You hope to save something with the next shot."

"Pretty much what Hann did," remarked Neave. 

"To miss deliberately violates the whole principle of a mixed foursome," 
asserted Farmer.

"You might say it violates the principle of bridge," remarked someone 
else, "to trump your partner's ace. But it may be a sound thing if you 
want the lead."

"Bridge is a matter of tricks," retorted Farmer. "Golf should not be."

Others joined in the wrangle and got quite warm about it. The smoking 
room of the Barrington Golf Club, like many others of its kind, was 
rather pleased when some novel point arose in connection with the game 
and could be discussed from all angles. Several of the members agreed 
with Farmer that his opponent had violated the spirit of the game, while 
others held with Major Escott that it was a matter of tactics and 
perfectly permissible.

"What is your opinion, Ross?" asked Broughley at last, turning to the man 
at his side who had been listening in silence to the argument. "You are a 
lawyer so you ought to be able to tell us."

"Rather depends which party briefs me," laughed Ross. He was a big 
fellow, dark, with shrewd, observant eyes and a mouth lined by smiles. 
But it could be stiff and severe enough on occasion. "I suppose each pair 
has a handicap and you see who can carry the flag furthest?"

"That's right," said Farmer. "Bogey is seventy-two. My partner and I got 
eight strokes and had to go as far as possible in eighty. Hann is scratch 
and his partner sixteen, so they also got eight. We were all playing well 
and there was nothing between us except at 'Hell.' We picked up the flag 
at the eighteenth and at the twentieth my partner and I had still one 
shot to go and they had two. I hit a beauty--two hundred yards. No--it 
was more than that. Must have been at least--"

"Stop!" said Dean. "That, anyway, breaks the rules of golf."

"What do you mean?"  demanded Farmer.

"The rule distinctly says you must not do anything to improve a lie!"

There was a general laugh and Farmer looked annoyed at the frivolous 
interruption of his story.

"Anyway," he said testily, "I outdrove Hann, but Vera had the extra shot 
and put it fifty yards past us. The trick at the fourteenth and our 
trouble in 'Hell' just made the difference. No one is likely to go 
further. I don't care a bit about the prize, but for a competition to be 
won in such a way is not sporting."

"Well," smiled Ross, "I have to pretend to know something of the laws of 
England, but I never pose as an expert on the laws of golf. Yet, 
honestly, I cannot see where your grouse comes in. You all get strokes 
and have to use them to the best advantage. If you think it will pay you 
to throw one away on the chance of making good later--why not? Suppose 
your opponent, when he got the drive, had put his partner into 'Hell,' 
you would have laughed at him--gave away a shot and got nothing for it. 
As it was his policy paid. Nothing unfair in it. He took a chance and it 
came off."

Farmer still looked dissatisfied and, to end the matter amicably, Ross 
went on:

"I always remember your 'Hell,' though I have only played here once 
before. One of your chaps made a very neat remark. It was a four-ball. 
Broughley was my partner and was the only one of us to stop on the green. 
Our opponents called it a fluke. 'No,' said Broughley, 'I used my head.' 
'Oh,' said one of the others, 'I never take wood at a short hole.'"

Again there was a general laugh; golfers are easily amused; but Farmer 
was unappeased. "Had it not been for that," he muttered, "we should have 
led the field."

"That is where you are wrong, old son. The flag is now planted a hundred 
yards past where you left it."

A newcomer, Philip Chase, made the announcement as he walked towards the 
seats occupied by Broughley and Ross.

"Who by?" asked several voices.

"Crosbie and Miss Escott. Congratulations, Escott. Your girl played a 
wonderful game."

"Must have done," said the major. "Never does when she partners me. 
Crosbie must have been pretty hot too."

"He was, and my partner and I kept them going. But they sunk an approach 
at the eighteenth and so gained one on us." Then he turned to Broughley 
and his friend. "Hullo, Ross, you down again? That's good. You must give 
me another game." He dropped his voice to a whisper and added, "Come over 
here. I want to tell you about it."

Something in his manner made them think he meant more than the 
recapitulation of the events of the round, though many men can make a 
long story of that! They followed him across the room.

"Have a drink," he added.

To this there was even less objection and they took their glasses out to 
the veranda.

"It was the queerest game ever," he murmured as they sat down in a quiet 
corner. "Who did you draw for partner, Broughley?"

"Miss Anderson. We ended on the seventeenth green."

"I drew Miss Wilton. A friend of yours, isn't she?

"She is," said Bill.

"Well, Crosbie drew Maidie Escott. He told me before we went out that he 
didn't know Miss Wilton. So on the first tee I introduced them. They 
stared at one another as though they had both been stung. Then they said 
'How d'ye do,' in the coldest possible manner and, believe me, those were 
the only words they spoke on the whole round."

"I don't blame anyone," said Broughley, "for not being chatty with 
Crosbie."

"Maybe not," returned Chase, "but there's more to it than that. At the 
start it looked as though for some reason they were both going to play 
atrociously. Crosbie had the first drive and he missed it altogether. 
Think of that for the fancied man for the captain's prize! I hit a decent 
one, but Miss Wilton did an air shot for our second. Looked pretty grim. 
They each did another foozle and then there was a change. Pulled 
themselves together and played about as perfect golf as I have ever seen. 
Maidie was jolly good and it was the toughest game I've known for ages. 
And hardly a word spoken all the way."

"Concentration," said Ross. "You should try it. What happened at 'Hell’?”

"Crosbie had to drive against Miss Wilton. Got a beauty, two yards from 
the pin. He gave her a devilish look. "Beat that if you can!" He didn't 
say it aloud, but one felt it. And she did beat it. Hers stopped dead and 
we both got two's."

"That's a help," said Ross. "Farmer was very sore over his six."

"Didn't you talk at all?" asked Broughley. "Rather unlike you!"

"Somehow one couldn't talk much. I asked my partner if she had met 
Crosbie before and she said No. But the way she snapped it out seemed to 
mean a lot. If you put that question to a girl in the ordinary way she 
says, 'No, where does he come from? What is he? He seems very pleasant.' 
or something like that. But Miss Wilton said nothing at all. Yet I would 
swear she knows all she wants to about him."

"And that probably is too much," said Broughley. "What had Crosbie to 
say?"

"I asked him the same thing--had he met her before? He looked at me as 
though I was a rude little boy and barked, 'No. Why do you ask?' I told 
him I had thought from his manner they recognised one another. 'She 
reminded me of someone.' Then he shut up and that was that. After the bad 
start they played as fiercely as they knew how. Each determined to outdo 
the other."

"How did it end?" asked Broughley.

"As I told you, thanks to their birdie at the eighteenth, making three in 
all to our two, they had a stroke to the good. Miss Wilton played our 
last shot at the twentieth. A peach, level with the flag where Farmer's 
lot left it. Crosbie was not quite so good, but Maidie had one to go and 
finished just short of the green."

"What happened then?"

"Miss Wilton took Maidie's arm, said what a wonderful game she had played 
and walked off with her. Just nodded to me and took no notice of 
Crosbie."

"It certainly was queer," commented Broughley, stubbing out his 
cigarette. He hesitated a moment and then went on, "Miss Wilton is a 
friend of mine, as you say, and I should be grateful, Chase, if you 
wouldn't tell anyone else about it. Most likely there is nothing in it, 
but anyway we don't want to start a lot of silly talk. I'll ask her if 
she knows anything of Crosbie. Most of us think him a bit of a bounder 
and she may have heard tales about him. Be a good chap and leave it till 
we know more.

"Silence is my second name," said Chase, "and thirst my third, what about 
another?"

CHAPTER TWO: TWO GIRLS

BILL BROUGHLEY was a bachelor of simple tastes and ample means. He was 
massively built and no one would have called him brainy. He was honest, 
good-hearted and hated worry. His father had been the proprietor of a big 
printing business and when, on his death, it was sold to a combine, Bill 
invested the proceeds in securities that produced a sure and comfortable 
income, even after the government had lopped off its very substantial 
share. It was an arrangement, free from care, that entirely suited his 
unambitious soul.

Fond of golf and of bridge, life at such places as the Dormy House of the 
Barrington Golf Club suited him very well indeed for a good portion of 
the year. He was nearing forty and had felt no urge to matrimony. He 
invited men friends from town to stay with him and play with him and that 
seemed to satisfy his needs. It was only lately that he had begun to ask 
himself if he was not missing a good deal.

Simon Ross, a barrister considerably younger than himself, had met him 
some years before on a cruising holiday. Similar tastes had led to a firm 
friendship. They had played a good deal of golf together, though only 
once before at that course. Now Simon had arrived on a Saturday 
afternoon, too late for a game, but with the intention of playing on the 
morrow.

"They do you very well here," said the visitor appreciatively, as they 
sat at dinner.

"Yes, but I am not sure it was not jollier in the old days, before they 
stuck up this Dormy House."

"It's a rattling good course," laughed Simon. "You and your pals wanted 
to keep it to yourselves. I don't blame you, but it can't be done when 
you are so near town."

"I suppose not," said Broughley. "All the snug little pubs get ousted 
sooner or later by the showy hotels where life is about as restful as a 
railway terminus. And you get a different class of member. The atmosphere 
changes. Even the old members alter."

"How do you mean?"

"It's not easy to explain. I daresay it happens in most clubs. Things run 
smoothly for years, then something crops up and the devil is let loose. 
Peaceful people get quarrelsome, old differences are remembered and 
finally there is an almighty row."

"The gas has to explode. Has there been anything of that sort here?" 
Simon was sipping some excellent Chambertin. The changes had certainly 
not affected the cellar.

"Very much so. Didn't I tell you about our row over the election of the 
captain a few months ago?"

"I think you said there was a contest. I never understood it was anything 
serious."

"It was all hell and fury," said Bill. "There had never been an opposed 
election before, so that alone was a bit of a sensation. The committee 
nominated a man called Knight, but a certain section rebelled and put up 
Crosbie, the fellow Chase was talking about this afternoon. Every one got 
very excited."

"Why did they object to Knight?"

"Nothing against him personally, they said, but the newer members 
declared there was too much wire-pulling, that everything was run by a 
clique and it was time the real wishes of the club were expressed. The 
usual sort of clap-trap about the old gang keeping everything to 
themselves."

"Is Crosbie popular?"

"Not particularly. He has only belonged for about two years, but someone 
nominated him. Feeling ran pretty high and a lot of fellows said they 
would support him as a matter of principle."

"What happened?"

"The committee was rather high-handed. They talked of resigning in a body 
if their man was not elected. The Crosbie-ites said that was either bluff 
or a bid for dictatorship."

"World politics in a golf club," said Simon.

"In a concentrated form. You would hardly credit the excitement it 
created."

"People jeer at a storm in a tea-cup," smiled his friend, "but I always 
think life in a tea-cup would be precious dull if there were no storms."

"There is that. A lot of our resident members, retired service men and 
the like, have too little to occupy their minds, so a thing of this sort 
becomes almost as big as the great war itself. At last the committee, to 
save the situation, got General Cairn, the retiring captain, to accept 
nomination for a further year."

"That made three candidates?"

"Knight withdrew but Crosbie did not. Like the pushful fool he is, he 
persisted to the end. At the general meeting Cairn, who is really a 
splendid old boy, made a topping speech. He said they were all good 
sportsmen and at heart were all equally anxious for the success of the 
club. If their vote went against him, let every one accept the decision 
in the same spirit of good fellowship as he would, and continue to do 
their best to make things as happy as in the past. Then he said, in case 
it should seem he had abused his privilege as retiring captain in 
speaking as he had done, he would ask Mr. Crosbie to address them before 
the vote was taken."

"That was sporting anyway."

"Yes. If Crosbie had responded in the right spirit he would have been 
thought no end of, and would most likely have been elected next year 
without opposition. As it was he chose to attack Cairn. Said he was a 
ha'penny Hitler and wanted to crush independent opinion."

"Then what?"

"Every one was disgusted. It seemed so petty after what Cairn had said. A 
poll was taken and Crosbie hardly got a vote."

"Did that end the trouble?

"Far from it," said Broughley. "The Crosbie section is small but active. 
Crosbie entered as usual for the captain's prize, although some of us did 
not expect him to, and that looks like ending in blood!"

"How so? You are still in it, aren't you?

"I am. Sixteen qualify and I have managed to get into the last four. So 
have Crosbie and Knight. They meet in the semi-final, so you can guess 
how they feel about it."

"Whom do you meet?"

"Don't know yet. Hann, the fellow who annoyed Farmer at 'Hell' this 
afternoon, meets Sladen. Then I tackle the winner, probably Sladen."

"When will your match be?"

"Sometime next week-end, I expect."

"I must come down to caddie for you," laughed Ross.

"Come down by all means. I'd love you to."

"All right. And I'll come again for the final--when you meet the survivor 
of the Crosbie-Knight duel."

"If I survive mine!" said Broughley.

After dinner they played bridge. They believed in the same system and, 
what is more, they understood each other's method of applying it. As 
they cut together three times they had quite a profitable evening. It was 
not until they were having a last drink, before going to bed, that Simon 
referred to a matter which had occurred earlier in the day.

"By the way," he said, "what did you make of the story that man Chase 
told us? I mean of Crosbie and the girl who would not speak?

"It was very odd," said Broughley. "Chase may have imagined it, though I 
hardly think that likely."

"Since Crosbie was such a prominent member," suggested Ross, "surely the 
girl must have known him, unless of course she has only just joined."

"She has belonged for about four months, but ladies are not allowed to 
play at the week-ends, except in mixed foursomes. So those who can play 
during the week leave Saturdays and Sundays to the men. Fellows like 
Crosbie, who only come down for week-ends, never meet the mid-weekers."

"Chase said she was rather a friend of yours?"

"She is a friend of mine," said Broughley seriously. "I would like you to 
meet her. I doubt if you have ever seen a more beautiful woman."

"Then I certainly must meet her. She evidently plays a good game of golf. 
Is she young?"

"She might be thirty, though I doubt it. I think she must have had 
trouble. Do you remember the windmill by the sixteenth tee?"

"Rather; one of your landmarks. The only thing visible from the gates of 
Hell!"

"She lives in that windmill. Has adapted it wonderfully and made the most 
delightful home of it."

"Quite a novel idea. Sounds draughty somehow. Is she eccentric?"

"Not at all, but very artistic. You would be surprised how snug it is. If 
you like, I'll take you there to-morrow to tea."

"I'd love it," said Simon. He knew that Bill wanted to go. When a man of 
forty falls in love for the first time he gets it badly! Curiosity to see 
the young woman his friend thought so beautiful was increased at the 
prospect of visiting her windmill home.

In the morning they had a single, playing behind Hann and Crosbie. As 
they caught them up on two or three tees, Simon had the opportunity of 
noting the two men whose play the day before had occasioned so much 
comment.

Hann, whose purposely missed putt had so infuriated Farmer, was slight 
and fully six feet in height. He was sprucely attired in gay plus fours 
with bright tassels to his stockings. His fair skin and his light waxed 
moustache hardly suggested the vigour of his play.

"Slow going," Simon remarked to him the second time they caught up.

"Yes," said Hann pleasantly. "Knight and Farmer are two holes ahead. They 
always hold up the course. If I stared at my putts as long as they do I 
should go blob-eyed and miss them altogether."

Crosbie grunted and said nothing. He was years older than his companion, 
about the same height but of much heavier build. He had a parchment-coloured 
 face with a hard, resolute mouth. The ball travelled when he hit 
it; it simply had to. Simon wondered if his grim silence in the previous 
day's mixed foursome was his natural manner and not so strange as Chase 
had thought. The fact that he was still playing there after his defeat in 
the election for a captain showed that he was not unduly sensitive and 
probably cared little for the opinion of others.

Bill and Simon, each handicap three, were having a ding-dong battle. 
When, in spite of delays, they reached “Hell” they were all square. At 
that infamous hole Simon's tee shot was nicely judged for strength, but 
it pitched on the footpath that led from the green and bounded into the 
chasm beyond. Broughley landed properly and he won the hole.

Climbing up to the sixteenth, Simon took special note of the windmill. It 
was less than fifty yards away, a narrow road dividing the land on which 
it stood from the boundary of the golf course. Circular in build, around 
it, about a third of the way up, there ran a gallery or balcony. This had 
evidently been strengthened, for two girls were sitting on it. When 
Broughley appeared they recognised him and waved their hands.

"Which of them is Miss Wilton?" asked Simon, as they drove off and strode 
after their balls.

"The taller, darker one. The other is Hazel Grantley, a cousin who lives 
with her. I believe they do for themselves, with the aid of a local woman 
for the heavy work."

"Did you know them before they came here?"

"No," said Broughley, "I rather thrust myself on them. The mill had been 
derelict for quite a while and one day I saw some work going on. I went 
across to see what was happening and found a girl in trousers and an 
overall doing some whitewashing.

“She told me she had bought it and was to live in it when the work was 
done. I asked if I could help. She said, 'Yes, move these trestles for 
me.' After that I dropped in most days and lent a hand."

"You mean those girls did the work themselves?"

"The interior work. Said they thoroughly enjoyed it. Made a jolly good 
job of it too. She is an artist by profession."

"Miss Wilton?"

"Yes."

"And the other one?"

"Writing a book, I believe."

The match ended all square. As they walked in for lunch Broughley said: 
"We shall probably be asked to make up a four-ball. If it's all the same 
to you, we will say we have this match to finish. Then we'll play fifteen 
holes, send the caddies back with the clubs and go across to the windmill 
for tea."

"O.K. for me if I shall not be in the way," smiled Simon.

"There are two girls," said Bill simply.

CHAPTER THREE: THE WINDMILL

A COMPLETE contrast were the two young women who had fashioned the 
windmill for their home. Sylvia Wilton was undoubtedly beautiful. Tall, 
dark, with an olive complexion, brown eyes, hair almost black and 
features of classic perfection--beautiful was the right and only word. 
Hazel Grantley was not beautiful at all, she was only pretty. But it was 
the sort of prettiness that affects some men more deeply than does the 
severer mould of stately grace.

She was just below middle height, with bright colouring and laughing eyes 
that sometimes looked more green than brown, and sometimes grey. She was 
quick in speech and movement and her expression  was so variable that it 
was fascinating to watch her. Such, at any rate, was Simon's feeling when 
he was introduced.

The mill certainly made a delightful home. The ground floor had been 
divided into three parts; a large lounge, a small dining-room, and a tiny 
kitchen. A spiral stairway led to two bedrooms that opened to the outside 
gallery, and above them was Sylvia's studio. The walls of the lounge were 
panelled and colour washed. The floor had some good rugs and the 
furniture was of old mahogany with chairs not too artistic for comfort.

"I do not think I have ever been inside a windmill before," said Simon as 
they started on some delicious home-made scones. "Where are the 
grindstones? Do the sails keep you awake at night?"

"What do you really know about windmills?" laughed Hazel.

"Nothing. Only that the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind 
exceeding small."

"Ah!" cried the girl, "and who said that?"

"Well, really, I don't know. It isn't in the Bible, so I suppose it must 
be Shakespeare."

"More likely Tennyson or Browning," suggested Broughley.

"Or Byron or Pope," smiled the girl. "I don't suppose one person in five 
hundred knows."

"Tell us," said Simon.

"Curiously enough two poets used almost the same line at about the same 
time. Frederick Von Logau, who died in 1655, used the actual words you 
quoted and George Herbert, who died twenty years earlier, wrote 'God's 
mills grind slow but sure.'"

"But is it true?" asked Sylvia. "Do you really believe, whatever wrong is 
done, that justice eventually, overtakes the wrongdoer?"

Her voice was soft and sweet. She spoke seriously. It seemed to Ross that 
she put her question to him and he recalled Bill's phrase that she 
probably had faced trouble. It might well be true.

"In the law courts," he said, "we try to give the impression that the tag 
is true. Our methods are pretty slow but we grind on and on and as a rule 
justice is done in the end. But I suppose you don't quite mean that. 
There are lots of things that never go to trial. Whether, in those cases, 
nemesis or remorse pursues the wrongdoer, I cannot say. We can only hope 
so."

"We can only hope not!" flashed Hazel. "Has your life been so blameless 
that there are no little devils who might chase you to pay your just 
dues?"

"I refuse to confess in public," he replied. "Tell me some more about 
windmills."

"The oddest thing about them is that they are almost unknown to the 
poets. I defy anyone to give a quotation about windmills, except from Don 
Quixote. When the poets talk about mills they always refer to 
water-mills."

"Afraid I don't read poetry," said Bill.

"Miss Grantley is so learned, she must be right," laughed Simon.

"My reading," said the girl, "is like our mill, rather a sham. I was 
interested in windmills and so consulted a book of quotations and there 
was simply nothing about them. As to our grindstones, they and all the 
machinery are gone. The sails are fixed; so we are picturesque but 
useless."

"A good deal quieter that way. What happens when there is a gale?

"Nothing. You see, when they are working, windmills have a revolving cap 
so that the sails are sometimes one side and sometimes another. They have 
their boards rather like venetian blinds to catch the wind. We reefed 
ours and so the wind just rushes through."

"I am woefully ignorant about them. I shall look them up and ask some 
more questions when I come down next week--if I may?" 

"You mean," she said, "you will try to show I am wrong. By all means!"

He laughed and turned to Sylvia.

"You and your partner won the second prize yesterday. You must have 
played a wonderful game. Chase was most enthusiastic."

"He played very well," she said quietly.

"He declared it was the grimmest game he had ever known. You and the 
opposing man just glared at each other and then did the most amazing 
shots."

"Mr. Chase is very imaginative," was her cold response.

"Three birdies in one round!" Simon exclaimed. "Sheer hard fact! And 
living so close to the course, I suppose you will get better and better."

"If we stay here."

"If you stay!" cried Bill. "You have made it the sweetest place possible. 
Surely you could not think of leaving it?"

"When a thing is done it's done. The charm is gone. It may be more fun to 
start something else." She rose abruptly, "If you have finished, let us 
go outside for a cigarette." It was apparent to them all she did not wish 
further discussion on that matter.

The mill had not much to boast of in the way of a garden. There was a 
fair-sized piece of ground and a thick shrubbery fringed it on the 
western side.

"A windmill couldn't encourage trees," Hazel explained to Ross as the 
other two strolled on ahead of them, "it wanted to be exposed to all the 
breezes that blow. Now we have finished inside we shall plant some roses 
and a lavender walk."

"Then you do not anticipate an immediate move?" he asked.

"No, and I don't think Sylvia does really. She loves it as much as I do."

"Was my remark about her glaring at her opponent yesterday lacking in 
tact?"

"Why should you think so?" She stopped and looked squarely at him. He saw 
that despite her laughing eyes she had a very determined little chin.

"I did not think so, or I should not have said it. I meant it in jest, 
but she seemed to take it seriously."

"Sylvia is often serious. Have you any hobbies besides golf?"

The wish to change the conversation was again obvious and he had no 
objection. He felt more interested in Hazel just then than in her cousin.

"I read a good deal," he said. "Bill tells me you are writing a book. 
What is it? A social satire or a crime story?"

"Neither. A historical novel."

"How jolly interesting. What is it to be called? What is the period? How 
do you get your material in an out-of-the-way place like this?"

"When you cross-examine your witnesses," she retorted, "do you ask one 
question at a time or do you fire off a volley?"

"I don't cross-examine my witnesses but the other fellow's," he laughed. 
"May I treat you as a friendly witness?"

"You may."

"Then, madam, what period in history are you honouring with the 
searchlight of your study?"

"Lady Jane Grey is my heroine, the nine days' queen. We have had a lot 
lately about the Tudor wenches; it is time she had another turn."

"What is your story to be called?"

"I have not yet decided. What can you suggest?"

"The witness must please answer questions, not ask them. Will it be 
published in your own name?"

"I fear the learned counsel is assuming something for which there is no 
warrant. It may never be published."

"I refuse to believe so ill of publishers," he said with due gravity. "I 
will amend my question. If and when it is published, what will be the 
author's name?"

"Hazel Grantley."

"Is that your full and complete name?"

"It is."

"Were you christened Hazel because of the colour of your eyes--look this 
way, please!--or did your eyes become like it because of your name?"

"I was never consulted. I thought Hazel was just a common little shrub."

"On the contrary, madam, the cultivated variety is rare and much sought 
after. As to the meaning of the name--"

"Well?"

"I am not sure of the derivation, but I think Hazel is something between 
an imp and an angel."

"Whereat," she said mockingly, "the witness curtsied and left the box."

"But tell me this," he persisted, "do you play golf?"

"Am I still on oath?"

"I want to know the truth."

"I do not play golf in the sense Sylvia does, but sometimes I hit a golf 
ball."

"That is splendid. When I come down next week to see Bill play his 
semi-final, cannot we have a foursome? You and I against him and Sylvia? 
Of course they will give us the proper strokes."

"You don't know what you are asking," she laughed.

"Perhaps not, but I am very keen on getting it!"

"Well--I am willing if the others are."

When Simon and Bill walked back together they went for some way in 
silence. Then Simon said: "What a delightful girl!"

"Yes," said his friend, "I knew you would think that, but she wasn't 
quite herself today."

Simon looked at him and smiled. "I meant Hazel."

"Oh--I was thinking of Sylvia. Something is worrying her. I wish I knew 
what it is."

CHAPTER FOUR: THE QUARREL

SIMON Ross was lucky. Every one in the Temple thought that. At the age 
when most young barristers, if not briefless, are finding the guineas few 
and far between, he had in a modest way begun to make his mark.

One of the assisting counsel in a case conducted by French Norcutt, the 
famous criminal K.C., the small part he had to play had been so well done 
that the great man had asked for him again. Again he satisfied his leader 
and more work followed. Solicitors who were not employing silk sent cases 
to him, and he was generally regarded as a coming man. Despite his 
growing responsibilities, he never quite lost his boyish sense of humour, 
and that perhaps was no inconsiderable asset.

He was looking forward eagerly to his next week-end at Barrington and as 
the Easter vacation was commencing he decided to stay on at the Dormy 
House for the whole time. He thought a good deal about what had happened 
during his last visit. It needed no keen insight to see that his friend 
Broughley was much attracted to Sylvia Wilton. And, he felt, a good thing 
too. Bill was an excellent fellow and was at an age when married life 
would be better for him than a Dormy House existence.

As to Sylvia, he had not quite made up his mind. There was no question as 
to her charm and beauty, but there was something mysterious about her. 
That question she had put to him--did be believe the adage as to the 
mills of God?--it arose naturally enough from their conversation; but 
there seemed meaning in the way she asked it. And her eyes, there was 
knowledge--suffering perhaps--in them. As Broughley had suggested, she 
had faced the world and tasted the cup of bitterness.

But he thought a good deal more about Hazel Grantley than either of the 
others. He even looked for references to windmills that he might prove 
her wrong. She seemed to be right. Water-mills and millstones were often 
met with, but not windmills. She was a bright young person and he was 
keenly looking forward to another battle of wits with her.

Yet nothing fell out as he had planned. In the first place he found that 
the match between Hann and Sladen had been postponed and therefore the 
semi-final between Broughley and the winner, which was the ostensible 
reason for his visit, could not be played. Then his friend, though 
cordial enough in his welcome, seemed worried and preoccupied. In that 
short week some change had come over him.

"Have Knight and Crosbie had their great duel?" asked Simon.

"Not yet. There is plenty of time."

"Why have not Hann and Sladen played?"

"Sladen has been away. Monday is the last day and they say be is coming 
back on Sunday night so that he can play the next morning."

"How are the ladies at the windmill? I suppose you have seen them?"

"Yes. They are all right."

"Our game with them stands for to-morrow?

"I think so."

Bill's manner was certainly odd. In the Saturday afternoon round he was 
far from doing himself justice, and in the evening there was a spot of 
bother in the cardroom that did not show him in a favourable light, 
although it appeared that others, too, were rather irritable.

The Dormy House had two cardrooms, one for men only and one for mixed 
play. Ross and Broughley went to the men's room and made a total of ten. 
So there were two tables and one to cut out at each. Crosbie was playing 
and was not having much luck, a fact that was reflected in his manners.

Broughley, having cut out at the other table, stood for a time behind him 
to watch his play. Apparently that annoyed him.

"Go away!"  he said rudely.

Everybody looked surprised but Bill, without a word, returned to his own 
table.

A little later the rubber ended and Crosbie, having lost heavily, blamed 
his partner, a man named Foster, for his calls.

"You might at least learn the rudiments of the game before you play here. 
Any old grandmother would do better!"

"Not if the cards were against her," said Farmer, one of the winning 
opponents.

"The cards!" retorted Crosbie. "I don't mind the cards. One can at least 
say nothing. I don't mind losing, but I can't play against the three of 
you!"

He spoke loudly and it was undoubtedly a relief to the others when he cut 
out and someone took his place. He got himself a strong whisky and sat 
down to watch them. His silence was certainly not as conspicuous as Simon 
had at one time thought. As the deals ended he commented sneeringly on 
the calls and the play, especially that of his previous partner, the 
luckless Foster.

"Shut up, Crosbie!" said Farmer. "It's not your funeral anyway."

Two rubbers were completed and there was another cut to let Crosbie in 
again.

"Don't cut," said Farmer. "I'll go. I might be his partner and that would 
be worse than playing against him."

"You mean you don't want to play with me?" demanded Crosbie.

"Just that," was the reply.

"I would like to know why?"

"I should think you could guess. I am surprised that anyone plays with 
you."

Crosbie, who was standing over him, raised his fist almost as though be 
would have struck him. The others stood up to separate them. The men from 
the second table, having also finished a game, came over to see what the 
trouble was.

"He says I am not fit to play with," cried Crosbie, who had certainly 
drunk more than was good for him. "It's a damned insult. I will report 
him to the committee and have him turned out."

It was Broughley who replied. As a rule he was a very peaceful man and 
far too easy-going to interfere in other people's quarrels. Simon was 
surprised at the fury in his eyes.

"You have been behaving all the evening, Crosbie, like the cad that you 
are. You ought to go to your room."

Certainly he should not have said it. The whole thing was discreditable. 
But he stood there in an attitude almost as threatening as that of 
Crosbie to Farmer. The others drew back in surprise, though probably most 
of them agreed with him.

"A cad, am I?" said Crosbie. "A nice thing to hear in a place like this 
before witnesses. A deliberate slander. I don't know what the committee 
will say. Friends of yours, I suppose, most of them. But this is 
something that concerns a higher authority. I wasn't even playing with 
you. You had better apologise or you'll hear more of it."

He spoke steadily. The insult had sobered him, or it may be his 
professional instincts had mastered his previous display of boorishness.

Broughley was pale but no less determined.

"I do not apologise. I said you behaved like a cad and I repeat it. A 
damned cad."

There was a tense moment of silence. As a visitor Simon did not quite 
know what to do. Had Bill gone mad? Of course he would stick by him 
whatever happened, but he thought it best not to interfere. Crosbie did 
not make any further show of violence. He seemed fully to have recovered 
his command of himself. He looked round at the company with something of 
a jeering smile.

"I ask you all to remember this. A slander entirely unprovoked. You will 
no doubt be called upon to testify to it at the right time and place."

With that he picked up his glass and drained it with an air almost of 
triumph and strode from the room.

Again there was a hush that was broken by the gentle voice of Hann who 
had been playing at Broughley's table. He was generally regarded as one 
of Crosbie's closest friends.

"I don't think you should have said that, Broughley. He is a solicitor, 
you know, and I expect it will mean trouble for all of us."

"Anyway it was true," declared Farmer.

Hann shrugged his shoulders. "Sometimes it is not wise to say all we 
think is true."

"I don't want to bring trouble to anyone else," said Bill. "No one but a 
cad would behave as he did. I am quite prepared to stand the racket for 
what I said."

"Don't be a fool, Broughley," urged Hann. "Let me tell him you didn't 
mean it, and clear it up.

"I meant every word of it," declared Bill hotly. 

"Well, well," said Farmer, "he has gone. Let us start again."

Some of them did start again, but the incident had left an unpleasant 
feeling and rather earlier than usual they broke off.

"Did I act like a fool?" Broughley asked Simon as they took their final 
drink.

"Well, old chap, you certainly rushed in. Whether an angel would have 
feared to tread I do not know."

"But seriously?"

"Crosbie talked of a slander action. If he brings one he will probably 
get a verdict, but whether it will do him much good is another matter."

"Every one knows he was drunk."

"A lot will depend on what the other fellows say. Some latitude in the 
matter of language is allowed in a quarrel. Abuse is not slander. His 
point will be that after the heat of battle he invited you to withdraw 
and instead you rubbed it in. Not only a cad, but a damned cad. Unfit, he 
will say, to associate with decent people."

"So he is! Did you expect me to apologise?"

"My dear fellow, I was speaking as a lawyer. Most people, I imagine, will 
sympathise with you. He may think better of it when he cools down. It 
won't do him much credit, however it goes. I am really more worried about 
your committee--if the Dormy House is under their jurisdiction. They can 
hardly refrain from taking some action if the matter is reported to 
them."

"Farmer is on the committee. They ought to back me up."

"Have you ever had any row with him before?" 

For a moment Bill was silent. Then he said: "No. We have hardly spoken. 
But I tell you, Simon, if you only knew--Never mind! Good-night."

Abruptly again he broke off, turned away and went to bed. When they met 
in the morning, although it was obvious that others were busily 
discussing the affair, there was no reference to it by themselves. Simon 
thought it was not for him to bring it up, and Bill's mood of silence 
continued. His friend was sure something was worrying him. Bill was not a 
good dissembler. But the afternoon might make things clearer.

They played their morning round and Simon noticed there were no waving 
hands from the windmill. The sky was dull and against its background 
there was something almost sinister in that still and silent sign of the 
cross. In the afternoon Bill did mention the matter that must have been a 
good deal in his mind. They were on their way to join Sylvia and Hazel on 
the first tee.

"I say, old man, I don't want you to tell the girls about that little 
squabble last night."

"Shouldn't dream of such a thing," said Simon cheerily. "Let us hope 
every one has forgotten it. How many strokes do Hazel and I receive?"

The handicap was adjusted but the game was not the happy affair he had 
anticipated. If Bill was preoccupied and worried, Sylvia was no less so. 
There were no signs of a quarrel. Bill was gently attentive to her, and 
she seemed to appreciate it, but there was no fun in either of them. Even 
Hazel seemed affected by the general air of constraint. Simon rallied her 
about it.

"What is on your mind? Lady Jane been misbehaving?"

"Lady Jane never misbehaved--not, anyway, in my book."

"That only answers part of my question."

"Aren't you too fond of asking questions? Surely you allow yourself a 
holiday sometimes. Shall I play this with an iron or a mashie?"

"The iron. Go for it."

She hit a creditable shot, carrying a bunker and landing on the green.

"Good shot! If I ask questions it is because I am so anxious to be 
helpful. Doesn't one of your poets say a worry shared is a worry halved?"

"Does he? I expect it depends a good deal on whom you share it with."

"That is why I am so handy. I expect to be here for ten days."

"Do you? If you sink that putt we shall be two up."

He did not sink it, but as Sylvia missed hers they won the hole all the 
same. Apart from that putt he was playing quite well--which, despite 
occasional flashes of brilliance, could not be said of any of the others. 
On the next fairway he began again:

"About that worry--"

"I have no worries. I want to attend to the game."

They won by four and three, but he did not feel very elated. A girl has 
every right to snub a man who, when they meet for the second time only, 
expects to share her confidences. Yet it was not exactly that. He had 
only been chaffing and she was well able to hold her own. He had the 
sensation of being shut out. These others, Sylvia, Bill and Hazel, were 
concerned in something and they did not wish to tell him what it was. He 
was a little puzzled; perhaps a little hurt; but he asked no more 
questions.

He was soon to understand things better. There was another incident later 
that night that he was also to remember and which was to cause him more 
anxiety than anything else.

After dinner Bill seemed restless. "I don't feel like playing cards," he 
said. "I think I'll read the paper. Do you mind?"

"Not a bit, old chap," said Simon. "I've booked here for a week or more, 
so don't regard me as a guest. I will be quite all right looking after 
myself."

Bill had the papers but he seemed to turn the leaves without finding 
anything to interest him. At last he got up.

"Think I'll go for a bit of a walk," he said.

Simon glanced at the clock. It was a little after nine.

"To the windmill?"  he smiled.

"No. At least--I don't know."

"As you so well put it, there are two girls."

"Yes, but--"

He went alone.

CHAPTER FIVE: THE BODY IN THE BUNKER

THERE were very few present when, on the Monday morning, a little before 
nine o'clock, Hann and Sladen started out on their great match. Hann had 
suggested the early hour as he said he must get back to town and would 
have preferred to play the previous day.

Stuart Sladen was an extraordinary being, both as a man and a golfer. He 
was tall, with a hairy face and a long beard. Such beards are rare in 
these days and his was the subject of much chaff from his friends. There 
was a legend that he once mis-hit a ball, that it ran up his club and 
was not found until he was combing his beard at bedtime. There was also a 
theory that, as he suffered at times from the golfer's most fatal error 
of lifting the head, he meant to grow that beard until he could put a 
foot on it and so keep his head down. He was an author, but his writings 
were too fantastic to be popular. He spoke with a rich Scottish accent 
and was really very well liked, as odd characters are when they can take 
banter good humouredly. As to his golf, Hann, who was scratch, had to 
give him eight strokes and it was generally doubted if he could do it. 
Sladen usually played round with only three clubs and carried his own 
dilapidated bag. On this occasion, the match being of such importance, he 
brought a fourth club, a prodigious mashie-niblick, and he employed a 
caddie. So the battle began.

The naming of the holes on a golf course is far more usual in Scotland 
than in England. It may be the mystic temperament of the Highlander, with 
his Wee Bogle, Witch's Bowster or Mountsion, enters further into the 
spirit of the game than the unimaginative southerner, content with the 
prosaic eighth, ninth and tenth. It may be, when the links were first 
laid out in the grim land beyond the Tweed, nature and legend had already 
done their part. Each hole was different and the names were already there 
or immediately suggested themselves. Water Kelpie, Trystin' Tree and 
Westlin' Wyne tell of fact or experience. As the game spread, and courses 
increased in number, distinctive features became more rare. How shall 
different names be found for the parallel lines of a gridiron?

The northern golfer not only takes his game seriously but he finds a 
gloomy joy in reminding himself of the perils he has to face. Heich o' 
Fash (which the caddy tells the ignorant stranger means Height--or 
Depth--of Trouble), Howe o' Hope (Grave of Hope) and Glenogle (Valley of 
Dread), show with what he has to contend. Could a better name be devised 
for the dour seventeenth than Warslin' Lea (Struggling Home)? But there 
is hardly a course, north or south, where names are given, that is too 
flat or too gentle to possess a Hell.

The shot that falls short of perfection tells why. There may be one 
bunker; there may be many. From the tee everything may look alluringly 
simple, but a hidden cavern may lie beyond the green. For the wrongdoer 
the torments are terrible and escape well-nigh impossible. Generally 
there is a local legend of a visiting Bishop who, getting into "Hell" and 
playing out with one heroic shot, heard his caddie mutter, "When ye dee 
tak' y'I niblick wi' ye."

At Barrington all the holes had names, but Hell was the only one in 
general use. It was so well deserved. And yet such a guileless hole it 
looked. A tempting green, not unusually small, only a hundred and twenty 
yards from the tee. But nature--or a devil in human guise--had placed it 
in the centre of a sandy waste. In front, in the shallowest part, the 
bunker was only six feet deep. Right and left were footpaths, barely a 
yard wide, crossing the sea of sand to the island green, beyond which the 
land fell away sharply to a depth of over twenty feet, to rise again 
abruptly to the plateau of the sixteenth tee. A perfect "drop and stop" 
shot made a three easy, but for anything else the punishment was 
incalculable. A lady champion of world-fame visiting the course for the 
first time, not sure which club would be the best, asked her caddie--" 
What shall I take here?"  

"Dunno, miss," was his reply. "A good many take ten." No overstatement, 
for he might have added that in one memorable combat the hole (and 
accidentally the match) was won in sixteen!

Hann and Sladen were, at the handicap, well matched. All-square when they 
left the fourteenth green, they faced the terrors of "Hell," knowing that 
what happened there might not improbably determine the issue of the 
struggle. One up with three to go is not a winning lead, but it is a big 
encouragement at a critical time. Sladen was to receive a stroke--rather 
an irony at such a hole; generally entirely unnecessary or hopelessly in 
adequate. They did not speak. The fight was too grim for that. It was 
Hann's honour. He took his mashie but did not hit the ball firmly enough. 
It fell a yard short, into the front bunker.

Sladen had a great chance. He stood there, his red hair blowing in the 
wind. His caddie (who, unknown to him, had a bet of a shilling with his 
colleague on the result of the match) handed him the mighty 
mashie-niblick brought specially for this one shot.

Sladen took it, made a preliminary swing and then hit a tremendous smack, 
clean and straight for the green. The ball flew high and it looked as 
though he had judged it perfectly. Alas! It was a fraction too good. It 
pitched past the pin, on the very edge of the green, and bounded into the 
cavern beyond.

In silence the four of them, the two men and their two caddies, strode 
towards the bunkers. Hann, niblick in hand, waited by his ball, and his 
caddie stood near on the footpath. The other caddie went to the green 
while Sladen passed on and was lost to view in the farther depths. It 
might well be that his ball was the farther from the pin. But he did not 
play the shot. His ball was resting against an obstruction that ought not 
to be found in any bunker. A human body!

A moment later his face was visible above the edge of the green. He 
looked startled, almost scared.

"Come her-I-re!" he cried.

Something in his tone made them all move to where he stood. And they saw 
it. A human form lying in an untidy heap at the bottom of that vast 
bunker. On its back, face upwards, a little to one side; one leg 
awkwardly bent under the body; one arm outstretched, the other folded 
across the chest. Clad in a grey suit. A grey felt hat a few feet away 
and beside it a golf club, its head buried in the sand.

"Mr. Crosbie!" muttered one of the caddies, the first to speak.

They all knew he was right. The features, more grey than white, and 
flecked with blood, were unmistakable.

"Is he dead?" whispered Hann.

"Ver-ry dead," said Sladen. "I barely touched him, but he is cauld and 
wet. I should eemagine he has been dead for hours."

"What must we do?" asked his opponent, forgetting, as was only natural, 
their contest. "Hadn't I better just see--"

"Nobody mustn't touch nothink," said one of the caddies. "Me and Joe will 
stay 'ere to keep people away. You gents 'ad best go the club 'ouse and 
telephone for the p'lice."

This caddie's name was Toffy Blair--why Toffy none could say. He had been 
in the army and earned his stripes. He walked with a limp but no one knew 
his job better than he. He was deservedly popular with the players.

"You are I-right," said Sladen in his rich deep tones. "Remain here. We 
will stop anyone we meet."

"Suicide, Toffy," muttered Joe, a lad of eighteen, as the men hurried 
away. "What d'ye think 'e done it for?

"'Tain't no suicide," said Toffy. "They often talks like it in 'ell, but 
they won't do it."

"'Ow d'ye know?"

"Know wot?"

"That it ain't suicide?"

"Cos there ain't no gun. Any fool could see that. Leastwise unless 'e's 
lyin' on it. Murder. That's what it is."

"Murder. Blimy!" Joe was silent a moment. Then he said, "Couldn't I just 
go and see where 'e was 'it?

"Certainly, if you wants to--and swing for doin' it! Like to put your 
footmarks by the body, would yer?"

Joe looked at him in silent awe. He had never thought of that. Whether 
Toffy had read detective stories, or only the Sunday papers, or if his 
wartime experiences had put him wise, he could not tell. He felt he had 
been saved from a grave peril.

"There ain't no footmarks," he said at last, "Not by the body; only Mr. 
Sladen's."

"That why yer want to make some?" was the scornful reply. "You go back to 
the tee and wait there to prevent anyone else playin'. They'll be along 
soon."

"Righto, Toffy," said Joe. "I'll stop 'em. But what about our bob?"

"Bets orf," was the terse reply. "Match abandoned."

CHAPTER SIX: INSPECTOR LEE

IT was rather late when Simon Ross and Bill Broughley started their game. 
When on holiday the young lawyer made no pretence of being an early riser 
and he hoped, when they met at breakfast, that the night's rest would 
have made Bill more like his usual good-humoured self. He had not seen 
him since he went out for his walk the evening before and he trusted to 
find him in better spirits.

In this he was disappointed. Bill was still very moody and he fussed 
about in a most unaccountable way. Twice he went to the porter's office 
to ask if there was no letter for him, and returned a third time to 
inquire if it was possible that something had come and had been given to 
someone else in error.

"Important, Bill?" asked Simon.

"No--I only wondered."

Then he hung around the lounge, pretending to read the morning paper. 
Meanwhile every one else was, making for the links.

"Playing this morning?" asked Simon at last. "Don't mind me, if you would 
rather not. I can easily fix up something."

"I want to play," said Bill. "I want to play."

So they made a belated start and were well away from the club-house, and 
also far short of the fifteenth hole, when the news reached them of the 
tragedy that had been discovered in "Hell."

"Crosbie found dead," repeated Broughley. "It can't be true." He seemed 
strangely agitated.

"No slander action now," said Simon. "What shall we do--play on or go 
back and make inquiries?"

"We can't play on," said Bill. "I wonder if Sylvia knows."

"Pretty sure to. There must be some commotion near the mill if the body 
was found just across the road. Shall we go there and see?"

"No," said Bill, "not yet. Those fellows are hurrying for the club house. 
Let us first make sure of the facts."

They could see other men abandoning their game and taking the shortest 
cuts across the course. Excitement was to be expected. Had any person 
been found dead on the links it would have created some stir, but for it 
to be a member, and one who had recently been so prominent in their 
quarrels and disputes, made it truly sensational.

In view of his own particular clash with the dead man two nights before, 
Simon could understand Bill being upset, but he seemed more disturbed 
than was really necessary. However, as he had said, the great thing was 
to get the facts.

This at first was not easy, as the reports at the club house were rather 
contradictory. The tragedy it appeared had been discovered by Hann and 
Sladen and the body was not to be moved until the police had examined it. 
One story was that Crosbie had fallen into "Hell" in some kind of fit and 
had died there. There were also whispers of murder and of suicide. But, 
as no one knew anything for certain, a good many of the eager inquirers 
were dashing out again to see for themselves what could be learnt at the 
scene of the tragedy.

"Hell!"  said one of them. "It has justified its name at last!" 

"I must go to the windmill," Bill muttered to Simon. "I simply must."

"Why not?" said Simon. "I will go with you, at any rate as far as that 
bunker."

He was not sure that he wished to go farther. Bill had not suggested it 
and, although he wanted to see Hazel again, this was not the sort of 
thing that would make a pleasing excuse. In addition to which he had the 
feeling that there was something between Sylvia Wilton and Bill Broughley 
that would make his presence unwelcome.

As they hurried along the narrow and little used roadway that skirted the 
links and led to the mill-house two motor cars swept rapidly past them, 
travelling in the same direction.

"You go in," said Simon, some minutes later, when they reached their 
destination. "I'll see what is happening down there."

Broughley, without a word, opened the gate and went along the pathway to 
the mill. His friend turned the other way and joined the crowd clustering 
round the famous bunker.

Toffy Blair had done his part well, but now the police had relieved him 
of his self-appointed duties. The curious onlookers had been pushed 
farther back and a camera--such is the promptitude of official 
routine--was already in position taking photographs from all angles of 
the undisturbed body. Sladen's ball still lay forlornly against the 
stiffened arm.

Simon recognised the officer in charge of the proceedings. He was 
Inspector Lee, a very capable member of the county police. They had met 
twice before. Once when the young barrister was on circuit and once in 
town when he was assisting French Norcutt in a big case in which Lee was 
concerned.

"Do you remember me, inspector?" Simon stepped forward and put the 
question.

"Mr. Ross?"  said Lee. "You here, eh? Suppose there is nothing you can 
tell me?"

"Depends what you want to know."

"Pretty much everything! When the photographers are finished and the 
doctor has made a preliminary examination the body will be taken away and 
I'll get a move on. Man's name is Crosbie, I'm told. Know him?"

"Slightly. I've heard a good deal about him."

"You shall tell me later. You know about this game of golf. I don't. One 
or two points there you might put me wise about."

"Of course I will," said Simon. "Have you any idea how he died?"

"Hit on the head with a brick! Or kicked by a mule! But I suppose you 
don't keep mules in these bunkers?"

"Not as a usual thing. But you mean that? He was murdered?"

"Not a doubt of it," said Lee grimly. He was an alert man with a beaky 
nose and a wide, thin-lipped mouth. The idea of murder did not distress 
him. If such things had to happen there was no reason that he could see 
why they should not take place in circumstances that might eventually 
bring credit to himself. On that he was fully determined. No trouble 
would be too great. He would see the thing through to the end. "You don't 
generally have two players in a bunker at the same time, do you?"

"It has been known," said Simon. "You each go after your ball. But they 
say that was not his ball."

He looked for some moments at the figure on the sand, and then he added: 
"My opinion, for what it is worth, is that he was not killed in the 
bunker. I daresay the footmarks can be accounted for. That sharp slope at 
the back leads to the sixteenth tee up above. I should imagine he was 
struck there and fell over. Or perhaps was pushed over. That dent in the 
sand wall looks as though something had hit it in rolling down and 
carried some of the sand with it."

"I had noticed it," said Lee, "but yours is an expert opinion and 
confirms my own."

"I wonder how long he has been lying there. As a rule the groundsmen come 
round every morning to rake over the bunkers and smooth out the 
heel-marks left the day before. If they have been this morning they would 
have found the body, had it been there then."

"This man," said the inspector, raising his voice and indicating Toffy 
Blair. "This man says someone came to rake the bunker and he sent him 
away."

"That's right, sir," said Toffy, who had lingered as near as possible to 
the centre of authority. "I told 'em all no one mustn't touch nothink. 
Kept 'em all away, I did."

"Was it you that found it?" asked Simon.

"Me and Mr. Sladen."

"Did you keep people away from the tee up there?" He pointed to the 
higher ground above them.

"Couldn't prevent 'em goin' there and looking down," said Toffy. 
"Footprints in the bunker--that was wot I thought of. Plenty of prints 
round about, but none near the body."

"Have you examined up there yet?" Simon put the question in a lower tone 
to the inspector.

"Just going to. It was crowded with people when we got here and I had 
them herded off. We might go up. But meanwhile what do you call this?"

He had looped a piece of string and by it he held a golf club.

"A wooden shafted niblick. Heavy head. A bit old-fashioned. Where was it 
found?

"Beside the body. Included in the first photographs. Think it was done 
with that?"

"I should doubt it," said Simon. "No marks on the blade. But of course 
the doctor can tell. I suppose you are testing it for finger-prints?"

"That's the idea. Would it be his own club?"

"I believe it is," said Simon. "I saw him playing yesterday. Perhaps 
Toffy can tell us."

The question was put to the caddie and he asserted confidently the club 
belonged to Crosbie. Said he had carried it for him many times.

"That doesn't help much," said the inspector. "Let us go up there."

As he led the way up the winding path to the sixteenth tee, he added, "I 
think you can take it he has been lying there all night. There was a 
little rain shortly before midnight and his clothes are wet. Of course 
the doctor will fix the hour as near as possible, but I reckon there will 
be no doubt that it happened yesterday. At what time does play stop?"

"A bit difficult to say," was the answer. "Most matches finish at 
tea-time, but now that summer time has started people play later and you 
get stray folk knocking a ball about until it is dark. The course is not 
deserted till dusk."

"Then, if Crosbie was knocking a ball about with that club of his, he 
might have been out pretty late and met someone and had a row with them?"

"Quite possible."

The plateau of the sixteenth tee was a wide one. The direction of the 
hole was almost at right angles to that of the fifteenth, so that the 
player in driving off had the "Hell" bunker on his right and the roadway 
and the windmill behind him. It was useless to consider the question of 
footmarks, for not only had the tee been tramped over all the previous 
day, but a number of people had climbed there that morning to look into 
the bunker beneath.

On the tee were the usual sand-box and the metal discs showing the line 
for driving. There was also the L.G.U.'s official mark for ladies, and to 
the right of the plateau, a yard or so from the brink of “Hell," was a 
rough seat--a straight tree trunk, some seven inches thick, fixed to two 
uprights of a similar character. It was to this seat that Inspector Lee 
turned his immediate attention. He examined with the most minute care the 
grass beneath and all round it. Simon, who was regarded with interest and 
perhaps envy by the group of spectators who were now kept at a respectful 
distance, was at his side.

"What do you make of this?" Lee asked grimly, pointing to a patch of 
discolouration on the turf. The grass was thin and the marks 
unmistakable. The effect of the rain had probably been to spread rather 
than to obliterate the tell-tale traces.

"Blood, undoubtedly," said Simon. "I suppose you will get tests made?"

"You bet we will. No guess-work. That clod must be cut out." Then he 
scrutinised very closely the trunk that formed the seat.

"A stain here too. What do you make of it?" 

Simon considered for a moment before he answered the repeated question. 
"He might have been sitting down when he was attacked," he suggested.

"Ah, which way was he sitting?"

"You mean was he looking towards the bunker or had he got his back to it? 
Ordinarily one sits facing the hole one is to play. But here you might 
look back to see what sort of trouble the next fellow is in. They call 
that bunker 'Hell' because it is so cruel."

"But surely there would be no next fellow," said Lee. "You don't murder a 
man with people looking on!"

"Not as a rule," agreed Simon. "If Crosbie sat there I should say he was 
facing the bunker and someone hit him from behind."

"And he fell forward down there?"

"Hardly that," said Simon. "When a man's head is cracked he collapses in 
a heap--hence those blood marks. He was pushed over afterwards."

"He might not have been sitting," said Lee. "A stand-up fight and he 
falls across the seat."

He looked round again, then he added, "Is there anyone in that windmill?" 

"Two ladies live in it. It is really a private house."

"Wonder if they saw or heard anything. I must ask them."

Simon thought if the inspector meant to make inquiries, which it was his 
obvious duty to do, it would be a kindly act to go with him.

"The ladies are friends of mine. I can take you across if you like."

"Good. I'll see if they have finished down there." Lee spoke a few words 
to the constable who was on duty on the tee and then returned to the 
bunker where the photographers had completed their work. A doctor was 
busy making a preliminary examination. He promised a formal report 
without delay. The inspector gave instructions for the removal of the 
body.

While this was being attended to he rejoined Simon and they crossed the 
road to the mill. The door was opened by Hazel Grantley.

"Bill has told you what has happened?" Simon said.

"Yes. He has just gone. Will you come in?"

"This is Inspector Lee, who is in charge of the case," he explained as 
they entered the lounge. He was surprised to hear that Bill had already 
left, but did not comment on it. The girl also said nothing when he told 
her who his companion was. Then Sylvia joined them. As she came forward 
he was struck by her extreme pallor. It almost seemed as though her 
beautiful features were carved in marble. He repeated his introduction of 
the inspector.

"Sorry to trouble you, ladies," said Lee politely. "You have heard about 
it and I want to know if you can help me at all?"

"How?" asked Hazel.

"Well, miss, this is the only habitation near the scene of the crime and 
I should be glad to know if there is anything you can tell me."

"I am afraid not. When did it happen?"

"We have no precise information as yet. We imagine it must have been 
sometime last evening. Did you hear or see anything of an unusual 
character?"

"No," said the girl. "I did not."

"Did you, miss?" he asked Sylvia.

"No."

"That's a pity. But think back. You might not take much notice of it at 
the time, but was there no strange sound, no cry, or anything of that 
sort during the evening or in the night?'

"I heard nothing," said Sylvia.

"Our windows do not look that way," added Hazel.

"I had noticed that," said the inspector. "Did you know the deceased at 
all, name of Crosbie?"

"No," said Hazel firmly.

"Nor you, miss?

"No," said Sylvia, in a much lower tone.

"What was the latest time you saw anyone on that tee?"

"We played ourselves in the afternoon," replied Hazel, "with Mr. Ross. We 
did not go out again or see or hear anything after we got back."

"And what time might that have been?"

"After tea, between five and six."

"You know nothing after that?"

"Nothing at all," said Hazel.

She was very definite and the inspector had too much to do to spend more 
time there. He expressed his regret that he had troubled them and turned 
to go. Simon looked at Hazel, half hoping she would say something further 
to him, or would offer some excuse for his remaining. She did neither and 
he followed his companion to a waiting car. One thought worried him. 
Sylvia had declared she knew nothing of Crosbie. Why did she not say she 
had once played with him--the game that Chase had thought so curious?

CHAPTER SEVEN: COMING AND GOING

"I HAVE often wondered," said Ross, as they drove away from the mill 
house, "how you really set about a job of this sort. Of course I have 
read detective stories, and the sleuth is generally a wonderful fellow 
who sees everything more or less from the start. But how does the pukka 
detective actually get going?"

"Not by inspiration," replied Lee, with something of a grin on his wide 
mouth. "It is just a matter of hard work. Collecting all the possible 
facts, sorting 'em out and fitting 'em together. Here is a little thing 
that is rather bothering me. When you play this golf game you have a bag 
of clubs, don't you? If that niblick is Crosbie's own, where are the 
others?"

"If you are playing a match you have a bag of clubs, but it is no unusual 
thing for a man to go out by himself with a single club to practice 
special shots. Had Crosbie any balls in his pocket?"

"Don't know yet. The contents of the pockets will be examined. I've given 
instructions for that. The ball by the body was said to belong to the man 
who found him."

"That was Sladen," said Simon. "Here is another point you might consider. 
Crosbie, we believe, was on that tee, but when a man is practising with a 
niblick he does not as a rule play from the tees."

"Why not?"

"He tries what we call approach shots--short ones over bunkers. He has a 
pocketful of balls and plays shot after shot before he picks them up. If 
Crosbie was on that tee and had no balls with him it is fairly sure he 
was not playing at all, but was carrying a club pretty much as one 
carries a stick."

"In other words," said Lee, "he had gone out to meet someone and the club 
might have been for defence?

"Yes--or just for something to carry. But Crosbie was in the last four in 
the captain's prize and, as I said, it is no uncommon thing for a man to 
try to improve a stroke of which he is doubtful."

"But he should not hit them from that tee?"

"No. It would destroy the turf and one generally uses a niblick to 
perfect a particular pitch."

"That is something to go on," remarked the inspector. "Balls in his 
pocket, he meant to play, but was followed and attacked. No balls, he was 
out to meet someone."

"It is a fair assumption," said Simon, "not more than that."

"Was he in business?"

"A solicitor."

"Staying at this hotel of yours--the Dormy House?

"Yes, but with a town practice. Does that mean calling in Scotland Yard?"

"Probably. Unless we can put our finger on the man who did it, right 
away. The Chief Constable will decide about that."

"That is Colonel Matthews, isn't it? I think you will find he is a member 
of the club."

"Is he?"  said the inspector. "That may be a help. Probably knows him. 
Was he popular--Crosbie, I mean?"

"I should hardly say that," answered Ross. "From what I have been told he 
had a following at one time but rather upset people." He repeated the 
story as given by Bill as to the candidature for the captaincy.

"You say he was in the last four for this prize? I suppose it is not 
likely one of his opponents would have knocked him out?"

"They certainly hoped to," laughed Simon, "but not in the sense you mean. 
You must give us credit for more sportsmanship than that."

"Does much money go with it?"

"No. A silver cup and a few pounds in the sweepstake. We are all keen to 
win our competitions but we do not brain our opponents."

"Someone brained him," said Lee grimly.

"He was due to meet a fellow called Knight, his original rival for the 
captaincy. No doubt it would have been a dour struggle, but I do not 
think Knight would try that way of winning."

"No harm in finding what Knight was doing at the time," commented the 
inspector. "When we know the time, that is. Meanwhile I wonder what they 
can tell us of Crosbie's movements at this hotel of yours."

They had reached the Dormy House. He told the driver of the car to pull 
up, and Simon followed him into the vestibule.

"Tell me if I am in the way," he said.

"I will," returned Lee, "when you are. At present you may be a help."

The door was swung open by a smart porter named Haines and the inspector 
immediately tackled him.

"Were you on duty last night?"

"Yes, sir," said the porter, who recognised his questioner. "Until 
midnight."

"You knew Mr. Crosbie?"

"Very well, sir."

"When did you last see him?"

"Yesterday; after dinner."

"Did he have dinner here?"

"Must have, sir. I saw him go out afterwards."

"About what time?"

"A little before nine."

"Oh, many other people going out or coming in then?

"Not a great many, sir, just then. Busier between eleven and twelve. 
Rather quiet otherwise."

"How was that?"

"A few of our residents brought friends in for the evening and a few went 
out for the evening. So it was not until late that the visitors went and 
the others came back."

"But you saw Mr. Crosbie go out about nine?"

"Yes, sir."

"How was he dressed?"  Lee asked the question partly to test the man's 
memory and powers of observation. "Dinner suits, I suppose?

"No, sir. A darkish grey suit. A good many gentlemen don't dress unless 
there is something special happening."

"Was he carrying anything?"

"A golf club. His bag is in the rack there, ready to be taken in the 
morning. He went outside and then he came back and took a club and walked 
away with it. I noticed that because I thought it was getting too late 
for much play."

"I see. Some people hold a club just for something to carry, don't they? 
Instead of a walking stick?

"Yes, sir. Perhaps to play an occasional shot if they feel like it, or to 
practise a swing."

"But would they do that at nine o'clock?"

"Well, sir, as I said, I was rather surprised. But gentlemen get so keen 
you can never be sure."

The inspector considered that for a moment, but he went on again:

"Did you see Mr. Crosbie come back?"

"He did not come back. His bed was not slept in."

"How do you know that?"

"The boots told me when I came on duty this morning. The chambermaid told 
him."

"Not evidence exactly," said Lee, with a glance to Ross. "When he was 
missed from his room was anything said or done about it?"

The man hesitated. "I believe it was reported, sir. But there was nothing 
to do. We never imagined--"

"What you did imagine, I suppose, was that he had spent the night with 
friends?"

"Yes, sir."

"Although you knew he had no clothes with him, only that club?

"Well, sir," said the man a little uncomfortably, "gentlemen do 
sometimes--I mean it was no business of ours. He might have suddenly 
decided to return to town."

"I understand. There had been no telephone call for Mr. Crosbie, so far 
as you know?"

"No, sir."

"You are sure he dined here?" put in Simon. 

"Oh yes, Mr. Ross. And after dinner he went out just as I said."

"Well, now," went on the inspector, "who else went out during the 
evening, more or less at that time?"

"There was Mr. Knight, Mr. Farmer and Mr. Broughley."

"Before or after Mr. Crosbie?"

"Mr. Farmer was before him and the others after. Mr. Broughley was the 
last. He went at about nine-fifteen."

Simon knew that was more or less correct and he was a little surprised at 
the porter's accuracy.

"Isn't it rather curious," he said pleasantly, "that you notice so 
particularly just when we come and go?"

"Matter of habit, sir," said the man. "Before I came here I was 
doorkeeper in a business place where I had to check everybody in and out. 
So I still do it more or less automatic."

"Did you see these men come back?" asked Lee. "When would that be?"

"Mr. Knight was the first, a little after ten. Then Mr. Broughley. And 
Mr. Farmer--I don't quite know. When we were busy. I think about eleven."

"Is there a night porter?"

"Yes, sir. He comes on at twelve."

"Did you tell him that Mr. Crosbie was still out?

"No, sir. I don't think I did."

"But, Haines," put in Ross again, "this front door of yours is not the 
only way in and out, is it?"

"Well, sir, there is a back door past the gent's lavatory that we don't 
lock until quite late. But it isn't used in the evening."

"It might be used without your knowledge? It is there to be used?”

"Well, yes, sir, but not at night. There are no lights that way."

"All the better if one did not want to be seen?"

"You might say that," agreed Haines doubtfully. 

"Tell me this," said the inspector, "did anyone to your knowledge arrive 
after Mr. Crosbie went out who had not previously been here?"

"Only Mr. Sladen. He had been away and he drove up in his car about a 
quarter-past nine. Just after Mr. Broughley went out. He told me he had 
come for an important match in the morning and would go to bed early."

"He is the man who found Mr. Crosbie--playing that match?"

"So I am told, sir."

"You are a very good witness, Haines," said Lee. "I want you to write 
down just what you have told me. The names of the people who went in and 
out, and the times. Also, as far as you can remember them, the other 
people who went earlier and returned later. It is just possible one of 
them saw something."

"Very good, sir." The porter was pleased with his task, for he prided 
himself on his memory.

"That is our trouble," remarked the inspector to Simon, when they were 
alone. "We have to question a hundred people to find the one who knows 
anything."

"I suppose," said Simon, "if you could be sure of the precise time when 
Crosbie was attacked you could check the movements of most of the people 
staying here. I mean a good many were at bridge, and so would answer for 
one another. Some were in the billiard-room and would equally be 
accounted for. But there is nothing to prove that anyone here really had 
any hand in it."

"You have a golf club and a golf hotel," said Lee, "right in the country. 
Except for that windmill there is hardly a residence within a mile of the 
place where it happened. The village is six miles away. He might have 
been followed from London. He might have been set on by a passing tramp. 
We must keep an open mind. But he was here among a lot of people who knew 
him and knew his habits. It's an odds-on chance--long odds--that someone 
here will know all there can be known about it."

"I grant the odds," said Simon, "but murder is an altogether incalculable 
thing. What is the next step?"

"Lunch," declared Lee.

"Will you have it here or at the club house?"

"I sent Sergeant Green to get some particulars from the club secretary. 
If we can get lunch there we might see what he has learnt. I've given in 
for Crosbie's room here to be locked. I shall examine it later."

They were quitting the Dormy House when a man ran up to them. It was 
Sladen, the player who had first discovered the tragedy. He wore no cap. 
His red hair was ruffled, that and his long red beard gave him rather a 
wild appearance.

"Are you Inspector Lee?"  he asked in his broad tone, addressing Simon's 
companion. "They told me it was your car outside here."

"That's right. What can I do for you?"

"There is something I ought to tell you. It may mean nothing, but that is 
for you to decide."

"We shall find a quiet corner in the cardroom." said Simon. "No one will 
be using it now."

CHAPTER EIGHT: WHO SAW HIM LAST

HE was right. The cardroom proved to be empty and the three men sat at 
one of the tables.

"Maybe you have heard," began Sladen in a rather deliberate manner, "that 
it was I who found the body. Directly I realised the man was dead I saw 
to it that nothing was touched. We came back--I was playing with Hann--to 
let you know about it."

"What time was it?"  asked Lee.

"Do you mean when I found him or when we telephoned?"

"Both."

"I could not say precisely. We started out a little before nine and got 
along pretty quickly. It must have been about half-past ten when we 
reached the fifteenth. It might have been eleven when we 'phoned."

"And you have something to tell me?"

"Just this," said Sladen impressively. "It is my opeenion that Crosbie 
had been there all night. Mind you, I am not a doctor and I barely 
touched him. But I saw him in that place twelve hours before and I should 
say he never came away--till you moved the body."

The inspector looked at him keenly. He was rather like a bird of prey 
when he leant forward to snap at a particular point.

"You saw him there--in that bunker?"

"Not in the bunker, but in the roadway close by."

"Near the windmill?"

"Yes. In the roadway between the windmill and the sixteenth tee."

"What were you doing?"

"I drove by in my car."

"Is it not rather unusual to come that way by car?"  asked Simon. "A bad 
road, isn't it?"

"I missed the turning off the London Road, and so went on to the village 
and then up past Farrer's Farm. Had I known how bad a road it was I would 
have turned back."

"You drove past Crosbie," said Lee. "Was he alone? What was he doing?"

"He was not alone. He was talking with another man."

"Do you know who it was?"

Sladen hesitated a moment, stroking his beard the while. "A member of the 
club. A Mr. Knight. Please do not think I am suggesting that Knight knows 
anything about his death. I am sure he would not harm anyone. But I 
imagine it is necessary to trace Crosbie's movements, and Knight will be 
able to let you know just when and where he left him."

"Did I not understand," said Lee meaningly, "that Knight and Crosbie were 
enemies?"

"I cannot say what you understood," replied Sladen slowly, "but the 
impleecation is hardly accur-r-rate. It may be they were not friends. But 
I would not say they were enemies."

"Were you surprised to see them together?"

"I would not have expected it," was the cautious reply.

"I see. What time was it when you passed them?"

"As near as I can surmise it was a quarter-past nine."

"And when did you reach this hotel?"

"A minute or two later."

Lee made notes of these times, which tallied fairly well with the 
recollections of the porter.

"You did not stop to speak to Crosbie or Knight?"

"No. They are not particular friends of mine and I wanted to get in."

"Did you see anyone else, near there or on the way to the hotel?"

Sladen again took a handful of his beard and passed his fingers down it. 
As an aid to contemplation beards seem to have something to commend them. 
Perhaps that is why a smooth-chinned age is impulsive and so little 
productive of the deeper thought.

"Before I saw Crosbie," he said slowly, "I passed a young fellow and a 
girl. They were sitting on the stile at the footpath just past the farm."

"Do you know who they were?"

"I believe it was the assistant professional, with one of the maids from 
here. But I could not swear to it."

"We will inquire," said the inspector. "Anyone else?"

"Nearer the Dormy House I passed another of our members, a Mr. 
Broughley."

"Which way was he going?"

"Along the lane, towards the mill."

"Then he must have met Crosbie and Knight?"

"Provided they remained long enough in the place where I saw them," 
agreed Sladen, with his usual caution.

"Is there anything else you can tell me?"

The beard had a little more of the bell rope treatment.

"A matter of hearsay evidence only. Maybe I should not repeat it."

"Let me have it," said Lee. "I can get confirmation later."

"I was told there was a quarrel in the cardroom on Saturday night and 
Crosbie was concerned in it."

"Oh," said Lee quickly, "who was he quarrelling with?"

"I would rather not say as I was not there. I understood Mr. Ross was 
present."

"Is that so?" The inspector's beak jerked quickly to his companion.

"Yes," said Simon. "I can tell you all about that, but I do not think it 
will help." It seemed to him as he said it that Sladen, who was again 
stroking his beard, was smiling rather maliciously.

"I will want to know," declared Lee. Then he turned again to the author. 
"You saw no one else?"

"Not near there. Only those lovers and Knight and Broughley."

"Did you notice if either of them--or anyone of the four--was carrying a 
stick or anything of that sort?"

Once more the hairs of memory were stimulated with gentle caresses.

"Knight maybe carried an umbrella and Broughley a stick. Broughley, by 
the way, wasn't wearing a hat."

"Oh--did you notice anything else about him?"

"He was walking quickly, that was all." Sladen had nothing more to tell 
them, but Simon asked if he might put a question.

"You have told us when and where you saw Crosbie and you say he never 
left there alive. What are your grounds for that opinion?"

"The body was found nearby and he had clearly been dead some time."

"But that would not preclude the possibility of his going away and 
returning--or being brought back--some hours later?

"It would not," Sladen admitted.

When he had left them Lee turned to his companion. "You did not tell me 
about that quarrel, Mr. Ross."

"Should have come to it in time," said Simon. He could see that suspicion 
might easily be directed towards his friend. A quarrel on Saturday night 
and on Sunday Bill was seen hurrying to the place where Crosbie was 
killed, more or less at the time when the killing might have been done. 
There was also his restlessness in the morning--though no one but himself 
knew of that. Of Bill's entire innocence he had no shadow of doubt, but 
as to the quarrel, it would be best to be frank about it lest Lee should 
get an exaggerated account from a more unkindly source.

"It was Farmer's quarrel in the first place. Crosbie had been making 
himself objectionable, a bit too much to drink, I think, and perhaps he 
is not a good loser. Anyway, Farmer refused to play with him and Crosbie 
got excited. Said it was an insult and he would report it to the 
committee. He was so noisy that he disturbed the rest of us. Broughley 
told Farmer he was quite right to refuse to play with a fellow who was 
behaving like a cad."

"Not exactly pouring oil on troubled waters. What happened next? Any 
blows struck?"

"No. Crosbie demanded if Broughley called him a cad and Broughley said he 
did. Crosbie threatened to take proceedings and then left the room. 
Probably a bit of bluff to cover his retreat."

"He certainly won't take proceedings now," said Lee significantly. "This 
man Broughley seems to have interfered rather unnecessarily. Were he and 
Crosbie already unfriendly?"

"Crosbie had been rude to him earlier in the evening. Otherwise I believe 
they hardly knew one another."

The inspector walked across to the window and looked out. He seemed to be 
thinking over and digesting what he had heard.

"How far is Sladen reliable?" he asked. "Rather weird looking. People who 
look odd generally are odd."

"I don't really know him," said Simon. "A bit of a crank, I believe. He 
wrote a curious book a little while back."

"A crime story?

"No," was the laughing reply, "very much the reverse. A vision of the 
future. He called it Travail and Triumph. A braver new world, with all 
cut out. A world composed only of women."

"Wouldn't last long!"

"I don't know. The idea is that after another world war and a series of 
strikes and revolutions in which men only combine in one thing--to show 
what fools they can be--someone discovers the secret of sex 
determination. Women are so disgusted with the mess men have made of 
things that all the babies are girls."

"Which, as I said, would soon bring the world to an end."

"Not at all," replied Ross. "The women knew what they were about and kept 
enough men for breeding purposes. Only the fittest, of course. The prize 
specimens. And only selected young women were chosen for mating. So love 
and all that it implies--jealousy, hate and envy, disappeared. Illness 
was lessened, quarrels were forgotten, and the world devoted itself to 
social and artistic development and improvement."

"Sladen wrote did he?" commented Lee. "Thought he looked a bit cracked. 
He'd be a specimen, with that beard of his that some of the women would 
be crazy for! Then the troubles would start again. But we must be getting 
on. I am more than ready for that lunch."

Once again his justifiable appetite was thwarted. The porter came in and 
said Mr. Hann was starting for London and wished to know if the inspector 
desired to see him before he went.

"It was Hann and Sladen who found the body," added Simon. "I believe Hann 
knew Crosbie pretty well."

"Better see him then," said Lee. "Bring him in."

"I ought to have been in town before this." Hann began speaking the 
moment he entered the room, evidently in a hurry. "I arranged to play 
early, as I had an appointment, but I did not like to go without seeing 
you. Is it true that Crosbie was murdered?"

"There seems little doubt of it," replied the inspector.

"It is terrible. Hardly believable."

Hann was, as usual, sprucely dressed, having changed his golfing clothes 
for a dark brown suit. His waxed moustache, the gold tie-pin and a gold 
ring on the little finger of each hand gave him rather a foppish 
appearance. But the fate of his friend evidently distressed him.

"You were present when the body was found?" asked the inspector.

"Yes, but if you've seen Sladen I don't suppose there is anything I can 
tell you about that. I knew Crosbie personally. I mean apart from golf. 
It is a shocking blow to me. I can hardly realise it. But I thought 
perhaps I could tell you something about him."

"I want to know all I can," said Lee. "Where did he live? What was he by 
profession?

"He was a solicitor. His office is in Theobald Square, No. 157. He has a 
service flat in Jacobus Court, Buckingham Gate."

"Married?

"I believe not."

"Do you know of any relations?"

"I am afraid I do not. I wanted to ask you if it would be all right for 
me to go to Theobald Square and tell his clerk, Samuel Jenks, what has 
happened. Jenks of course knows more than anyone else as to his private 
affairs."

"Someone will see Jenks," said Lee, who had duly noted the information 
given, "but there is no harm in your taking him the news."

"It will shock him," said Hann. "They have been together for years."

"Although Crosbie was a solicitor," remarked Ross, "I do not seem to have 
heard of him professionally--of course that doesn't mean much."

"I can quite understand it," said Hann. "Crosbie was one of those lucky 
ones--though that is an odd thing to say now--whose work almost did 
itself. I mean he was solicitor to some good companies and to three or 
four big trust estates. He had their affairs to look after and it 
provided a satisfactory income without his having to get outside work. If 
there ever was litigation he instructed those who specialise in it."

"Should have thought litigation was in his line," commented the 
inspector. "Rather quarrelsome, wasn't he?"

"Not at all," replied Hann, with an indignant glance at Simon. "It is 
most unjust to say such a thing. Were you referring to the quarrel of 
Saturday night?"

"I am not saying things," said Lee. "I am only asking. I thought there 
had been some trouble before Saturday. Is that wrong?"

"It depends what you mean by trouble. On Saturday he was grossly 
insulted. Before that there was the affair of the captaincy. Have you 
been told about it?"

"It was mentioned, but I'd like to hear your view of it."

"He was very badly treated. A lot of men wanted him to stand and he did 
so as a matter of principle. The committee tried to burke the issue by 
putting forward the old captain again. But Crosbie stood to his guns. 
Every one but Elkington and myself deserted him. He was a thoroughly good 
fellow. Ask Elkington."

This warm defence presented a new point of view, and Lee could see that 
the dead man's friends might well see matters in that way. But it did not 
greatly concern him.

"Can you suggest any reason why Crosbie should be killed?"

"I cannot."

"Can you suggest any person who had a motive for killing him?"

"I cannot."

"Knowing him as you did, would you imagine the cause of his death--if not 
due to some chance encounter--would more likely be attributable to his 
London life or to something down here?"

Hann looked at him for some moments in silence. "That is a wide and a 
difficult question," he said at last. "Had I been asked before, I would 
have said his murder in any circumstances was inconceivable. But it has 
happened. It still remains inexplicable. My first idea was that he had 
been knocked down by a passing motor and whoever did it got scared when 
they discovered what they had done and threw the body into that bunker. 
It is not far from the road. Is that impossible?"

Lee had seen the wound and remembered the blood marks on the seat and on 
the turf of the sixteenth tee. "I am afraid it is," he said. "Besides, 
the first thought of the motorist who does that sort of thing is to drive 
on. Not much traffic on that road, is there?"

"Very little. That might make a pedestrian careless."

"There is that," agreed the inspector. "Did you know Crosbie was going 
out that evening?"

"Not exactly."

"What do you mean by not exactly?"

Hann glanced again at Simon. "I asked Crosbie if he would play bridge and 
he said he would not. As Mr. Ross heard and saw what happened on Saturday 
he will be able to tell you it was not surprising. That, I suppose, is 
why he went out."

"Did you play bridge yourself?"

"No. Not as he wouldn't. I stayed in the smoking-room."

"You do not know if he was to meet anyone?"

"No. I did not know that he was going out. Only that he would not play 
cards."

"There is nothing you can tell me that will help me to trace his 
murderer--assuming, of course, that he was murdered?"

Hann shook his head. "It is a diabolical thing," he said, "whoever did 
it. I hope you will get to the bottom of it. I will help in any way I 
can, but I really have nothing on which to base a tangible suspicion. I 
expect to be down again in two days' time and if I learn anything 
anywhere I will let you know."

"Do," said Lee. "Just one thing more. When you say you know him in town 
do you mean in business or socially?

"In business. I am a surveyor and he put quite a lot of things in my way. 
Valuations, you know. His death will be a big loss for me. We got to be 
fairly intimate and, as a matter of fact, it was I who put him up for 
this club."

"You mentioned a Mr. Elkington, was he a business friend too?"

"I believe Crosbie did a little legal work for him, but they met here 
when Crosbie joined two years ago. He found Elkington was a neighbour in 
Jacobus Court and they often came down together."

CHAPTER NINE: A LONG LANE

LUNCH at last; a man's lunch. A good cut of cold sirloin, some flowery 
potatoes, a chunk of Cheshire cheese and a foaming tankard of brown beer. 
Inspector Lee introduced Simon Ross to his assistant, Sergeant Green, and 
the three of them tackled their fare with healthy appetites, quite 
unaffected by the nature of the case on which they were engaged.

Green, a typical officer of the sort that blusters with inferiors and is 
very deferential to those above them, also knew Ross slightly. He 
realised the young lawyer's help might be valuable in a case where he was 
acquainted with so many of the parties concerned and was rather pleased 
at meeting him on such friendly terms. He adopted a heavily humorous air.

"Must be careful what we say," he muttered, with a wink to Lee. "Maybe 
we'll have him against us presently."

"All in the interests of justice," commented Simon.

"Not so sure of that," returned Green. "We get what looks like a 
fool-proof case and one of you gentlemen discovers some tricky little 
point and gets the jury to say not guilty. Benefit of the doubt--when 
there's one speck of doubt to a pint of proof."

"When it's a hanging case," said Simon, "you've got to be sure. You can't 
put it right afterwards."

"Well," said Green complacently, killing the natural flavour of his food 
with a mass of yellow pickle, "I don't think we are going to have much 
trouble this time. Getting on pretty quick considering."

"What have you found out so far?" demanded Lee.

"Three things. I had the contents of the pockets examined, like as you 
told me. This is what we found." He passed a sheet of paper across the 
table. It contained a list of items, the first being gold watch and 
chain.

"His valuables was intact. Wallet with notes to the value of eight 
pounds."

"No letters?" asked Lee.

"No letters, but the valuables being intact shows he was not robbed. It 
disposes of the idea of a hold-up for plunder. Fancy! Lying there all 
night with that money and a gold watch and chain on him!"

"Is it sure he was there all night?" inquired Simon.

"That's number two. The doc swears he was dead not less than twelve 
hours. That takes us back to last night all right. When they open the 
stomach they'll know how long after his last meal it was." The sergeant 
rolled a lump of fat in some lean, pushed it through the pickle and 
shoved it into his mouth. "Horrid thought, isn't it?"

"There were no golf balls in his pocket?" asked Simon.

"None at all," said Green.

Lee and Ross exchanged glances and the former said, "What is the third 
thing you have found out?

"Someone who saw the man who did it. Can't absolutely swear to his 
identity, but we're not doing badly in the time."

"Who was it?" asked Lee.

"Did he see it done?" inquired Simon at almost the same instant. 
"Otherwise how does he know?" 

Green was obviously enjoying his big moment. He raised his tankard to his 
red face, took a good pull at his beer and wiped his thick black 
moustache.

"Reg Richards is the assistant pro," he said. "Keeping company with one 
of the maids at the Dormy Hotel. Queer name that, for a hotel. They had 
been walking out, down to Farrer's Farm, and on the way back he saw a man 
hiding in a clump of bushes this side of the windmill."

Sladen had seen the lovers but he had not seen the man in the bushes.

"How did Richards know the man was hiding?" asked Simon.

"That is surmise," said Green, "but it stands to reason. At the time 
Richards thought he was there for a natural purpose. So he walked past 
quickly that his young lady might not see."

"I expect the young lady saw all he did," commented Lee, "and looked away 
first."

"But he did not recognise the man?" persisted Simon.

"Not then. But he did later."

"How was that?" demanded his superior officer. 

"The young couple strolled down the lane, loiterin', as you might say, 
and the man caught them up and walked quickly past them, as though he was 
in a hurry."

"And then they recognised him?" said Lee. "Who was it?" 

"Richards says it was one of the members, a Mr. Broughley."

The inspector glanced significantly at Simon. "Begins to look 
interesting. Broughley quarrels with Crosbie. He is seen by Sladen 
hurrying after him along the lane. Richards sees him lurking in the 
bushes and a little later sees him hurrying back again."

"Beware of what the sergeant calls surmise," said Simon. "Since Richards 
did not really look at the man in the bushes how could he tell it was the 
same man who hurried past him afterwards?"

"I said he couldn't absolutely swear to it," replied Green, "but it 
stands to reason." That was a favourite phrase of his. "For one thing he 
wasn't wearing a hat, either time."

"It is dangerous to identify a man by the hat he wears," said Simon. 
"Hats are too much alike. But to identify a man by the hat he does not 
wear is more than dangerous, it is impossible."

"Still, we've got this," remarked Lee. "Sladen recognised a bare-headed 
man hurrying along the lane. Richards didn't meet him, but he recognised 
him hurrying back. If he was not the man in the bushes where had he got 
to?"

"The question of time may come into it," said Simon.

"That is true," said the inspector. "Did you ask Richards about that?"

"I did," replied Green. "The girl has to be in at ten and so they had to 
keep their eyes on the clock. It was a little after half-past nine when 
this Mr. Broughley hurried past them. They was then a few minutes' walk 
from the hotel. So they strolled on a bit further and got back punctual."

"That fits in pretty well with Sladen's story," said Lee. "I will see 
Richards myself and we must get a written statement. Did he meet anyone 
else in the lane?"

"He did. Two others. First, a Mr. Knight walking past the windmill 
towards the farm, and then Crosbie himself."

"Where was Crosbie?"

"Richards says he was on the sixteenth tee--that bit of ground opposite 
the mill."

"Then we get this," said Lee. "Sladen sees this couple sitting on a stile 
at one end of the lane. He drives past them and sees Crosbie and Knight 
talking near the mill. Further on he meets Broughley hurrying that way. 
The couple, starting a little later, and of course going slower, meet Mr. 
Knight, who has evidently finished his talk. Then they see Crosbie, 
standing more or less where he was killed, and they see a man hiding in 
the bushes on the other side of the road. They stroll on and are caught 
up by Broughley, again in a hurry, coming back from wherever he had been 
going to. We don't know yet as a fact exactly when Crosbie was killed, 
but if it was then--as seems likely--Broughley will have a lot to 
explain."

"Clear case to me," observed Green, scooping up some crumbs of cheese. 
"That's a long lane but, as it happens, there are no turnings out of 
it. So Broughley must be the man in the bushes. And why was he there? It 
stands to reason. He was waiting till the coast was clear."

"Broughley is a friend of mine," said Simon. "He is here and will answer 
for himself. I am quite sure he didn't kill Crosbie, but of course you 
will want to question him."

"You bet I will," said Lee.

"Quite right. But before you jump to conclusions ask yourself this 
question. There are others, but consider this first. If a man, planning 
murder, hid in the bushes to prevent himself being seen before he did it, 
would he, when he had done it, hurry past the very people he had hidden 
from, so that they could not fail to recognise him?"

It was an awkward point and neither officer was prepared with an 
immediate reply.

"All murderers make mistakes," muttered Green, after a time. "Loss of 
nerve mostly."

"It is not for me to put forward theories," said Simon, "but taking all 
the facts as stated, what was to prevent Knight going back to Crosbie 
after these lovers had passed and having another talk with him, perhaps 
with a fight to finish it? Don't think I am suggesting that is what did 
happen. If it had, Crosbie would most likely have done the killing. It 
only shows there are other possibilities. If--" He stopped suddenly. "By 
the way, that is Knight over there in the corner, feeding by himself. 
Shall I ask him to come across?"

"It is Broughley I want to talk to," said Lee, "but I'll have to see this 
fellow too. Looks a bit small for a prize winner at any game. But little 
men can be very fierce!"

"Golf is played on handicap, at least the competition for the captain's 
prize is. Knight is said to be a very hot ten."

Golfers are certainly not made to any particular pattern. Even among 
professionals there are long men and short men, stout men and lean men, 
but a short, stout man would seem to possess few natural advantages. 
Ernest Knight, the committee's first choice for the vacant captaincy, was 
distinctly tubby, a fact that was emphasised by his lack of inches. He 
wore gold-rimmed glasses and had a round good-natured face. But there was 
something about him that suggested tenacity of purpose. At golf he hit a 
fair ball and kept it straight. His short game was good, and, as Simon 
had implied, with a due allowance of strokes, he was difficult to beat. 
He was not exactly a popular member of the club, but was regarded as a 
very worthy one. No one had anything against him.

"Those two men I am lunching with are police officers concerned in this 
Crosbie business," Simon explained when he went across to his table. 
"They wondered if you would have anything to tell them."

"A shocking thing," said Knight. "Has quite upset me. I was expecting to 
play Crosbie to-morrow and now . . . but I am afraid I know nothing that 
will help them."

"You will answer any questions they want to put?"

"Why, of course. I would do anything I could. But the more I think about 
it the more it puzzles me. Can it not have been an accident?"

"They do not think so."

"I'll come over at once."

He got up and a few moments later the four of them were sitting together 
and three were smoking. Knight was a teetotaller and did not smoke.

"When did you last see Crosbie, Mr. Knight?" asked Lee, when Simon had 
introduced them.

"Last evening, after dinner."

"Where?"

"In the mill lane."

"Somewhere near where his body was found? I believe you call it the Hell 
bunker?"

"It was near there. In the roadway, as a matter of fact. I need not say 
how shocked I am. It is a terrible thing. Terrible."

"Did you meet him there by appointment, or was it by chance?"

"Entirely by chance. I was strolling along and I saw him in front of me. 
I hurried a bit and caught him up. I suppose it is two months since I 
last spoke to him, but I felt no ill-will. As it happened, he and I were 
to meet in the semi-final of the captain's prize. So I thought it would 
be a good opportunity to make an appointment and say I hoped for a 
pleasant game. I did not want there to be any bitterness about things 
that were over and done with."

"Was he pleasant to you?"

"Well," Knight beamed at him, "I would not exactly say that. He was a bit 
stand-offish. But we arranged to play to-morrow."

"Can you say what time this conversation took place?"

"I'm afraid I can't. It was between nine and ten. Nearer nine than ten, I 
should say."

The inspector glanced at his notebook, at the time suggested by Sladen. 
"Would nine-fifteen be about right?"

"It couldn't be far wrong."

"Then what happened?"

"I walked on and left him there."

"But wasn't that rather curious?" pecked Lee, bending forward. "You might 
have walked on together. Why, when you caught him up, did he stay there?"

"I don't think he wanted to walk with me. Perhaps it was natural after 
what had happened.  He said he was meeting someone."

"You are sure of that? He said he was meeting someone?"

"Quite sure."

"He did not say who?"

"No. As a matter of fact I thought it was just an excuse to get rid of 
me."

"It looks as though you were right," said Lee. "Let us go back a bit. Why 
did you go out last evening? Did you expect to see Crosbie? Were you 
meeting someone else? What was the idea?"

"It was quite by chance I saw Crosbie. I told you that. I was not meeting 
anyone. I--I suppose I am old-fashioned. I do not play cards on Sundays 
and so I either read a book after dinner or, if it is fine and I am not 
too tired, I go for a quiet stroll. I love God's stars on a peaceful 
Sabbath evening."

"Hm--so you met Crosbie. What happened when you left him?"

"I strolled on."

"Where to? Did you meet anyone?"

"Let me think." Knight gave his beaming smile. "I went on towards the 
stile near Farrer's Farm and I met Reg Richards and his young lady. Then 
I climbed the stile and walked on the links."

Lee regarded him suspiciously. "Rather dark for a cross-country walk, 
wasn't it?"

"It was bright at first and there is a footpath. It clouded over, so I 
came back."

"The same way?"

"Yes. To the stile and then down the lane." 

The beak-face lent a little nearer. "So you met Crosbie again?

"No. He was gone."

"Gone, was he? How do you know that?"

"He was no longer in the place where I saw him before. In fact he was not 
in the lane at all."

"Now," said the inspector impressively, "this is very important. How long 
after your talk with Crosbie was it when you passed that spot again?"

"I am afraid it is impossible for me to say," answered Knight uneasily. 
"It must have been approximately half an hour, but I really cannot be 
sure. I was back at the Dormy House a little after ten, but I did not 
notice precisely."

To Simon this seemed reasonable enough, but Lee was not satisfied. "Try 
and think. A lot may depend on it."

""I am sorry, but I was not thinking of time. I had no reason to do so."

"Remember, Mr. Knight," said Lee solemnly, "you, so far as we know, 
except for the murderer, were the last person to see Crosbie alive, to 
speak to him. He was killed more or less at the spot where you and he 
parted. If he was to meet someone, that might well be the person we want. 
Can you suggest nothing that will throw light on his death?"

"Nothing, nothing at all," answered Knight, obviously affected. "Have you 
asked Richards? He might have seen him after I passed?"

"We, of course, will see Richards," said Lee. "I suppose he was gone when 
you returned?"

"Richards? I did not see him again. I only met one person."

"Who was that?"

"One of our members, a Mr. Broughley." Each of the other three men looked 
at him in surprise.

"Where exactly did you meet him?" asked Lee. 

"It must have been about half-way between the Dormy House and the mill."

"He was going towards the mill?"

"That is right."

"The time," said Simon, "if you left Crosbie at nine-fifteen and came 
back half an hour later, would have been about a quarter to ten?"

"Thereabouts," agreed Knight.

"Sure it was Broughley?" inquired Lee.

"Quite sure. I said good-night to him."

"Did you notice anything queer about him?"

Knight looked at him doubtfully. "How do you mean queer? He was walking 
rather fast and I believe he was bareheaded."

The two officers exchanged glances. Lee turned over the leaves of his 
notebook.

"It isn't sense," muttered Green.

"While you were talking with Crosbie," said the inspector, "did a motor 
car pass you, going towards the hotel?"

"Yes," said Knight, "it did. I noticed it because cars so seldom go that 
way. I did not see who was in it."

"If I tell you Mr. Sladen was in it and, after passing you and Crosbie, 
he met Broughley hurrying towards you, bareheaded--half an hour earlier 
than you saw him coming that way--what would you say?"

"It certainly seems odd. I can only suggest Broughley came that way 
twice."

"Both times going in the same direction?"

"Apparently; you must ask him."

"Be sure we will," said Lee grimly.

To Simon Bill's double journey did not appear inexplicable. No doubt he 
had been to the windmill. Possibly on his first call Sylvia and Hazel 
were out, so he went back again. But he did not offer any explanation. 
Bill could do that when necessary. Inspector Lee was asking Knight 
another question. "You can tell us nothing more?"

"I am afraid not."

"It amounts to this then. At about nine-fifteen you were talking with 
Crosbie somewhere near the place where his body was subsequently found. 
He seemed his normal self and arranged a game with you for two days 
later. He said he was expecting to meet someone and you left him. You 
passed that way again at about a quarter to ten and he was gone?"

"That is it exactly," said Knight, "except that the times may be 
approximate."

"And a little further along you met Mr. Broughley hurrying towards the 
same spot?"

"That is so."

"What else can you tell us?"

"Only that I am sure I am expressing the views of us all when I hope you 
will soon learn all you want to know. It is a most unhappy affair and we 
shall not be satisfied until you have got to the bottom of it."

CHAPTER TEN: FLIGHT?

"QUEER little man," remarked Lee, as Knight, with a bow and a beaming 
smile, left their table. "Seems straight enough, but he was with Crosbie 
on the spot and more or less at the time. Also they were not friends. We 
must remember that."

"I reckon he's all right," said the sergeant. "I told you Broughley was 
our man. It stands to reason. What do we do next?"

"I must use the 'phone," said Lee, "and perhaps see the club secretary. 
Do you think you can get Broughley for us, Mr. Ross?"

"Certainly," said Simon. "I'll bring him here."

"Good. You, Green, fetch that young Richards."

Simon was glad that it fell to him to find Bill. He was convinced that 
his friend knew nothing of the crime, but he wanted to let him know just 
what had so far been discovered. Bill was in a queer mood and if he 
fenced with the inspector it would do him no good. He had had a quarrel 
with Crosbie; he had been seen hatless following him along the mill lane; 
a hatless man had been noted lurking in the bushes near the spot where 
the murder was committed and, still hatless, Bill had been recognised 
hurrying from that same spot and later again back to it. Neither Sladen 
nor Richards nor Knight was likely to have made a mistake. Certainly they 
could not all have been wrong.

The man in the bushes was no doubt someone entirely different. Bill had 
probably called at the windmill. He, of course, would explain his 
movements in a perfectly satisfactory way. But it would be kindest to let 
him see clearly that it was up to him to do so, and then to take him to 
face the official questioner.

But something of a shock was coming. When he reached the Dormy House 
Porter Haines stopped him.

"Got a note for you, sir," he said.

Simon took it. It consisted of two hastily written lines.

'Going away for a few days. Write again later. Bill.'

Simon stared at the brief message. What on earth had induced Bill to dash 
off without a word of warning just at that critical moment? It was the 
most unfortunate thing he could possibly have done.

"When did you get this?" he asked the porter.

"About an hour ago, sir. Mr. Broughley asked me to let you have it when 
you came in."

"And what did he do then?"

"He went off in his car."

"Do you know where?"

"No, sir. He didn't say."

What should be done? It was quite evident that Bill could not realise the 
impression his sudden departure would cause. His quarrel with Crosbie was 
naturally the talk of the place, and, when Crosbie was murdered, he chose 
to run away without a word of explanation to anyone. Could anything be 
better calculated to centre attention on himself and perhaps divert it 
from the real criminal? Of course he would not know how things had been 
shaping. His act was probably the outcome of supreme innocence, but it 
looked like supreme folly. He must come back.

He had not only gone, he did not say where he was going. Would Sylvia or 
Hazel be likely to know? Bill had been with them that morning and would 
hardly have left without some sort of farewell. They surely could throw 
light on the matter. Simon decided his first step must be to make 
inquiries at the windmill.

To save time he got out his car and ran along the lane to the mill. On 
the links side for part of the way there was a high hedge; on the other 
only occasional bushes. He noticed as he passed it, the cluster of thorn 
to which Sergeant Green had alluded, close to the mill and almost 
opposite the sixteenth tee. That tee was now deserted. The police had 
evidently taken all they required and there was no play in progress. One 
man was still on duty beside the bunker.

Then Simon saw someone coming into the lane from the mill. It was Hazel.

He jammed on his brakes and jumped down to meet her. "I was just going to 
call," he said. "When Bill was with you this morning, did he mention 
anything about going away?"

He thought she looked at him rather queerly. She shook her head. "No. He 
did not. Has he been back since?"

"He has gone. He left me this note."

He produced the letter the porter had handed to him. Hazel read it.

"Well, what about it? Why shouldn't he go?" Her tone was almost hard and 
there was a definite challenge in the gaze that met his so squarely. It 
was not an easy question to answer. He did not desire to be the first to 
mention suspicions that others might entertain.

"Unusual to leave a pal like that, isn't it? As a matter of fact, there 
is something I want to see him about. I wondered if you or Miss Wilton 
could tell me where I should be likely to get into touch with him? The 
only other address I know is his London club."

"Perhaps he is there," said the girl coldly.

"I say, Hazel. I thought we were going to be friends. Why are you 
treating me like this?"

"How am I treating you?" Just a gleam of the old fun shone in her eyes.

"As though I was a mud bank and you were using a barge-pole to push 
away!"

"I did not mean to do that," she smiled.

"I know we have only met twice, but that is not all that counts. Suppose 
I could ever help you in any way, wouldn't you let me do it?"

"Charming of you to suggest it. Why suppose such a thing? Do I look so 
careworn?"

"You look--never mind that! I feel you are anxious about something."

For a moment she hesitated. Then came a glint of mischief. "A man once 
proposed to a girl, saying he would share her worries. She told him she 
had none. 'Marry me and you will have,' he said. Pretty true in most 
cases!"

Simon laughed. "Heaven forbid that I should bring you worries. You are 
sure everything is all right?"

"Haven't I said so? Why do you imagine otherwise?"

"Well," he murmured resignedly, "keep me at a distance if you must, but 
drop the barge-pole. Surely an arm's length is enough."

"All right," she smiled again. "An arm's length."

She held out her hand so that he literally was at arm's length.

He gripped the hand and then--why he did it he hardly knew. He was not 
given to that sort of thing. But her smile was so alluring, so provoking, 
that he drew the captured hand nearer and he kissed her.

"Now what do I do?" she cried furiously, her little head held high and 
her eyes sparkling with indignation.

"Isn't there something in the Bible about turning the other cheek also?"

"Oh!--it will have to be the barge-pole," she said, "or something 
longer!"

She turned on her heel and, making the most of her height, re-entered the 
mill garden.

He watched her in silence. Of course he ought not to have done it. It was 
inexcusable. But why, when she was setting out to go somewhere, had she 
turned back? Was it to escape from him? Or was it to take to Sylvia the 
news he had brought about Bill?

It was useless to stand there and stare after her. He jumped into his 
car, turned it round and made for the club house. He must find Bill, but 
he did not want to see Inspector Lee. There might be awkward questions. 
He left a message that as Bill had returned to London he had gone after 
him.

Then he set off. He thought a good deal about Hazel. He hoped she was not 
really offended at what he had done. He must see her again and beg her 
forgiveness. But at the moment he was concerned about Bill. And there 
again Hazel puzzled him. In fact, the whole week-end had been puzzling. 
Bill was keen on Sylvia; he had admitted as much. And she had seemed to 
like him. Yet he had gone without a word, just at the moment when 
Crosbie's death made his departure look so peculiar. And Hazel's attitude 
to the affair was utterly baffling.

His little Austin was capable of a pretty considerable speed and having 
left the country lanes and struck the main road for town, he went along 
as quickly as he could. He wanted to get back to Barrington before night 
and if he could catch Bill and bring him too, that would be all to the 
good.

Then suddenly he saw matters from a new angle. Naturally Crosbie's death 
had impressed him and he had been regarding everything from a supposed 
connection with that tragic happening. Had he been entirely wrong?

Unless his reading of the symptoms had been wholly at fault, Bill 
Broughley had meant to ask Sylvia Wilton to marry him. Suppose he had 
done so and she had refused him? Would not his natural impulse be to go 
away? That would account for the vague letter he had left behind. It 
would also account for Hazel's curiously non-committal attitude. She 
would not wish to discuss her cousin's affairs. If Sylvia had kept Bill 
on tenterhooks for days and had finally said No on the Sunday evening, 
that would explain his moodiness all the week-end and his hurryings along 
the lane on the fatal night. It would also explain the restlessness of 
that morning and the vain hope for a letter. When the tidings of 
Crosbie's death, so near the mill, were received, he had thought it his 
duty to take the news. Perhaps it was an excuse to see her again. Then he 
had gone.

The more he thought it over, the more Simon was satisfied that his 
solution was somewhere near the truth. These three people were worried 
about their own concerns and Crosbie's death had no interest for them, 
except as a local sensation.

But that did not alter the fact that Bill's disappearance, after his 
quarrel with the dead man, would look queer to others. Therefore, his 
return was highly desirable, even if he went away again later. He might 
find it painful to explain matters to Lee, but, in view of the 
inspector's justifiable suspicions, it was necessary for him so to do.

There was a car in front. Simon took no notice of it for a time, then he 
realised it was a blue Sunbeam saloon--Bill's car! He knew it well 
enough.

To have caught it up was a bit of luck. He tried to get an extra turn of 
speed and was soon gaining on it. As he drew nearer, he did a little 
fancy work on his horn to attract his friend's attention so that he might 
get level and then explain his purpose.

The result was not as he expected. It seemed that the driver in the 
Sunbeam, seeing in his mirror that he was being followed, decided to 
leave his pursuer behind. He shot ahead, the space between the two cars 
growing greater.

Simon did his best. He knew the Sunbeam, if it went all out, could beat 
him, but he must not lose his man now that he had found him, and it was 
annoying to think that every minute was adding to the mileage they would 
have to return. That Bill would return when he knew why he was wanted he 
did not doubt.

There is always a thrill in a race. It was a good road and there was 
little traffic, but, do what he could, Simon was unable to get nearer. If 
by chance he gained a bit, the Sunbeam always shot on again and, at last, 
the distance widened till his quarry was lost to his view.

Then fortune favoured him. He kept on and on and after some miles he saw 
in front of him a road side petrol station. The blue Sunbeam had pulled 
in there. Evidently Bill had run short of juice. Simon slowed down and 
turned in beside him. He jumped out and ran to the other car just as its 
driver was handing some money to the garage attendant and the supply pipe 
was being removed.

"Bill!" he cried.

But it was not Bill. There is more than one blue Sunbeam in the world and 
the owner of this was the man Elkington, the member of the Barrington 
club who had been described as Crosbie's closest friend.

"Hullo," he said. "You run short too? I thought I saw you behind me some 
way back."

"I took you for someone else," said Simon. "That was why I tried to catch 
up."

"Oh, I never let anyone pass me, if I can help it." He pressed his 
starter. "Good-bye."

Simon followed him out. He had plenty of petrol and did not want to waste 
time, but he did not race quite as wildly as before. Elkington evidently 
had his own reasons for hurrying to town and, although Simon felt he had 
been rather foolish in the mistaken chase, it was all to the good. He 
pushed along and soon reached the outskirts of London.

He ran quickly to the club near Trafalgar Square of which Bill was a 
member. There another disappointment awaited him.

"Yes," said the porter, "Mr. Broughley has been in to-day; about an hour 
ago. He did not stop."

"Did he say where he was going?"

"No, sir. I asked if he would want a room tonight and he said not. He 
took a few letters and drove off."

That was that. The whole world to choose from--where had Bill gone? If he 
decided to lose himself in some jungle because Sylvia had turned him 
down, and at the same time there was a hue and cry for him over the 
Crosbie affair, it would be a pretty comedy. But what, Simon asked 
himself, could he do next?

Was it possible that, after all, the Crosbie affair did in some way come 
into it? If so, what could be Bill's purpose in coming to town? Did his 
friend know more of Crosbie than he had imagined? Had they by any chance 
had business differences? Simon recalled the scene on Saturday night. 
Bill had flared up in a very queer manner. Crosbie had been rude to him, 
but the actual quarrel was not his affair, yet he had burst into it as 
though he could not contain himself.

At a more moderate pace he pushed on to Theobald Square. It was not 
likely Bill had been there, but it might be possible to ascertain whether 
or not he and Crosbie had ever had dealings together. Any light on the 
problem would be welcome. It would be annoying to return to Barrington 
with nothing done and nothing learnt.

CHAPTER ELEVEN: THEOBALD SQUARE

THE lawyers of London have an eye for attractive quarters and no doubt 
quiet is a desirable thing--though an increasingly rare one--for offices 
where documents of surpassing importance have to be discussed and 
disputed.

Simon Ross found that Theobald Square, like others of its age and kind, 
had many charming old houses overlooking a well kept garden. Each house 
appeared to be let in suites or floors and the door that was inscribed 
Arthur Crosbie, Solicitor and Commissioner for Oaths, opened to a suite 
of three communicating rooms.

The outer room, a very small one, contained two chairs, a copying press 
and an office boy. The middle room usually accommodated Samuel Jenks, the 
managing clerk; Nora Youle, a typist; and Edgar Rossiter, the articled 
pupil, away just then on holiday. From it was approached the third room, 
Arthur Crosbie's private office.

Mr. Jenks was a thin man, with a long neck set on sloping shoulders. His 
face was colourless and his head devoid of hair. His eyebrows were so 
invariably raised in doubt or inquiry that his forehead had become 
permanently waved with corrugations that, starting above his large round 
nose, faded away in the whiteness of his shiny scalp.

It had certainly been one of the most agitating days in his experience. 
He had served Arthur Crosbie faithfully for fifteen years. His duty had 
been to carry out his employer's behests and to save that employer from 
annoyances and irritations. Such had been his life. He had never thought 
or looked beyond it. Now the news that the master mind had gone left him 
distressed and bewildered. He hardly knew what was his duty in the 
present; he visualised still less what was to happen to him in the 
future.

When Simon entered the door from the staircase he found he was not the 
first to bring the evil tidings. The small office boy had the inner door 
a little way open and was listening with startled eyes and dropping chin 
to what was being said to and by Mr. Jenks.

Through the crack Simon saw Hann. He was not surprised that he was there, 
for Hann had arranged with Inspector Lee that he should take the news to 
town. But it was not Hann who was talking. The voice was harsh and angry.

"I must have them," it was saying. "I am sure Mr. Crosbie, if he could 
have foreseen such a terrible thing, would have been the first to tell 
you so."

"I am very sorry, sir," began Jenks.

Simon pushed open the door. He thought he knew the harsh voice and he 
must make sure. The office boy had drawn back guiltily on being detected 
in his spying.

"Oh, you are engaged. I am sorry."

Simon took in the situation at a glance. Hann was waiting, listening. The 
typist in the far corner sat very still, listening too. The man arguing 
angrily with Jenks was the owner of the blue Sunbeam he had chased that 
afternoon, Mr. Elkington.

"Is the whole golf club coming?" asked Elkington irritably, glaring at 
the intruder.

"I don't know of anyone else," returned Simon coolly. Then he added to 
Jenks, "I see the bad news has already reached you."

"Yes, sir. It has upset me terribly. I have never had such a shock 
before. It is hardly possible to believe it can be true. And it is 
difficult to know what I ought to do."

"You can do nothing at present," said Simon kindly, "except to explain 
the position. Every one will understand."

"You think so, sir?" The ridges on the forehead grew a little less acute. 
Jenks welcomed a possible supporter. "I had a telephone message from the 
police informing me what had happened, and saying I must lock Mr. 
Crosbie's office and not allow anyone to touch anything. So you see, 
sir,"--he was now addressing Elkington--"I really can't let you have 
them."

"They are my papers, my deeds," said Elkington, "and I want them at once. 
Crosbie cannot do the business. You cannot do it and it is urgent. Give 
me my papers."

There is no doubt that Jenks felt himself in a very difficult position. 
Mr. Elkington was a big man, as big as Mr. Crosbie himself, heavy browed 
and domineering. He spoke as one who was used to being obeyed. To anger 
him, seeing that he had been his master's friend and valued client, would 
be very unfortunate. To defy him almost unthinkable.

"Really, sir, I don't see that I can. Can I, gentlemen?" He turned to 
Hann and Ross in the hope of support.

"What did the police tell you?" said Hann. 

"That I was to lock the door of the room and shut up everything until 
they came along and took charge."

Simon could see the hand of Inspector Lee. He had lost no time and no 
doubt the message would soon be enforced.

"I say," said Elkington loudly, "that you are to open the door and let me 
have what is mine. You can see what I take and I'll give you a proper 
receipt for it. It is most urgent."

Had he been alone, Jenks might have been bullied into submission, but he 
tried again to get some moral support.

"I am very sorry, Mr. Elkington, I am really. If you will tell me exactly 
what the papers are, I will inform the police and do my best to get them 
for you. I really mustn't do more than that--must I, gentlemen?"

This time he looked to Simon, who nodded encouragingly.

"You must do what the police have told you," he said. "It is, of course, 
unfortunate and inconvenient. These affairs always are. But lawyers above 
all must help the law."

"Who the devil are you?"  demanded Elkington angrily.

"Another lawyer," said Simon. Then he added soothingly, "You mustn't 
blame Mr. Crosbie's clerk. His duty is clear enough."

"And if I lose hundreds of pounds by being unable to complete a contract 
on a given date, who will make that good to me?"

"That is a question I cannot answer without full information," replied 
Simon pleasantly. "Your best course is to go at once to another solicitor 
and explain your position. He will make the proper application."

"Wanting the job yourself, I suppose?" was the sneering suggestion.

"No," said Simon, refusing to take offence, "I am not a solicitor. 
Probably you know several."

"You all work together! I want--"

He was interrupted by the opening of the door and the entry of an alert 
looking young man in private clothes accompanied by a constable in 
uniform. The former singled out Mr. Jenks and said he had come from 
Scotland Yard. Everything was to be sealed up and he was leaving the 
constable in charge pending further instructions.

"But am I--is Miss Youle--are we--turned out?" stammered Jenks.

"No. You can carry on so far as answering inquiries is concerned. What do 
these gentlemen want?"

"Mr. Elkington," began Jenks, looking round. But Mr. Elkington had gone.

"I came," said Hann, "to bring the news. I arranged to do so with 
Inspector Lee. But I found he had 'phoned already. Mr. Crosbie was a 
friend of mine, as Mr. Jenks will tell you."

"I thought my friend Broughley might be here," Simon put in. "He has not 
been, I suppose?"

"Mr. Broughley, sir?" asked Jenks. "No one of that name. Do we know him?"

"I suppose that means you do not?"

"Afraid we don't, sir. That is, I don't myself. What might he have been 
coming about?"

"It doesn't matter now," said Simon. His question was answered, though 
the result was not helpful. He turned to the door and Hann followed him 
out.

"Looks as though we both had rather a wasted journey."

"Not more so than Elkington," returned Simon.

"That is true," laughed Hann. "Disappeared pretty quickly when that 
detective arrived, didn't he? Perhaps he thought old Jenks would denounce 
him for trying to get inside Crosbie's room. Have a drink?"

"I could do with some tea."

"That'll suit me."

There was a tea shop handy and they ordered their innocent beverage. 
Simon never took alcohol in the afternoon. There was a moment of silence. 
Each perhaps was rather curious about the other.

"Why did you suppose Broughley might be there?" asked Hann, as he filled 
his cup.

"I didn't. I had to give some excuse for calling." Simon did not want to 
tell of Bill's sudden departure and his efforts to catch him.

"But why were you calling?" persisted Hann. "You were with that 
inspector, and I gathered you met Crosbie for the first time yesterday. I 
suppose you know what every one is saying?"

"What are they saying?" Simon ignored the rest of the inquiry.

"That Broughley did it. There was that row on Saturday when they almost 
flew at each other's throats. Broughley was seen last night going towards 
the place where the body was found. The idea is they met, quarrelled 
again, and Broughley hit too hard!"

"Who saw him?"  asked Simon.

"Sladen for one, and he has been talking. Don't quite believe it myself."

"What is your idea?"

Hann stared at his tea and did not immediately reply. He had in some ways 
an almost effeminate appearance, but Simon knew that although a man who 
is scratch at golf need not be intellectual, he must have some strength 
of character, some grit and a lot of determination.

"Perhaps I ought not to say it, but my own suspicions point to Sladen 
himself."

"Anything to support them?" asked Simon.

"To be quite frank, precious little. I did not like his being so quick to 
put it on to Broughley, and it was odd his coming that way at all. So 
much farther and so much worse going. And although, when he was talking 
to us, he said a lot about the people he saw in the lane, he said nothing 
of the fact that after he had put up his car he went out again himself by 
the back way."

"You are sure of that? He told Inspector Lee he went to bed early because 
of his match with you."

"Maybe he did go to bed early," replied Hann, "but there was plenty of 
time for a little stroll first."

Simon, somehow, had not pictured the bearded author as a likely murderer, 
but he knew no one was immune from suspicion.

"Knight," he remarked, "says that Crosbie declared he was meeting 
someone. I suppose you have no idea who that was? Could it have been 
Sladen?"

"It could have been," answered Hann. "You cannot say more than that. If 
Sladen, coming that way, saw Crosbie with Knight he might have pushed on, 
to come back later when Knight had gone. I knew Crosbie pretty well, but 
he was a close sort of fellow. He didn't tell much."

"Was there anything between Crosbie and Sladen?"

"A big row a year ago. They were playing a match. Crosbie accused Sladen 
of cheating. Said he moved his ball from a divot hole with his foot. 
Sladen denied it. Both hot-tempered men, you know. Strong words on both 
sides. They never spoke afterwards."

"But you don't suggest it would lead to murder a year later?"

"No," said Hann, "not unless something else happened more recently of 
which I have not heard. Sladen's behaviour was a bit queer on our round, 
before we found the body."

"In what way?"

"It's hard to define." Hann paused and smiled. "I ought not to say it, 
for I only thought of it subsequently. That is the worst of things of 
this sort, you look back and start imagining! But Sladen did press along 
as though he was expecting something, if you know what I mean. At ‘Hell’ he 
hit a tremendous shot that almost carried the green. And then he didn't 
seem as startled at his discovery in the bunker as most people would have 
been. But I may be quite wrong. It was only afterwards that it seemed 
odd."

Simon was anxious to find a solution to the crime that would put Bill's 
position beyond doubt. Any suggestion, however unlikely, deserved 
consideration.

"You and Sladen were both playing pretty well, weren't you?"  he asked.

"Not too well, but it was level pegging. We were all square at that 
hole."

"If a man had done a murder and he was playing round to the place where 
he had left the body, could he play a normal game? Would he not anyway 
take good care to avoid the place where the body was and let someone else 
find it?"

"I asked myself just those questions," said Hann, "and frankly I don't 
know. It is a matter of temperament and Sladen is a queer fellow. I am 
not accusing him. You mustn't think that. I am only wondering. I can 
conceive that there might be an impatience to get round to see if the 
body was still there--whether or not someone else had already discovered 
it--even to be sure that the man really was dead and had not recovered 
and got away."

"That is all possible," said Simon, "but it would not conduce to good 
golf. I am inclined to think the police will have to look away from the 
club for their criminal. The affair was probably planned from town by 
someone who saw a chance of directing suspicion in the wrong direction."

"It is not unlikely," agreed Hann. "I always say every man leads two 
lives. His home life and his business life. In the city here we meet a 
fellow and think we know him pretty well; yet we have no idea of his home 
surroundings, the church he goes to, or how he gets on with his wife. In 
the same way he may dwell in Croydon or Bromley or some other suburb, and 
the people there believe he is perfectly respectable, but have no idea 
what he does when he gets off his train in the morning. Of course his 
sports may sometimes provide a link."

There is a lot of truth in that," said Simon. "Does it apply in Crosbie's 
case?"

"More than in most, I should say. How many people at Barrington know 
anything of his town life? I suppose I was as much his friend as anyone 
there. I have had business with him and played golf with him for years. 
Yet I never met him socially. I don't know a word about his relations, or 
even if he has any. Elkington may be a help as to that."

"If there are documents Elkington wants to get hold of," said Simon, "he 
must approach the police and they will certainly ask him some questions. 
Of course, the whole thing may prove very simple when they get down to 
it. Do you live in town or are you returning to the club?"

"I shall be returning there sometime. Perhaps to-morrow. I shall attend 
the inquest, though I don't suppose I'll be called." Hann paused a moment 
and added, "A thing of this sort in your life somehow grips you. It is a 
big shock when a man you know is taken like that. Whatever your regard 
for him, you feel you must see it through, must somehow get to the bottom 
of it."

"You do," agreed Simon. "I am getting back there now."

CHAPTER TWELVE: THE COMMITTEE DOES NOTHING

WHILE Simon was away the committee of the golf club was holding an 
emergency meeting to decide what should be done in the strange and tragic 
circumstances that had arisen.

There were eleven members of the committee and of these Speed, the 
energetic secretary, had been able to get hold of seven. The captain, 
General Cairn, was available, and Farmer, Knight, Cromer, Escott, 
Wynnstay and Rawson were also present.

"You have all heard of the cause of our meeting," said Cairn solemnly, as 
he opened the proceedings. "It must be a thing almost without precedent 
in the annals of any golf club. We have to decide what steps we ought to 
take."

"What is Colonel Matthews doing?" asked Farmer.

"I telephoned Colonel Matthews," explained the secretary, "and he said 
that as Chief Constable of the county the matter was receiving his most 
urgent attention, but he thought his fellow members of this committee 
would realise it would be impossible for him to come here and discuss 
with them an affair that he had to deal with in his official capacity. He 
relied on them to support in every way they could the efforts he and his 
officers were making to get at the full facts of the case."

"I am sure we understand his position," said the chairman, "and will do 
as he asks."

"Hear, hear," said Cromer.

"Did Matthews say if it was a matter of murder or of accidental death?"  
The question was put by Rawson, a blunt and well-nourished stockbroker.

"He did not say," replied Speed, "and naturally I did not ask him."

"That surely is a question for the coroner," remarked Major Escott.

"But if we are not to consider it," said Rawson, "what exactly are we 
here for?"

"The dead body of one of our members is found in one of our bunkers," 
said Wynnstay. "I suggest we ought to know how it got there. Surely that 
is our concern." He was tall, thin-faced and inquisitive. He was fond of 
pressing awkward questions and was often rather a trial to the chairman. 
By profession a manufacturing chemist, he was said to have patented a 
Purple Pill for Perfect Putting. But it was so effective that he would 
not put it on the market. That is the sort of man he was.

"Several points arise for our consideration," said Cairn, disregarding 
these remarks. "I think, in the first place, we might stand in silence as 
a tribute of respect to our late member and in sympathy with his 
relations." They all stood.

As they resumed their seats Farmer asked, "Are there any relations?"

"I have not heard of any," said Speed.

"Have you made inquiry?" asked Wynnstay.

"I asked Elkington, who is a near neighbour. He says Mr. Crosbie lived 
alone in a service flat and he knows of no relations."

"Next," said Cairn, "there is the question of the course. Should it be 
closed for any length of time, or not at all?"

"Do the police wish the fifteenth and sixteenth holes closed?" asked 
Wynnstay.

"Not, I understand, after to-day," answered the chairman.

"Then surely no further step by us is necessary," said Farmer.

"I think that is where my question comes in," said Rawson. "Is it murder, 
or is it not? When a member meets an accident, here or elsewhere, we 
carry on. We record our regret and that is all. Murder is another 
matter."

"Hear, hear," said Cromer. He was one of those useful members found in 
all committees who seldom say anything else. Sladen once declared he had 
the brain of an under-nourished nit. But that was no disqualification and 
business would never get done if all committee-men were equally 
talkative.

"I feel we ought to close the course on the day of the funeral," 
suggested Knight.

"If we do," objected Farmer, "are we not showing we do not regard it as 
an accident? Have we ever closed before in such circumstances?" 

"I have no record," said Speed, "but these circumstances are 
unprecedented."

"Don't we all know it was murder?"  demanded Wynnstay. "Why beat about 
the bush? Sladen says--"

"We cannot go into that," said the chairman firmly.

"In my view," said Rawson, "it is a matter to leave to the wishes of 
individual members. If they desire to play, how can we stop them? A good 
many did not know Crosbie. Some who did will not regard him as a great 
loss to the club, although his death in such a manner shocks every one. 
But let us be honest about it."

"Hear, hear," said Cromer.

"I have no strong opinion either way," remarked the chairman. "Crosbie 
held no official position and perhaps, therefore, no definite action is 
called for."

This, after a little further discussion, was agreed to. Then the chairman 
said:

"Now as to the captain's prize. Crosbie was one of the last four. Should 
the competition be abandoned or should it go on?"

On this question opinion was more evenly divided. "As the one who would 
most immediately benefit by Crosbie's withdrawal," said Knight, "I say 
abandon it."

"I do not agree," said Rawson doggedly. "If we are to regard it as 
murder, and he may have been murdered by a possible opponent, I would 
certainly wash out the whole thing. But since we are not to consider that 
aspect of the case, I hold that Knight gets a walk over, as he did in the 
first round when Dean twisted his ankle and had to scratch."

"Only wants one more casualty for Knight to win," commented Farmer. "A 
bad look out for somebody. But I have never heard of competitions being 
abandoned because of the disablement of a competitor."

"This is not an ordinary case," said Escott. "What does our chairman say? 
He gives the prize."

"For that reason," replied Cairn, "I would rather express no opinion. It 
is in your hands."

"Call it murder," said Rawson, "and abandon it. I will move that the 
murderer be expelled from the club If you don't, or won't, call it 
murder, I say carry on."

"How about Sladen and Hann?" asked the secretary. "They would play again 
and there would have to be an extension of time?"

"Give them another week," suggested Knight.

"Would they resume at the fifteenth where they broke off," inquired 
Farmer, "or begin afresh?"

"Start again at the first," said Rawson. "I believe they were all square, 
and it would be fairest anyway."

Once more his view prevailed. Then Wynnstay raised another matter.

"Is the committee proposing," he asked, "to take any step with regard to 
the quarrel in the cardroom on Saturday night?"

"Have we had any complaints about that?" asked the chairman.

"No, sir," said the secretary.

"Everybody is talking about it," declared Wynnstay.

"I think Farmer knows as much as anyone," observed Knight slyly, beaming 
at him through his glasses. Farmer had had a dig at him, so he got one in 
return.

Farmer glared back. He was a burly man with a heavy black moustache and 
had a forceful way with him. "We cannot well do anything without 
censuring the dead man," he said. "I suppose we do not wish to do that? 
He had had too much to drink and was quarrelsome. I refused to play with 
him and he became threatening. Then Broughley intervened and said he was 
behaving like a cad. Crosbie talked of taking proceedings for slander."

"Was it not Broughley," asked Wynnstay, "who was seen following him up 
the lane when he was killed?"

"I protest!" cried Escott. "That, Mr. Chairman, is a most improper 
observation. Broughley is one of the straightest men in the club. If this 
committee proposes to hold a court of inquiry I am sure Broughley will 
come out of it as creditably as anyone. If it does not, insinuations 
should be avoided."

"Hear, hear," said Cromer.

"I did not insinuate anything," said Wynnstay. "I only asked a question 
on a detail of fact."

"An improper question," said the chairman severely. "It does not arise."

"I agree with Escott," declared Rawson. "We are not holding a court of 
inquiry, but other authorities are--or will be. Therefore I say we should 
do nothing until their findings are published. The secretary was right to 
call this meeting, but we have expressed our regret and we can send a 
wreath. Leave it at that."

"Perhaps you have not heard what Reg Richards says," muttered Wynnstay. 
"How are we to help Matthews as he asked if we are gagged when we mention 
anything? I think anyway this committee ought to clear itself."

"What do you mean by that?" asked several voices.

Wynnstay looked round at his fellow members almost maliciously.

"Our quarrel with Crosbie is not forgotten. We all hated him and this 
talk of sympathy and regret is flapdoodle. Which of you is really sorry 
he was killed last night? Both Farmer and Knight were out there with him, 
and Cairn, although he lives miles away, was seen late in the evening 
crossing the links with what looked like a heavy weapon. I am not 
accusing anyone, but I am no hypocrite. Either we are to make a proper 
inquiry or our proceedings are a farce."

When he finished there was uproar. Every one started speaking at once. 
Explanations, angry protests and indignant denials tumbled over one 
another. It was some minutes before the chairman restored order.

“I regard Wynnstay's speech as most regrettable," he said, "and entirely 
out of place. It shows the danger of listening to ill-natured gossip, 
which is a thing we should do our utmost to discourage. As to my being on 
the links last night with a weapon, I had promised Speed to mark the 
position of a new bunker I had suggested to him, near the eleventh green, 
and had forgotten to do so. I remembered it after dinner and so drove 
over with a small bundle of sticks to peg it out. You will find the 
sticks there. It is near the road or I should not have gone. It is a long 
way, as you know, from the fifteenth. I will not insult other members by 
asking them to explain their movements. Information as to facts can be 
given to the proper quarter."

"Hear, hear," said Cromer.

"May I add one thing?" asked Escott. "Last night I saw Wynnstay in the 
lavatory washing blood from his hand. What about that?"

"What about that?" Other members repeated the words almost joyfully and 
glared at Wynnstay.

"Absurd," he said. "I cut my hand in opening a tobacco tin."

"The police may believe you," said Rawson mischievously, "but two men at 
least saw you hiding a bloodstained towel!"

"I didn't hide it. I only--"

"Order, order," said the chairman. "There is no further business. The 
meeting is ended."

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: BAG SNATCHING

LIFE at the windmill would have been rather difficult but for the 
presence of the daily help, Mrs. Wicks. When two girls have their minds 
filled with one theme and both shrink from discussing it, long spells of 
silence are inevitable, and the patches of forced conversation accentuate 
rather than lessen the strain. The chatter of Mrs. Wicks offered some 
relief, though the topic of her talk was not happily chosen.

"Mrs. Wicks is doing the floor to-day," said Hazel cheerily to her 
cousin. "Shall we play golf?"

"I don't want to go on the links," answered Sylvia.

"What about a good sharp walk, then? You must have some exercise."

"I shall be all right. I have some work to do." She showed little 
inclination to do it. She sat in the lounge apparently reading the 
morning paper.

"Let it wait," said Hazel. "Come for a run in the car." A comfortable 
two-seater was housed in a shed behind the mill.

"A little later perhaps," said Sylvia.

Then Mrs. Wicks got busy. She moved all the furniture from one corner of 
the lounge and started on the job of polishing the parquet.

"Just heard, miss," she said to Hazel, "that the inquest on that pore Mr. 
Crosbie is to take place to-morrow."

"Really?" The reply was not encouraging.

"Yes, miss, and they do say some startling revelations is to come out. I 
say it was a passing tramp what done it. There are such queer characters 
about nowadays. No one ain't safe. But Mrs. Evans told Mrs. Hopkins that 
Mary Partridge, who is a maid at the hotel, saw a member of the club 
lurkin' in the bushes, and she swears it must have been him."

"Did Mary Partridge recognise the member?" demanded Sylvia, looking up 
from her paper.

"No, miss. Not to say recognise. She only saw him back view."

"Then how can she tell it was a member at all?"

The question was put sharply and, Mrs. Wicks not being prepared with a 
reply, there was an interlude while some more furniture was shifted.

"Tell me when you want me to move," said Hazel pleasantly. She had a 
writing pad on her knee, but ideas were not flowing very freely. Lady 
Jane's troubles had somehow become less absorbing.

"Yes, miss. The coroner, Dr. Erie that is, he's a terrible stern man. I 
worked once for him and Mrs. Erie. Gimlick eyes he has. Sees right 
through you. Forces the truth to come."

"But people are there to tell the truth," suggested Hazel. "They are on 
oath."

"That's so, miss, but when he gets askin' questions you tell things you 
never knew you knew. I remember once one of his socks was lost in the 
wash and the way he worrited us to find out what could have happened to 
it was hardly believable. And not quite gentlemanlike. 'It's lost,' I 
said, but did that satisfy him? No. He wanted to know who saw it last, 
when and how it was parted from its fellow, and no end of other things. 
Quite a commotion and all about a darned sock."

Hazel was rather amused. The view of the home-life of a coroner and the 
inquest on the sock had its humorous side. But the subject did not seem 
to appeal to Sylvia.

"I will go up and fill in that sketch I was doing," she said.

She threw down the paper and ascended the spiral stairs that led to the 
bedrooms and to her own little studio. She had not been gone more than 
fifteen minutes when the postman came with the second delivery of 
letters. He had only one for the windmill. It was addressed in 
typewriting to Miss Wilton. Hazel at once went up with it.

Sylvia had her sketch in front of her, but she was not working at it. Her 
hands were on her lap and she was gazing out through the little window.

"A letter, dear," said Hazel, handing it to her. Sylvia did not 
immediately open it. Her cousin bent down and kissed her.

"I wish you would come out for a bit," she whispered. "Things are bound 
to be all right. It is no use worrying."

"Later, perhaps," said Sylvia, for the second time. She spoke in a 
listless sort of way.

"Sure there is nothing I can do for you, darling?"

"Nothing, thanks."

Hazel lingered. She wanted to help. She did not like leaving her cousin 
alone, even though she would rather be left. As Sylvia made no sign she 
moved slowly towards the door. But she was recalled.

"Look at this."

Sylvia had opened her letter and had read its strange contents at a 
glance. She handed it to the other girl.

It, like the address, was in typewriting, on a half sheet of cheap paper. 
It had neither date nor address. Nor was it signed.

'If Miss Wilton will come to the seat outside the hut near the seventh 
green at eight o'clock to-morrow, Wednesday evening, she will hear 
something she ought to know. She must come alone.'

"That is to-night," said Hazel. "You won't go?"

Sylvia did not immediately reply. Her beautiful face was almost paler 
than before.

"Why should I not go?" she said at last.

"Because it is so late. It will be getting dark. It is the loneliest part 
of the course."

"I must go. It might be--something important."

"Then I will go with you," declared Hazel. 

“It says come alone."

"Yes, but what difference can it make? I will wait a little way off, so 
that I cannot hear anything, but I'll be there in case."

"In case what?"

"In case I ought to be there," said Hazel firmly. 

"It says come alone," repeated Sylvia. "Suppose two of us were there--we 
could be seen quite a long way off--perhaps we should not be told 
anything."

"But what difference can it make?"  persisted the other girl.

"It may be the person, whoever it is, does not want to be recognised 
except by me."

"Do you think it is Bill?" asked Hazel suddenly. "Mr. Ross said he had 
gone away."

A little colour came to Sylvia's cheeks. "I don't know who it is. But I 
must go."

Neither argument nor persuasion could alter her determination. It was 
perhaps the vagueness of the summons that made it so imperative. Yet it 
was clear enough on one point. She was to come alone.

"Will you take any money?" asked Hazel, thinking that the news, whatever 
it might be, if from a stranger, might have to be paid for.

"Not much," said Sylvia. "I haven't much in hand."

The day slipped by and when evening came the younger girl renewed the 
plea that she should go as companion. She did not like to put the thought 
into words, but there was the fact that murder had just been done on 
those links, and for her cousin to cross them alone, towards dusk, to 
reach the most desolate part of the course, was a risky and very 
unpleasant thing. Sylvia seemed to have no fear, and her determination 
was unwavering.

"Let me take you in the car as far as I can," said Hazel at last.

"It is sweet of you, dear, but there is really nothing to be afraid of," 
said Sylvia. "You cannot get there with a car and the nearest way is by 
the footpath. I'll be back sooner than you expect."

"It will be dark for coming back, and that is dangerous over the rough 
ground."

"I'll put a torch in my bag."

So she set out. If she had any apprehensions as she climbed the stile and 
strode along the narrow way that led towards the hut, she kept them well 
under control. The course was deserted, for the holiday crowd had 
lessened and few people play in the April evenings.

She started in good time and arrived at the rendezvous a little before 
the hour mentioned. She could see the hut and the seat outside it from a 
considerable distance, and was not surprised that no one was yet there to 
meet her. She was purposely early, for she thought she would then get a 
good view of her unknown correspondent as he--or she--approached.

The seat, like that on the sixteenth tee, was merely a tree trunk 
supported on two stumps. It was two or three yards from the hut. She 
looked carefully all round her and then sat down to wait.

The waiting was not for long! Noiselessly the door of the hut was opened. 
Two stealthy steps reached her side. Some sort of rough cloth was flung 
over her head and two strong arms seized her round the body. She was 
dragged the short distance to the hut and thrown to the floor. Her bag 
was torn from her grasp and the door of the hut was closed.

It had only been a matter of moments, and it was a matter of moments, 
too, for her to tear off the evil-smelling cloth and get to her feet. Her 
sensation was of anger rather than fear. A trap to rob her, and she had 
fallen into it, thinking the message to be true.

The hut was dark, but she knew where the door was. She got to it and 
pulled and pushed. It did not yield. She beat on it with her hands, but 
that made only the feeblest of sounds. She tore off her gloves and hit it 
again, crying aloud as she did so. But the only result was to bruise her 
fingers.

She would not let terror gain the mastery. She ceased her futile efforts 
and considered what she could do. The thief would have run off, so there 
was nothing more to fear from him. And the hut did not seem quite so dark 
as she had thought. Over the door there was a narrow slit of very dirty 
glass and, as her eyes became accustomed to the gloom, it gave light 
enough for her to see that the place was bare and empty. It had at one 
time been used to keep lawn-mowers and the like--before motor mowers were 
adopted. Then it had been disused, except as a shelter. There was no lock 
to it now, only a hasp and hook outside, but that was as sure a fastening 
for anyone confined there as a padlock would have been.

What must she do? She blamed herself for disregarding Hazel's advice. 
There was just a chance that someone might pass that way, but it was 
unlikely. Unless Hazel, growing uneasy, came to see what had happened, 
she would almost certainly be kept there all the night. Hazel would be 
uneasy. There was no doubt of that. Hazel would come for her. She must 
not let herself get scared. Her cigarettes, her matches, her electric 
torch, all were in the stolen bag. If she had had them it would not be so 
bad. As it was she must wait as best she could.

Then, walking backwards and forwards in her narrow prison in the fast 
deepening gloom, she trod on something. She stooped and picked it up. It 
was a short thick stick about fifteen inches long. Seizing it in both 
hands, she beat vigorously on the door and cried aloud again. There was 
now more chance of her being heard. She waited a few minutes and then 
beat again. It might be useless, but it was better than doing nothing. 
She broke the glass slip. The space was too narrow to get through, even 
if she could climb up to it, but her cries would travel farther.

How long her attack on the door continued she could not tell. It seemed a 
great while to her, but at last she heard a cry.

"Coming, Sylvia! I'm coming!"

A moment later Hazel had raised the hook and had her arms round her.

"What happened, darling? I got so frightened when you didn't return. I 
had to come."

"The simplest dodge to rob me," said Sylvia bitterly. "My bag was taken."

"Only your bag?"

"Thank goodness, yes. But that's bad enough. What a fool I was!"

"Never mind, darling. You are unhurt. We'll get back and the police will 
recover it for you."

If we tell them," said Sylvia rather grimly, as by the light of Hazel's 
torch they made their way homeward.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: THE VEILED WOMAN

A SHORT, thick-set, bull-necked man was Dr. Erie, the coroner. His eyes 
were keen and without attributing to them all the "gimlick" properties 
Mrs. Wicks suggested, it is certain that very little escaped them. He had 
strong opinions of his own, and those opinions were not altogether of an 
orthodox character, as his opening remarks to his jury indicated. The 
court was crowded and there was a profound hush when he rapped on the 
table to open the proceedings. He was not unaware of the large company 
that listened to his words; witnesses, journalists, officials and those 
drawn only by curiosity; but he addressed himself solely and quietly to 
his jurors, as if they only had been present.

"The Coroners Act of 1887 ordains that where there is reasonable cause to 
suspect that a person has died a violent or unnatural death an inquiry 
shall be held to ascertain what precisely was the cause of that death. 
The evidence you are to hear will, I think, satisfy you that the deceased 
in this case did die a violent and unnatural death and that the injury 
causing that death could neither have been self-inflicted nor accidental. 
In that case, being satisfied with the evidence of identity, you may feel 
compelled to record by your verdict that Arthur Melrose Crosbie was 
wilfully murdered."

He paused for a moment, shuffled a few papers on his table and then went 
on again.

"The Act provides further that if any person is found guilty of murder 
the coroner, on receiving a verdict to that effect, shall commit such 
person to prison for trial. You will note, therefore, that if you find a 
person guilty, it does not follow that he is guilty, but only that he is 
charged, arrested and tried.

"This in my view is unsatisfactory. You may think that suspicion points 
this way or that, but you must remember, in an inquiry held so soon after 
a death, it is seldom possible to get all the facts. The witnesses in 
many cases are not cross-examined and the accused, not knowing they are 
accused, call no rebutting evidence and may not be represented by 
counsel."

He paused again, fixed a monocle in his left eye and resumed.

"In poison cases an inquiry as to the cause of death is often protracted 
because the possibility of suicide, or death from misadventure, requires 
the utmost consideration. If, as I suggest is likely in this case, such 
possibilities do not arise, then your duty is clear. You must say how the 
deceased died, but you need not say who killed him. The police have other 
methods than a coroner's warrant for making arrests and other methods too 
for obtaining evidence. I would never willingly be a party to a verdict 
that brands anyone a murderer without a fuller trial and investigation 
than is possible here."

His words created a little buzz of comment among the reporters and other 
old hands. They saw they were not to get as big a sensation as they had 
hoped. Probably, one of the newspaper men whispered to his neighbour, the 
police had put him up to it to cover the fact that they had failed as yet 
to get anything of a case.

Simon Ross was sitting at the back of the court and had a good view of 
all who were there. He looked round, hoping to see Bill Broughley. He did 
not really expect him, inexplicable as his absence was. There was no sign 
of him. Simon had not met Inspector Lee since his fruitless dash to town, 
but they had spoken on the telephone. He had been compelled to say that 
Bill had gone away before he knew he was wanted and had left a note that 
he would write soon. The inspector had not disguised his opinion as to 
the cause of flight, but that could not be helped. The promised note was 
still awaited.

It also was not surprising that neither Sylvia nor Hazel was in the 
court. He recognised many of the members of the golf club and, naturally, 
Inspector Lee and Sergeant Green were there. He was also interested to 
note with them a member of the C.I.D., Inspector O'Grady. Evidently 
Scotland Yard had been called in. That, on the whole, was satisfactory. 
It showed, whatever their suspicions of Bill, the local police were not 
fully satisfied with that solution of their problem and were prepared to 
look further afield.

There were not many women present, but Simon found that one of the few 
was seated next to himself. She was dressed in black and, although the 
room was warm, she kept a veil over her face. He could not judge 
precisely of her age or looks, but his impression was that she could not 
be old, possibly in her thirties. He wondered if she was related to the 
dead man, an idea that the first witness seemed to deny.

This was William Elkington. He identified the body as that of Arthur 
Crosbie whom he had known intimately for two years. They occupied flats 
in the same building in London and had done business together. They were 
both members of the Barrington Golf Club.

"Do you know anything of his relations?" asked the coroner.

"No, sir. He never mentioned any to me. He lived alone."

"When did you last see him alive?"

"On Sunday. We played together in the afternoon and had dinner together."

"And after that?"

"After dinner he told me he was going out for a stroll. That would have 
been between eight-thirty and nine."

"Did he tell you that he was to meet anyone? Or indicate why he was going 
out?"

"He did not."

"Did it seem peculiar to you for him to go out after dinner?"

"Not altogether. Not in the circumstances."

"What," said Dr. Erie slowly, "what exactly do you mean by in the 
circumstances?"

Elkington glanced at the jury and seemed for a moment to hesitate.

"He generally played cards. There had been some unpleasantness the 
previous evening in the cardroom, and I thought that was why he did not 
wish to go there."

"Were you present when this unpleasantness occurred?"

"No," said Elkington, "I was not."

"What did you do after he left you?"

"I sat in the smoking-room for a time. Then I went in my car to call on 
some friends. They were out, so I came back."

"You did not see Crosbie again?"

"I did not."

"Did you go to his room, or look for him?"

"I did not go to his room and I did not look for him. He was not about 
and I did not give the matter a thought."

"His failure to return would not lead you to suspect anything was amiss?"

"I was unaware that he had not returned. We had arranged to go together 
to town the next day. I imagined he had come in and gone to bed."

The next witness, Samuel Jenks, gave confirmatory evidence of identity, 
stating that Crosbie was a solicitor practising in Theobald Square and he 
was his managing clerk.

"Were there any matters of late that had been especially worrying him?" 
asked the coroner.

Jenks corrugated his forehead and shook his bald head. "Not more than 
usual, sir."

"He had received no threatening letters or been faced with anything that 
might in your mind account for what happened to him?"

"No, sir. It came as a complete surprise to me and a great shock."

Ross had the impression that the woman at his side listened very intently 
while Jenks was in the box and gave a soft sigh of relief when he left 
it. His curiosity was quickened and he determined to try to get a word 
with her when a suitable opportunity arose.

Sladen, the bearded author, then related how he had discovered the body 
and had summoned the police. Simon noticed he was not questioned as to 
his movements on the night of the crime. Toffy Blair, the caddie, told 
how he had kept watch until the police arrived and caused a smile by his 
repeated assertion that he hadn't let nobody touch nothing.

Then came Dr. Trenton.

His evidence was likely to be important. He was the police surgeon and 
stated that he had been called to see the body at about eleven-thirty on 
Monday morning. He found life extinct and thought death had occurred 
about twelve hours previously. On making an examination he found evidence 
that a hearty meal had been taken about two hours before death. If the 
deceased had finished dinner at eight-thirty he should say that the blow 
that killed him had probably been struck about an hour later, say at 
nine-thirty. It was not possible to be more precise.

"That may be a little confusing to the jury," remarked Erle. "Do you mean 
that the deceased probably lived for an hour after he was struck?"

"I do."

"What was the actual cause of death?"

"A compound comminuted fracture of the skull, with laceration of the 
brain."

"Will you tell the jury what a comminuted fracture is?"

Dr. Trenton turned to the jury. "Comminuted means reduced to minute 
fractions, broken into many pieces."

"An injury that could only be done," suggested the coroner, "with a heavy 
weapon used with great force?

"That is so."

"How was the injury in this instance produced?"

"By a blow struck on the side of the head above the right ear. The victim 
would be rendered unconscious and would die probably an hour later 
without recovering consciousness."

"Was there one blow or many?"

"Only one blow. The victim would immediately collapse. His attacker might 
suppose that death was instantaneous, though that would not, in fact, be 
the case."

"If the body had been found at once could life have been saved?"

"No. The blow killed him. It is only in a technical and medical sense 
that he lived an hour afterwards."

"What sort of weapon was in your opinion used to strike the blow?"

"A hammer. It is impossible to be absolutely certain, but a short heavy 
hammer seems the most likely thing."

The coroner then picked up an object lying on his table.

"This," he said, "is a golf club, called, I am told, a niblick. It will 
be identified presently as having been found by the side of the body. I 
think you examined this club, Dr. Trenton. Will you tell the jury if you 
think the fatal blow was struck with it?"

"I am sure it was not," was the reply. "That club has a sharp edge and 
would have made quite a different kind of wound. The blow was struck with 
something that had a flat surface about two inches in diameter."

"Assuming, doctor, that the weapon was as you describe and the injuries 
as you mention, could the blow have been struck by a woman?"

Trenton hesitated. "I should hardly think so," he said.

"Do you mean because it was not the sort of action we expect from a 
woman, or for any more precise reason?"

"Partly for that and also because of the great violence employed."

"I suppose," said Dr. Erie dryly, "if an inquest had been held on Sisera 
after he was discovered with a nail in his head, driven in with a hammer, 
the coroner might have been told it was not a characteristic act of a 
woman. Yet a woman did it! Having regard to the athletic development of 
the modern female, do you suggest the jury and the police can disregard 
the possibility of a woman as the assailant?"

"I could not go so far as that," said Trenton.

As he gave his answer, the woman by Simon's side made a little sound, a 
suppressed exclamation. Simon glanced at her, but her eyes were on the 
doctor. She seemed unconscious of him.

"Another point, Dr. Trenton," the coroner was saying. "You tell us the 
victim, when hit, would immediately collapse. Would there be much loss of 
blood?"

"There would."

"Did you find bloodstains?"

"The body was in a sand bunker and there were distinct bloodstains in the 
sand. I was taken later on to higher ground above this bunker, the 
sixteenth tee, I believe. There were more bloodstains on the grass."

"What conclusion would you draw from that?"

"That the blow was struck on the high ground and the body pushed over the 
edge afterwards."

"Thank you. That is all at present. Inspector Lee."

"May I ask the doctor a question?"

A juryman stood up as Trenton was leaving the box. The coroner nodded and 
the man said,

"Suppose a stone had been thrown, doctor, could not that have done the 
damage?

"No," said Trenton decidedly, "not unless it had been fired from a 
cannon."

"A stone," commented the coroner, "would have fallen beside the object 
struck and would have remained there. I understand there was no stone. If 
there had been it could not have rolled the body into the bunker."

The juryman, somewhat abashed, sat down. His colleagues smiled and the 
coroner repeated, "Inspector Lee."

Lee produced photographs of the body as it lay in the bunker when he 
first saw it and a plan of the adjoining ground. He said the money and 
the other valuables found in the pockets of the deceased put robbery as a 
motive out of question.

"Have you any theory as to how the crime was committed?"  asked Erle.

"I think there is little doubt," answered the inspector. "If the deceased 
was sitting on the seat on the sixteenth tee shown on the plan, looking 
towards the bunker, and was struck from behind, he would collapse and 
fall forward, leaving the bloodstains just where we found them. He was 
then pushed into the bunker, disturbing the sand as marked in the 
photograph."

"Do you agree with that, Dr. Trenton?" the coroner asked the surgeon, who 
was seated at the table.

"Entirely," was the reply.

"The blow being on the right side of the head would have been struck by a 
right-handed person?" The question was to Lee.

"I think that is so. A left-handed person would have had to make a 
back-handed blow, which is not so likely."

A few more questions were asked and Lee stood down. Dr. Erie had some 
words in whispered undertones with the man Simon knew was from Scotland 
Yard and then turned to his jury.

"That concludes all the evidence I am proposing to call."

“Surely they will not leave it like that!" The woman next to Simon 
muttered the words, almost fiercely, partly to herself, partly to him.

"He only wants sufficient evidence to decide as to the cause of death," 
Simon whispered back. "The rest is up to the police."

"But--"

An interruption, however, came from another quarter. A man stood up in 
the body of the court and asked if he might make a statement. It was 
Farmer, and a hush of expectancy followed. Dr. Erie did not look pleased, 
but he waved him to the box and had him sworn.

"An allusion has been made," Farmer said, "to an unpleasantness in the 
cardroom on Saturday evening last in which the deceased was concerned. As 
that unpleasantness was a quarrel with myself, I think it right to state 
the fact to clear away any possible thought that it had anything to do 
with his death."

"What was the cause of the unpleasantness?" asked the coroner.

"Mr. Crosbie was in a quarrelsome mood and I declined to play with him. 
That was all."

"Was anyone else concerned?"

"Some of those present supported me, but the affair had nothing to do 
with what happened after."

Simon had been a little surprised at his intervention. The police would 
have called him had they thought it necessary. But since he chose to 
speak it was very decent of him not to drag in Bill's name. The coroner 
evidently felt obliged to ask a few more questions.

"Did you see Mr. Crosbie the following evening?"

"I saw him at dinner, but we did not speak."

"What did you do after dinner?"

"I have friends who live in Farrer's Farm, at the end of the mill lane, 
some little distance from the club house. I walked over and spent the 
evening with them."

"You walked along the mill lane?"

"I did."

"At what time?"

"I went out before nine and started back about ten-thirty."

"Did you see Mr. Crosbie on either occasion?"

"I did not."

He left the box and the coroner briefly summed up. He said the police 
were following various lines of inquiry but in his view it would serve no 
useful purpose to arouse unjustifiable suspicions. Nor would it be fair 
to adjourn the case and require the attendance of the jurors again at 
some unknown future date. Therefore, as he had intimated at first, he 
wished them to confine their attention to the cause of death. The 
evidence they had heard placed that beyond reasonable doubt and, with 
certain general instructions, he asked them to consider their verdict.

The jurors whispered together. It was hardly necessary for them to leave 
the box. While they were conferring, Simon turned to his neighbour.

"You are interested in the case?" he ventured.

"Should I be here otherwise?"  was the reply.

"I hope Crosbie was no relation of yours? Just a friend?"

"I knew him pretty well."

She did not seem inclined to say more, but Simon persevered.

"I thought you were rather surprised--or annoyed--that the coroner did 
not ask more questions."

He had the impression she was regarding him with suspicion. "I suppose he 
knows his business," she said guardedly.

"Of course he does, but I believe the trouble is they don't know as much 
about Crosbie as they would like to."

Again there was a pause and again he felt that the eyes through the veil 
were regarding him keenly.

"Who are you, young man? One of the police?"

"Indeed, no!" said Simon with a smile. "I am a lawyer, a friend of some 
of these people. A member of the club. If you know anything of Crosbie it 
might be useful if you would tell it."

"I don't think," she began, and then she stopped. 

"He was murdered," Simon said gravely. "The jury will declare so 
presently. You would wish his murderer brought to justice?"

"Certainly I would!"

"Well, why not let me talk to you about it?"

"Sometimes least said soonest mended," murmured the woman.

"I feel sure the murderer would think so!" retorted Simon.

Then there was a cry for silence. The jurors had concluded their brief 
consultation and the foreman announced their unanimous and obvious 
verdict that Arthur Melrose Crosbie had been wilfully murdered by some 
person unknown. The coroner accepted their finding and a few moments 
later there was a general movement as the crowd began to disperse.

Simon turned to his neighbour. She was opening her little bag.

"You are a lawyer," she muttered. "I don't know you. I may not tell you 
anything. Perhaps there is nothing to tell. But if you are in London, 
this is my address. You may be able to tell me something."

She thrust a card into his hand and moved quickly away. Before he could 
look at it, another hand had seized his arm.

"Mr. Ross, can you spare us a minute? There is something we want to show 
you."

It was Inspector Lee who had hurried to his side with the request.

"Of course," said Simon.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: WHO IS SYLVIA?

"I EXPECT YOU have met Inspector O'Grady," said Lee to Simon as they 
entered a small room where the C.I.D. man was waiting for them.

"Often," and Simon extended his hand. "How are you, inspector?

"Fine, thanks. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Ross. We've had a few tussles in 
the past, but no ill-will on either side. You're early on the job this 
time. Who are you reckoning to defend?"

O'Grady was a big man hailing from the north of Ireland. He had a keen 
sense of humour, but could be absolutely ruthless when it suited his 
purpose. The contrast between the two inspectors was remarkable. Lee, 
with his beaked nose and his thin lips, might have been a member of a 
medieval inquisition. O'Grady, fat-faced and florid, looked more 
good-natured than he really was. Tenacity was his chief characteristic 
and it generally got him what he wanted.

"Who are you going to accuse?" laughed Simon, in reply to his question. 
"Sure to be some innocent devil with a perfect alibi." A successful alibi 
had been set up in the last case in which they had appeared in opposite 
camps.

"Not this time," chuckled O'Grady, "not with all the lawyers in Lincoln's 
Inn to work it. I don't think we have really far to go."

Then Inspector Lee spoke. Simon had the impression that while O'Grady was 
cheerful and well pleased with himself, the local man was not quite so 
happy. The explanation was soon forthcoming.

"You will remember that I told Sergeant Green to examine the contents of 
the pockets of the dead man?"

"You did," said Simon. "I imagine it is a routine job, always done."

"That is so. Green made a list of everything he found. The watch and the 
wallet were there. No golf balls. He assured me he had been most careful 
about it, and he had missed nothing."

"Quite true. Had he missed anything?"

"He had. The very clue that will probably make the whole thing clear. It 
is most annoying. One cannot do everything one's self. One must rely on 
one's assistants a little. And then they let you down."

Lee undoubtedly was upset and his chagrin evidently added to O'Grady's 
complacency. As Simon well knew, there is a certain degree of rivalry 
between country inspectors and their London colleagues. The local men 
often declare the fellows from the Yard give themselves airs. It would be 
galling for Lee to have to admit a mistake that the newcomer had 
detected. Simon guessed he had been called there, not so much for any 
assistance he could give, as to confirm the story of Lee's instructions 
to his subordinate and to justify him to some extent in the eyes of the 
C.I.D. man.

"What is the clue?" he asked. "Who found it?

"Inspector O'Grady found it," said Lee. "He wished to see the clothes 
that Crosbie had been wearing and he then felt in the pockets. In the 
watch pocket he found something that Green had missed. Green has a spot 
of bother coming his way!" 

"Don't take it too hard," said O'Grady magnanimously. He no doubt felt he 
could afford to be generous. "Not your fault anyway. If you find a watch 
in a watch pocket you don't expect much else, and a scrap of paper lies 
flat. Not that Green doesn't deserve what he'll get. Now, Mr. Ross, what 
do you make of this?"

He took from his pocket-book four torn bits of paper and spread them out 
and fitted them together until they made a complete sheet, or rather half 
sheet, of notepaper.

Simon stared at the words. "Will meet you on Sunday Evening. The 
Sixteenth Tee at 9.30. Sylvia."

What did it mean? In the background of his mind there had always been 
some misgiving, some dread, however much he sought to hide it from 
himself, that in some way Sylvia and Bill were involved in Crosbie's 
fate. His theory of the proposal of marriage and the refusal, although it 
met many aspects of the case, did not satisfy all of them. It did not 
explain Chase's account of what he had called the queerest game he ever 
played, or Sylvia's manner when asked about it. It did not quite explain 
Hazel's attitude to the whole affair.

"I only got down here last night," O'Grady was saying. "I had been busy 
in town. But I found that this morning. It made a lot of difference. Lee 
was bringing evidence about the men who had been seen near the place at 
the time it happened, but we decided to hold it up. The coroner was 
willing. He doesn't like murder verdicts anyway. Says he has seen too 
many proved wrong after wards. But the first thing we want to know is: 
Who is Sylvia?"

"I told him you know a good many people here," added Lee, "and could 
perhaps put us right."

Simon did a bit of quick thinking. He had never seen Sylvia's writing, 
but that the note came from her he did not doubt. Nor did he fail to 
realise the importance--the danger--of such a discovery. What part had it 
played in Bill's disappearance? His conviction that his friends were 
innocent did not waver, but he saw the seriousness of their position. He 
must help them in every way he could, yet to attempt to mislead these men 
would not really be a help. Sooner or later Lee and O'Grady would get the 
information they wanted. If he sought to balk them it would only make 
them distrust him. He would forfeit their confidence and so would lessen 
his chance of being of assistance should Sylvia and Bill and Hazel need 
his aid.

"Sylvia is not an uncommon name," he said slowly. "There is only one lady 
I know of in these parts who is so called, but there must be hundreds in 
London, where Crosbie lived."

"Who is your lady?" asked O'Grady.

"Miss Sylvia Wilton."

"Miss Wilton," cried Lee excitedly. "That settles it! She is one of the 
girls in the windmill. On the opposite side of the road. The tall dark 
one. A good looker too. Very convenient for her to meet him there. We 
know he was to meet someone and the appointment is for the very hour when 
he was done in! I questioned her and the other girl. You were with me, 
Mr. Ross. They both swore they had heard nothing and Crosbie was unknown 
to them. I guess they'll have a different story now. What liars women can 
be!"

"You're right there," said O'Grady. "If the devil is the father of lies 
who is the mother? The sooner we see this young lady the better."

"There's just one thing that puzzles me," said Simon. "I am not saying 
Miss Wilton is not the Sylvia you want. I don't know, as I have never 
seen her handwriting. But that bit of paper is torn in four pieces."

"What of that?" asked Lee.

"If a man gets an appointment to meet a young woman at a certain time and 
place he may rely on memory, or he may take the note with him. But why 
tear it up?"

"Changed his mind," suggested O'Grady.

"I suppose no one had access to the clothes after Green went through 
them?"

"No one but ourselves," said Lee. "We take good care of that. What about 
going along there now?" This was to his fellow inspector.

"I think so," said O'Grady, and then hummed the air 'Where is Sylvia?'

"I introduced you when you went before," said Simon. "I'd like to come 
again. If it proves a mistake I can take the blame."

"It is no mistake," declared Lee grimly. "I'll wager a lot on that. There 
is a good deal leading up to it that you don't know. And it all points 
one way. But perhaps as a friend you can tell 'em to talk!"

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: ADMISSIONS

MRS. WICKS had done her work for the day when the three men reached the 
windmill. Simon, feeling pretty unhappy about it all, led the way to the 
door and it was Hazel who opened it to him. If there was a smile in her 
eyes it froze when she saw his companions. Inspector Lee she recognised 
and she no doubt guessed that O'Grady was also from the police.

"What do you want?" she asked.

"I am sorry," said Simon, "but these inspectors have a few more questions 
they wish to put to Miss Wilton."

"Can't be done." Hazel's tone was very definite. "She is lying down with 
a headache. Perhaps I can tell you anything you want to know."

"I am Inspector O'Grady of Scotland Yard," said that individual, stepping 
forward. "My business is with Miss Sylvia Wilton. Will you please tell 
her?"

"She is not well enough to see you," replied Hazel, undaunted.

"You please give her my message. I'll send for a doctor if you like, but 
I am staying here until I see her."

His tone was very determined. The girl looked at Simon. Was he for them 
or for her? The question was unspoken, but he understood. It did not make 
things easier.

"She had better come down if she can," he said gently.

Hazel hesitated and then, without a word, she went in and crossed the 
lounge to the narrow stairway, leaving them standing at the door. It was 
some minutes before she reappeared. Sylvia was with her. The story as to 
her headache seemed true. Her face was void of colour. But neither beauty 
nor illness deters a man like O'Grady from doing his duty.

"Please come in and sit down," she said, with cold dignity. "I understand 
there is something you wish to ask me."

She took no particular notice of Simon and the three men followed her in. 
She and Hazel sat together on a settee and Simon and Lee found chairs. 
O'Grady remained standing. He felt it gave him a more dominant position.

"You are Miss Sylvia Wilton?" he asked.

"I am."

"Now, Miss Wilton, I want you to tell me the truth and no doubt 
everything can be satisfactorily cleared up. When Inspector Lee called 
here a few days ago respecting the death of Arthur Crosbie, you said you 
did not know him."

"That is so."

"Do you still say it?"

"If it was true then it would be true now, wouldn't it?" put in Hazel.

"Yes, miss," said O'Grady sharply. "And if it was a lie then it would be 
a lie now. And a very foolish one. I am asking Miss Wilton. I know the 
truth, but I want to give her--to give you both--the chance of 
recalling--shall we say?--a mistake."

O'Grady knew how to handle people and his quiet confidence was not 
without effect. The girls looked at one another. Hazel might still have 
been defiant but Sylvia realised that she must face facts.

"I did know him," she said in a low but distinct tone.

"And you wrote him to come here and meet you on the night he died?"

The dark eyes looked tragically at him. There was no reply.

"You wrote him to come here on the night he died," repeated the 
inspector, more firmly than before.

"What makes you say so?" The voice was little more than a whisper.

"I have your letter. Do not think I am bluffing. This is deadly serious 
and we must get to the bottom of it.'

As he spoke he produced the four scraps that made up her brief note. She 
stared at him in horror. It was hardly possible for her to look whiter 
than before, but an expression almost of despair was in her eyes. Hazel, 
who was close beside her, passed an arm round her waist and still 
regarded the questioner with defiance.

"He was not asked to come here," said the little cousin, fighting to the 
last.

"He was asked to come to that tee on the other side of the road," O'Grady 
went on sternly, disregarding Hazel and addressing Sylvia. "He was killed 
there and we have just been told at the inquest he was killed at about 
9.30--the exact time you asked him to come. What is your explanation?"

"He did not come."

"Do not trifle with me. He came and he died there. He was seen by other 
people."

"Not at that time. Or I should have gone to speak to him."

"You did not speak to him?"

"I did not. He was not there."

"He was there, I say. Are you telling me you did not cross the road to 
keep your own appointment?"

He thundered the question and Sylvia made an effort to meet his accusing 
eyes unflinchingly.

"He did not keep the appointment," she said firmly. "From this door I can 
see across the road. I looked out and he was not there. I waited a 
considerable time but he did not come."

"Where did you wait?"

"At this door."

Now it was O'Grady who paused. He glanced at Inspector Lee. Could this be 
true?

"Are you prepared to swear that at nine-thirty you stood at your door and 
Crosbie was not on that tee?

"That is so. I swear it."

"Was anyone else there?"

"On the tee? No one at all. You can see for yourself that it is 
impossible for anyone to be there and not be seen."

"You did not cross the road?"

"I did not. It was unnecessary. He was not there."

"How long did you wait, watching?"

"I cannot say. Five minutes, perhaps more. I looked again twice, a little 
later. Still there was no one there."

Once more O'Grady paused. He knew the time factor was inexact where 
minutes were concerned. If someone else had struck the blow a little 
before 9.30 this story might be true. Then Hazel gave him another point 
to think about.

"What Sylvia tells you is right," she said, "except for one thing. She 
meant to go there at nine-thirty but I hated her meeting the man and I 
determined he should wait a little while for her. So I put this clock 
back six minutes without telling her. It was really six minutes past the 
half-hour when we opened the door and looked out."

She pointed to the grandfather clock that was ticking serenely in a 
corner of the room. There was a dramatic silence as Simon took out his 
watch and compared its time with that of its big brother. Lee glanced at 
his wrist and O'Grady drew a time piece from his trousers pocket.

"I forgot to alter it afterwards," said Hazel.

That, anyway, was true. Each man saw for himself that the right time was 
six minutes in advance of that shown by the grandfather. What strange 
things might have happened during those six minutes on the fatal night?

"All that may be true," said O'Grady. "We will assume for the moment it 
is. We now come to the real question. Why was Crosbie to meet you, Miss 
Wilton, at that time and in that place?"

Sylvia was silent. She seemed unable or unwilling to reply. But Hazel was 
again ready in her defence.

"Since we did not see Mr. Crosbie," said she, "what can it matter?

O'Grady turned to her almost fiercely. "I am not asking you, young lady. 
This is a case of murder, not a parlour game! Now, Miss Wilton, remember 
our inquiry has not yet begun. Before we are through we shall have 
investigated every detail of Crosbie's life. If you can help us, it is 
your duty to do so. If you refuse, you may do yourself more harm than you 
imagine. Knowingly or unknowingly, you brought that man to his death. Why 
did you do it?"

For some moments no one uttered a word. Sylvia sat motionless, her eyes 
fixed unseeing on the closed window. What was passing in her mind none 
could tell. Simon felt miserable. He longed to help, but he knew O'Grady 
was doing his duty. Hazel looked mutinous, but even she could find 
nothing to say.

Then, without moving her head, and still with that far-away look in her 
eyes, Sylvia spoke.

"Arthur Crosbie was my husband."

The detectives glanced quickly at one another, the same thought in each 
mind. A motive at last! Simon was amazed. They all waited to hear more.

"Three years ago he divorced me. We drifted out of each other's lives and 
a few months back I came to live here. One day in a golf match I was 
drawn to play against him. It was a shock to us both, as we neither knew 
the other belonged to the club. Then he wished to see me. I made that 
appointment, but--so far as I know--he never kept it."

"I see," said O'Grady icily. "To meet like that must indeed have been a 
surprise to you both. But there are a few points I would like to be clear 
about. He divorced you--not you him?"

"He divorced me," replied Sylvia, in the same emotionless tone, "but he 
never went through with it."

"Oh--what exactly do you mean, please?"

"He got his decree, but he never had it made absolute."

"Three years ago?" asked Simon, speaking for the first time.

"Yes."

"But why did not you take the necessary steps?" inquired Inspector Lee, 
who had previously left the questions to his colleague from town.

Sylvia did not answer and Simon said quietly, "Perhaps if I understand 
the matter aright, I can explain. The party who brings the action 
obtains, if successful, a decree nisi. That party can at the end of six 
months apply for the decree to be made absolute. But should no 
application be made the matter remains as it is. The parties, in a sense, 
are neither married nor divorced. The petitioner cannot be compelled to 
make the application and the respondent has no power to do so. The law 
grants no rights to the one it has regarded as the wrongdoer. It is a 
malevolent thing to start the action and not go through with it. And it 
is very rare, for the petitioner usually desires to be free to marry 
again. But unless he takes the necessary steps neither party can 
re-marry."

"Luckily divorce is not in my line," said Lee. "Doesn't sound right 
somehow. Wouldn't the woman get a monetary allowance? A man wouldn't go 
on paying longer than he need."

"That," said Simon, "would depend on circumstances. If the woman in such 
a case had no private means she could apply for an allowance until the 
decree absolute was granted. An incentive to the husband to apply for it, 
as then his liability would end. The customary allowance is one-fifth of 
the joint income of husband and wife. If her private income is equal to 
that amount she would get no allowance. Probably she would not apply for 
it."

Both the other men seemed to be thinking this over. The case was assuming 
a new aspect. Hazel regarded Simon in a more friendly way than before. 
Sylvia made no sign.

"Did you," inquired O'Grady, turning again to her, "never ask your 
husband to complete the business?"

"No," said Sylvia.

"Why not?"

"I will tell you." She faced him deliberately and there was more 
animation in her voice. "You may not believe me, but you will no doubt 
look up the case and at least you shall hear the truth about a good man. 
Arthur Crosbie was as bad as a husband could be. I do not say he was 
unfaithful, but he was jealous, suspicious, vindictive, quarrelsome, and 
cruel in everything except personal violence. I had a friend, Edward 
Irman. My husband was jealous of him. He had no cause to be, except that 
Edward Irman was all that he was not. A gentleman in the truest sense. My 
husband brought his action against myself and Edward Irman. There was no 
justification for it, but when it was started Mr. Irman told me, for the 
first time, that he loved me. He persuaded me not to defend it. He wanted 
to marry me as soon as he could. I agreed. I did not love him, but I 
respected him, and we might have been happy together. Anything would have 
been better than a degraded existence as Arthur Crosbie's wife. I could 
not fight to retain what I abhorred. But three months after the case was 
heard Edward Irman was killed in a motor accident. Mr. Crosbie took no 
further action. My lawyers advised me, as Mr. Ross has told you, that I 
could do nothing. I did not desire to do anything. I thought I was done 
with all such things. I had money of my own."

Again there was silence as, for a moment, they thought over the tragedy 
of these tangled lives. But O'Grady persisted with his particular point.

"Then you met Mr. Crosbie at golf in the way you describe. What happened 
next?"

"He called here. And I ordered him out."

"Did he give any explanation for calling?"

"He hinted that he might release me if I made it worth his while."

"You mean that? He asked for payment to complete the divorce?"

"He was not so open as that," said Sylvia scornfully, "but it seemed to 
be the idea. I told him to go."

"Then what happened?"

"He wrote to me and said, as I might have misunderstood him, he would 
like to meet me, when perhaps we could arrange something for our mutual 
happiness."

"Have you his letter?"

"I have."

"May I see it?" 

It was Hazel who went to the bureau in the corner of the room and brought 
the note. She gave it to Sylvia who handed it to O'Grady. It was 
addressed from Theobald Square.

'Dear Sylvia,

'To meet as suddenly and as unexpectedly as we did on Saturday last was 
something of a shock to us both. Your attitude when I called on you 
afterwards was, in the circumstances, not unnatural. But, on thinking it 
over, was it really for the best? We are older than we were three years 
ago and perhaps wiser. Is it not now possible to consider matters without 
passion and from a practical point of view? If we met and talked things 
over it could do no harm and it would be my earnest wish to effect a 
happy settlement of outstanding questions.

'I shall be at the Dormy House again next week-end and could call on you, 
but if you do not wish that and you desire our relationship to remain 
unknown, I would meet you anywhere and at any time.

'You would resent any reference to affection so I will only subscribe 
myself without bitterness

'Arthur M. Crosbie.'

O'Grady read the note in silence and handed it to Lee. Undoubtedly it had 
been penned with care. Was it intended as a prelude to a demand for money 
or had the husband meditated a reconciliation? Certainly he had not 
foreseen it would lead him to his death.

"In reply you sent the note I have already got--making the appointment 
for Sunday evening at nine-thirty?"

"I did."

In the silence that followed it is possible that each of the men was 
considering the damaging effect of these admissions. If Crosbie still 
refused to complete the divorce what a strong motive there might be for 
his removal. And the previous denials and evasions of the wife, who was 
no wife, made the probability of such a thing look stronger.

"I think," said Inspector Lee to O'Grady, "that I can help here." He 
turned to Sylvia, his hook nose bending closer to her.

"Did you tell anyone else of this proposed meeting with Mr. Crosbie?"

"No," said Sylvia after a moment's hesitation.

"Are you sure?"

"She said no!" flashed Hazel.

"Very well. Did anyone else know that Crosbie was your husband and had 
refused to complete the divorce?"

For the first time Sylvia's face showed a little colour. "These cases are 
public," she said. "How can I tell if anyone knew?"

"Did you tell anyone?" persisted Lee.

Again there was a perceptible hesitation. Simon felt she was not speaking 
the truth and he almost dreaded the next question. Why would not these 
girls, whatever their motives, see that it was useless to fight against 
the inevitable?

"I think you know William Broughley?" suggested Lee.

"I do."

"He has of late been paying you marked attentions?"

"By what right do you say so?" demanded Sylvia. 

"It is common knowledge. We make our inquiries and it would be wiser for 
you to be frank with us. He called on you every day last week. He played 
golf with you. You went out with him in his car and that car frequently 
stood at your gate. You cannot deny it."

"Why should I deny it?" she returned.

"Do you still deny--would you on your oath deny--that you told Broughley 
that Crosbie was your husband, that he had refused to complete your 
divorce, and that you were to meet him last Sunday at nine-thirty?"

Sylvia did not reply.

You must tell us that, Miss Wilton," said O'Grady sternly. "Could you on 
oath deny those things?"

"Don't tell them, darling," cried Hazel, again putting a protecting arm 
round her. "It is disgraceful for three men to come to bully a girl. We 
know nothing of Mr. Crosbie's death. Sylvia was here with me all that 
evening. I will swear it on my oath in any court you like! We know 
nothing more and we will say nothing more."

"You are not quite fair," said Simon unhappily. He did not like being 
included as one of the three bullies. "Crosbie may have been utterly bad. 
Probably he was. But he was murdered and these men have their duty to do. 
As to Bill, he is my friend as well as yours and I shall fight for him. 
You may be sure of that. But I do not think it will really help him to 
conceal the truth. Let us face the thing squarely and know what we are up 
against."

His words had an effect on both the girls. Hazel said nothing, but Sylvia 
faced Lee bravely.

"You can take it that Mr. Broughley knew everything," she said firmly. "I 
did not tell him, but I gave him certain papers to read. What I did tell 
him was to keep away until after I had seen Mr. Crosbie and I would 
write. I did not write because Mr. Crosbie did not come. And the next 
morning Mr. Broughley informed us he had been found dead."

"We may believe your part of the story," said Lee, well pleased with his 
success, "but Broughley did not keep away. He was seen by three different 
people in the lane at about nine-thirty that night and now he has 
disappeared. Do you know where he has gone?" There was another forward 
jerk of the hawk-like face.

The girl's eyes had dilated with fear or horror when it was asserted 
where Broughley had been at the time of the tragedy and for a moment she 
could not reply.

"I do not," she said at last.

"Is that true?" snapped Lee, "or are you still keeping something back."

"It is true," she said, and this time they all believed her.

"We shall find him!" declared the inspector. "Nothing else, is there?" he 
added to O'Grady.

"Only this," said the London man. "You have been calling yourself Miss 
Wilton. I suppose that was resuming your maiden name?"

"No," answered Sylvia. "My name was Melton. It was misprinted Wilton in 
an art show catalogue and I adopted it for my work--and since."

"I see. If we want you again we will let you know. Meanwhile don't you 
try to run away!"

With that the two detectives departed, but Simon remained.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: ALLIES

SIMON closed the door behind the other two men and turned to face the 
girls.

"I want you to understand…" he began, but he said no more. Sylvia had 
collapsed to the floor in a faint. Hazel bent over her and he hurried 
across to help to raise the unconscious form to the settee. Hazel ran for 
water and eau de cologne, and bathed her forehead.

"Get some brandy," said Simon.

He could see that the effort that had carried her through the ordeal of 
the detectives' questioning was spent. Some of the stimulant was forced 
between her closed lips and it had its effect. Sylvia opened her eyes and 
in a minute or two was able to sit up.

"How foolish of me," she muttered. "I think--I think I will go to my 
room."

"Can you, darling?" asked Hazel.

The older girl rose unsteadily to her feet and made her way to the 
staircase. Hazel helped, and slowly they ascended the narrow stairs and 
disappeared. Simon sat down. He must see Hazel and get things straight 
with her before he went.

The minutes passed, but he did not move. He took a pipe from his pocket 
and lit it.

"Why did you not go with your friends?"

He had not heard Hazel return and her abrupt question almost startled 
him. Her tone was hostile.

"They are not my friends," he said slowly, "and they are not your 
enemies. Please remember that. They are two men with a difficult job to 
do. Is Sylvia better?"

"Never mind Sylvia! Why did you bring them here? Why did you tell them 
she was the writer of that note?

"I did not tell them she was the writer of that note. I told them her 
name was Sylvia. They would soon have discovered it for themselves. It is 
surprising they did not know it already, seeing how they had been 
inquiring about Bill Broughley and his calls here last week."

"If you are his friend and ours what have you done to help us?"

"Not much, I am afraid," he admitted, "but I may have been more use than 
you think. They might have been less gentle had I not been here."

"Gentle!" she flashed ironically.

"Now, look here, Hazel," he said firmly, his eyes meeting hers with a 
glance as direct as her own, "we must have this out. You have called me a 
bully and other unpleasant things. Bill is my pal and, despite what you 
may think, I want to help him and Sylvia. They are likely to be in a 
pretty awkward mess. Are we to work together, or do you wish me to go?"

For some moments their gaze held. There was no yielding in his and at 
last she looked down.

"I am sorry, Mr. Ross. I should not have said what I did. We want your 
help."

Her tone was softer, humbler, and he was exultant. But he knew better 
than to show it.

"You called me a bully. Say 'I am sorry, Simon.'"

She raised her eyes with something of her old spirit. "You are a bully. I 
am sorry, Simon!"

Then he had to laugh. "That is better. Now suppose you tell me just what 
happened during that week while I was away. I don't believe Bill had 
anything to do with Crosbie's death. You don't believe it either. But it 
looks bad for him. What are the facts?" 

"I think you pretty well know, or after what those men said, you can 
guess. Last week Bill asked Sylvia to marry him. She loves him, so she 
had to tell him everything about Arthur Crosbie. He declared Crosbie was 
an utter cad to treat her in such a way, leaving her in an impossible 
position, neither one thing nor the other."

So his theory as to a proposal of marriage had not been wrong after all. 
He could not have guessed the complications it would unfold.

"He called Crosbie an utter cad," he observed. "That explains one thing. 
Crosbie had a bit of a tiff with another man in the cardroom and Bill 
barged in and told him just what he thought of him. It seemed odd at the 
time, but evidently he was pretty near bursting point."

"Like Bill. He's almost too honest and out spoken. When Sylvia told him 
she was to see Crosbie, Bill wanted to tackle him instead. But Sylvia 
said that would never do. You see, she has never wanted to marry anyone 
before. She supposed she never would want to, and so Crosbie's 
beastliness did not worry her. Then, when she did want to, if Bill showed 
up, or Crosbie got to know about him, he would have been more difficult 
than ever, just out of spite. So she told Bill to keep away and she would 
let him know what happened. After that, it was all just as we told those 
detectives. I made her six minutes late. We stood at the door together 
and there was no one on that tee. We waited five minutes and then came 
in. We looked out again a little later. There was still no one there. 
That is all we know."

"I suppose," said Simon gravely, "someone else was more punctual than 
Sylvia, a little before the half-hour perhaps, and when you looked out 
the thing had already been done and the body pushed into the bunker. It 
would not take long!"

"It is horrible," shuddered the girl. "We only thought it was another act 
of rudeness and he had decided not to come."

"But the thing is," said Simon, "why has Bill disappeared? Where has he 
gone? How can we get him back? What happened when he came here last 
Monday?

"He had just heard of the murder. He came to tell us about it. He was 
rather queer in his manner and only stayed a few minutes. We haven't 
heard from him since. You can imagine what a state Sylvia has been in."

"Did Sylvia believe he had done it?" asked Simon bluntly.

Hazel hesitated. "She did not know what to believe. She would not let 
herself think such a thing possible. Yet Bill can be impetuous when he is 
roused and he was the only person besides ourselves who knew Crosbie was 
to be there. She has hardly slept since it happened."

"And suppose," said Simon slowly, "suppose Bill thinks she did it?"

"He couldn't," whispered the girl. "He wouldn't. Do you think he does?"

"If he did not do it himself, and if the man was killed at the time and 
place where he was secretly meeting her, the thought would be almost 
inevitable. Just as it was with Sylvia. He would refuse to believe it, 
and yet it would be there. It's a devil of a business and still I cannot 
quite understand his running away, unless he wanted to divert suspicion 
to himself. He may blunder, but he is no coward."

"We must get him back," said Hazel, "whatever it means. Why is Sylvia so 
unlucky? She's as sweet and good as she is lovely, and all the time 
things go wrong for her. That hateful marriage, and the abominable way he 
treated her. Then Edward Irman dying. And when she was getting happy 
again, she met Crosbie and all this has happened. Only two days ago she 
was decoyed out at night and robbed."

"What was that?"  asked Simon.

Hazel told him of the episode of the lonely rendezvous and the snatched 
handbag. "She thought that she was to meet Bill or someone from him. She 
did not say so, but I knew it and that was why I let her go."

"A queer business," said Simon thoughtfully. "Bag snatching is common 
enough in town but it is the first time I've heard of anyone called out 
for a bogus appointment on the chance of robbery in the country. Was she 
asked to take money with her?"

"No. But she did take some, in case it would be wanted."

"That, of course, was in the bag. How much? Was there anything else?"

"There was five pounds in cash, her cigarette case, a torch and just the 
usual personal things."

"What did the police say when you reported it?"

"We did not report it," said Hazel. "Just at present we wanted to have as 
little to do with the police as possible. Sylvia thought it better to 
lose her things than to have them asking lots of questions. And the 
things were gone anyway."

Simon nodded. "I quite understand, though it's rather a pity. I suppose 
you haven't got the letter?"

"She has, but I don't want to disturb her. It was typewritten and it said 
if she went there alone she would hear something she ought to know."

"Suppose," said Simon, "that you, living a perfectly ordinary life, had 
received such a summons, would you have gone?"

Hazel considered the point for a moment. "No," she said, "I don't think 
so. Not alone."

"I doubt if any girl would. But Sylvia did and the writer evidently 
expected her to. Therefore the writer knew something of her private 
affairs."

"And so guessed she might bring something worth stealing?"

"That is where the puzzle comes in," said Simon. "But let us go back to 
the real problem. If Bill had nothing to do with the killing of Crosbie, 
who had? I suppose Sylvia made no inquiries as to his mode of life since 
the divorce?

"Certainly not. She just tried to forget him. She never thought of 
marrying again till Bill blew along. Then--you know how things happen."

"I do." For a moment he was tempted to digress and give the remark a 
personal application. But he decided not to. "At the inquest I sat next 
to a lady who seemed very interested. She wore black and she gave me this 
card. Ever heard of her?"

'MRS. CONSTANCE WARWICK, 247 ROYAL MANSIONS, BATTERSEA PARK.'

Hazel read the inscription and shook her head. "What was she like?"

"She was veiled and, as I was sitting next to her, I could not stare. She 
had rather a pleasing ear. But the scent she used was more powerful than 
I like. A shade on the buxom side and probably somewhere in the 
thirties."

"Why did she give you her card?"

"I asked if she could tell anything that would throw light on Crosbie's 
life and death. She implied that she could if she would, but she might 
decide not to. If I called she would see how she felt about it."

"You could take those nice friends of yours with you, the inspectors," 
suggested Hazel, mischievously.

"I should go alone first," he said.

"I suppose she said come up and see me some time? She may be just 
wonderful when she lifts the veil."

"Now, my dear," said Simon, "you are getting frivolous. I have a hunch 
that this Mrs. Warwick is going to mean something."

"That sort of woman generally does," declared Hazel. "Tell me this. 
Things being as they were between Crosbie and Sylvia, what would happen 
if Crosbie had wanted to marry again, or if, without marrying, he had 
carried on with this woman?"

"Should a nice little girl talk of such things?" he teased.

"Who is being frivolous now?" she retorted. "When I was a nice little 
girl--years and years ago--I found it was generally when people did not 
know the answer to a question that they pretended it was improper."

"Well," he laughed, "no one can quite know the answer to your question, 
as it leaves too much to the imagination. Crosbie could get his decree 
made absolute at any time and then could re-marry. On one point Sylvia 
was not quite right. She says her lawyers advised her she could do 
nothing. That was true at the time, but if years go by and still the 
husband takes no step, she might apply for the case to be dismissed."

"Then she would really be his wife again? How truly horrible. Anything 
rather than that! What about Mrs. Warwick?"

"We know nothing," said Simon, "but if Crosbie had been living with 
another woman and the King's Proctor heard of it, the whole proceedings 
might be quashed. If Sylvia knew of it, she could ask the courts to annul 
the findings against herself and let her start afresh against her 
husband. Whether they would or not would depend on circumstances."

"I wonder if Mrs. Warwick will tell you the truth," said Hazel. "Anyway, 
if you mean to see her, why not do it at once? Will you let us know if it 
really helps?

"Then we are friends again," said Simon, holding out his hand. "At arm's 
length, I suppose?"

"That is certainly best," she said, putting her hand in his and standing 
well away.

He held it. "Would you believe me, Hazel, if I told you I had never 
kissed a girl before?"

"I would not."

"And you would be right. But, honestly, my dear, I am not given to that 
sort of thing. Somehow you seem different to other girls."

That arm's length grew shorter--and shorter--"You must go," said Hazel, 
freeing herself. "I must see to Sylvia."

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: BILL'S RETURN

"A LETTER for you, sir," said Porter Haines to Simon when he got back to 
the Dormy House, "and those detectives are in the sitting-room. They said 
they would like a word with you when you came in."

"Right," said Simon.

 The sitting-room was a small apartment available for those who from time 
to time wanted, and were willing to pay for, privacy. Now it served Lee 
and O'Grady for their consultations and interviews. Before going to them 
Simon opened his letter. It was addressed from the Crown & Mitre Hotel, 
Huntingdon.

'Dear Simon,

'I am here for a few days. I hope S. is well. If there is any news of her 
please let me know.

'W. B. Orford.'

From Bill! W. B. stood for William Broughley and the Orford was the name 
of the boat on which they had first met! Poor dear blundering Bill! What 
on earth had made him dash away to Huntingdon of all places, and put up 
there in an assumed name? Of course he wanted news of Sylvia. He should 
have it, but not by letter. Simon determined to go to him that night.

"Ah, Mr. Ross, we are much obliged for what you have done for us. That, 
and what I learned about Broughley, makes it all pretty clear."

This was Inspector Lee's greeting as Simon entered the sitting-room. 
O'Grady took up the story. He did not grudge Lee his final success in the 
windmill interview, but it was just as well that his own share should be 
remembered.

"Yes," he said, "when I found the Sylvia letter the others had missed, I 
thought we were near the end of the trail. It was lucky you could lead us 
immediately to the right party. Of course I should soon have dug out that 
divorce business, though it might have taken time to identify Miss Wilton 
as that is not her real name. There you certainly helped."

Their praise, perhaps, did not gratify Simon as much as it should have 
done.

"So you think it is all over, bar the shouting," he said. "How exactly do 
you figure it out?

"We've got to find Broughley," answered Lee, "and that's all there is to 
it. Very simple really. Crosbie refused to divorce his wife--or anyway to 
make her free to marry again. She and Broughley wanted to marry. Crosbie 
is given an appointment at a lonely place after dark and Broughley goes 
there and kills him. We have her note that fixed the place and he was 
seen there at the time. Then his nerve fails and he runs away. That, and 
the behaviour of the woman, lies at first and unwilling admissions later, 
leave no room for doubt."

"Do you regard Miss Wilton as an accessory, or do you believe Broughley 
did it without her knowledge?"

"I shall report to the Chief Constable," said Lee. "My advice will be to 
charge them both."

"Is that your view too?" Simon inquired of the London man.

"Yes, I think so. That little spit-fire friend will swear Sylvia Wilton 
never left the house, but she wouldn't need to if the man was busy!"

"Well," said Simon, "I am not denying it is a strong case, but don't give 
up your other lines of inquiry too quickly. If Miss Wilton thought 
Broughley had done it, and Broughley thought she had, they might both be 
innocent and yet both act in a queer manner."

"Queer manner it is!" grinned O'Grady. "Where else can we find an equally 
strong motive and the same opportunity? Who else knew Crosbie was to be 
there at that time? It was no matter of chance. People do not stroll 
round the country on a Sunday evening carrying hammers in their hand! '

"You haven't yet traced the hammer--if it was a hammer?" asked Simon.

"No," replied Lee. "The head greenkeeper of the golf course says a hammer 
is missing from his tool house. That's a sort of shed behind the 
professional's shop and is generally open. Broughley was seen in it last 
week."

"I've been in it myself," said Simon. "Used a hammer too! Wanted to knock 
in a nail in my shoe."

"You didn't take the hammer away with you?" asked O'Grady.

"I did not. What is the missing one like?"

"Much as the doctor described," said Lee. "Short, heavy; the sort that 
men on the roads use to break stones."

"Pretty effective when used on the head!" remarked O'Grady.

"But accessible to all the members of the club, to the visitors, the 
groundsmen and possibly to casual strangers," commented Simon. "What 
about the London end? I suppose that is your particular part?"

"It is," said O'Grady. "If things were not so clear here I might expect 
to find something there. Crosbie's affairs, by the look of it, are in 
rather a mess, though it's early to say. We are only just getting down to 
it. There was an attempted burglary, too, in his London flat the night 
after the crime. Nothing taken."

"You didn't have a man on the premises?"

"No. We locked the place up and held the keys. Someone got in at the back 
from the fire escape staircase. There is not much portable stuff and 
nothing is missing."

"Might have been someone concerned in the crime, trying to destroy 
clues?"

"That's guessing," shrugged the detective. "Flat burglaries are common 
enough. So far we cannot find a will. You might say that was taken, but 
we had looked first, and the desk was not disturbed. Still locked and 
sealed as we left it. Wills are important where a valuable estate is 
concerned. Always a possible motive."

"Is the estate valuable?" asked Simon.

"So far there is precious little sign of it. Small bank balance and not 
much else. Apparently there is no will. Jenks at the office knows nothing 
of one. Never witnessed it."

"Lawyers often put off for themselves things they advise other people 
must not be delayed," observed Simon.

"That, as a matter of fact, was the thing we wanted to ask you about, Mr. 
Ross," said Lee. "The will, I mean. O'Grady and I had a little discussion 
on the subject and we thought you could tell us. If there is an estate, 
and no will, would the wife who is in Miss Wilton's position--that is 
Mrs. Crosbie's position--benefit?"

"What is the idea?" asked Simon. "Trying to ginger up the motive?”

"Well, it might be a pointer. I say she would inherit as next of kin. 
O'Grady says the decree nisi washes that out."

"I am afraid," said the young barrister, "O'Grady--no doubt for the first 
time in his life--is wrong. The decree nisi does limit a wife's rights 
but she remains, in law, a wife until the decree is made absolute. If 
therefore the husband dies in the meantime, she inherits a share of his 
estate, provided there is no will. Should there be no other relations she 
inherits everything."

"Seems all wrong to me," said O'Grady. 

"The remedy is in the man's hands," Simon explained. "He can make a will 
at any time. He can disinherit his wife without waiting for a divorce. 
Many people think that wrong and want the law altered."

"But what a motive!" cried Lee, pleased to find he was correct. "Kill 
Crosbie and so not only be able to marry a new husband but get the estate 
of the old one!"

"Aren't you going ahead a bit too fast?" suggested Simon. "No one is 
permitted to benefit from their own crime. You will say they rely on not 
being found out. But you will not find it easy to explain how a wife, who 
has not seen her husband for three years, can know that he made no will."

"That anyway doesn't matter," said O'Grady briskly. "Sylvia Wilton has 
money of her own. She told us so herself. And it is not so sure Crosbie 
has any. It is Broughley we want. We have traced him from here to his 
London club. Travelling in a blue Sunbeam saloon. The car number has been 
circulated and the police everywhere are on the look out. Won't be long 
before we have him."

"I don't think it will," chuckled Lee. "We shall watch Mrs. Crosbie and 
if the one doesn't lead us to the other, I'm no judge of human nature."

Simon knew it might be regarded as his duty to show “W. B. O's” letter to 
these men, but he had no thought of doing so. Bill was safe at Huntingdon 
at the moment and probably would remain safe so long as his car stood in 
the garage. If he ventured out in it he would not get far. But it was 
better for him to come back of his own accord, and that must be insisted 
on. Another matter was of more immediate interest.

"You say," he remarked to O'Grady, "that Crosbie's affairs seem in rather 
a mess. Is it allowed to ask what you mean?"

"Too early to say yet," shrugged the C.I.D. man. "The Public Trustee will 
probably have to wind things up. There seems to have been a lot of 
realisation of trust estate holdings that Crosbie managed and we cannot 
trace what happened to the proceeds. Everything may of course be in 
order."

"Anyway," said Lee, "if he had been up to tricks, that sort of thing may 
lead a man to abscond, or it may even drive him to suicide. It does not 
make someone else murder him, not before he is found out. Whatever his 
business troubles, they had nothing to do with Sylvia and Broughley. That 
is a watertight case by itself."

When Simon left them he asked Porter Haines which was the room Crosbie 
had taken for the week-end.

"I suppose those inspectors have been pretty busy there?"  he suggested.

"Yes, sir," said Haines. "He had number thirteen. Rather unlucky, when 
you think of it. But he had the same room every week, like a lot more. We 
shan't use it for a time, but now that the inquest is over I suppose they 
will let us clear it up. The inspector still has the key."

"Number thirteen is on the first floor, in a side passage, isn't it? Who 
was next to him?"

"Mr. Elkington one side and Mr. Sladen the other."

"And opposite?"

"Mr. Farmer, Mr. Hann and Mr. Knight. Then the staircase."

As he made his cross-country way to the charming old town of Huntingdon, 
famous as the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell, Simon had plenty to think 
about. He knew that the proper people to solve murder mysteries were the 
experts at Scotland Yard and the other police headquarters. He knew too, 
although popular fiction might not give the impression, that not one case 
in five hundred is cleared up by an amateur sleuth. The police have an 
enormous organisation, almost limitless resources and an untiring 
patience. Also they enjoy powers and privileges possessed by no private 
person. Yet he could not blind himself to the fact that the too ready 
acceptance of an obvious solution to a complicated affair might lead to a 
lessening of those persistent searches that alone would discover the 
truth.

And this Crosbie affair was complicated. If, as he honestly believed, 
Sylvia and Bill were innocent, where was the guilty party to be found? 
Those few words from O'Grady had shown that there might well be a London 
side to the case as well as the local one.

There were Crosbie's quarrels with Farmer, Knight, Sladen and others. 
They--apart from Bill and Sylvia--made up what might be called the golf 
club aspect of the case. What of the decoying and robbery of Sylvia--did 
that come into it?

As Hazel had said, an ordinary girl in normal circumstances would have 
disregarded such a message. Therefore the person who sent it must have 
had special reasons for believing Sylvia would not disregard it. On the 
other hand, how could the theft of her handbag have any bearing on 
Crosbie's death?

What of the London side? So far there was only O'Grady's hint that 
Crosbie's affairs were irregular and there had been an attempted burglary 
at his flat.

There was also Elkington's dash to London to secure the papers entrusted 
to Crosbie. Did that have a meaning? Was it on the town or country side?

Obviously the murder might be purely a local matter and have no more to 
do with what happened in Theobald Square than his own golf had to do with 
his appearances in court. If the two were connected, would it be possible 
to find the necessary link? Could Mrs. Constance Warwick supply the 
answer? That seemed to be his only hope. He must visit her as soon as 
these more pressing duties permitted.

Huntingdon consists in the main of one street a mile in length. In the 
centre is the Market Square. Near the square was the hostelry for which 
he was bound and in a glorified bar parlour sat a dejected looking Bill.

"So here you are, you dear old lunatic!" Simon cried. "Get your bag. You 
are coming back in my car. I will tell you all about it as we go along. 
If you travel in your own you will probably spend the night in some local 
lock-up!"

"But don't you see," began Bill.

"Don't argue, my lad. Sylvia is in trouble and she wants you."

That settled the matter. In a very short time the bag was packed, the 
bill paid, some refreshment swallowed and the return journey started.

Briefly Simon explained the developments of the affair; the finding at 
the inquest, the discovery of Sylvia's note to Crosbie and the 
revelations at the windmill of the marriage tangle.

"I won't deny," he concluded, "that things look bad. You must not be 
surprised if there is a warrant out for your arrest. You have been asking 
for it. What on earth made you run away?"

"I did not want to be questioned," said Bill simply.

"Why not?"

"Can't you see? All you have said is true enough. I asked Sylvia to marry 
me. She is the most wonderful woman in the world, as well as the most 
beautiful. She told me everything. She said she loved me but she did not 
believe Crosbie would ever set her free. She implored me to keep away as, 
if he suspected she wanted to re-marry, he would be more than ever set on 
preventing it."

"Did you keep away?" asked Simon dryly.

I couldn't--and yet I did. I was too anxious about it all to be able to 
settle down to anything. I went out in the lane--"

"Without your hat?"

Very likely. I don't know. I walked nearly as far as the sixteenth tee. I 
did stand for a time in that clump of bushes. I saw Crosbie on the tee, 
but Sylvia was not there. Then I compelled myself to go away. If I had 
seen them together it would have been impossible not to have interfered, 
and I had promised Sylvia not to. I had said I would wait till I heard 
from her. The mill is not yet on the phone, so I decided I must wait till 
the morning.'

"In the morning," said Simon, "there was no letter and you hung about 
hoping for some sort of message. That was why I found you apparently 
unwilling to play?"

"That is so," said Bill. "I decided to play and stop at the sixteenth. 
But we got the news halfway round."

"Yes, and now we come back to the first question. Why did you run away?"

"Because I did not want to be questioned. I knew Sylvia hadn't done it. 
She couldn't do such a thing, however much the human vermin deserved it. 
But I am no good at keeping things back. If I had been asked about 
Crosbie, why I was there, and things like that, I should have blurted it 
out. Sylvia's marriage, the 9.30 appointment and all the rest. It might 
have looked as though she--I mean I just did not dare talk about it. So I 
went."

"That," said Simon, "is what you have to tell Inspector Lee. I hope he 
will believe it as fully as I do."

CHAPTER NINETEEN: FACING THE MUSIC

"MR. Ross says you want to see me?"

Inspector Lee looked up with surprise and, perhaps, not altogether with 
pleasure as Bill Broughley and his friend stood before him. There is some 
satisfaction in tracking a fugitive, but if the man you are making vast 
efforts to trace walks quietly into your room and suggests a chat it is 
almost disconcerting.

"I do. Why did you run away?"

"Isn't that rather an assumption?"  said Simon. "I don't want to 
interfere, but I ought to tell you that Broughley came along directly I 
told him you had some questions to ask. Let us all sit down and he can 
tell you his story in his own way."

Simon lit his pipe and made himself comfortable. Bill obviously was 
nervous and Lee certainly was suspicious. The manner of the young lawyer, 
he told himself, was rather too pleasant. He knew Broughley was Ross's 
friend and if they thought they were going to pull wool over his eyes 
there was another guess coming. Broughley was the murderer. His story was 
not likely to be true, but it would be good to hear it. Then perhaps a 
little sharp questioning would lead to the admission of facts! He got out 
his notebook so that he could refer to the other statements when 
necessary to refresh his memory.

"Now then, Mr. Broughley," he said brusquely. "Tell it me verbally and 
we'll have it written down and signed later. It is a voluntary statement 
and you understand it may be used in evidence?"

"I do," said Bill, "but it won't help you. Rather more than a week ago I 
asked Miss Wilton to marry me. She refused, although she admitted she 
cared for me. I pressed for the reason and at last she told me about 
Crosbie. That she was Mrs. Crosbie and that for three years he had left 
her in a most unfair position, neither married nor free. By a strange 
chance they met on these links. He found out that she lived in that 
windmill and called to see her. She told him to clear out. He had been 
such a blackguard that his presence polluted the place. She did not want 
any thought of him in her new home. He said, 'All right. I'll go. But 
you'll be sorry. Things are not too good with me and you have a fair 
income. I thought we might have come to some arrangement. You are a young 
woman and still beautiful. Some day you may want to marry again.'"

Lee's thin lips curled in a sneer. "How do you know Crosbie said that?

"I do not mean," answered Bill, "that those were the exact words. I was 
not there and of course I did not hear what he said. But Miss Grantley 
was present with Miss Wilton, and they both told me."

"Go on," said Lee. It was very much what Miss Wilton had told O'Grady and 
himself. There were no contradictions so far.

"Then Crosbie wrote a letter from London that Miss Wilton showed to me. 
It did not hint at anything about money. No doubt he was too wise to put 
that in writing. It just said he would be down here again at the week-end 
and it might be for their mutual happiness to talk things over. If she 
preferred their relationship to remain unknown he would meet her quietly 
some evening."

"She showed you that letter?" asked Lee.

"She did. We talked it over together. I said if it was money he wanted I 
would pay anything in reason. Sylvia said she would not let me pay a 
penny. It was her affair entirely."

"I do not know that we are much concerned as to where the money was to 
come from," commented the inspector, "but you maintain it was money 
Crosbie wanted?"

"I do. That anyway was our impression."

"I see." The beak-like face stared at him. The demand for money certainly 
would not lessen the motive. "Would a solicitor be likely to make such a 
proposition? What do you say, Mr. Ross? Would it not be irregular? What 
about the King's Proctor?

"Certainly it would be irregular," said Simon, "but it is not connivance 
in the same sense as it might be before the case was started, and we may 
be dealing with someone who was out for all he could get."

"Well--go on, Mr. Broughley."

"Miss Wilton replied that she would meet him on the Sunday evening at 
9.30 on the sixteenth tee, the ground just opposite her home. I asked her 
to let me be there instead of herself, or with her. She would not agree. 
She said it was her affair and she would see it through. If Crosbie knew 
she really had any thought of marrying again it would make him more 
difficult. She made me promise to do nothing at all until I heard from 
her."

"Where was her letter sent?"  asked Simon. "To London or to the Dormy 
House?"

"To the Dormy House, to be there on the Saturday when he came down."

"Well," said the inspector, "what happened next?"

"I am afraid that is all I can tell you. I was to wait till I heard from 
her. I did not hear."

"Ah," said Lee meaningly, "I want a good deal more than that. Tell me 
exactly what you did on the Sunday evening."

"I was very worried. I wandered into the lane and saw Crosbie on the tee. 
I watched for a time. Then I walked away."

"When you saw Miss Wilton join him?" Lee thought he had caught him at 
last.

"No. I did not wait for that."

"Why not? Surely it was only natural to make sure that they did meet?" 

"If I had seen them together I might not have been able to resist the 
impulse to interfere."

"What did you do?"

"I walked away and came back later. He had gone. I then returned to the 
Dormy House to wait for a letter in the morning. I did not get one. That 
is all I know."

"You say that you were there twice. Which time did you go to the mill?"

"I did not go to the mill. I had promised Miss Wilton to keep away. I 
thought, when I did not see them on the tee, it was just possible she had 
invited him in. If I had called I should be doing just what she did not 
wish."

"I see." Lee's manner showed he was far from accepting as true what he 
was told, but there was no flaw in the story. It tallied very much with 
all he had heard from others. That, in a way, was disappointing. When you 
are dealing with the villain of the piece, you expect to catch him 
tripping somewhere. "You say you watched Crosbie for a time. Where were 
you when you did that?"

"In the cluster of bushes on the opposite side of the road, just before 
you get to the mill."

No prevarication there. It confirmed the account given by Reg Richards. 
"What time was it?

"I came away just five minutes before the half-hour."

"You are very precise!" flashed Lee. "How do you know?"

"I looked at my watch," said Bill simply. "The meeting was to be at 
half-past nine. As he had arrived, I went away according to my promise."

"And at what time did you return?"

"At a quarter to ten."

"Looked again at your watch, I suppose?"

"I did. That time I walked past. No one was about."

"So you went into the mill?"

"I walked past, as I told you. I would have gone in but I thought Crosbie 
was possibly there."

"Oh, I thought his presence was polluting "

"It was, but if anything had been agreed, there might be some writing to 
do."

"You did not look into that 'Hell' bunker?"

"I had no reason to. It is not visible from the road."

"Now, Mr. Broughley, between nine-twenty-five and a quarter to ten is a 
matter of twenty minutes only. Everything points to the fact that it was 
during that twenty minutes that Crosbie was killed. You realise that?"

"I do."

"You still say you know nothing of his death?"

"I do."

"For the whole of that twenty minutes, according to your own story, you 
were in that lane, walking backwards and forwards between the golf hotel 
and the windmill?"

"I was."

"How many people passed you on the road?"

"I don't know."

"Did anyone pass you?"

"I really don't know."

"Come, come! Try and think. Don't you see how important it is? Crosbie 
was killed. You saw him alone on that tee. Anyone going to meet him, or 
coming from him, must have passed you. Was there anyone? If you didn't 
kill him, you know, there must have been someone else."

"I was too worried about other things to take notice," said Bill. "I 
believe someone did go by while I was in the bushes, but I don't know who 
it was. And on my way back a man said good-night as he passed me."

"Then you do remember! What do you mean by the way back?"

"On the way back to the mill the second time."

"At a quarter to ten?"

"Yes, or a little later."

"Why do you say a little later?" asked Lee sharply. "You told me a 
quarter to ten just now."

"It is nearly half a mile from the club house to the mill. It was about a 
quarter to ten when I turned back."

"Well, what was the man like?"

"I don't know. I didn't see his face. My mind was occupied."

"Can't you describe him at all?"

"No. I have no idea who it was. I was thinking of other things."

"Someone has told us that he passed you, and spoke. We will take it that 
was the man. Was there anyone else?"

"Not to my knowledge."

"Now, Mr. Broughley. I put it to you. Two people only, yourself and Mrs. 
Crosbie, knew that Crosbie was to be there then. You both had the 
strongest motive for getting rid of him. Can you suggest anyone else who 
may have killed him?"

"No," said Bill doggedly. "I cannot. But I did not kill him and I am 
equally sure she did not."

"And you expect me to believe this story of your wandering up and down 
the road? Of your not going to the mill? Of your running away the next 
day, although you had no complicity in the matter?"

"I can't make you believe it, but it is true. I hoped Miss Wilton's name 
would be kept out of it. That is why I went away."

"You mean," and Lee bent forward with his bird of prey peck, "You mean 
you thought she had done it?"

"No," said Bill unhappily. "I knew that was impossible, but I realised 
you might think it if you heard of their relationship."

"What did you do with the hammer?" The question was jerked out suddenly, 
but it failed of its intent.

"What hammer?"  was the reply.

"The hammer that killed Crosbie."

"I had no hammer and I did not kill Crosbie."

Lee felt he had not made much progress. All the suspicions remained. 
There was no denial of the motive. There was indeed no denial of any of 
the facts he had garnered with such care, but the proof still lacked 
something.

"When did you last see Mrs. Crosbie?" he asked abruptly.

"On the Monday morning, before I went away."

"But I mean since you came back--when she told you what you were to say?"

"I have not seen her since I came back. Mr. Ross brought me straight to 
you."

"So he told you!" And Lee looked suspiciously at Simon. "I shall report 
all you say to my chief. He will decide what must be done next. Meanwhile 
don't try to go away again. If you do we shall take steps to prevent it."

"I shall not go away," said Bill. "I mean to keep near Miss Wilton, now 
you know all we can tell you."

CHAPTER TWENTY: NO ALTERNATIVE

SIMON Ross was in town early the next day and he drove straight to 
Scotland Yard. Before calling on Mrs. Warwick he was anxious to know if 
by any chance Inspector O'Grady had got into touch with that mysterious 
lady. If he had, there was no point in troubling her further. If he had 
not, an interview suggested considerable possibilities.

The great man of the C.I.D. was disengaged and apparently was also a bit 
disgruntled.

"I thought I would let you know," Simon began, "that Broughley has 
returned and has explained his movements to Inspector Lee."

"So Lee 'phoned me," replied O'Grady.

"Does the explanation satisfy you?"

"It does not! Lee says you put him wise as to what he ought to say."

"That is not quite fair," said Simon, "I wouldn't have the nerve to come 
to you if I weren't honestly trying to get at the truth. I told Broughley 
that Miss Wilton had owned to making the 9.30 appointment and had 
explained as to her marriage and divorce. But I did not prompt him as to 
his own movements. The account he gave Lee was just as he told it to me. 
I think Lee was a bit disappointed at his being so truthful."

"Truthful remains to be seen! The woman lied copiously to begin with and 
the man ran away lest his lies should contradict hers."

"Put it that way if you like, but isn't Broughley's story the only one 
that fits the facts? Your witnesses make contact with him at four points. 
Sladen sees him walking up the lane at 9.15. Richards sees him in the 
bushes at 9.25. A little later he walks quickly past the loitering 
lovers, towards the hotel. Then fifteen or twenty minutes after that 
Knight meets him coming back again. Broughley's unprompted statement 
accounts for all these things. His actions were erratic, but that was due 
to his state of mind. If you assume he committed the murder, it would be 
mad for him to rush past Richards and his young lady at a time when it 
was so vital to conceal his presence there. And to come back again, and 
so meet Knight, would be even more unthinkable."

"Credit us with a scrap of intelligence," said O'Grady. "Of course there 
is some truth in Broughley's story. He is no fool. It only means that 
Crosbie was not killed at 9.30 but a little later. On Broughley's second 
walk up the lane, not the first."

"And where was Crosbie in the meantime?"

"In the mill. This is why Knight did not see him."

"Miss Wilton and Miss Grantley deny it."

"Liars both!" said O'Grady.

"You have no right to call Miss Grantley a liar," said Simon. "She fenced 
with you, but she did not lie."

"We won't split hairs," commented the inspector. "The whole thing is too 
simple. It all hangs together. The motive, the appointment, the 
opportunity."

"It doesn't hang together," asserted Simon. "That is why I want to find 
the alternative explanation."

"There is no alternative," said O'Grady rather gloomily. "In a way I wish 
there was. Why doesn't it hang together?"

"You agree that Crosbie met his wife to settle terms for completing the 
divorce? That she was anxious he should do so in order that she might be 
free to marry Broughley?"

"That part of the story is probably true."

"Then, putting it on the lowest lines, surely they would wait to hear his 
terms before thinking of murder? The man who killed Crosbie came armed 
with a hammer ready to do it."

O'Grady did not immediately reply. He seemed to be considering whether or 
not he should discuss the matter at all.

"I am prepared to believe that Crosbie asked money to complete the 
divorce," he said after a pause. "He was apparently getting hold of all 
the cash he could. Probably he asked too much. They all met in the mill. 
Crosbie either refused to do what they wanted, or his price was too high. 
A hammer was there--most homes possess one – Broughley used it. That 
meets all the facts and is common sense."

"As Sergeant Green would say, it stands to reason? If you think so, why 
don't you arrest him?"

"The assistant commissioner is waiting a few days."

"Till you find the hammer--or some more definite connection between the 
suspects and the victim?

"That might be a help, though we are pretty well satisfied there. He says 
it is to give me a chance."

"You mean," suggested Simon, "that there is something about Crosbie's 
affairs that necessitates other lines of inquiry?

O'Grady nodded. "A hundred thousand pounds vanished! That is what I am 
after, but there is no trace of it. Lee has a nice straightforward murder 
and will get plenty of kudos from it, even if it was I who found the 
Sylvia letter for him. It is now up to me to discover the money, and I am 
not getting on with, it. If I could see a connection between the murder 
and the missing money it would please me quite a lot. But it does not 
make sense."

"You mean if Crosbie was misappropriating the money, he might have been 
meditating flight? It would not account for someone else killing him?"

"Exactly," said O'Grady moodily. "As Lee put it, the murder is a 
watertight case, all by itself."

"Unless Crosbie was trusting the money to the someone else--someone who 
thought he was better out of the way."

"That is the chief's idea and is why we have not taken Broughley. But 
there are two things against it. Who is going to steal all that money and 
let someone else hold it? And how can such things be done without 
something to show for it somewhere?"

"You haven't traced anything?"

"Not a brown cent. Crosbie has been realising--buying bearer securities 
and foreign currencies; but what he did with them there is simply nothing 
to show."

"Did his clients discover the frauds--assuming they were frauds?"

"Hadn't a breath of suspicion. He was sole trustee for two estates. One 
of them would have been brought to account very shortly, the party 
concerned coming of age. Till then he was safe."

"Was he living extravagantly, or gambling?"

"No sign of it. Lived carefully, realised his assets--and other 
people's--and hid the proceeds."

"Sent it abroad," suggested Simon, "in some other name, meaning to 
follow."

"Exactly! China to Peru, Norway to New Zealand--and nothing to show 
where!"

"Precious hard on the people whose affairs he handled."

"Yes, and some nice muddles to clear up. One of his tricks was to 
mortgage the same property to each of the estates. One lent twenty 
thousand on it, and so did the other. Hann made the valuations but he had 
a letter, which I have seen, to the effect that the first estate had 
called in the mortgage made two years ago and a new valuation was 
required for the fresh advance. So each estate has parted with twenty 
thousand. The borrower got the first lot of money. The second has 
vanished."

"What fees did Hann get?" asked Simon.

"Ordinary scale. I've been through his bank account."

"In a recent appeal," said Simon, "the judge declared that suspicions, 
however grave, were not enough. The real test of circumstantial evidence 
was to exclude the possibility that someone else committed the crime. In 
view of what you have now discovered, can you hold that such is the case 
so far as Broughley and Miss Wilton are concerned?"

"I am afraid we must. As I told you, I'd like to link my business on to 
it, but it can't be done. The murder is complete by itself. We know when 
and where Crosbie was killed, and no one but those two knew of the 9.30 
appointment. No one else but Knight and Richards was in the lane at the 
time."

"That's not quite right," said Simon. "Obviously the murderer must have 
been there at the time and neither Broughley nor Miss Wilton told others 
of the appointment, but who can say that Crosbie himself did not? As to 
the lane, you and Lee are looking too closely at that part of it between 
the mill and the club house. Your man may have come and gone in the other 
direction."

"As it happens, according to our information, that was bottled too."

"How do you mean?"

O'Grady did not immediately reply, and Simon added: "There is the third 
possibility that the attacker avoided the lane and cut across the links 
to the hotel, or to a waiting car."

"Don't imagine I haven't thought of all that," returned the inspector, a 
little wearily. "Before you came in I was considering some of our notes. 
You can see if they bring any new light to you. I won't trouble you with 
the details regarding Broughley and Mrs. Crosbie."

He took up some sheets of paper, each of which was headed with a 
different name. Simon read the first.

SAMUEL JENKS. Managing clerk to Crosbie and a qualified solicitor. Might 
get the goodwill of the business. Appears ignorant of irregularities and 
always acted under instructions. May know more than he admits. Has sound 
alibi for the night of the crime, handing the bag round in his chapel.

"I never suspected Jenks," remarked Simon, putting down the sheet headed 
with his name. "He lacks initiative."

"He lacked opportunity," said O'Grady dryly. "That is more convincing."

ERNEST KNIGHT. Admits speaking to Crosbie before 9.30 on the night of the 
crime and at the place. Says he arranged for a game two days later. 
Returned a little before ten and Crosbie was gone (in mill or already in 
bunker). Had quarrelled as to captaincy. No business connection.

"One cannot deny that Knight had the opportunity," commented Simon. "The 
motive appears inadequate, and a little man does not attack one twice his 
size."

O'Grady grunted and the next sheet was considered.

HENRY FARMER. Quarrelled with Crosbie at cards the night before and 
almost came to blows. Was in the lane about the same time. Went to 
Farrer's Farm. Stayed a short time and left a little after half-past 
nine. Returned there just before ten, saying he had forgotten his stick. 
Remained till half-past ten. Distance from Farrer's Farm to mill-house 
can be covered in seven or eight minutes. Admits he got so far before he 
turned back, but saw nothing of Crosbie. Story confirmed by Dale of 
Farrer's Farm. Farmer is a director of Ashmills Limited, that lost a 
lawsuit some months ago, Crosbie acting for the other side.

"Possibilities there!" said Simon. "When he gave evidence he said nothing 
about leaving the farm and going back again."

"We tackled him on that," said O'Grady. "He swore he met no one and 
thought it of no importance. Of course it brings him among the possibles, 
but he gains nothing by Crosbie's death and the people at the farm say he 
was perfectly normal when he returned. No sign of a struggle, no 
bloodstains and no hammer!"

"It is he then who bottles the other end?"

"Exactly. If his tale is true, no one killing Crosbie at nine-thirty can 
have passed up the lane that way immediately after."

"If his tale is true!" echoed Simon. Then he took the next sheet.

GENERAL CAIRN. Lives eight miles away. Seen to enter the links from the 
London road about 9.15 carrying what looked like a bludgeon. Says he had 
promised to mark out a new bunker and took a bundle of stick to do it. 
Drove himself, chauffeur being off duty on Sunday night. (? why not have 
left it till morning). On bad terms with Crosbie, who insulted him at 
club meeting.

"You may resent being called a Ha'penny Hitler," commented Simon, "but 
you would hardly kill a man for it. Did he stake out that bunker?"

"There were some sticks there. It meets your waiting car theory."

"I don't suspect General Cairn." He took another sheet.

SIDNEY HANN. Intimate with Crosbie in golf and business. Business (so far 
as Hann is concerned) seems straightforward. Says he knew nothing of his 
private affairs. Was at the golf hotel on night of crime, but did not go 
out. Partial alibi. Says he went to bed early. Claims to have lost a 
friend and a valuable business client.

"What do you mean by partial alibi?" inquired Simon.

"He was not playing cards or billiards. He was seen about the place, but 
there is no precise evidence as to time."

"I suppose that would apply to a lot of us. We chat to a number of people 
but no one notices the time, unless asked to do so. Which is always 
suspicious where alibis are concerned. I suppose Hann did not do that?"

"No He says he was there from eight-thirty to ten-thirty and then went to 
bed. The porter did not see him go out."

WILLIAM ELKINGTON. Crosbie's neighbour at Jacobus Court. Played golf with 
him and had business relations. Known him two years, but ignorant of his 
private affairs. Was at golf hotel during the week-end and dined with him 
on Sunday evening. Went out alone in car (about nine) to visit friends at 
Capston Grange, fifteen miles distant. Found they were away. Drove on 
farther and returned and went to bed. Caretaker at Grange confirms call 
at about ten o'clock. (? why did not Elkington 'phone before calling).

Simon read this through twice. "Fifteen miles an hour is slow going."

"Very," said O'Grady. "The times, however, are only approximate. He got 
his car out himself and no one saw him. He says he started a little after 
nine and the caretaker admits he possibly arrived a bit before ten."

"That looks rather more like alibi building," said Simon. "He might have 
done a lot besides covering fifteen miles in fifty minutes! A bit of a 
scorcher too. Never lets a car pass him; he told me so. How long had the 
people from the Grange been away?"

"Three weeks."

"And yet he went over on the chance, without 'phoning. You know, of 
course, he dashed to London immediately after Crosbie's death and 
demanded access to his private office to get some papers?"

"Papers of his are there. He has applied for them."

Simon took the next sheet.

STUART SLADEN. Arrived at Dormy House on Sunday night soon after 9.15 
using the mill lane--which is unusual for motors. Saw Knight and Crosbie 
talking close to the sixteenth tee. Nearer the hotel met Broughley 
walking towards the mill. Put up his car and entered hotel. Went out 
again by the back way. Says he had left some books in his car and wanted 
them. Was perhaps ten minutes in the garage, examining the engine. Went 
in and straight to his room. No one witnessed his return. Found the body 
in the morning and duly reported same. Had quarrelled with Crosbie in the 
past. No evidence of recent quarrel or of any business between them.

"At first I judged we had a line on him," commented O'Grady. "He had 
noticed Crosbie and might have gone back. But then he would have been 
seen by some of the others in the lane."

"It would seem so," said Simon thoughtfully.

REGINALD RICHARDS. Assistant professional. Was in lane with Doris 
Travers, his sweetheart. Left stile about 9.15 and walked slowly to 
clubhouse and farther. Met Knight near stile and saw Crosbie on tee. Also 
saw man hiding in bushes opposite. Broughley (? man in bushes) hurried 
past them a few minutes later. Was at hotel about ten. Disliked Crosbie 
who had reported him for alleged insolence. Girl's story (if true) clears 
him.

There was no comment to make on that, but Simon gave a little cry of 
surprise when he saw the name on the next sheet.

HAZEL GRANTLEY. Knew of the 9.30 appointment. Disliked Crosbie and would 
do anything to help her cousin. Hot-tempered but doubtful if physically 
able to strike the blow. Possibly an accessory.

"Not hot-tempered," he said. "High-spirited, perhaps."

O'Grady grinned. "May mean the same thing. Anyway, that's the lot so far. 
You cannot show that any of them knew of the appointment or had the 
tremendous motive of Broughley and the woman."

"You have no other women in the case?" asked Simon.

"No. They say cherchez la femme, and Miss Wilton, rather Mrs. Crosbie, 
fills the bill."

It was evident then that so far he knew nothing of Mrs. Warwick. But 
there was another point.

"Any further news of the supposed burglary?"

"No. There are often bits of the puzzle that don't quite fit. Sometimes 
they belong to other puzzles."

"Nothing was taken?"

"We missed nothing," was the more cautious reply.

"Well, here's another bit of the puzzle." Simon then told of Sylvia's 
summons to the lonely hut and the theft of her bag, she being shut in the 
hut till her cousin rescued her. "What do you make of that?"

"Why did she not report it?"

"She was suffering already from an overdose of police."

Yes," said O'Grady grimly, "If the tale is true, I can still understand 
her wishing us to forget her. But that is not likely."

Simon rose to go. After the very frank and friendly manner of the eminent 
detective he felt he ought to tell him about Mrs. Warwick. And yet what 
was there to tell? That lady might close like an oyster if the police 
approached her, but would possibly be more communicative with him.

"I have heard of something that may be of interest to you," he said. "It 
may even show that your line is the one, after all, that really matters."

"Better tell me."

"You have no time to chase mare's nests," laughed Simon. "If there is 
anything in it, I'll be only too glad to let you do the hatching!"

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: CONSTANCE WARWICK

SHAPELY, buxom, well-rounded, matronly, generously proportioned, a fine 
figure of a woman. Such words and phrases have been used at various times 
to describe those ladies who combine a certain dignity of bearing and 
grace of movement with an undoubted solidity of build. Ladies who 
delighted the artists of a bygone age as much as they amuse the slimming 
sisterhood of to-day.

Mrs. Constance Warwick deserved some, at any rate, of the old-fashioned 
adjectives. She was big in every way, but not clumsy. She appeared 
pleasant and good-natured and, as Simon Ross looked at her, he thought 
she was just the type of woman to appeal to the middle-aged man desiring 
comfort with moderate indulgence. Voluptuous is another term for 
something of the sort, but it conveys a suggestion of sinfulness that did 
not seem quite suitable in this particular case.

There had been no difficulty in finding the Battersea flat and Mrs. 
Warwick fortunately was at home. He was admitted by a neat-looking maid 
and his quick eye noted that her dwelling-place, while boasting little in 
the way of luxury, had all that was necessary for a quiet easy life. But 
nothing more. Whatever part Arthur Crosbie had played in the 
establishment, he had squandered no thousands there.

"I thought you would come," murmured the lady, as she invited him to sit 
down. "I understand you are a lawyer and anything I say to a lawyer is 
absolutely confidential. Like a priest and the confessional, though," she 
smiled, "I have nothing to confess."

She was decidedly good-looking. Now that the veil was gone, Simon saw 
that his ideas had not been far wrong. Blue eyes and a smooth, fair skin; 
placid and unwrinkled; perhaps a little older than he had imagined.

"Let me make that quite clear," he replied. "I am a barrister, not a 
solicitor."

"What is the difference?"

"A solicitor advises clients on affairs in which a knowledge of law is 
needed, and if a case has to be fought he instructs a barrister to appear 
in court to fight it. That is a rough idea."

"I do not think it matters," said the lady, "provided you observe the 
same confidence."

"There again I don't wish to mislead you. Arthur Crosbie was murdered. I 
want to find out who killed him and so, I am sure, do you. It is our duty 
to tell the police anything we know that will help the cause of justice."

"But it is not our duty to tell things that are better untold, if they 
will not really help."

"That is true in a way," he said, "but no one, knowing only a small part 
of a case, can judge of its importance. Sometimes a thing that seems 
trivial by itself can be just the missing piece of the puzzle that makes 
everything else fit together."

"I don't think it can," she began. "The coroner wasn't sure, but the 
doctor did not believe a woman could have done it." Then she stopped and 
asked in a different tone, "Why do you want to find out who killed him?"

"Because a friend of mine, who is innocent, is under suspicion."

"So, if I tell you anything, you will repeat it to the police and it will 
appear in all the papers?"

"The two things are very different," said Simon earnestly. "I hope you 
will decide to trust me. I will promise not to tell the police anything 
that it is not needful and right for them to know. As to the papers, we 
will tell them nothing."

Mrs. Warwick considered the matter for a few moments. "You see, there is 
no one to advise me now," she said. "Mr. Crosbie did everything for me. 
That is why, when you told me you were a lawyer, I thought I would like 
to talk to you."

Simon waited. He was pretty sure she would tell her story, even if it was 
of no importance to anyone but herself.

"I don't know what you will have thought of me," she began again. "I am 
not really that sort of woman. He would have married me if he could."

"Why didn't he?" asked Simon gently. "Your husband is still alive?"

"My husband died four years ago. Mr. Crosbie--I only just knew him 
then--attended to his affairs for me. Then we became friends. After a 
time he explained why he could not marry me, and so, as we were fond of 
one another, we had to make the best of things."

Her meaning was plain enough, but there was something more important that 
was not so clear.

"Why could he not marry you?"

"Because of the other woman. The woman who hated him. She was spiteful 
and cruel. I do not want to be mixed up in it, but the police ought to 
know about her. I don't say she did it, but she might have done, and they 
ought to be told. She divorced him and never completed the matter. So he 
was neither married nor free. Such women should be punished. Not wanting 
a proper home themselves, they try to prevent the man having one. That 
was why I agreed to what he wanted. And she--she may have murdered him. 
They ought to find her."

So that was it. A curiously muddled idea of the whole affair. Crosbie had 
thrown on to Sylvia the odium that was rightly his, and had in that way 
got this simple but decent woman to yield to him without marrying her. 
She did not want that fact to be known and yet she wished the wife, whom 
she blamed for it, to be brought to account.

"Did you ever see a report of the divorce proceedings?" he asked.

"They don't publish them now, do they? He showed me some papers about 
it."

"What would you say if I told you the facts were just the other way 
round? Crosbie divorced his wife and it was his spitefulness that refused 
to complete the matter. He could have done it at any time had he wished 
to do so. Then he could have married you."

There was a long pause. Those wide blue eyes were gazing at him 
pathetically.

"It isn't true," she whispered.

"It is perfectly true. There is no possible question about it."

"He was lying to me all the time? I will not believe it."

"I have met his wife," said Simon quietly, but very firmly, "and I looked 
up the case in the papers. I can show it you, if you like. There is no 
long report, but it proves clearly and beyond question that he brought 
the suit, not she."

"Then she was a bad woman?" Constance Warwick, simple, easy-going soul 
that she was, mistress of this man who had deceived her, was at heart 
highly moral. She had lived with a bitter inward resentment for the woman 
who was, she thought, to be blamed for her own irregular position. If, 
after all, that woman was not to be blamed, it was some feminine 
consolation to find she was by no mean spotless, that she had been the 
wrongdoer.

"I should not call her bad," Simon said. "She did not defend the case 
because they were not happy together." He was a little surprised that 
Mrs. Warwick so readily accepted what he had told her. Perhaps there had 
been secret misgivings that his words confirmed.

"There must have been a man. There could not be a divorce otherwise. Is 
she a friend of yours?"

Simon saw he would have to be careful. If he attacked Crosbie too 
severely, or defended Sylvia too warmly, he would get no help from Mrs. 
War wick. She might even think he had been "the man!"

"Hardly a friend. I have only seen her two or three times. The police 
know all about her and know the facts as to the divorce. The person they 
suspect is a male friend of mine."

"Why do they suspect him?"

There again he must tread warily. If he told of Bill's feeling for Sylvia 
this woman would certainly believe the worst. "Because he was near the 
place at the time."

He thought she would ask more questions on that subject, but, luckily 
perhaps, she was more concerned in another aspect of the case. "If the 
police know about Mrs. Crosbie, there is nothing for me to say. I shall 
keep out of it."

Simon could understand her wish for privacy, her dread perhaps of seeing 
her name and her photograph in the papers as the dead man's "friend." 
Sensitiveness is still to be met with even in these days of publicity. 
But he must learn what he could.

"May I ask a few questions? They may help us to get at the truth, without 
involving you at all."

"What do you want to know?"

"The police cannot find Mr. Crosbie's will. Do you know anything about 
it?"

"No. He never discussed it with me."

"Perhaps he made a settlement on you?

She shook her head. "I have my own money."

"Did he invest it for you?

"Some of it."

Simon hoped those investments anyway were intact. "You had better ask 
your banker to inquire about it. His affairs are, of course, rather 
complicated." He did not wish to say more than that. "I suppose he 
contributed to your expenses here?"

Mrs. Warwick flushed. "What has that to do with it?" She was naturally 
indignant.

"Nothing, in a way. I was wondering if in his general mode of living he 
was what you would call lavish?"

"Certainly not. But he was never mean. As a matter of fact he was saving. 
He hoped very soon to retire."

"How soon?"

"Probably this year. In the next month or two."

That certainly was interesting. If Crosbie intended to "retire" the 
disappearance of his clients' property might be accounted for. Yet it did 
not explain the murder.

"What was he meaning to do when he retired?"

"He was going abroad. He had always wanted to travel."

"You, of course, were going with him?"

"Yes. He said he would find a place where we could get married." 
Undoubtedly she wished to be an "honest woman."

"You had not decided where?"

"No. We used to talk of all sorts of places. I got particulars for him. 
He rather favoured South America."

She spoke quite simply. Hers was not a suspicious nature and she saw 
nothing strange in a middle-aged professional man suddenly abandoning his 
business and quitting the country. She was happy in believing the real 
purpose lay in finding a land where marriage laws were easier. Simon 
decided that it was not for him to suggest other reasons that might lie 
behind such intentions. Sooner or later she would learn of them, but she 
had received a sufficient shock for one day. Yet there was one thing he 
might ask.

"As he was about to retire he must of course have had a good deal of 
property somewhere?"

"He said he would be quite comfortably off."

"I suppose you don't know how his money was invested?

"No. He never discussed business with me."

"The police cannot find a will and beyond a few pounds in the bank they 
cannot find any property."

"There must be property," she said. "They haven't looked in the right 
direction."

That probably was true! He turned to another matter. "Did you ever meet 
any of his relations?"

"He had none. He said his only brother died unmarried and there was no 
one else."

"You met his friends sometimes?"

"No," she said shortly.

That perhaps had been rather a sore point. To her, not being a wife, it 
was not improbably a source of unhappiness that she could not be 
introduced to his friends. Simon saw it otherwise. Obviously Crosbie, in 
fear of the King's Proctor, would keep his affair with her as secret as 
possible. But it was disappointing, for it lessened the chance of his 
learning anything important from her. Then, how ever, there came a 
startling piece of news.

"I did meet his partner once or twice," said Mrs. Warwick.

"His partner? I was told he had no partner. What is his name?"

"Robert M'Whirter," said the lady. Adding somewhat unnecessarily, "He is 
a Scotsman."

"If a Scotsman therefore a golfer?"  smiled Simon, dissembling his keen 
interest.

"I believe he played golf. When Mr Crosbie was away at the week-ends he 
sometimes said he was meeting Mr. M'Whirter."

Simon had never heard of anyone named M'Whirter at the golf club, but he 
did not know all the members.

"At the Barrington club?" he asked.

"Yes, that is right."

This again was rather exciting. Could it be possible that he had actually 
found the missing piece of the puzzle?

"Mr. Crosbie," he said, "as you know, was a solicitor and had no partner 
in the business. There is no question as to that. Can you be mistaken 
about it?"

"He called him his partner," said Mrs. Warwick positively. "Perhaps it 
was in some other business."

"Solicitors don't have other businesses. But they are sometimes directors 
of companies and that sort of thing. Do you know where Mr. M'Whirter 
lived?

"I am afraid I don't."

"Nor his business address?"

She shook her head, "We only met twice."

"Recently?"

"First about a year ago, and then last month."

"And Mr. Crosbie introduced him and said 'This is my partner'?

"No, not quite like that," said the woman thoughtfully. "The first time 
we were all three to have met in a restaurant for lunch. I was waiting in 
the lounge and a gentleman came up and asked if I was Mrs. Warwick. He 
said he was Mr. M'Whirter and Mr. Crosbie was sorry he would be late. He 
would meet me at the theatre instead. We were going to a matinee. Mr. 
M'Whirter said he could not stay either, as he had an unexpected 
appointment. We chatted for a little time and then he left me."

"Mr. Crosbie duly arrived at the theatre?"

"Oh, yes. He asked what I thought of his Scottish friend and said I ought 
to have insisted on his staying."

"What about the second time, last month?" said Simon.

"That was a disappointment too. We were all to meet for tea. Mr. 
M'Whirter was there and, while we were waiting, Mr. Crosbie telephoned 
that he was detained."

"Who took the message?"

"Mr. M'Whirter was called to the 'phone. Then he stayed with me and was 
very pleasant."

"As he ought to be," remarked Simon genially. "What is he like?"

"Well, he is a big man, rather stout, you know. But I am afraid I am not 
very good at describing people."

"You would know him if you saw him again?"

"Oh, yes. I am sure I should."

"Is he tall or short? Dark or fair? Clean shaven or hairy?

"He is tall and dark, quite dark. He has a black moustache and you can 
tell he is Scottish. He talks like Harry Lauder or Ramsay Macdonald on 
the wireless."

"Sure he has not got a beard?" Simon suddenly thought of Sladen, the only 
Scotsman he knew at Barrington.

"Oh, no. I am sure of that."

"Was there anything noticeable in the way he was dressed?"

"I really don't remember. I don't think so. Oh, he wore those big 
spectacles and he had a light fawn overcoat."

"That is something. You cannot think of any way in which I can get hold 
of him?"

"Not unless you found him at the golf club."

"You are pretty sure he is a member?"

"Oh, yes. Arthur told me a lot about the golf club. He said he was badly 
treated there. They ought to have made him captain."

"And he used to play with Mr. M'Whirter."

"Yes. After I met Mr. M'Whirter I used to ask if he played with him."

"Then, Mrs. Warwick, that is where I want you to help me. It is an odd 
thing, if he was really Crosbie's partner, that he should keep away like 
this after the murder--don't you think so? The police know nothing about 
him. Have never heard of him. That is what you must let me tell them. You 
were a friend of Mr. Crosbie's and you met this Mr. M'Whirter, who was in 
some way a partner of his. You don't mind my telling them that?"

"Not if you think it will help," she said doubtfully. 

"I think it will help enormously. His partner ought to know something of 
his doings, if anyone does. Where his property is. If he had enemies, and 
so on. But there is one thing that might help me to keep your name out of 
it altogether."

"What is that?"  she asked eagerly. "I don't want to be in the papers."

"Come with me to the golf club next Sunday. If Mr. M'Whirter is there, 
point him out to me."

"I don't generally go to places like that on Sunday. I know Mr. Crosbie 
did, but I never liked it."

Another queer kink in human nature, thought Simon. The good lady was 
"living in sin," but she would not break the Sabbath.

"Saturday might do," he said. "Most of the members are there then. Let me 
take you down to lunch. It is very pleasant on the lawn and an afternoon 
in the country will do you good."

"All right," she said. "I will come on Saturday."

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: THE BAG

SLICING at golf is a distressing trouble that the experts account for in 
various ways. The ball, struck from the tee, soars into the air as though 
meaning to make a direct journey towards the green, then it changes its 
mind. It begins an offside curve whose graceful sweep might delight an 
artist but is the despair of the player. Standing too far behind; pulling 
in the hands; not following through. These are some of the explanations 
of those who know. The ball, curling on its wilful way, has an uncanny 
knack of coming to rest in the worst possible lie. It may even end up in 
some wild and unknown country never before trodden by foot of man. 
Sometimes maledictions pursue it, but occasionally the Finger of Fate or 
the Will of Providence is directing its flight.

But this not being a treatise on golf, it is best to narrate events in 
their due sequence.

Simon, of course, told Hazel of his meeting with Mrs. Warwick and of her 
proposed visit to the golf club to identify the elusive M'Whirter.

"The trouble is," he added, "I have been through the list of members and 
the name M'Whirter does not appear. The secretary has never heard of 
him."

"Then what's the use of Mrs. Warwick coming?" asked the girl.

"It may be an assumed name. Possibly one of our members trades as 
M'Whirter. It is a chance we must try."

"What is Mrs. Warwick like?" inquired Hazel. 

"Easy-going, rather lazy, and at heart virtuous and sweet. Seems to have 
got on very well with Crosbie. For every man there is a mate."

"Do you mean it was Sylvia's fault that she did not get on with him?"

"Not at all," he laughed. "I love your loyalty to Sylvia. 'Except I be by 
Sylvia in the night, there is no music in the nightingale.' I admire her 
almost as much as you do, but that does not prevent my saying that a 
placid sort of person like Constance Warwick might suit Crosbie. You see, 
my dear, oil and vinegar can never really blend. It may be perfectly good 
oil and perfectly good vinegar, but they won't mix. You may shake them up 
together for a time, but when they settle down in the bottle of matrimony 
they are bound to separate. If one of them is rank bad, as Crosbie was, 
the separation may be more violent. Mrs. Warwick was too easy-going to 
find him out."

"What an ideal wife!" said Hazel. "When does she come?"

"For lunch. That is where I want your help. You must lunch with us. She 
may or she may not recognise M'Whirter, but I shall leave her with you. I 
have learnt all I can, but after a good lunch, and with you, she may be 
more expansive. Then I'll join you again at tea. Don't tell her Sylvia is 
your cousin. She has always regarded her as the unkind person who stood 
between her and respectability. In fact, it is better she should not know 
that Sylvia belongs here at all."

"I'll do my best," said Hazel. "What will you be up to?"

"I am asked to play in a four-ball with Colonel Matthews. He is the local 
Chief Constable, you know. I think it may be useful. I suppose Bill and 
Sylvia will be together and can spare you? They must keep out of Mrs. 
Warwick's way, or I will not answer for the consequences."

Lunch time on Saturday at the Dormy House was usually well patronised. 
For one thing there was a special tariff for week-enders starting with 
that meal and ending with the Monday breakfast. Simon secured a table 
from which it was possible to view all who entered and he was there in 
good time with Mrs. Warwick and Hazel. He introduced the latter as a 
friend, explaining that he thought his visitor might be more comfortable 
if there was another lady with them. It was also in his mind that it 
would disabuse her of any fancy connecting himself with Sylvia.

Mrs. Warwick, dressed in grey, looked quite handsome, and was evidently 
much interested in a place she had no doubt heard a deal about, but had 
never seen. Hazel was charming to her and they all had their eyes open 
for the possible M'Whirter.

The first of Inspector O'Grady's suspects who passed near them was Ernest 
Knight. He nodded in his friendly way to Simon, but Mrs. Warwick declared 
him too small a man to fit the part.

Then Farmer came in. He stared at them and crossed to the farther end of 
the room.

"Not him?" questioned Simon.

"Oh, no," said Mrs. Warwick.

Others trickled past them, but although the lady took a good look at each 
she could recognise none.

One or two people stopped at their table and spoke. A pretty girl like 
Hazel has friends, and naturally they had a word to say as they went by.

"Good-morning, Miss Grantley," said Philip Chase. "Playing this 
afternoon?"

"I don't think so."

"What about Miss Wilton? I hope to get another game with her sometime. 
She is quite wonderful."

That was dangerous ground with Mrs. Warwick listening. "She is not here 
to-day," said Hazel shortly and Chase passed on.

"Not him?" inquired Simon.

"Much too young," said Mrs. Warwick.

Major Escott had a greeting for them and was also acquitted of the 
M'Whirter charge.

Then Hann and Elkington came in together. They paused for a moment beside 
the table, as they glanced round for vacant seats. Elkington's eyes met 
Simon's and with something of a scowl he turned away. He evidently had 
not forgotten the scene at Crosbie's office when the young lawyer sided 
against him. Hann, however, smiled and came nearer.

"Oh, Miss Grantley," he said, "they want entries for the mixed foursomes 
cup. I was wondering if you would play with me?"

"I am not good enough," said Hazel.

"But it's a handicap. We should get a lot of strokes. I think we'd have 
quite a chance."

"Miss Grantley is playing with me," said Simon. 

"Sorry I'm too late," laughed Hann. "Perhaps we'll meet in the final."

He moved on and Hazel turned to Mrs. Warwick, but with a mischievous eye 
for Simon. "What are you to do with men who take for granted everything 
they want?"

"Humour them," said Simon quickly. "Do you know Hann?"

"I have played with him once or twice. He's too terribly good. Makes me 
nervous."

"I'm not good enough for that." Then he turned to Mrs. Warwick. "Neither 
of those was M'Whirter?

"No. The one who turned away is not unlike. About the right size, but he 
has no moustache. The other is too fair and slight."

As she spoke there was a voice behind her. Someone had entered while Hann 
was talking to them.

"Cr-rowded on Satur-r-days. Always is. Will they never learrn to put 
addeetional tables?

It was a low indignant growl and Mrs. Warwick dropped her fork. She 
looked round, and so did the speaker. She met the displeased gaze of 
Stuart Sladen, the bearded author.

"His voice," she whispered to Simon, "but he hadn't a beard and his hair 
was black!"

"He certainly did not grow that beard in a month," said Simon, as the 
dour Scot passed up the room.

"False!" said Hazel dramatically.

"I don't think so," he laughed. "You can get away with false beards on 
the stage, but not in real life. Any sort of beard attracts notice in 
these days and I defy anyone to eat and drink in a false one and escape 
detection."

"I'll try!"  said Hazel.

The meal was pleasant but its practical value nil. Mrs. Warwick did not 
recognise a single person she knew. The elusive M'Whirter had still to be 
found.

"I have an important match," Simon said to her, "but Miss Grantley will 
look after you. If you care to stroll round the course you may see some 
good play and there will be some players who were not in for lunch. Then 
I suggest we have tea at the club house. That will give us another 
chance."

There is no standard size for chief constables. Colonel Matthews was a 
small man with a fierce grey moustache. Efficiency was his watchword and 
even when he played golf he had his problems in mind and sought 
information that might be useful. That perhaps accounted for his asking 
Simon Ross to play with him. Their opponents were Major Escott and young 
Chase. It was Chase who referred first to the matter that was not far 
from the minds of any of them.

"I hear Hann beat Sladen in the replay in the captain's prize," he said. 
"So now he meets Broughley. The winner meets Knight."

"Knight was lucky," remarked Escott. "I don't think he would have beaten 
Crosbie, if they had met."

"I once heard," said Matthews, "of a man who got into a final without 
playing at all. Each opponent got ill in turn and had to scratch."

"Better that than a murder!" declared Chase. "Some people thought we 
ought to have abandoned the competition altogether."

"The committee considered it," said Escott, "and decided to carry on. 
Murders are outside our jurisdiction, but until you clear it up for us, 
Matthews, we are all possible criminals."

"You'll remain that, whatever I do!" said the colonel.

Simon won the first hole for his side with a "birdie" four. When they had 
driven off at the second his partner strode down the fairway with him.

"You have worked with French Norcutt, haven't you?"

"In a few cases," said Simon.

"You've been giving my inspector a bit of help in this Crosbie business?"

"Been trying to, sir."

"You know Broughley?"

"I have known him for years."

They reached their balls which were lying near together and both got iron 
shots on to the green.

"We seem a bit stuck about it," Matthews proceeded. "What is your idea?"

"I think the solution is more likely to be found in London than here," 
said Simon.

"The murder was here and therefore so was the murderer! Do you mean 
someone came down who doesn't play golf?"

"I mean we've got to look in London for the motive."

"You want to clear Broughley and the woman?"

"Yes. And I realise the only way to do it is to find the party really 
guilty."

The hole was halved in four. At the short third Simon drove over the 
green and his partner pulled into the rough. Their pathways parted and 
the hole was lost, Escott getting a neat three. The fairway of the fourth 
saw them together again.

"You know the theory," said the colonel. "I think it is practically an 
established fact that Crosbie was on that seat with his back to the 
sixteenth tee, facing the ‘Hell’ bunker. What do you deduce from that?"

"First that the killer knew he was to be there at 9.30."

"Could a Londoner know that?"

"If Crosbie told him."

"A big if! Think again."

Two holes later, when they were one down, the Chief Constable expounded 
his own views.

"It is no good looking for a stranger to these parts who was chasing him 
round with a hammer, like a Red Indian on the prowl with a tomahawk. He 
stood behind him. He could hardly have got there without Crosbie seeing 
or hearing him, and Crosbie didn't turn round. Therefore it was someone 
Crosbie was not surprised at seeing, and therefore it was a member of the 
club. How does that strike you?"

"Very sound, sir, though I see a possible alternative. Anyway it lets 
Broughley and Miss Wilton out."

"How so?"

"You don't suggest, sir, he would turn his back on the lady? And if he 
had a dispute with Broughley--it would have been a warm one--he would 
have faced him."

They were playing pretty well, considering there was less concentration 
than is generally advisable. At the seventh, where the match was again 
all square, Simon glanced at the shed that had been Sylvia's temporary 
prison, but he did not refer to it. His partner, in fact, was not 
following the straight and narrow way of golfing virtue. Simon won the 
hole to make them one up.

At the eighth he had the honour. He was a big hitter. On his day he was 
hard to beat, but, like other big hitters, he had a vast capacity for 
error when he went astray. It was there that he did his mighty slice. The 
ball flew high and curved wide. It seemed to fall in a thick patch of 
undergrowth, far from the line of play. Matthews sliced his too, though 
not so prodigiously. They were playing without caddies.

You talked of a possible alternative," said the colonel, as they went off 
together. "What do you mean?"

"Well, sir, I don't suggest the man was a stranger, but if it happened 
before 9.30, when Crosbie was expecting the lady, he might have 
deliberately turned his back as a hint to the fellow, whoever he was, to 
go."

"That is possible."

Matthews located his ball and played it. Simon rooted about for his in 
the farther undergrowth. There was little chance of his finding it, but 
his quick eye saw something else.

A leather bag with the silver initial S on it. He opened it. Inside was a 
torch, an enamelled cigarette case with " Sylvia" in gold across the 
corner, some vanity accessories, a purse with five pounds, some odd 
coppers, a latch key and, to render doubt impossible, a card-case with 
visiting cards inscribed "Miss Sylvia Wilton."

"Look at this, sir!" he cried with some excitement.

"What is it?

Simon told him the story of Sylvia's summons to the lonely hut and of her 
robbery.

"This is her bag. The thief took it and threw it, with the contents, 
among these bushes, where it might have lain for years. What on earth is 
the meaning of that?"

"Why was not the loss reported?" asked the colonel.

"Because she was not on happy terms with the police. There may be 
something missing. I will ask her. But to throw away the money is the 
queer thing."

He abandoned his ball and was impatient to get on. Their opponents had 
also lost a ball and so had not noticed the delay. They all moved forward 
and at last he had the satisfaction of winning the match for his side by 
sinking a long putt on the eighteenth green. He could not wait to receive 
the usual liquid tribute at the nineteenth.

"You must excuse me," he said as he ran off. "Friends are waiting."

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: DISCOVERIES

"HAZEL, I have a surprise for you!"

"Simon, I have a surprise for you!"

He whispered the words as he joined them in the club lounge for tea. He 
could not mention Sylvia's bag before Mrs. Warwick, and whatever Hazel's 
surprise might be, she evidently did not want to talk of it in the 
hearing of their guest.

"Have you come across Mr. M'Whirter?" he inquired.

"No," said Mrs. Warwick, "Miss Grantley has been very kind to me. We have 
seen some of the play and she has explained how it is done, but I have 
not seen anyone I could recognise."

"If you are thinking of taking up golf," said Simon, "you could not find 
a better guide than Miss Grantley."

"He means," explained Hazel, "that I play so badly that you would not be 
discouraged."

"I am sure, my dear, you would play beautifully. It is very good of you 
to have given your afternoon to me. But I must be getting home. If Mr. 
Ross would take me to the station there will still be time for you to get 
a little play, won't there?"

The idea was an excellent one and they did not try to make her change her 
mind. Simon had brought her all the way by road in the morning, but it 
was understood she would return by train, as he was staying there for the 
night. Directly the meal was finished he got his car. Hazel said she 
would go to the station with them.

"It was good of you to come," said Simon, as they waited on the platform. 
"I am disappointed we did not spot M'Whirter, but he has got to be found. 
I am sure he will help us to get at the bottom of the business, whoever 
he is."

"He must know something," said Mrs. Warwick nervously. "Shall I have to 
see the police?"

"If we cannot find him ourselves," answered Simon, "we must get them to 
do so." Then the train pulled in. "Should you have to see the police," he 
added, "I will be there too, if you wish it."

"You were quite right," said Hazel to him, as they got back in the car. 
"She's a well-meaning old thing, and although her ideas of Sylvia are 
wrong, that is Crosbie's fault. It worried her all the time that they 
were not married, but she thought he deserved pity! All he did deserve 
was what he got."

"Now for your surprise," he said, as they started off.

"Yours first, please."

"Mine isn't something to tell you but to show you. I don't quite know 
what it means."

"That sounds thrilling. I will wait."

She was really rather excited about her own surprise and was fully 
determined not to spoil it by letting him cap it with another. It did not 
take many minutes to return to the club house. The lounge was deserted.

"Stay here," he said. "I will be back in a moment."

He had put the bag in his locker. He fetched it and laid it on the table 
in front of her.

"Sylvia's!" she exclaimed.

"See what's in it," he said.

She undid the clasp and placed the contents, article by article, on the 
table in front of them. As she did so two men passed through the lounge 
to the smoking-room, Farmer and Elkington. The latter strode by with a 
glance, but Farmer paused. Then, seeing that they seemed to be occupied, 
he also turned away, though not before Simon had noted the surprise in 
his eyes as he saw what was covering the table.

"Everything is here," said Hazel. "Even the money. How did you get it 
back?"

"Sure there is nothing missing?"

"Quite sure. At least, as sure as I can be. Sylvia will know. Have you 
discovered who took it?

"I have not," and he told the story of the wild slice into the 
unfrequented bushes. "As Colonel Matthews said to me this afternoon about 
something else, 'What do you deduce from that?'"

"It beats me," said the girl. "Why should anyone take all that trouble to 
steal the bag and then throw it away?

"It beats me too," admitted Simon. "One thing is clear. It was no 
ordinary thief and theft was not the object with which Sylvia was decoyed 
there."

"You do not think "--the question came in horrified gasps--" you do not 
think he meant to kill her--and was disturbed?"

"I don't know what to think, but it can hardly have been that. Had he 
been disturbed, Sylvia would probably have seen the other person, and her 
knocking and calling would have been heard before you got there."

"Then--what?"

"There might have been something in her bag you don't know about. Or 
perhaps he hoped there would be something that was not there. Sylvia will 
tell us. No doubt the bag was thrown away after its contents were 
examined. It was no ordinary thief and he did not want to carry anything 
that would be a possible means of identification."

"Not even the money?"

"Not even the money. Which shows we are not dealing with a needy person."

It seemed a singularly objectless outrage. The more they discussed it the 
less purpose for it could be discovered.

"Let us ask Sylvia," said Simon, putting the various articles back into 
the bag. "But what was your surprise?"

"I am afraid it will not seem so exciting after this," laughed Hazel, 
"but it is rather comic, though I don't know how important it may be."

"Tell me as we walk to the mill," he said.

She evidently enjoyed his suspense, though she was too anxious to tell, 
and to know what he thought of it, to keep it back for long.

"It's about Mr. M'Whirter," she began, as they entered the mill lane. 
"You think it is important to find him?"

"I do. I believe we shall learn a lot from him. The fact that he has kept 
away all the time is suggestive."

"Yes," she smiled, "it is suggestive, though it suggests something quite 
different from what you suppose."

"Don't tantalise me!"

"Well--I have discovered who Mr. M'Whirter is."

"But I thought Mrs. Warwick couldn't find him and didn't know where he 
was to be found?"

"Quite right. She doesn't know. But I do!"

"Have you seen him?"

"No. I can't exactly say I have seen him."

"Well, then--?

She looked at him mischievously with laughter in her eyes. "You see, 
Simon, Mr. M'Whirter is--or was--Arthur Crosbie."

"My dear Hazel, you don't mean that? It isn't possible."

"Why isn't it possible?"

"Mrs. Warwick would know. She met them both. M'Whirter was a Scotsman."

"That is partly how I identified him," she smiled. "You say Mrs. Warwick 
met them both. Quite true, but she didn't meet them together. Didn't you 
notice that? She only saw M'Whirter twice, and both times he told her 
Crosbie could not come."

"But the second time Crosbie telephoned from his office while M'Whirter 
was with her?"

"Oh, Simon, surely you could see through that? Before he left his office 
Crosbie told his clerk to ring up the tea-room at four o'clock and give a 
message to a Mr. M'Whirter. He then put on his disguise and got his own 
message. Mrs. Warwick could not tell who was speaking. She only knew what 
M'Whirter told her."

"But why should Crosbie deceive Mrs. Warwick?"

"Trying it on the dog! If he could deceive her, it would show he could 
get away with it with anyone."

"By Jove, Hazel, that's jolly clever. I believe you are right. How did 
the Scotsman business put you on to it?"

"Mrs. Warwick said M'Whirter spoke like Harry Lauder. Sylvia has told me 
that in the earlier and more decent days Crosbie used to fancy himself as 
an imitator of Harry Lauder. Sang his songs and rolled off the patter. So 
if he wanted to lead a double life, why not be a Scotsman with a good 
thick brogue?"

"That sounds likely enough. The spectacles would help. Crosbie had a 
pasty skin, but I suppose it could easily be dyed. The moustache--I said 
at lunch a man could not wear a false beard and get away with it, but a 
moustache is rather different."

"Don't forget the fawn coat," laughed Hazel, "used only for the 
impersonation. Crosbie wore the dark clothes of a respectable solicitor. 
So a fawn coat and a tartan tie--she told me that--would all help."

"It's rather wonderful," said Simon slowly, "and I am inclined to believe 
it is right. But do you realise, my dear, that it scuppers the whole 
business?"

"How do you mean?"

"I have been patting myself on the back because I discovered there was a 
M'Whirter--a fact neither Lee nor O'Grady knew anything about. I thought 
he might be someone leading a double life and was confident, if I could 
identify him, I should be pretty near to knowing who killed Crosbie. In 
fact, I was fairly sure M'Whirter, whoever he really was, did kill 
Crosbie. Now you tell me M'Whirter and Crosbie are one and the same 
person and therefore they are both killed! It doesn't make it easier, 
does it?

"I don't know," said the girl doubtfully. "It wants thinking out. If 
anyone hated M'Whirter they might kill him without knowing he was 
Crosbie."

"Afraid that won't do. The man who was killed was Crosbie all right. No 
one could have taken him for the black-moustached Scotsman. If your 
theory is correct, and I expect it is, M'Whirter probably made very few 
appearances. He was more for future than present use."

"In what way?" asked the girl.

There are indications that Crosbie meant to bolt. Mrs. Warwick says he 
was intending to retire and live abroad. His affairs suggest he has been 
feathering a nest somewhere. Perhaps Crosbie was to fade away and 
M'Whirter was to start a comfortable existence in some sunny southern 
clime. He appeared to Mrs. Warwick, as you say, to test the disguise and 
see if he could play the part."

"Would he have taken her with him?"

"A very feminine question, my dear," laughed Simon, "and one to which no 
reply is possible. It would have complicated things for him if he had, 
but if he was fond enough of her perhaps he would have risked it. 
Meanwhile it makes his murder more of a problem than ever and we have 
also to explain the behaviour of the bag snatcher who was too proud to 
steal. Good work for one after noon!"

"You don't think there is any connection between the two?"  asked Hazel.

If there is, it escapes me," Simon admitted. "But don't tell anyone else, 
about the Crosbie M'Whirter theory. O'Grady must get to work on it 
without rumours spreading that may make things more difficult for him."

"Don't tell Sylvia, you mean?"

"Better not, I think. We have made two discoveries, but if she can solve 
the one about the bag, that will be good enough."

But a third discovery was at hand, and that, like the two others, was to 
be difficult to explain and perhaps more disquieting.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: THE HAMMER

SYLVIA and Bill Broughley were sitting in the windmill lounge when Hazel 
and Simon entered. Sylvia was looking happier than for some time past and 
Bill seemed well pleased with himself. It was evident that they had 
explained away any doubts or misunderstandings there might have been 
between them and the future looked bright. Yet they could not disguise 
from themselves that a cloud must remain until the solution had been 
found to the mystery of the murder that had removed the obstacle to their 
union.

"Ever seen that, Sylvia?" asked Hazel, putting the leather bag on a table 
near her.

"My bag! Where did you get it?"

"Look inside," said Simon.

Once again the contents were turned out and examined.

"Anything missing?" inquired her cousin.

"No. Not a thing."

"Perfectly sure?" asked Simon.

"Perfectly. Just what I always carry. I am glad to have it back. 
Especially this."

She held up the green enamelled cigarette case with the "Sylvia" 
inscription in gold. "Your first gift, Bill." Then turning to the others, 
she said, "Who took them? How did you get them back?"

"Pardonable curiosity," replied Simon. "Only exceeded by our own." He 
told again of the search for the golf ball that had led to the discovery. 
"Your assailant apparently took a cross-country course over the links and 
threw the bag into that wild patch beyond the eighth."

"Without taking a thing," said Bill.

"Exactly. Have you kept the typed note that asked you to go there?"  The 
question was to Sylvia.

"Yes. I'll get it."

"I thought it said 'alone,’” remarked Simon, when she handed it to him. 
"Rather knocks out one of my possible theories."

"What was that?" asked Hazel.

"That the writer or writers meant to decoy you both from here so as to 
get in and do a bit of burgling."

"Did anyone come while you were alone?" Bill inquired of Hazel.

"No one," said the girl. "Of course, the place was empty when I went out 
to find Sylvia, but there was no sign of anyone having got in while we 
were away, and nothing was missed. Simon's notion wouldn't get many 
marks, any old how."

"Why not?" he asked.

"Would your burglar friend throw away five nice pound notes, to say 
nothing of the other things?"

"He would not. No one would--yet someone did! You can't make sense of 
it."

"The man took a pretty big risk of being seen," said Bill. "Sylvia might 
not have gone alone, and then he would have been caught. There must be 
some big reason for it. No one, short of a devil or a madman, would treat 
a girl like that for no purpose. To be shut in that hut with night coming 
on! I'd like to catch him and show him what I think about it!"

"I agree with all you say except as to the risk," commented Simon. "I was 
considering that this afternoon when we were over there. From the hut you 
can see for more than a hundred yards in every direction. Had Sylvia not 
been alone, the man who was waiting there could have hurried off before 
she and her companion were near enough to recognise him. As there was no 
one with her, he no doubt covered his face and expected her to look 
inside the hut. As she sat down outside it, he was able to get behind her 
and do his work with the bit of sacking. A powerful man obviously, for 
you are no featherweight, Sylvia, like our Hazel. Of course, he knew 
where he wanted to put you and you were taken by surprise. Whether mad or 
not, he was no thief. Taking the bag was camouflage to give that idea. 
Were you wearing any jewellery?"

"Nothing valuable. A wrist watch, rings and a brooch."

"A real thief would have gone for some of them. The bag might have 
contained nothing worth stealing. Spite or devilment seems the only 
explanation."

"You don't think…" began Bill.

But before he could complete his sentence there was a loud knocking at 
the door. Hazel jumped up and opened it.

Three men strode in without ceremony. The first was Inspector Lee, the 
second a constable in uniform and the third a big man in plain clothes. 
At a sign from the inspector the third man produced an article, wrapped 
with great care, and placed it on the table that still bore the contents 
of the bag.

"What do you know about that?"

Such was Lee's question. His hook nose and tight mouth looked more 
vulture-like than ever. He addressed Sylvia, but his eyes took in the 
rest of the party. Whether or not he was pleased to find Simon there it 
was hard to say.

They were all staring at the table. The article that had been laid on it 
so gently was a hammer, a rough ordinary hammer, such as might be used 
for breaking coal or perhaps for splitting stones. Its heavy iron head 
was held by a stout wooden handle. A commonplace thing, yet each one of 
them realised instinctively the particular hammer it was supposed to be.

"Nothing," was Sylvia's reply. "I have never seen it before."

"And you?" The brusque question was turned next to Bill Broughley.

"I have seen hammers like it," said Bill. "Most people have. Do you mean 
that is what killed Crosbie?"

Simon bent over it to examine it more closely.

"Don't touch it!" cried Lee sharply. Then he put his question to Hazel. 
"Do you know anything about it?"

"No," said the girl.

For a moment there was silence. The inspector was looking at them with 
his searching gaze, and they were unable to take their eyes from the 
object that might have brought violent death to one they knew. The metal 
head was stained. It seemed to be with rust, but were there traces too of 
something else?

"You all say you know nothing of that hammer and have never seen it 
before?"  Lee scrutinised each in turn. No one spoke, but their silence 
confirmed his words. "How, then, do you account for the fact that it has 
been found in your garden?"

Once more the question was to Sylvia. Her face had lost its colour, as 
all the old troubles seemed to threaten her again, but her voice was 
firm.

"I cannot account for it," she said.

"Have you anything more to say?" The inspector had turned to Broughley, 
who was also looking supremely unhappy.

"Nothing," said Bill, "except that Miss Wilton and I are absolutely 
innocent of the whole business. This is an utter surprise to us."

"Let us get the thing clear," said Simon. "I am as anxious to get at the 
truth, inspector, as you are, but I gather that so far there is no proof 
that this is the hammer that actually killed Crosbie. It is certainly the 
exact sort of weapon that the doctor indicated. Miss Wilton had a lot of 
work done at this place recently, turning it from a mill into a 
residence. There were, I suppose, a good many workmen about and one of 
them might have left a hammer behind. You say it was found in the garden. 
Will you tell us where?"

Lee did not immediately reply. He was there to get information, not to 
give it. He regarded this barrister as a clever young fellow and he knew 
he had been helpful. But he also knew that, where Broughley and Miss 
Wilton were concerned, Ross and himself were in antagonism. He decided, 
however, that there was no harm in finding out what was to be said on the 
other side.

"I had a man examining the garden. He found that hammer hidden in the 
bushes on the farther boundary. He did not move it, but kept watch 
outside and sent for me. I have just brought it in. I want to know how it 
got there."

"I saw your man," said Sylvia. "I asked what he was doing. He told me you 
had sent him to look round. Would I have let him stay if I had hidden 
anything?"

"You might," answered the inspector grimly, "if you thought it was hidden 
well enough. It would have looked very suspicious had you objected. You 
may have heard there are such things as search warrants."

"Anyway," said Simon peaceably, "whatever it is and whoever put it there, 
it has been found. You, of course, will have to examine it. It is 
possible that with microscope and chemical tests it may prove to be the 
weapon that killed Crosbie, although it will have been some days in the 
open."

"I am confident about it," said Lee.

"You may be quite right. It turns on the medical test. If that fails you 
must not forget the workmen I mentioned."

"The head greenkeeper may recognise it as the hammer he is missing."

"Or one like it," amended Simon. "But if this proves to be the actual 
weapon--what then? We have to ask ourselves what the person who struck 
the blow would do with his weapon. He might have thrown it in the bunker 
with the body. I don't quite know why he didn't, but anyway he would want 
to get rid of it. He could have walked across the road and dropped it 
here in the bushes, but the obvious thing would be to sling it away as 
quickly as possible. He had no time to lose."

"Some throw from that tee to this garden!" said Lee scornfully.

"Not at all out of the way," said Simon. "You have no idea how a hammer 
flies. The world's record is nearly two hundred feet and every year 
someone does about a hundred and fifty. Much further than across the 
lane. I know you are thinking that you have found the weapon just where 
the motive points, but would anyone here leave it in so dangerous a spot? 
So far the discovery doesn't really carry the matter much further."

"So far." muttered Lee. "But we have not finished!"

He wrapped up his precious exhibit, and walked out, followed by his men.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: SMASH!

"Do you think there is more trouble coming?"

Hazel put the question to Simon as they stood at the garden gate outside 
the mill-house.

"Inspector Lee is pleased at finding the hammer," he said, "and it may 
prove to be what he thinks it is, but don't worry. Thanks to your 
discovery that Crosbie and M'Whirter were one and the same person I am 
getting the whole thing pretty clear in my mind. With any luck we shall 
soon know the truth."

"But if, as you said, it was really that hammer, and it was found in the 
garden of someone who seems to have had the strong motive, and who 
suggested the appointment--"

"It can be made to sound pretty bad, but it also fits in with the picture 
as I am beginning to see it."

"Won't you tell me?"

"Not yet, Hazel, my dear. It is not complete. I know--or I think I do--a 
good deal as to the how, but not enough as to the who. I am fairly sure 
as to that, but proof is the difficulty. I am going to town now to see 
Inspector O'Grady; he is the right man. Lee is no use to us; he is too 
keen about Bill and Sylvia. But O'Grady will take the sound line, for, as 
it happens, it is just what he wants. With our discovery he ought pretty 
soon to clear things up."

"You are going back to London to-night?"

"Yes. I don't want to, but it is best. There is no time to lose, if my 
ideas are right."

"You will tell me--when you know?"

"Of course I will. If I can catch O'Grady to night, I'll be back 
to-morrow. If not, it will be as soon as I can manage it. So--is it 
arm's-length, Hazel, or--?"

She knew he wanted to kiss her, and it may be she wished him to want it, 
but she shook her head.

"We must be sensible, Simon. This trouble for my cousin Sylvia and for 
your friend Bill has brought us together in rather a queer way, but we 
don't really know anything about one another. We might quarrel horribly 
if we did."

"I feel sure we should," he said cheerfully, "but we are both so sensible 
that we should soon find out who was wrong and would make it up. Now I am 
to ride off into the night, and if anything happened to me you would hate 
to feel that you refused my last request."

"What could happen to you?"

"Who can tell in these days of flying hammers and stolen handbags? Shall 
I say with the lover of old, make me immortal with a kiss, or shall I 
hope for a reward when I deserve it?

"I am a great believer in hope," laughed Hazel.

"So be it, hard lady. Farewell."

He waved his hand and was gone. She looked after him down the lane, but 
he did not glance back. Perhaps she was a wee bit disappointed he had 
gone off in that way. Had she known what actually lay before him, she 
would surely have granted his request. But she was an independent girl, 
and her lips were not common pasture for every lad to nibble!

Simon walked quickly to the garage. It was. Saturday evening. Scotland 
Yard, like the Providence that watches over Israel, slumbers not nor 
sleeps. Day and night, seven days of the week, someone is on duty. But 
individuals must have their time off. Yet, if the ideas that were shaping 
in his mind were correct, it was desirable to get into touch with O'Grady 
as soon as possible. The inspector would doubtless pardon the disturbance 
of his Sabbath rest when he heard the news.

The garage was a large covered yard close to the Dormy House and opposite 
the club house. There were a few private lock-ups for those who cared to 
pay for them, but most people were content with the general shelter. 
Simon had left his car there after his return with Hazel from the 
station, when Mrs. Warwick departed. He had the impression that someone 
had moved it since he put it up; but that often happened.

After a quick meal he started on the road for London. There was plenty to 
occupy his mind. He was satisfied that Hazel was right in declaring that 
M'Whirter was Crosbie. The meetings of the former with Mrs. Warwick, as 
she pointed out, had been a good test for the disguise, and the necessary 
failure of the latter to turn up at the same time completed the picture. 
He knew it was dangerous to have a theory and make the facts fit it, but 
when it was the facts that suggested the theory, and they all dovetailed 
together, there was little risk of error. As he had himself quoted to 
O'Grady, suspicion was not enough; personal conviction was not enough; 
there must be proof. Only one person really met all the requirements of 
the case, and yet he could not say that no other was possible. It was 
O'Grady who must find the proof. With the authority and the resources at 
his command that should not be difficult, if it was not too late.

Then his thoughts turned to Hazel. How quickly she had guessed Crosbie's 
ruse. All the credit, when the truth was established, would be hers. What 
a delightful girl she was. He pictured her, with her alluring 
half-mocking smile, as she said she was a great believer in hope. So was 
he!

He was making good way and it was beginning to get dark when he was 
conscious of another car behind him. He did not accelerate; he was doing 
a steady fifty; if the other fellow could do better, he was welcome. He 
moved to the side to leave plenty of room for him to pass. To his 
surprise the other car slackened. It was odd. Very few drivers miss a 
chance of speeding ahead when they get it. The faster the car, the more 
the owner likes people to realise it; the slower, the gladder he is to 
pass something! The road was clear; the fellow could certainly have gone 
by had he wanted to.

It made him think of his previous run along that road when he had chased 
Elkington and done his utmost to draw level. Now it was the other way 
about. Once again the following car came near and then dropped back. 
Could it be someone from the golf club? What sort of a car was it? His 
mirror only reflected the headlights, and even when he risked a glance 
behind he could see no more.

A third and then a fourth time the car came within less than thirty 
yards. Simon decided that it should go by and he would see who was in it. 
He dropped to half speed and waved his hand for it to pass. Perhaps that 
slackening of pace saved his life.

The other car declined his invitation; it slackened almost to a crawl. 
The distance between them was again rapidly widening when something went 
wrong.

At the moment Simon hardly knew what it was. Without warning his bonnet 
dropped and ploughed into the tarred surface of the roadway. He was shot 
violently forward against the windscreen and was conscious that a wheel 
hurried off by itself into the farther hedge. The car turned over. He was 
dazed by the bumps and concussions.

The following car drew level and stopped. Simon was vaguely conscious of 
a familiar blue Sunbeam saloon. The driver alighted. It meant assistance.

Then, even his muddled intelligence had a shock. The driver, a tall man, 
had his face masked. He leaned through the window of the fallen car and, 
raising a white hand that held a heavy spanner, struck a vicious blow at 
the forehead of the almost helpless traveller.

Simon was able to lift an arm to shield his head. The blow numbed it, but 
he kept it where it was as some guard from the murderous attack.

A second white hand seized the arm and pulled it aside while another blow 
was struck at the unprotected head. Simon jerked to one side--the weapon 
missed his forehead but hit his cheek and tore his ear. Another blow 
followed. The space was cramped but the purpose was deadly. Simon sank 
unconscious in a huddled heap.

Once more the relentless hand was raised. The blows must be carefully 
struck, for they had to appear the result of an accident. The front of 
the head, not the back, must receive the damage. The assassin paused to 
choose the likely spot, and the moment of delay brought salvation.

The headlights of a third car were approaching. To be caught in the act 
would be fatal. Perhaps the first blows had been effective. There was not 
a moment to lose. A hurried leap into the blue saloon, a press of the 
starter and, as the newcomer drew up, a rush forward at increasing speed.

What James Bagshaw had to learn about motors and motoring would be hard 
to discover. He was a dealer in cars and knew the tricks of his trade as 
intimately as he knew the rules of the road. He was on his way back from 
a country residence where he had successfully arranged the sale of a new 
Daimler. It was one of his maxims that any fool could sell a new car if 
he allowed enough for the old one. That was the trouble. Too much on the 
old car might jeopardise all the profit on the deal.

On this occasion he was happy. He had not only allowed less than he had 
been prepared to give, but he already had a buyer in view for the discard 
at a satisfactory figure.

He was anticipating a cheerful week-end, but what he saw in the road 
checked his gaiety. First his interest was aroused; then his 
apprehension.

From a distance it looked as though there had been a collision. One car 
lay by the edge of the ditch and another was close beside it. He sounded 
his horn, partly to let them know he was coming and would help if 
necessary, and also because there was no room to pass. Then, as he drew 
nearer, a figure emerged from the stranded car, made for the one that was 
waiting, and drove away.

James Bagshaw's practised eye noted three things. The first was that the 
number plate on the moving car was, by accident or design, covered over 
with a piece of sacking. The second, that the man who drove off had his 
cap pulled right over his face, or was masked. The third that a spanner 
was in his hand.

Car bandits were not entirely new to him. He regarded them as the curse 
of the business, for their activities discouraged trade. Jumping from his 
own car, he went to investigate. The derelict was an Austin. In it an 
unconscious man was huddled in an untidy heap, bleeding freely from his 
head.

What should James Bagshaw do? It is not pleasant to get mixed up in an 
affair of that sort. How could he prove that he had come up after the 
trouble was over and was himself in no way to blame? Why had the other 
man driven off? Should he push on and report the matter? Sooner or later 
he might meet an A.A. scout. That would cover his duty. But what of the 
poor devil in the car--perhaps bleeding to death and in peril of being 
burnt if the escaping petrol caught light?

He saw that a wheel had come off. It was lying in the road a little way 
ahead. That would account for the spill. Then he saw something else. The 
front wheel that was uppermost was almost off too. The nuts were loose. 
In another mile that wheel would have caused a smash if the first had 
not!

Single-handed he could do little. The car with that body in it was too 
heavy to move and one man by himself could not lift the body out. It was 
an awkward affair, whether accident or murder. He wished he was not in 
it, but he had no thought of running away.

There had been no collision. The two cars were travelling in the same 
direction and an overtaking car could not hit the farside wheel--the one 
that was gone. There were no dents or even scratches on the parts that 
were visible.

The good Samaritan tried with his handkerchief to check the bleeding and 
at last help came. A car drove up from the other direction. Three men 
were in it. They had to pull up as there was no room to pass. Bagshaw 
explained to them as quickly as he could what he had discovered and with 
their help the body was extricated and placed on the back seat of the 
tourer he was driving.

Life was not extinct. They could see that. But the extent of the injuries 
and the chances of recovery were things they were not competent to judge.

"I will take him to the hospital at Newbon," said Bagshaw. "It is about 
five miles. But I want one of you to come with me to confirm my story. 
You wouldn't like it to happen to you, if you were driving alone."

"That is true," agreed the owner of the other car. "We will all come. 
Make us a little late getting home, but it can't be helped."

"I want you first to note these loose nuts," said Bagshaw. "The other 
wheel came right off. Either the fellow was damned careless or someone 
was meaning him to find trouble."

The men agreed with his conclusions and said it was a bad business.

"You didn't by any chance meet a blue Sunbeam saloon?" he asked. "It 
drove away just as I drew up. The man in it was actually leaning in this 
car and had a spanner in his hand. He jumped out and cleared off as soon 
as he saw me."

"We didn't meet anything," said the first of the three. "I was remarking 
how little traffic there was."

"There are cross-roads this side of Newbon," said one of the others. "The 
blue Sunbeam could have turned off there."

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: INSPECTOR LEE WAITS

THE next morning, being Sunday, Sylvia and Hazel walked across the fields 
to the village church, as was their custom. They had little to say as 
they went along. Possibly they both had too much to think about to want 
to talk.

Hazel enjoyed the simple service. There was something in worship and 
praise, in the prayers and the hymns, that responded to a need of her 
nature. It was not until the sermon that her mind strayed to other 
matters. The parson, instead of giving words of help and encouragement to 
those who were there to hear him, occupied his time by denouncing those 
who were not. He deplored the spread of Sunday sport and the increasing 
desecration of the Sabbath. He prophesied woe for a nation that neglected 
its churches. Excellent sentiments, thought Hazel, if addressed to those 
who stayed away. And that somehow made her think of Simon.

How little she really knew about him. What was his attitude to religion? 
Did he love music? Had he any hobby or interests other than golf and his 
work? She could not say; and he knew equally little of her. What about 
his parents? Had he any brothers or sisters? She had never asked; she 
could not tell. And yet they undoubtedly felt a strong attraction for one 
another. She was conscious of it and was fairly sure it was mutual.

Her mind took another leap. Do people fall in love with one another 
first--and marry--and be come one flesh--and then, when it is 
irrevocable, begin to learn afterwards what is the real nature of the 
thing of which they have become a part?

Did that account for the failure of so many marriages? Had Sylvia felt 
that glamour for Arthur Crosbie--only to discover within a few months 
that they had no thoughts, tastes, or ideals in common? Was nature a 
trickster and all the rest was luck? If Simon was in any way serious, 
what was her feeling--Then she realised that every one was standing up 
and she had lost the remainder of the discourse.

They had arranged to lunch with Bill Broughley at the Dormy House and, as 
they returned first to the mill, Sylvia gave some indication of the 
thoughts that had been in her mind.

"Hazel, dear," she said, "Bill is very anxious for a quick wedding and of 
course a very quiet one. Will you think it horrid of me if I agree?"

"Horrid, darling? How could it be? Why should you wait?"

"I don't mean because Arthur Crosbie is only just dead. We died to one 
another years ago. I meant horrid to you."

"I shall miss you frightfully," said Hazel, "but if two girls live 
together I suppose they know one of them may marry sooner or later. I 
want you to be happy more than anything on earth."

"Thank you, darling. I know you do, and I think I shall be happy. But 
about the windmill. We planned it all together and we thought we should 
live in it for years and years. Anyway till you married; not till I did. 
But now I want you to let me give it to you. So that it will be all 
yours, as long as you care to stay there. Perhaps Mrs. Wicks or some 
other woman would live in."

"Oh, Sylvia, it is sweet of you. I love the place. Yet when you have 
gone--I don't know. Would it not be better to lend it to me first? What 
does Bill want?"

"Bill wants to marry as soon as this trouble is cleared up and then to go 
for a long cruise, perhaps round the world. I don't think he will ever 
wish to come back here." She paused a moment, and then added, "Do you 
think it will be cleared up, Hazel?"

"I am sure of it, darling. Sooner than you think. Simon knows who did it, 
but the proof is not complete. He went to London last night to see that 
other inspector. When he tells him all he knows they will arrest the 
right man."

"Simon knows--how can he?"

"That is not for me to say," laughed Hazel. "Don't you think he is rather 
wonderful?"

"Hazel--what do you mean?" Sylvia looked keenly but lovingly at her.

"Only that, darling. Simon is wonderful at his work. The law, you know. 
Perhaps he will be back and will tell us more about it."

If that was her hope she was to be disappointed. Broughley met them and 
said Simon had not returned. The three of them lunched together and, 
although Simon was away, most of the people they knew were there and 
several of them came over and spoke.

The truth about Sylvia and Crosbie had become known and it had created no 
little sensation. That Miss Wilton was in fact Mrs. Crosbie, and that the 
husband who divorced her, but was unwilling to carry the matter to its 
normal conclusion, should be found murdered a stone's-throw from her 
dwelling, added a peculiar piquancy to the mysterious crime.

Many were anxious to show their sympathy. Others were impelled by 
curiosity to stare at her and, if possible, to say a few words. Her 
remarkable beauty added not a little to the strangeness of the story. 
Bill Broughley's regard for her was also widely whispered and there were 
not a few who, remembering his quarrel with the dead man, were convinced 
that no one knew more of the ex-husband's death than he did.

All of the three who sat at that table were in some manner aware of the 
gossip that centred round them. It was little wonder that the two most 
concerned would be glad to depart and forget it. Yet they were too plucky 
to hide or to run away while the mystery remained unsolved.

Philip Chase, always a cheery tattler, had the time of his life in 
telling people how he had played in the flag competition with Miss Wilton 
and how queerly she and Crosbie had behaved when he introduced them to 
one another.

"Fancy," he said, "introducing a man to his own wife! And both pretended 
to be strangers! Can you beat it?"

When their lunch was half over, Major Escott came across and spoke to 
them. He, at any rate, wished to show sympathy and goodwill.

"I say, Broughley, I wonder if you and Miss Wilton would play my daughter 
and myself this afternoon? Maidie tells me how good you are," he added, 
smiling to Sylvia, "but we would try to give you a game."

Bill glanced at Sylvia. She had set herself to face her ordeal in the way 
she saw right and she would not flinch from it. It was the first time she 
had played since the tragedy, and indeed the first time she had appeared 
at the club at all.

"Yes," she said, "we would love it. But what about you, Hazel?"

"I'll caddie for you," answered her cousin.

"Good," said Escott. "Two o'clock. May the best side win."

Then Hann came across.

"Excuse me, ladies," he said politely, "can you fix a time for our match, 
Broughley? The semi final, you know."

"I am not sure that I wouldn't sooner scratch," said Bill.

"You mustn't do that. I felt like it myself at first, but since the 
committee told us to carry on, I think we ought to."

"How long have we got?"

"Till Thursday, but I hoped you would be able to play to-morrow morning. 
I have to go to town later."

"All right," said Bill. He, like Sylvia, must play the game.

Then Hann turned to Hazel. "I see you and Mr. Ross have not yet put your 
names down for that competition. The list closes to-day."

"Then I will put them down," said Hazel. "And won't you let me have a 
friendly game with you sometime?"

"When I am a bit better. A big bit better," she said.

"But it is the advantage of golf," he urged, "you can handicap people so 
exactly. I should not be afraid of a world champion if he gave me enough 
strokes."

"I hate to receive strokes," said Hazel. "What is the pride in winning a 
race if it is only because you have too long a start?"

"Oh, that is all wrong," cried Hann. "Won't you explain to her, Miss 
Wilton, that you have to receive some strokes at first and then less and 
less as you get better and better?"

“I am afraid she has her own ideas," said Sylvia.

A little later it was Farmer who came to their table. He was walking out, 
but apparently changed his mind and stepped across to them. He was the 
first to refer definitely to the matter that was in so many minds.

"Oh, Miss Wilton," he said a little awkwardly, "I have just heard about 
you and Mr. Crosbie. I hope you will allow me to express my sympathy. It 
must have been a great shock. We are all very sorry."

"Thank you," said Sylvia.

Before Farmer could go Philip Chase came up, and he was followed by two 
or three more.

"I say, Miss Wilton," Chase began, "you remember that time I was playing 
with you? I am awfully sorry I introduced Crosbie as I did. Of course I 
never imagined how things were. I do hope I did not say anything I should 
not have done."

"It was quite all right, thank you," said Sylvia, with some effort.

Then Sladen had a word to say. No doubt he meant well, but he was the 
first to use her correct name.

"We are glad to see you back again, Mrs. Crosbie. It has been a ver-ry 
sad business but I hope you will not let it make any difference to your 
playing here."

Maureen Hobart, Mabel Colet and a few more joined the group. Hazel saw 
that her cousin had had as much as she could stand and she also caught a 
rather jeering smile on the lips of William Elkington who sat at an 
adjoining table, watching what was taking place. She got up.

"Come along, Sylvia," she said briskly. "If you don't get a move on 
you'll be late for your match."

Sylvia was grateful for the chance to escape.

"They meant kindly," she whispered, "but I don't think I will come 
again."

"It was best to face it," said Hazel cheerfully. "The worst is over."

There was no sign of Simon, so, as she had suggested, she walked round 
with the other four, carrying Sylvia's clubs for her. Both Major Escott 
and Maidie were as kind and tactful as it was possible to be. They 
treated the game in the right sporting spirit, with the same chaff and 
laughter as though murder and the shadow of tragedy had never come near 
any of them.

The play was not especially notable. Bill was perhaps the one who was 
most below form. There was a ferocity about his long shots that sent the 
ball a tremendous distance, and he kept them straight. But his short game 
was weak. He fluffed several approaches and missed two short putts. The 
Escotts were steady and had the better luck. They won the first two holes 
and it was not easy to get them back.

Sylvia showed something of the marvellous willpower when she had played 
that strange game against the husband she had never expected to meet 
again. But she did not talk much. Only Hazel realised the strain under 
which she was playing at all.

She almost missed a shot at the seventh when the ball lay close to the 
hut in which she had been imprisoned. But the greatest effort came at the 
fifteenth. It was Bill's drive. He was not likely to have forgotten the 
tragedy of that hole, but he hit the ball hard--too hard--and it sailed 
right over the green into the yawning mouth of the “Hell” bunker.

It was just what Hazel had not wanted to happen. She almost whispered to 
him to play short, but decided not to. Now he had done the thing she 
dreaded. Sylvia had to go down into that bunker and play from the spot 
where the body of the man who had once been her husband had lain--the man 
that she had almost openly been accused of murdering.

The Escotts were on the green and they all waited in silence while Sylvia 
went to make her shot. Hazel handed her the niblick and each one of them 
came to the edge and watched.

Sylvia went slowly down the sandy slope. Her face was white and Hazel 
breathed a prayer that she might hit the ball aright.

The prayer was answered. There was a cry of honest joy from them all when 
the ball sailed high into the air, pitched on to the green and rolled to 
within a yard of the pin. Bill did not miss that putt and the hole was 
halved.

The drive from the sixteenth tee, with "Hell" behind them, was not so 
trying. Sylvia and Bill won that hole and the next.

"What a grand match," cried Escott. "All square and one to play!"

But the eighteenth green was near the club house. The news spread that 
Miss Wilton's match was ending and quite a number of people came out to 
see the finish. Sylvia drove creditably and Bill put her on the green. 
The Escotts also were on in two. Then, at last, the strain told. With all 
those people watching, Sylvia seemed suddenly to lose sight of the ball 
altogether. She hit the turf behind it and only moved it a foot nearer 
the hole. Maidie Escott ran hers to within a yard. Bill apparently was 
left with a twelve-yard putt to halve the hole and the match. He studied 
the line carefully, but in the circumstances it was too much to hope for. 
The ball was truly hit but it stopped six inches short.

Anyone can miss a yard putt, but such things did not often lie to the 
credit, or discredit, of Major Escott. If he had been asked to say on his 
honour whether or not the miss was intentional he might have found it 
difficult to reply. But his thought, as he took his stance, was that, if 
he missed, Sylvia would not lose her first match since her great trouble 
. . . and he did miss. The two balls lay side by side a few inches from 
the hole.

"A half!" he cried, picking them up. "I ought not to have missed that, 
but it was a grand game. You both played splendidly."

"Do you mind," Sylvia whispered to him as they went towards the club 
house, "I want to take Bill home to tea?"

"Not a bit, my dear. You are quite right. We must play again soon."

But the fates ruled otherwise. That was the last game they were to have. 
The girls washed their hands and when Bill joined them, to make for the 
windmill home, he said:

"There is rather bad news. On the telephone."

"What is it?" they asked together.

"Simon. He had some sort of a car smash last night. He is in the hospital 
at Newbon. He has been unconscious all day."

"A car smash!" Hazel repeated the words and she tried to think--or not to 
think--of all that they might mean. What he had said came back to her. 
"If anything happened to me you would hate to feel you had refused my 
last request." Spoken in jest and yet it might be true. Her heart was 
stabbed with a sudden pain as she realised how little she knew him and 
yet how big a difference it would make in her life if he was taken from 
her.

"How did it happen? Is there any--bad--injury?"  The question came 
slowly, dreading the reply.

"His head is cut. His limbs are unhurt. They hardly know yet how it will 
go. The doctor is at hand all the time."

"Was it a collision?" asked Sylvia.

"They could not tell me. He was brought in by a man named Bagshaw who 
seems to have told rather an extraordinary story. He says as he 
approached the stranded car a man who was leaning in it pulled himself 
out and got into his own car, a blue Sunbeam saloon, and drove away."

"Mr. Elkington has a blue Sunbeam saloon," said Hazel, remembering the 
account Simon had given her of his chase on the London Road.

"So have I," said Bill. "In the car, Simon was lying unconscious, with 
cuts about the head. Bagshaw waited until some other men came up. Then 
they got him out and took him to the hospital."

"Was the windscreen badly broken?" asked Hazel, shuddering at the 
thought.

"It was broken, but not badly. Bagshaw says he doesn't quite know how the 
broken glass can have caused all the cuts. There is another odd thing, if 
what he and the other men say is true."

"What is that?"

"One of Simon's front wheels had come off and the nuts on the other were 
so loose that it would have come off too in a very short time."

"What does that mean?"

"If it is correct," said Bill, "it means that someone had tampered with 
the fittings to make him have a smash. Simon is very careful with his car 
and would never run it in that state."

"It may mean something else," said Hazel, in a very low tone. "Simon knew 
who killed Arthur Crosbie. He was going up to London to tell Inspector 
O'Grady and help him get the proofs. If he is injured, if he--if he does 
not get better--no one may ever discover the truth."

"And the man who did it," murmured Sylvia, "may be the one who loosened 
his wheels and who ran away and left him after the smash."

There was a moment of silence. Then Bill said: "When I found my car in 
the garage this morning I noticed how dirty it was. Someone had driven it 
out in the night and put it back in a very different state to that in 
which I left it."

The girls did not comment on that, but Hazel said: "If Simon did not 
recover consciousness how did they know to get on to you?"

"His London address was on some letters. They 'phoned there and were 
referred to the Dormy House. So I was told."

"What can we do?" asked the girl.

"I will take you home," answered Bill, "and then I will drive straight on 
to the hospital. Simon may be better now and they may let me see him. I 
am sure they are doing everything possible."

"You will let us know?" said Hazel.

"Of course I will. It may not be as bad as we think."

His intentions were not to be fulfilled. Who can tell what strange 
chances and changes even a few minutes may bring about? Hazel said she 
would run on in their two-seater and he could follow with Sylvia. She 
drove off and he went for his muddied car, brought back from Huntingdon.

When he and Sylvia reached the mill-house and walked up the garden path 
they saw Hazel already there, talking to Inspector Lee and one of his 
assistants. The inspector stepped briskly towards them.

"I have been waiting for you," he said grimly.

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: FINGER-PRINTS

HAD the Good Samaritan taken the victim of the outrage on the 
Jerusalem-Jericho by-pass to a modern police station he would have been 
lucky had he got away without any suspicion that he knew more of the 
wounds and the missing raiment than he chose to tell. He certainly would 
have been required to give a complete account of himself and what he was 
doing on the road at the time. If by chance he had partaken of the wine 
that he gave the luckless wayfarer, it would be recorded that his breath 
smelt of alcohol and he would be asked to stand on one foot and recite 
sibilant tongue-twisters. The Priest and the Levite are not always hard 
hearted. They only want to keep out of other people's troubles.

James Bagshaw knew what it would mean when he decided to stay by the 
derelict car and do all he could for its injured occupant. After he and 
his companions had left him at the hospital they went to the police 
station, which was not far off, and reported the matter.

The sergeant in charge took down all the particulars and required the 
names and addresses of his informants. He also asked to see their driving 
licences. It was clear he had his misgivings about Mr. Bagshaw. Certainly 
the story of the disappearing blue saloon, with its draped number and its 
masked driver, took some believing.

"Why did the driver go off when he saw you?" the officer asked.

"If he knew he was in the wrong he would not want to be identified," 
suggested Bagshaw.

"But how could he be in the wrong if, as you say, there had been no 
collision?"

"There you have me. I can only tell you what I saw. Looked as though the 
fellow had a spanner in his hand. Might have been out for robbery, but 
cleared off when he saw me coming."

"Did he use the spanner?"

"Couldn't tell you, but I wondered how the split glass cut the side of 
the head and the ear."

"Had the injured man been robbed?"

"We didn't go through his pockets. They can tell you that at the 
hospital. Perhaps they know now who he is."

The other three men confirmed Bagshaw's story as far as they were able to 
do so, and eventually the sergeant let them all go, though he warned them 
they might be wanted again. Bagshaw was a philosopher.

"Always help a fellow in trouble," he said to his companions. "It may be 
your turn next. But remember you are taking a risk."

Meanwhile, in the hospital, Simon was receiving every care. His clothes 
had been removed, the wounds dressed and some stitches put in the scalp 
and the torn ear. This was done without his recovering consciousness and 
at last he was left, his head smothered in bandages, with a nurse at his 
side to report directly there was any appreciable change.

"What do you make of it, doctor?" asked the matron.

"Clean wounds," said the doctor. "Seems strong and healthy. Should do all 
right. A near thing though. A bit deeper and he would not have had much 
chance. No glass in his cuts. Can't quite understand it. If a wheel came 
off I suppose he was thrown sideways and so cut his ear. But according to 
the story it seems the wrong ear!"

"I wonder if he will know anything about it."

"Don't ask him. He must have complete quiet. He may get off lightly, 
but--" a shrug finished the sentence.

So, throughout that night and the next day, Simon lay, knowing nothing of 
what was being done for him, or was happening to his friends. He was 
unaware of the efforts to discover his identity, or of the expedition by 
the police to examine his stranded car before it was brought to a place 
of safety. The bandages were removed and gentle fingers replaced them 
with new ones, icy cold. The bleeding had stopped and soft whispers in 
the ward said all was going well.

During the night of Sunday he roused and asked a few questions. But he 
was hushed with kindly words, given something to drink, and oblivion came 
again.

On the Monday a car drove up to the hospital and a young girl asked if 
she could see him. She was told to wait.

After a time the matron came to her. "You are Mr. Ross's sister?"  she 
asked.

"No. My name is Hazel Grantley. I am a friend. How is he? Is he very 
bad?"

"He is doing as well as can be expected. But he is not allowed to see 
anyone yet. You are his fiancée?"

"No," said the girl, "but I must see him. It is very, very important."

"I am afraid that is impossible." The matron's severe features were toned 
by her kindly eyes. "Excitement of any kind must be avoided."

"Yes, I understand that. But it is so important." Hazel's distress was 
obvious. Her usual vivacity was replaced by the pain and horror of a 
great shock followed by a sleepless night. "Some friends of his are in 
great trouble and a word from him might put it all right."

"If you like to come back this afternoon I will tell you how he is, but 
you must not expect to see him to-day."

"Do you think," whispered the girl, "do you think there is any risk that 
he will lose his memory?"

"No," said the matron kindly, "I hope not. But his getting better depends 
on his being kept quiet. We must not let anything worry him."

"I understand," said the girl sadly. "It is all so terrible. Could I wait 
here, in case he could see me?"

"You may wait if you like, but I should think it better for you not to. 
Come back this afternoon. We may have good news then. I will tell the 
doctor what you say."

Hazel went. How she filled the long weary hours she hardly knew. It 
seemed so cruel that Simon should have been struck down at that moment 
when he, of all people, was so much wanted. The terrifying thought that 
he might not get better, that his memory might be lost, even if his life 
was spared, was almost unendurable. But a ray of hope was waiting.

"He is much better," said the matron, when she returned in the afternoon. 
"He mentioned your name many times. He talked a good deal, but mentioned 
your name more than any other. We told him you had called to inquire, and 
he was very pleased."

"May I see him?"

"Not to-day. Perhaps to-morrow."

"Is he delirious?"

"Not exactly delirious. I think his mind is clouded and he is trying to 
get things clear."

"Perhaps I could help him," said the girl eagerly.

"Not to-day," repeated the matron gently. "The doctor says if all goes 
well you may see him for a few minutes to-morrow. But you must try not to 
say anything to agitate him."

"I will try." Hazel gave the promise and wondered how she could keep it. 
She longed to see him but, if she gave the news she had come to bring, 
how could it fail to agitate him? And yet a word from him might make so 
great a difference.

"We must be patient, my dear," said the matron, perhaps half guessing her 
thoughts. "A few hours, or even days, do not in the end make much 
difference to most things, but they may to a sick man."

During the night Simon took a very decided turn for the better. The 
weights that pressed on him seemed to lighten and his temperature behaved 
more normally. He had heard that he might see Hazel in the morning and 
that did him more good than anything else. When his pretty day-nurse took 
charge he even began to tease her. He demanded a mirror in order that he 
might examine his face. What he saw did not seem to please him.

"Nurse," he said, "you must shave me, or help me to shave myself, before 
Miss Grantley comes."

"Like that, is it?"  she smiled.

"It is, and if you don't make me look my best you will deserve to lose 
that boy friend of yours. Most likely, too, you will die young--caused by 
the heart turning stony."

He was certainly a very presentable invalid when Hazel came, but with his 
one eye that was not covered by the bandage he noted at once the change 
in her.

"My dear," he said, "you are looking tired and ill. What is the matter?"

"Don't you expect your friends to look a bit worried when you get 
yourself smashed up?” She spoke with an attempt at lightness. However hard 
it might be, she must do her best to play her part.

"Very sweet of you, but there is something else. What is it?"

"You are too modest, Simon! Are you really feeling better? Do you know 
how it all happened? Did another car run into you?"

"You are putting me off," he said. "Tell me the truth."

"Really, Simon--"

"If worry about me makes you look so ill, Hazel, they had better get 
another bed ready! Would they let us stay in the same ward, do you think? 
Now, tell me all about it. Is it Sylvia?"

"I'll tell you to-morrow if they'll let me. You must be patient, Simon, 
till you are stronger."

"Then there is something. I knew it. Tell me at once or my temperature 
will jump like a thermometer in a hot bath."

"But, Simon, I promised--"

"Tell me, girl, before I reach fever point!"

"It is about Sylvia. They have arrested her and Bill."

"Arrested them!" If the news quickened his pulse he did not show it. 
"Why?" He spoke very quietly and Hazel forced herself to reply in a voice 
that, though it trembled, was as soft as his own.

"Inspector Lee asked for our finger-prints. We let him have them and he 
returned with a warrant for Sylvia and Bill. He says they have proved 
that that hammer killed Crosbie. There are marks on it, bloodstains and 
particles of hair. And there are Sylvia's finger-prints on the handle. It 
seems impossible, but he says it is true. I suppose it must be. He could 
not lie about such a thing, could he? Of course she is innocent. I know 
she is. I told him so. I made him listen to me. But he says it is the 
strongest proof possible. No two people have the same finger marks and 
lots of criminals have been caught by them alone. He--he almost gloated, 
as though he had been right all the time. Oh, it was hateful, horrible. I 
did not know what to do. Bill was taken as an accessory, and you--you 
were here."

In spite of her resolution she shook with sobs. He put out a hand and 
took hers. For a while he lay perfectly still, saying nothing.

"Don't be frightened," he whispered at last. "It will all come right. I 
can see it now. Did you get here in a car? Can you drive me?"

"Yes, Simon, but you can't do anything. I ought not to have told you. You 
mustn't think of moving for days and days. But if you could give me a 
message for that other inspector--the one you were going to see. You know 
who really did it. If you would let me tell him who it was, perhaps they 
would let Sylvia go. I can't bear to think of her--where she is."

His grip on her hand tightened, but it was again some moments before he 
spoke.

"Ring the bell," he said.

She did as he asked and the pretty day-nurse came running in.

"Nurse, dear," he said, "I have got to leave you. Would you be an angel 
and get my clothes? Perhaps you had better mention it to the matron."

"You will do nothing of the sort," and the nurse looked indignantly at 
Hazel. "You have upset him. You had better go."

"Sweet one," said Simon, "you don't understand. Fetch the matron and I 
will explain. I am lots better than you think. Fit to be turned out 
really."

"Indeed you are not." She, however, departed and brought back the matron 
who looked grim and severe as she stood at the foot of the bed.

"Matron," he said, "I am a cured man and two friends need my help. You 
will let me go, won't you?"

"Not before the doctor says so," and she also looked reproachfully at 
Hazel.

"But he couldn't keep me against my will."

"Don't be too sure of that. We have to act for the patient's good. Please 
don't talk any more about it. Miss Grantley, your time is up."

But Simon still held Hazel's hand. "Listen, matron, please. In an 
ordinary way you would be perfectly right. After all you have done for me 
I should deserve to be strapped down for giving you trouble. But this is 
not ordinary. Two of our dearest friends, one of them a young woman, Miss 
Grantley's cousin, have been arrested for a murder of which they are 
innocent. Think of it--a murder! I can do something that will set them 
free. So you do see I must go, don't you? I will come back to-night, if 
you will have me."

"Two of your friends arrested for murder?"

"Yes, by a ghastly mistake. So I must put it right."

Certainly this request was no ordinary one. The matron felt that perhaps 
Hazel was not so much to be blamed as she had thought. But her duty still 
seemed clear.

"It would be wrong of me to let you go," she said. "If you wish to say 
anything to the police, or to anyone else, perhaps we could send for 
them."

"Oh, matron dear, you are like my mother used to be. Very strict, but 
with the kindest eyes in the world. And my mother would have let me go. 
She would see it was more dangerous to keep me. Think of me lying here, 
knowing those friends were in prison, and I who could help them was doing 
nothing. If we sent for the police, the right man might not come. Perhaps 
no one would come. They would say wait till he is better. And I should be 
awake, thinking, fretting, sweating. I couldn't endure it. See for 
yourself how steady my pulse is. Imagine what it will be if I don't do 
what I know I ought to do."

He held out his hand. Whether or not willpower had anything to do with 
it, his pulse was steady.

"If you are well enough to attend to serious things you should first deal 
with your own accident," she said. "The police want to know about that."

"The most serious must come first. That will wait."

She knew she could not keep him if he was determined to go and at last 
his persuasions were effective.

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT: CAN FINGER-PRINTS LIE?

"To London?"

"To Barrington."

"But surely--?"

"Barrington, please."

Hazel did not argue. She turned the car about and made for the direction 
of the golf club. She had thought that Simon would continue his journey 
to town and would there do what he could to aid Sylvia and Bill. It was 
better to see Inspector O'Grady than Inspector Lee. He had said that 
himself. But he must know. For some distance they ran along in silence.

She drove as carefully as she could. She realised that the matron was 
right, that Simon ought still to be in bed, but at the same time she was 
glad something was being done. She had felt so utterly helpless and alone 
since the arrest. It was a nightmare to think of it. But now Simon was 
with her. He had said it would all come right and she trusted him 
absolutely.

But he was a new anxiety. It would be terrible if her journey to fetch 
him caused him pain or harm. His head was bandaged and he had a black 
silk handkerchief as a sort of turban to make the wrappings less 
conspicuous. There should be no bumpings or jars on the journey that she 
could avoid.

"Is it true that all finger-prints are different?" 

She put the question after they had proceeded some way.

"Quite true. The police of all countries use the system and no duplicates 
have ever been discovered."

There was a long pause. Then she asked: "Could finger-prints remain and 
be identified after so many days?"

"I think so, unless they were deliberately rubbed off. There is a classic 
case at Scotland Yard of a burglar who removed some glass from a window 
and dropped it in a water butt. It was found there a fortnight later and 
still had his finger-prints on it."

Hazel considered this and then put another query. "Suppose it was a 
workman's hammer, as you suggested. That is the only possible thing I can 
think of. Suppose Sylvia had picked it up and forgotten doing so, would 
there not be other finger prints as well? The workman's and those of the 
person--the person who really used it?

"There might be. I thought you meant there were only Sylvia's prints?"

"He said that, but it can't be true. It can't be. And, if finger-prints 
remain, would bloodstains--in spite of the weather?

"That is an important point," he replied. "Don't worry about it, little 
girl. It is going to be all right."

No great distance away, in the Chief Constable's room reserved for such 
matters, Colonel Matthews and Inspector Lee sat in consultation. They 
were glad that the mystery of Crosbie's murder had been cleared up and 
they were now discussing the problem of Simon Ross's motor smash, the 
official account of which they had just received. James Bagshaw's story 
of the saloon was all very well, but it did not carry them far.

"Shan't be able to do much until Ross is fit to make a statement," said 
Lee.

"I am afraid not," assented Matthews. Then, his mind reverting to the 
other matter, he added, "A friend of Broughley's, isn't he?

"Yes," said the inspector. "A bit of a shock for him when he learns we 
have got both Mrs. Crosbie and Broughley."

"It will be. Of course there cannot be any doubt about the woman. No one 
can go behind finger-prints. Women golfers nowadays hit as hard as men. 
But I am not so sure that we can show Broughley actually was an 
accessory."

"I don't know, sir," said Lee. "There is the common motive, there is the 
fact of his quarrel with Crosbie the night before, and he bolted under an 
assumed name immediately afterwards. Also we know he was in the lane at 
the time of the crime."

"That last may be a point in his defence," suggested Matthews. "The woman 
crossed the road and struck the blow. That is clear enough. But if a 
murder is to be done, would a man stand by and let her do it? They will 
say it proves he knew nothing about it."

"Perhaps he didn't," said the inspector, "till afterwards, and then he 
bolted. But I don't figure it that way. She struck the blow. The 
fingerprints prove that. He was in the bushes and saw it done. He didn't 
know she meant to do it and it scared him. He rushed past Richards and 
his young lady, hardly knowing what he was about. Then, cooling down a 
bit, he went back to see her, passing Knight on the way, and he arranged 
to clear out the next day. It all fits together. I wonder if young Ross 
will defend him."

"Probably, if he is fit. But that is doubtful. You cannot tell how long a 
man will take to get over a crack on the head. May be weeks or months. 
What is it?"

The question was shouted in reply to a knock at the door. The reply was 
surprising.

"Mr. Simon Ross is here, sir, and wants to see you."

"Good Lord! Bring him in."

Simon and Hazel entered together. Both the other men stood up and 
Matthews took his hand.

"Didn't expect to see you so soon, Ross. Sorry to hear of your accident. 
I suppose you have come to tell us about it. Sit down."

"Thank you," said Simon. "I think you know Miss Grantley? Inspector Lee 
does."

There were bows, and they all seated themselves. "Now, Ross, take your 
time and tell us all you can. We have had the account given by this man 
Bagshaw. I suppose you have no idea who the fellow was that he says he 
saw leaning in your car and who drove off as he came up?"

"Yes," said Simon. "I think it was the man who killed Arthur Crosbie."

The reply was received in silence. Evidently he had not heard the news. 
Lee looked in surprise at Hazel. She knew; why had she not told him? She 
was lucky not to have been arrested too.

"I thought you were unconscious and your assailant was masked," he said, 
as his chief did not speak.

"That is more or less true," Simon admitted, "but it does not alter my 
opinion."

"I am afraid this time your opinion is wrong. We know who killed Arthur 
Crosbie, and the person in question is accounted for at the time of your 
accident."

"Ah," said Simon, "I suppose you are going to tell me that you had that 
hammer examined by experts and the head bore traces that proved it was 
the weapon that killed Crosbie, and Miss Wilton's finger-marks are on the 
handle?"

"So you have heard," said Lee. "No going behind that, is there?"

"It rather depends what you are trying to prove," replied Simon.

"Come, Ross," said Matthews briskly, "that is pretty obvious, isn't it? 
Miss Wilton, or Mrs. Crosbie as she should be called, is under arrest. So 
is Broughley. Friends of yours, I believe, and I am sorry. But there is 
no getting away from facts."

"No, sir," said Simon, "and the fact is you have made a mistake. I have 
come to ask you to release them."

The two men looked at him in pity. He had been cracked over the head and 
probably was not quite responsible for what he said.

"You can't get away from the finger-prints," said Lee. "I have heard of 
attempts to forge them--using gelatine reproductions. Very pretty in 
story books but it doesn't happen in life."

"No," returned Simon, "the finger-prints are genuine enough. I am not 
disputing that. The question is how and when they were made."

He was aware of Hazel's anxious look and the men's tolerant smile, but he 
went quietly on.

"What made you search Miss Wilton's garden for the hammer?"

"Routine," said Lee. "We had a 'phone message suggesting it, but should 
have done it in any case."

"A 'phone message. I expected that. You have to realise that you are 
dealing with a far sighted and unscrupulous criminal. On the day before 
the inquest, Miss Wilton had an unsigned letter asking her to come alone 
to the hut by the seventh tee at eight that evening and she would hear 
something she ought to know. She went. Perhaps she was foolish, but if 
you realise her state of mind you will not be surprised at her action. 
She might have heard something about her late husband, or she might have 
received a message from Bill Broughley, who had for some unknown reason 
gone away. She went and was seized by an unseen assailant. She was 
dragged into the hut and left there. The door was shut on her. Her 
handbag had been wrenched from her arm. Theft was the apparent object of 
the plot."

He paused and was again conscious of the keen gaze of the three of them. 
Hazel, perhaps, was beginning to see light. The colonel was in doubt and 
Lee was obviously cynical.

"Inside the hut there was a short stout stick--and nothing more. Miss 
Wilton did what anyone else would have done. She cried for help and she 
seized that stick and beat with it on the door and the walls to attract 
the attention of possible passers before night fell. Luckily Miss 
Grantley knew of the appointment. Alarmed at her cousin's non-return, she 
went across the links to the hut and set her free. That true?"

He turned to Hazel with the question.

"Quite true."

"What did you do with the stick?"

"I don't know. We just left it there. Sylvia dropped it when I opened the 
door. I made her tell me what had happened and I took her home."

"Well?" The monosyllable came from the colonel. It was addressed to 
Simon.

"The calculating criminal returned. He had secured the finger-prints he 
wanted. With great care he restored the haft to the hammer-head to which 
it belonged and later dropped the complete weapon in Miss Wilton's 
garden, where he knew it would eventually be found."

Again there was silence. Hazel at last saw the whole truth and wondered 
how she could have been blind so long. She looked at Simon with a new 
light in her eyes. Hope for her friends, admiration for him. The colonel 
was still dubious, but Lee was entirely unconvinced.

"A fairy tale!" he cried. "Clever, but you won't get away with it. If 
there ever was a plot, a theft, an assault and all the rest of it, why 
was I never told?" 

"I wanted her to tell you," said Hazel, "but she would not."

"Did she think of it, or did you?" he sneered. 

"It is no fairy tale," said Simon. "Luckily Colonel Matthews is a witness 
to its truth. Last Saturday, before you found your hammer, I found that 
handbag. Colonel Matthews was with me and I told him the story. It seemed 
odd to effect a theft and then throw away the plunder. The contents of 
the bag were untouched. It was inexplicable. But, directly I heard of the 
finger-prints on the hammer handle, I saw the whole thing."

"It is quite true about the bag," said Matthews uneasily, "and you told 
me of its theft before we knew anything about the finger-prints. But the 
rest, although it is not impossible, is theory and hypothesis. It cannot 
be proved."

"And why," added Lee, still unbelieving, "why should this unknown 
criminal pitch on Miss Wilton, as you call her, and get her finger-prints 
and use her garden?"

"Perhaps," said Simon, "I had better answer that question first. The 
unknown criminal knew a great deal more than you suppose. He was either 
in Crosbie's confidence or had discovered things Crosbie wished kept 
secret. He had reasons for knowing suspicion would fall on Miss Wilton 
and, to save himself, tried to make that suspicion a virtual certainty. 
As to my being unable to prove what I have just told you, it may be less 
difficult than you think. You have still got the hammer?"

"Certainly," said Matthews.

"Good. I have never examined it and I have not been inside the hut, but I 
am confident if you go there you will find indentations in the woodwork 
exactly corresponding to the size and shape of the handle."

"Or of any other stick," said Lee.

"And," proceeded Simon, disregarding him, "I ask, I demand, that a new 
examination be made of the hammer. Your experts have examined the iron 
face to the head and declare Crosbie's blood and hair is to be traced. I 
do not doubt it. They have examined the handle and find Miss Wilson's 
finger-prints. I do not doubt that. Now let them examine the joint 
between the handle and the head--the wedge that has to be taken out to 
separate the two. Examine it under the microscope, and in every other 
way, and they will find unmistakable evidence that the parts have 
recently been separated and put together again."

"How can you know?" queried Lee.

"It is so," said Simon, "because it must be so. It takes violence to 
sever and unite the parts and it will leave signs visible to the 
microscope if not to the naked eye. The atoms of dust and rust will be 
different. Let them compare it with another old hammer, not previously 
touched. I only ask this: have at least one outside and independent 
expert." Simon's absolute confidence was very impressive.

The Chief Constable, himself a witness to the finding of the handbag, 
could not deny that the cornerstone of his case against Sylvia Wilton 
looked like collapsing.

"I will have the examination made," he said, "and you may rely on its 
being impartial. If the findings confirm your views I will reconsider the 
whole position."

"But there is another thing!" cried Hazel.

"What is that?" inquired Matthews.

"Simon knows who really did it!"

The two officials looked at him in natural surprise.

"Miss Grantley should not quite have said that," he smiled. "It is true I 
said the man who attacked me was the man who killed Crosbie. I believe 
that is the case, and I think I know who it is, but until it can be 
proved I would prefer not to give the name. I was on my way to Inspector 
O'Grady for him to secure the proof when I had my smash. I think someone 
guessed I was getting to know too much!"

Then he turned to Lee. "I was going to O'Grady not because he is a better 
man, or even so good, as yourself, but because it is practically certain 
that the proof lies in London and so it would anyway be up to him."

"That is all very well," said the inspector, somewhat mollified by the 
compliment, "but you are asking us to take a lot on trust."

"Not at all. I have given you the only reasonable explanation about the 
finger-prints--the trap to get Miss Wilton to make them. I say examine 
the door and the hammer and let her and Bill Broughley free if I am 
right. As to the rest--wait and see."

CHAPTER TWENTY.NINE: SERGEANT CHANCE

To London!

Again Hazel turned the car and sped away in silence. They were bound for 
Scotland Yard and she felt that there she was at last to hear the 
solution of the mystery that had so startled and changed her life. Then 
she glanced at her companion. He was looking worn and woefully pale. She 
pulled up.

"Simon, are you all right?"

"A bit fagged," he said. "We might get something to eat somewhere. I felt 
as fit as anything while I was talking to those men, but I suppose it was 
rather tiring."

"Shall we leave O'Grady till to-morrow?"

"Rather not! Find the proper place for such fare as the matron would 
approve and I will soon be as bright as ever."

They found a suitable hostelry and undoubtedly their lunch did them both 
good. Hazel said nothing of herself, but it was the first sound meal she 
had enjoyed for two days. Before they started off again she put her hand 
on his.

"Simon, I am sorry I told Colonel Matthews you knew who did it, if you 
did not want me to say so. That seemed to me the surest proof of Sylvia's 
innocence."

"Quite right, my dear, but knowing and proving are very different things. 
If I had mentioned a name it would not have helped. Rather the other way 
about. But if we are not too late the proof should be there all right."

"It was wonderful for you to remember that stick in the hut. Of course it 
must have been the hammer handle and was quite simple when you explained 
it. But we never thought of it. What a devilish thing to get 
finger-prints in that way."

"Devilish is right," said Simon, "and it nearly succeeded. It was lucky 
Colonel Matthews was with me when I found the bag and so had heard the 
story. No one would stage a plot like that and then throw away the 
plunder without a good reason. But until we heard of the finger-prints we 
could not tell what it was."

"Do you think he will have Sylvia and Bill set free?"

"Soon. I am sure of it."

"But suppose--suppose there are no marks on the wedge and the end of the 
hammer?"

"My dear Hazel, there will be. Photographic and microscopic enlargements 
of things like that are amazing in what they reveal. And meanwhile we 
will get on with the other part of the job."

When they reached London, Simon suddenly decided on a change of plan.

"Not Scotland Yard yet," he said. "Right on to the city."

She followed his directions and threaded through the less frequented 
streets until they eventually drew up before a massively built block, not 
a great way from the Mansion House.

"I know the manager," he told her. "I won't be many minutes."

He got out and went inside. She saw that it was the premises of a Safe 
Deposit Company. She had heard of such places and of their vaults and 
strongrooms, but she knew nothing of the thousands of tons of chilled 
armour plate used in their construction or the many precautions that make 
them veritable fortresses, impregnable to every conceivable method of 
illegal attack.

When he returned he was evidently very well satisfied. "Now for Scotland 
Yard," he said, "as quickly as this traffic permits."

She was still driving with the utmost care to save him from shocks and 
jars, but she made for the Embankment and hastened westward.

"The police," he told her as they went along, "have a saying that 
Inspector Luck and Sergeant Chance are two of their most successful 
officers. Sergeant Chance is with us! Our friend, Robert M'Whirter has a 
strong-room in that building. O'Grady might have had to search all London 
for it, and we have dropped on it at once--though certainly it was the 
obvious place. And Mrs. Warwick's description of the gentleman was 
excellent!"

Hazel did not quite understand what he meant, but she asked no questions. 
A few minutes later they were seated in the comfortable room where 
Inspector O'Grady worked and, Sergeant Chance being still kindly, they 
found him at liberty.

"Well, Mr. Ross," he said genially, "I did not expect to see you so soon. 
Glad you have someone to take care of you." He grinned at Hazel. "I was 
sorry to hear of your mishap. What are we to do about it?"

"For the moment, nothing," said Simon. "I want you to telephone 
immediately to the International Safe Deposit Company that if Mr. Robert 
M'Whirter calls they are to let you know at once, and must at all costs 
keep him there till you arrive."

"But I cannot do that," said the inspector, "I have never heard of Robert 
M'Whirter. Who is he? What is it all about?"

"You want him for the murder of Arthur Crosbie. Please take my word for 
it. I will explain presently. There is no time to waste. If you let him 
slip through your fingers while we argue about it you will never forgive 
yourself. He is expected there this afternoon. I would not have left the 
hospital without orders had it not been absolutely imperative."

"I'll risk it," muttered O'Grady, impressed by his tone of urgency. He 
sent his message and received a satisfactory reply.

"To be on the safe side," said Simon, "send two men along to be at hand 
in case they are needed. He may be desperate."

Again the inspector looked dubious, but again he did as he was desired. 
"In for a penny, in for a pound!" he muttered. Then when the necessary 
instructions had been given he said, "Now I'll be glad to hear what it 
means."

"You shall," said Simon, leaning back in his chair a little wearily. 
"Thank goodness we can take our time over it. I suppose you know they 
have arrested Miss Wilton because her finger-prints were on the hammer, 
and Bill Broughley as an accessory?"

"I do, and it seems pretty conclusive."

"Yes, but it is all wrong."

As briefly as possible Simon outlined the story he had unfolded to 
Colonel Matthews and the further tests he had suggested. "You will 
remember I told you about the theft of the bag," he added. "Matthews and 
I found it in the bushes with its contents intact. So we still had to 
know why Miss Wilton was decoyed to the hut and locked in. The hammer 
handle explains it."

"It certainly seems possible," and O'Grady rubbed his hands with 
satisfaction. "It is the first time I've known the finger-print proof 
bowled over, but in a way I'm not sorry. As I told you, I had rather 
hoped to link up the murder with the missing money. I was on a hot scent 
when the news came of the hammer and the arrests. It seemed to settle 
everything and let my man out. He and Crosbie, I discovered, had a big 
quarrel over a company they were to float. A real ramp. No wonder he 
wanted his papers back!"

"You mean Elkington?"

"I do. How did you know he was calling himself M'Whirter?"

"With your usual perspicacity," replied Simon, evading the direct 
question, "if not with absolute originality, you said cherchez la femme. 
But you thought Miss Wilton filled the bill. I cherchez-ed a bit further 
and found a Mrs. Warwick, who was Crosbie's secret lady friend, in spite 
of his semi-divorced condition."

"Why did you not tell me?"

"I was on my way to tell you when I had what you call my mishap. We had 
first to test the value of her statement and to get her permission to let 
you know about it."

He then told of his chance meeting with Mrs. Warwick at the inquest and 
his call at Battersea. Also of the way Crosbie had deceived her in the 
matter of marriage.

"When she said she had met Crosbie's partner, M'Whirter, who was also a 
member of the Barrington Golf Club, I thought the best thing was to get 
her there so that she might identify him. I knew no one of the name, but 
it occurred to me it might be an alias for one of the members. When she 
came I handed her over to Miss Grantley and it is her we really have to 
thank for discovering the clue to the whole matter. Crosbie and M'Whirter 
are one and the same person."

"But I don't quite see…" began O'Grady, looking at Hazel. She smiled, but 
said nothing.

"We will call it feminine intuition," said Simon. "It fitted the facts so 
well that it just had to be true. Mrs. Warwick only met M'Whirter when 
Crosbie was away. The disguise was simple and the Scottish dialect a 
positive clue. But the whole thing was the Crosbie needed a second 
personality. You told me he was converting trust funds and the proceeds 
were disappearing. Where to? Obviously to himself in another name. He 
meant to disappear, and M'Whirter with ample funds would have 
appeared--somewhere the other side of the earth."

"But if Crosbie is M'Whirter," said O'Grady, "and Crosbie is dead, how 
can M'Whirter be calling at the Safe Deposit this afternoon?"

"Come, inspector," laughed Simon, "do yourself justice! Someone is in the 
know. Either Crosbie had a confidante, a confederate, or else his secret 
was discovered. This person decided that if one man could wear a fawn 
coat, big eye-glasses, a false moustache, dye his skin and talk with a 
Scottish accent, so could another. Remember it had only to be done for a 
few minutes. So all he has to do is to kill Crosbie, appear as M'Whirter, 
and walk off with the swag that Crosbie has been accumulating!"

"So that is it." O'Grady considered the matter, and could see its 
simplicity. It met all the requirements of the case, and yet with no 
knowledge of such a being as M'Whirter he might never have got to the 
facts. "If it is true, we are lucky that the swag has not already 
disappeared."

"That is so," said Simon. "Probably some has gone, but evidently not all. 
M'Whirter the second was in no hurry and he had to be cautious. He could 
not be quite sure you would get no clue as to Crosbie's secret name and 
hoard, and so waited a bit lest he should walk into trouble."

"But how does this affect the attack on you, Simon?" asked Hazel, who 
remembered his statement to Colonel Matthews that his assailant was 
Crosbie's murderer.

"I am afraid, my dear," was the reply, "that, unknowingly, we took Mrs. 
Warwick into danger. She could not recognise anyone at the golf club, but 
someone recognised her. Someone who knew what she was to Crosbie. Seeing 
me with her, he thought I might learn too much. So I was better out of 
the way."

"'What utter villainy!" said the girl.

"I don't approve of it," he smiled, "but what has worried me, ever since 
I began to piece things together in the hospital, is that Mrs. Warwick 
might be in danger. If we had not got on to the M'Whirter hoard so 
luckily and so quickly, I should have asked you, O'Grady, to give her 
protection. She is really a worthy woman. I hope now it will not be 
necessary."

Just then the telephone bell rang. O'Grady picked up the receiver and 
listened.

"Robert M'Whirter," he said, "has arrived at the Safe Deposit."

CHAPTER THIRTY: THE PLUNDER

"IF," said O'Grady, as he grabbed his hat, "if I arrest a perfectly 
respectable Robert M'Whirter from Glasgow or Glenmuckclucketty the fat 
will be in the fire!"

"Such a thing is possible," admitted Simon, "but it will only mean you 
have to trace the other M'Whirter somewhere else."

The inspector dashed out of the room and made for the car that was 
waiting for him. A shrill note was sounded and he was off. The police all 
along the route knew that note and recognised the official sign. Traffic 
cleared as if by magic. Everything was held up while the fastest car in 
the flying squad shot on its way to the heart of the city of London.

Simon and Hazel followed in a more normal fashion in their little car. He 
was looking very weary and she realised he had done far more than he 
ought to have been allowed to do.

"Shall we go back to the hospital, Simon?" she suggested. "The inspector 
knows everything now. You can leave it to him."

"No, my dear. We must be in at the death. And O'Grady doesn't know 
everything. He doesn't even know whom he is going to arrest?"

"Isn't it Mr. Elkington?"

"It might be, but I shall be much surprised if it is!"

"Who do you think it is?"

He tried to smile at her, although his head was aching infernally. "Why 
risk a guess when we shall know so soon?"

They were caught in the welter of traffic, but they made their way as 
quickly as they could to the scene of action.

Meanwhile much was happening. Robert M'Whirter, clad in his fawn 
overcoat, his hat well over the eyes that were shielded with wide 
horn-rimmed spectacles, his untidy dark moustache drooping over his 
mouth, and carrying a large attaché case, had not taken long to reach the 
armour-clad corridor that contained among many others the strong-room in 
which he was concerned. He produced his key and soon the heavy door was 
swung open.

The apartment was seven feet high and about four feet square. It could 
have contained vastly more than was in it, but what was there was no 
doubt worth the storing. He made no examination of what he took. There 
were papers--bonds with their attached dividend coupons and a thick 
bundle of French thousand franc notes. He packed his case as rapidly and 
as closely as he could. He glanced quickly at the remaining packets. One 
more visit and the lot would be cleared!

Swiftly, and yet not so hurried as to attract especial attention, he 
passed along the corridor, speaking a friendly word to the armed janitor 
who guarded the entrance. Then up in the lift, out of the steel and 
concrete fastness in the depths of the earth, to the entrance hall on the 
ground floor.

"Mr. M'Whirter, may I have a word with you?" A big man stopped him. A 
stranger--yet it is possible the features were not unfamiliar. The visit 
to the vault had only taken a very few minutes, but even less were 
necessary for that flying car to cross the city.

"What do ye want? Who are ye?" The words were spoken slowly, with a 
painstaking Scottish burr.

"You are Mr. M'Whirter?" 

"I am R-rober-rt M'Whirrrter. I am in a hurry. I canna stop. A letter 
here will find me."

"Just a moment in the private office," said the stranger.

M'Whirter glanced at him. Then he measured in his eye the distance to the 
door with its chance of escape to the crowded street. It was the only 
way.

"Verra weel," he murmured.

The inspector turned towards the office. As he did so a fierce sudden 
blow sent him staggering to the ground. His assailant dashed for the 
exit. He reached the big revolving door. Another moment and he would be 
swallowed up in the hustling throng that pressed the pavement. But keen 
eyes were watching and strong arms were waiting. O'Grady might have been 
taken off his guard, but he had left nothing to chance. Outside the door 
his two men received the fugitive and dragged him back.

A grim struggle followed. "M'Whirter" was strong and desperate. Writhing 
and kicking, he got both the men on the floor, but O'Grady joined in. 
With such odds the affair could only end one way. Just as Simon and Hazel 
arrived, the handcuffs were fixed and the prisoner was lifted to his 
feet. But the drama was not to close without its note of comedy.

O'Grady, intent on unmasking the villain and discovering his true 
identity, stepped forward and removed the spectacles, which had remained 
despite the scuffle. He then proceeded to tear the false moustache from 
the miscreant's mouth. He gave a good tug and almost tore the lip--but 
nothing came away.

"Stop!" cried Simon, "I told you Crosbie wore a false moustache, but 
Sidney Hann did not need to! Nature provided him with one. He had only to 
comb it over his mouth and colour it!"

Sidney Hann!

Hazel stared in horror at the traitorous friend who, guilty of murder 
himself, had tried to bring ruin, injury and disgrace to them all. 
Despite the darkened hair and skin, and the padded clothes, she now could 
recognise him. But in one detail there was no disguise. His vanity 
remained. Simon swiftly noted that. It was his last clue.

"I won't say anything, Hann, about vulgar ostentation, but when you hit a 
man with a spanner you should either wear gloves or remove your rings!"

"Or hit harder!"  muttered the detected villain, his eyes blazing with 
baffled hate.

"Bring him in here," said O'Grady briskly, pointing to the office he had 
already proposed to use. "I'd like a quick look at the contents of that 
attaché case."

Only a quick look was needed. The inspector saw at a glance that what he 
had found more than justified all he had done.

"These are some of the bearer bonds that Crosbie bought and which could 
not be traced," he said to Simon. "Makes your story pretty good!"

"He'll have the keys on him," answered Simon. "Better see if there is 
anything more in the vault. We will wait here." He sank wearily into a 
chair.

O'Grady soon found the keys. "Take him away," he said to his men and Hann 
was led from the room.

The courteous management lent every assistance and the inspector was 
conducted to the subterranean stronghold.

"Simon," whispered Hazel, as they waited alone, "it has been wonderful. I 
can't tell you all I think about it, but you are ill again. You are 
feeling bad. I know you are. What am I to do for you?"

“It is all right, my dear. Just a little reaction. We must say good-night 
to O'Grady!"

They had not long to wait. When the inspector returned he looked 
supremely well satisfied.

"More bonds, some more foreign currency and this!"  he remarked.

This was a passport made out in the name of Robert M'Whirter and with a 
photograph that was undoubtedly Arthur Crosbie. Taken without his 
disguising glasses and unaffected by the darkened skin, the features were 
unmistakable. Only the false moustache made any kind of difference and 
that was not enough to mislead those who knew the original.

"That connects Crosbie and M'Whirter," chuckled O'Grady, "and we've got 
Hann. It links up every thing, and," he turned to Simon, "it is all 
thanks to you, Mr. Ross."

"No," said Simon, "it is all thanks to Hazel. She made the only discovery 
that mattered."

"Well," said the inspector, "we will go into that later. I am grateful to 
you both."

Then Simon held out his hand to the girl. His voice was weak.

"Can you get me back to that hospital, Hazel? If they won't take me in, 
leave me on the door step!"

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE: PROOF?

SIMON was admitted to the hospital on his return and he had a pretty bad 
time. It was useless for the doctor and the matron to scold him. He had a 
relapse and for three days was unable to see or talk to anyone. He had 
been buoyed up with a wonderful determination to fight for his friends 
and when that end was accomplished there was, as he had said, a reaction. 
It was very apparent how he had overtaxed his returning vitality.

Yet, when Hazel told them her remarkable story, neither the medical nor 
the nursing staff could blame him or her. The tale in some mysterious way 
got into the papers and the whole world knew of the young lawyer who had 
left hospital to clear his friends and to expose the real villain, only 
to return to it in a state of collapse. For those few days he was real 
"news." The headline, "The Condition of Simon Ross," found prominence in 
every print and was looked for eagerly by readers all over the country.

On the third day he was much better and on the fourth was allowed to see 
visitors. He, in fact, declared himself perfectly fit again, though this 
time he was in no hurry to leave his comfortable quarters.

Hazel had never been far away. Often she was at his bedside when he did 
not know it. Though perhaps, in some sub-conscious way, he had been aware 
of her presence and it had aided his recovery.

On the fourth morning she and Sylvia and Bill were with him. The two 
lovers had been liberated. They had been terribly anxious for the friend 
who had done so much for them and wished to take the earliest possible 
opportunity to tell him something of what they felt. But they had not 
been there long when Inspector O'Grady was announced.

"Are you sure you are strong enough to answer a few questions?"  he 
asked, after greetings and congratulations had been exchanged.

"Quite sure," said Simon, with his old cheeriness. "I'll be glad to get 
it off my chest. Fire away."

"Well, sir, before the case comes on, we want to get it all as complete 
as possible and although we have plenty of proof on certain matters, 
there are other things that are not so clear."

"I know," said Simon, "I've been thinking of it myself from the point of 
view of the defence. I am not at all sure you are going to find it too 
easy to prove that Hann killed Crosbie. You will get him all right for 
complicity in frauds, but it is not so easy to show that it was his hand 
that struck the blow. It is a very strong presumption, but not an 
absolute proof. Is that the trouble?"

"Well, sir, we think a jury ought to be satisfied, but we'd like to make 
the case as tight as possible."

"Crosbie deserved to be killed," replied the young lawyer, "and in one 
way it would not worry me if no one was hanged for it. I could have been 
satisfied if Hann got a good sentence for his thefts. I could have 
pardoned his attentions to myself. But his devilish plot against Sylvia 
puts him beyond the pale. Do your best--or your worst!"

The inspector nodded. "To begin with," he said, "you were not surprised 
when the second M'Whirter proved to be Hann. Why was that?"

Hazel held a cup of something cool to Simon's lips. He looked his thanks 
and raised himself a bit on his pillows. His bandages had been slightly 
altered and both his eyes were free.

"To go back to the beginning," he said, "it seemed to me that you and 
Inspector Lee rather overlooked the importance of the fact that the 
Sylvia note found in Crosbie's pocket was torn in four pieces."

He turned to Sylvia. There was a new happiness in her eyes as she sat 
with Bill at one side of the bed, the Inspector being at the other. Hazel 
was standing close beside the pillow.

"You don't mind our going into this? Or would you and Bill rather come 
back presently?"

"We would sooner hear it all," she said; "if we may."

"Much sooner," added Bill.

"You may be able to help," said Simon. Then he turned again to O'Grady. 
"That note made the appointment for 9.30 at a definite spot. Why should a 
man tear it up and then put it in his pocket? I asked you the question 
and you suggested a man's impulses were unaccountable. It was sufficient 
to you that he had done so."

"Yes, I remember."

"To me there was another solution. He had received the note, torn it up 
and thrown it away. Why keep it? It was so simple. He could not forget 
it. But if he threw it away and someone else found it, it not only told 
of the appointment, but it indicated the person on whom suspicion might 
be thrown."

"But," objected the inspector.

"I know. The finder must have been aware who Sylvia was. That was the 
next step and not a difficult one. Who, of all the people there, was the 
most likely to know of Crosbie's life before he became a member two years 
ago? Obviously the man who introduced him. The man who admittedly had 
done business with him for several previous years. Did you ever meet or 
hear of Hann in the days before your divorce?"

The inquiry was to Sylvia. "I never met him," she replied, "but I think 
Mr. Crosbie spoke of him."

"Really he gave himself away." Simon said, "When he discussed the matter 
with me he explained so elaborately why he knew nothing of Crosbie's 
private affairs--how every man has two lives--that I felt, as Shakespeare 
put it, he doth protest too much."

"Elkington--" began O'Grady.

"Of course Elkington might have known of Sylvia, but that was less likely 
seeing that he and Crosbie only met a year after the divorce. Others 
might have heard of her too, but Hann was the only one who must have 
known about her. It is not improbable that Crosbie told him of their 
meeting in that golf match. But, anyway, Hann found that note and saw his 
chance. I suggest he struck the blow and then put the torn note in the 
waistcoat pocket."

"Not much time!" said O'Grady.

"He wasted none. He struck only one blow, but he knew that was enough. He 
slipped the paper in the pocket, taking care to get no blood on it, and 
pushed the body into the bunker. It would not take many moments. You saw 
Crosbie alone on the tee at nine twenty-five?"

This was to Bill, who nodded in assent. "I looked at my watch and that 
was the time I went away."

"I imagine," said Simon, "that you only missed seeing the deed done by a 
few seconds. Not improbably Hann was waiting by the further clump of 
bushes, beyond the mill. He came across, spoke a few words and struck the 
blow. Crosbie would have been as anxious for him to go as he was to get 
away. Of course, as it turned out, he had really plenty of time, as 
Hazel's alteration of her clock made Sylvia late."

"That is your theory," said O'Grady.

"That is my theory. We will deal with proofs and reasons presently. I 
imagine Hann got back to the Dormy House across the links, avoiding the 
mill lane, taking his hammer with him. No doubt he wrapped it up 
carefully. Having planted the first clue to incriminate Sylvia--the 
note--he got busy on the second. He probably knew that the story of her 
wedding and divorce would come to light, but he was taking no chances. He 
wanted her finger-prints on the hammer-handle and we know how he got 
them. It was a devilish scheme, for finger-prints are almost 
incontestable as proof. Naturally, he did not want to carry about with 
him such an incriminating thing as a lady's handbag. It was risky enough 
to keep the hammer, though there was good reason for that. Had it not 
been my luck to find the bag in the bushes, he might have got away with 
his scheme. The affair at the hut would have appeared as it was meant to 
appear, a matter of theft only. By the way, O'Grady, was the door 
examined and the hammer tested in the way I asked?"

"Yes, sir. It was all as you said, but there was a third and even clearer 
proof. The stick not only fitted the dents, but the door is painted and 
some of the paint was ingrained in the end of the stick. Invisible to the 
naked eye but perceptible under the microscope and answering to a 
chemical test. It was lucky the young lady hit so hard!"

"You would have hit hard," said Sylvia, "if you had thought you might be 
shut in for the night."

"Exactly when Hann planted the reassembled hammer in the garden," Simon 
went on, "we do not know. He had to wait his opportunity, al though it 
was a thing he would want to be rid of as soon as possible. Hazel asked 
me how long the marks on the hammer-head would remain if it lay in the 
open air. That would depend on the weather, but Hann was taking no 
chances. As soon as all was ready he 'phoned Lee telling him where to 
look."

"I hope he hangs!" ejaculated Bill fervently.

"Things were going his way, better even than he was aware, when I turned 
up at lunch with Mrs. Warwick. She did not know him, but I have no doubt 
at all that he knew her. He came over and spoke to us--or rather to 
Hazel, and I suppose he decided something must be done about it. Mrs. 
Warwick's appearance on the scene might lead to inquiries in a new 
direction. So he planned his next effort for my benefit. Left to herself, 
Mrs. Warwick would be glad to be silent, but he thought I might give 
trouble. He loosened my wheels. I know that was it, for apart from 
Bagshaw's story, I was conscious of the loose wheel shooting on ahead 
when the car struck earth. I ought to have realised there was something 
wrong with the running, but I had a lot to think about and the fellow 
behind puzzled me. He had borrowed Bill's car--another dirty trick--and 
was there to complete the good work if the smash was not enough by 
itself."

"Another drink," whispered Hazel. He took it gratefully, and went on 
again.

"Up to that time Hann had probably thought there was no hurry to move the 
valuables from the M'Whirter hiding-place where Crosbie had put them. 
They would lie there safely till the man with the key came for them. He 
could wait weeks or months until all question or risk was over. But when 
he saw me with Mrs. Warwick and knew my skull had proved thicker than 
Crosbie's, he decided it would be wiser to find a new hiding-place. 
Luckily it took more than one visit. He did not want to show any 
suspicious hurry. So we were just in time."

"You are right there, sir," said O'Grady, "finding him with Crosbie's 
stuff on him is the only bit of positive proof we have got."

"A pretty strong bit," said Simon, "but go back a little. The torn paper 
suggested someone who knew of Sylvia and someone intimate enough with 
Crosbie to enter his room without exciting comment, and so find the 
scraps. What was Hann doing at the time of the crime? You said he had a 
partial alibi."

"That's right," nodded O'Grady, "a partial alibi."

"Which, as you will agree, is no alibi at all. There again he gave 
himself away. He declared he had just pottered about the smoking room and 
gone to bed early. Some people saw him and spoke to him, but there was no 
real support for the essential times and we know he could get in and out 
of the Dormy House by the back way unobserved. But very foolishly he told 
me that Sladen had gone out again that way after his arrival by car. How 
could Hann have known it unless he was doing something of the sort 
himself? If he started then, over the links, he would cut off quite a lot 
and be hidden from the road by the hedge. He could have gone straight to 
the sixteenth tee or he could have got round and reconnoitred from the 
bushes. There was plenty of time. I tried it. But the most important 
pointer came from you, O'Grady."

"From me?" queried the inspector.

"Yes. You told me of that mortgage deal by which Hann advised the same 
loan twice over. Of course he was covered by letters of instruction. He 
would see to that. But don't you suppose that put him wise to what was 
going on? It is not in conceivable they planned it all together. Crosbie 
was to rob the estates and go off with the bulk of the plunder. It is 
clear now that Hann knew all about the M'Whirter business. He may have 
discovered it by spying, but most likely Crosbie told him, promising him 
a share of the loot. It may have been part of the plan to have someone 
behind to cover up the traces a bit. But Hann saw a better way. He 
decided to get the lot for himself. Crosbie's meeting with Sylvia gave 
him the chance."

"It certainly fits together," agreed O'Grady.

"One thing more. When Hazel convinced me that Crosbie was the original 
M'Whirter it was obvious that the loot was somewhere in M'Whirter's name. 
It was also obvious that a second M'Whirter meant to get it. Although I 
was pretty confident Hann was the man, there was always a possibility of 
error. But when I was attacked in the road I knew it was Hann. I was a 
bit dazed, but I saw the hand with the spanner and it wore a ring--Hann's 
signet ring. Few men wear rings on the right hand. When I came round in 
the hospital that hand and that ring were photographed in my brain. That 
I can swear to."

O'Grady nodded, well pleased. No one spoke.

"Just when and how Hann got the safe deposit key we do not know. He had 
the run of Crosbie's room on the night of the murder. The disguise was 
easy. His features are not very unlike Crosbie's and his moustache combed 
over his mouth and dyed would pass muster. The fawn coat and the 
spectacles were a help. Of course he was much slighter in build, but 
extra clothes made up for that. The strong Scottish accent, quite a 
clever idea in the first place, made it all easier. When you get busy on 
Hann's affairs you will probably find a good many links that will fill in 
the gaps. If I think of anything more I will tell you."

"He is very tired," whispered Hazel to the others.

"Oh, one thing," added Simon with a smile. "The burglary!"

"Yes, sir?"  said O'Grady.

"I may be quite wrong, I don't know, but my theory is that the burglar 
was Hann."

"Nothing was taken."

"Nothing of value. It might just have been the fawn overcoat--to know 
what he had to fill! That's all."

Sylvia came to his side and took his hand in both of hers.

"Simon, I can never say how much I thank you. Bill and I owe everything 
to you. We will never, never forget."

"If it is thanks, my dear," he smiled, "think what I owe to Bagshaw. I 
believe he is in the motor trade. I shall offer to defend him free of 
charge, whatever he does, for the rest of his life! Now get out all of 
you--except Hazel. There is a question I want to ask her."

Bill took his hand and pressed it silently. Words are sometimes 
inadequate.

"Well, sir," said O'Grady, as he followed them out. "I am hoping you will 
soon be perfectly fit again and will be on the side of the Crown when we 
prosecute."

"I shall certainly not be for the defence," said Simon.

Then he and Hazel were left alone. For some moments neither spoke.

"Good-bye, Hazel," he said at last. "You had better go too."

"There was a question you wanted to ask me," she said.

"Yes, dear, but I have changed my mind. It would not be fair."

 "It would not be fair?" she repeated.

"No. To ask a girl when she will marry you, if you are like this, puts 
her in a difficult position. It is taking advantage of one's weakness. 
She would not like to cause a relapse! You do not really know me very 
well, do you?" He smiled whimsically and she flushed as her own words 
came back to her. "So, my dear, we had better leave it till a little 
later on. Don't you agree?

"Yes, Simon," she whispered, "if you think it best. Shall I tell you what 
the answer will be?"

She bent her lips to his ear, but he turned his head and his arms went 
round her.

"Yes." she said.

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO: THE CAPTAIN'S PRIZE

A. M. Crosbie beat P. Chase 2 up and beat Escott 3 & 1 

Major Escott beat G. Hunter 3 & 1

Col. Blair beat N. Bruce 4 & 3

E. Knight beat J. G. Dean W.O. and beat Blair 1 up and beat Crosbie W.O.

S. Sladen beat A. Evans 5&4

S.Hann beat J. Murgatroyd 4 & 3 and beat Sladen 2 & 1

H. J. Rawson beat H. Farmer	1 up

W. Broughley beat Capt. Harcourt 6 & 5 and beat Rawson 4&3 and beat Hann
W.O. and beat Knight 7 & 6



THE END




This site is full of FREE ebooks - Project Gutenberg Australia