"You told me a few moments ago, that you could not understand that message, my lord," said Darby quickly, and looking searchingly at the other man. Garvington grew a trifle confused. "Did I? Well, to tell you the truth, Darby, I'm so mixed up over the business that I can't say what I do know, or what I don't know. You'd better take all I tell you with a grain of salt until I am quite myself again."
"Natural enough, my lord," remarked the inspector again, and quite believed what he said. "And the details of the murder?"
"I went to bed as usual," said Garvington, wearily, for the events of the night had tired him out, "and everyone else retired some time about midnight. I went round with the footmen and the butler to see that everything was safe, for I was too anxious to let them look after things without me. Then I heard a noise of footsteps on the gravel outside, just as I was dropping off to sleep—"
"About what time was that, my lord?"
"Half-past one o'clock; I can't be certain as to a minute. I jumped up and laid hold of my revolver, which was handy. I always kept it beside me in case of a burglary. Then I stole downstairs in slippers and pajamas to the passage,—oh, here." Garvington rose quickly. "Come with me and see the place for yourself!"
Inspector Darby put on his cap, and with his notebook still in his hand, followed the stout figure of his guide. Garvington led him through the entrance hall and into a side-passage, which terminated in a narrow door. There was no one to spy on them, as the master of the house had sent all the servants to their own quarters, and the guests were collected in the drawing-room and smoking-room, although a few of the ladies remained in their bedrooms, trying to recover from the night's experience.
Tips, opportunities to make money：free wechat money packet"I came down here," said Garvington, opening the door, "and heard the burglar, as I thought he was, prowling about on the other side. I threw open the door in this way and the man plunged forward to enter. I fired, and got him in the right arm, for I saw it swinging uselessly by his side as he departed."
Tips, opportunities to make money：diego money non stop"Was he in a hurry?" asked Darby, rather needlessly.
Tips, opportunities to make money：plies i want some money"He went off like greased lightning. I didn't follow, as I thought that others of his gang might be about, but closing the door again I shouted blue murder. In a few minutes everyone came down, and while I was waiting—it all passed in a flash, remember, Darby—I heard a second shot. Then the servants and my friends came and we ran out, to find the man lying by that shrubbery quite dead. I turned him over and had just grasped the fact that he was my brother-in-law, when Lady Agnes ran out. When she learned the news she naturally fainted. The women carried her back to her room, and we took the body of Pine into the house. A doctor came along this morning—for I sent for a doctor as soon as it was dawn—and said that Pine had been shot through the heart."
"And who shot him?" asked Darby sagely.
Garvington pointed to the shrubbery. "Someone was concealed there," he declared.
"How do you know, that, my lord?"
"My sister, attracted by my shot, jumped out of bed and threw up her window. She saw the man—of course she never guessed that he was Pine—running down the path and saw him fall by the shrubbery when the second shot was fired."
"Her bedroom is then on this side of the house, my lord?"
"Up there," said Garvington, pointing directly over the narrow door, which was painted a rich blue color, and looked rather bizarre, set in the puritanic greyness of the walls. "My own bedroom is further along towards the right. That is why I heard the footsteps so plainly on this gravel." And he stamped hard, while with a wave of his hand he invited the inspector to examine the surroundings.
Darby did so with keen eyes and an alert brain. The two stood on the west side of the mansion, where it fronted the three-miles distant Abbot's Wood. The Manor was a heterogeneous-looking sort of place, suggesting the whims and fancies of many generations, for something was taken away here, and something was taken away there, and this had been altered, while that had been left in its original state, until the house seemed to be made up of all possible architectural styles. It was a tall building of three stories, although the flattish red-tiled roofs took away somewhat from its height, and spread over an amazing quantity of land. As Darby thought, it could have housed a regiment, and must have cost something to keep up. As wind and weather and time had mellowed its incongruous parts into one neutral tint, it looked odd and attractive. Moss and lichen, ivy and Virginia creeper—this last flaring in crimson glory—clothed the massive stone walls with a gracious mantle of natural beauty. Narrow stone steps, rather chipped, led down from the blue door to the broad, yellow path, which came round the rear of the house and swept down hill in a wide curve, past the miniature shrubbery, right into the bosom of the park.
"This path," explained Garvington, stamping again, "runs right through the park to a small wicket gate set in the brick wall, which borders the high road, Darby."