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The Hand in the Dark
written by "Rees, Arthur J. (Arthur John), 1872-1942"
...ck was stiff to turn, and I tried the handle of the door to make sure that I had locked it properly." "Did you return the key to the housekeeper's apartments immediately?" "I intended to return it after dinner, but I forgot all about it in the excitement and confusion. It was still in my pocket when I informed Mr. Musard about it." "Here is another question, Tufnell, and I want you to think well before answering it. Do you think it would have been possible for anybody to enter the house and gain the left wing unobserved while the household was at dinner that night?" "I have asked myself that question several times since, sir—feeling a certain amount of responsibility. It would have been difficult, because the windows of the downstairs bedrooms of the left wing were all locked. There was always the chance of some of the servants seeing anybody crossing the hall on the way to the staircase, unless the—person watched and waited for an opportunity." Colwyn nodded as though dismissing the subject, but the butler lingered. Perhaps it was his realization of the implication of his last words which gave him the courage to broach the matter which had been occupying his mind. "Might I ask you a question, sir?" he hesitatingly commenced. "What is it?" "It's about the young woman who has been arrested, sir. Is there any likelihood that she will be proved innocent?" "You must have some particular reason for asking me that question, Tufnell." "Well, sir, I am aware that Mr. Philip thinks her innocent." "So you told me when I was down here before, but that is not the reason for your question. You had better be frank." "I wish to be frank, sir, but I am in a difficulty. I have learnt something which seems to have a bearing on this young woman's position, which I think you ought to know, but I have to consider my duty to the family. It was something—something I overheard." "If it throws the slightest light ...

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