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Christopher Quarles
College Professor and Master Detective

written by "Brebner, Percy James, 1864-1922"
...s clearly visible in the daylight as you are, and as real. When you opened the door, I thought my visitor had come a fourth time." "And what is the meaning of this—this broken rope?" I said, pointing to the drawing. "Broken?" and he looked at the paper closely. "My hand stopped involuntarily. It is a good sign—encouraging—but the rope is not really broken yet. That is for us to accomplish." "What do you mean?" "I mean that in one of His Majesty's prisons this man lies under sentence of death, that he is innocent of the crime, that he has been permitted to come to me for help." "But——?" Quarles sprang from his chair. "Ah, leave questioning alone. I do not know how much time we have to prevent injustice being done. Take this drawing, Wigan, find out where the man is, work night and day to get the whole history, and then come to me. We must not lose a moment. Providence must have sent you to Chelsea this morning—another sign of encouragement." I did not explain how I came to be there, nor say there was no foundation for encouragement in my un[Pg 52]expected arrival. Indeed, but for my talk with Zena that morning, I should have been inclined to argue with him. As it was, I left Chelsea only half convinced that I was not being misled by the fantastic dream of a man not in his usual state of health. I was soon convinced of my error. Quarles's drawing was the portrait of a real man. He was lying under sentence of death in Worcestershire, the case against him so clear that there seemed to be no doubt about his guilt. The story was a sordid one, had created no sensation, had presented no difficult problem. But, under the peculiar circumstances, it was only natural that I should work with feverish haste to learn all the details of the crime, and I intimated to the authorities that facts had come to my knowledge which threw a doubt on the justice of the sentence, and that a postponement a...

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