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The Wilmington morning star. [volume] (Wilmington, N.C.) 1909-1990, May 24, 1940, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, Chapel Hill, NC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn78002169/1940-05-24/ed-1/seq-14/

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CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
With Louise Markham staring at
me, wide-eyed, and Muriel’s arms
around me in hysterical ap
peal, I stood there dumb.
Harvey McGuire, who as an at
torney was used to coping with
dramatic situations, came to my
rescue. “Here! Here!” he expostu
lated, stepping forward and gently
removing Muriel to his own arms.
“This is no time to get excited.
What’s the matter? The inquest is
ready to start.”
“It’s about Jerry!”
“He’s in no danger. No one sus
pects him.”
“But they will!” She wiped her
eyes with a small handkerchief.
“I've just learned he is a knife
thrower! He told me!”
“A knife thrower?” I asked.
“What in the world—”
“He—he does it in his spare time.
He wants to go on the stage. If
the police find he knows how to
throy knives, they’ll think—”
"Nonsense!” said the attorney.
■ The knife that killed Markham
was moving up at an angle, not
down. And Jerry certainly didn’t
have any knives concealed on him
at the party. It’s a silly idea. Pull
yourself together. The only person
really suspected is my client, Mr.
Strickland.”
My mouth dropped open. “Your
your client? How did you know?”
Captain McDonald said you
were asking for me. He also ad
vised me to see that you don t
talk.” He stuck out an arm to
ward off a young man who was
approaching. “And that goes for
reporters, too!”
The young man. who was con
siderably less self-assertive than
Bclzer, looked chagrined and re
sentful, but made no further move
:o override McGuire’s authority.
We all went inside. I was breath
ing easier. I looked at Louise
Markham, but she was talking with
ier brother George.
It was the first inquest I had ever
attended and I was surprised at
.he comparative informality—hav
ing expected all the ritual of a
trial.
It was 2 o’clock. There were
about 50 persons on our side of the
-oom, which was none too large to
accommodate the business at
band. On the other side of a rail
.ng was a desk for a stenographer
and a group of chairs for the jury,
as well as the desk where Coroner
Silver was soberly looking at some
Papers.
I turned to study those present.
In addition to all the guests who
had been at the party there were
an our side of the room a half
dozen reporters, a representative
af the district attorney’s office and
i group of people I had never seen
before—most of them probably just
curious spectators.
Before the inquest began Cor
aner Silver announced that the
jurymen were in the adjoining
room, viewing the body. When they
filed in I saw that most of them
were pale. No one spoke a word.
It had a depressing effect on me,
too, to realize that only a few feet
away was all that remained of Al
Ered Markham. I wondered if the
oloody clothes had been changed.
The first witness called was a
doctor. I recognized him as one of
the men who had come with the
ambulance to the Rio Vista club
the night before. He testified as to
:he nature of the wound.
“It was made with some wide,
sharply pointed instrument that
was not very sharp,” he said “It
might have been a long, thin gar
den trowel, such as is used in
working around small plants.
There were several r gfniaasr-o ta
There were several grains of gar
den soil and small rocks deep in
the wound, which could have come
there only if they were on the
blade which punctured the heart.”
He explained that the blow had
been delivered with considerable
force, that there had been no hairs
on the mallet, no signs of a pro
longed strugge. “Because of the
absence of any bruises, except two
peculiar marks, one under each
armpit, I can say with certainty
that Alfred Markham was struck
only once—with the blade which
killed him,” he said.
Having given this testimony,
which conflicted with the theories
advanced by the coroner and by
Belzer, both of whom thought the
mallet or stool had been used as a
preliminary weapon, the doctor
stepped down.
Next witness was Pappini the
cook. I was surprised to note that
he looked unwell. His face was
haggard. He seemed uncertain in
his movements.
“Do you know the gardener”
Silver asked him.

“I’m da gardener, too.’’
“Jack of all trades, eh? And do
you know if there was a long, thin
trowel in the garden? Say, like
This—” and the coroner indicated
the dimensions of the trowel in the
air. It was plain to see that he had
been in conversation with the doc
tor before the inquest.
“Yesa da trow-el she was in da
roses.”
“Where do you mean In the
rose arbor?”
“Yesa da ar-bor.” Pappini put a
band to his head as though it
ached.
“And is it there now?”
“No. She hasa disappear.”
The coroner dismissed Pappini
and called as a witness a man I
had not seen before. He said he
was one of the coroner’s assistants,
and had searched the body.
“And what did you find” Silver
asked.
The man drew a wallet from his
pocket and opened it on the table
where the stenographer was taking
notes. “There were these two hand
kerchiefs,” he began, “and this
card with the number 732 written
on the back in pencil. It is one of
Markham’s own cards. In his
trousers pocket was this wallet,
which contained one $30 bill and
nothing else. In a concealed pocket
under the fold of his coat collar
were these 6ve large diamonds.”
The man in front of me moved
his head at that moment so that I
couldn’t see, but I knew that the
coroner's assistant had rolled the
diamonds out on the table, because
there was a gasp from everyone
around me.
The coroner rapped for silence
and called another witness. This
time it was Jerry, pale and ner
vous. I was sorry for him. He was
scarcely more than a boy. I could
imagine him taking up knife throw
ing. It was a boyish whim, that
was all.
“Mr. Montcalm,” the coroner be
gan, "when was it you found the
body”
“Just about 11 o’clock, sir.”
“Why did you go out in the gnr
aen at that time”
“I wanted to see Mr. Markham
The reply startled the coroner.
He looked toward Captain McDon
ald, and I followed his gaze, re
membering how the detective had
linked the jewels with the killing.
(Continued on Page Fifteen)
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BELA LANAN—COURT REPORTER By L. Allen Heine
Founded on Actual Court Reco rds and You Can Be the Judge
r n
The
Strange
Case of
THE
MISSING
FINGERS

IN SIX
EPISODES
No.5
i ,
S. - -J
VOO SEE ! IT ms IN THIS VERY f YOO..VOU MEAN.
ROOM I THERE.. ON THAT BLOCK/ HE CHOPPED OFF f
L'—--- -—5=^ HIS OWN FINGERS?
r yes' i saw it
I WiTH MV OWN
fl^EVES f
^ ">>1!
HEAVEN FORGIVE ME FOR TELLING
ON THE POOR SOUL !
HE ..HE „ .WAS-AFRAtD HE
WOULD HAVE TO GO TO WAR < J
^—■—-, * V
OUT OUR WAY, By J. R. Williams
r ___ .... ...
aE WHERE I'M AMY ( I THINK I’LL VlT'S HARD TO FIND
' OFF THAM A Guy MOVE-WHAT'S Y THESEDAYS
DA^ THAT GANG \ I THINK THAT'S
CEMEMT AND STEEL OVER THERE WHY THERE'S SO
AM I PASSN'T GO TALKIM'ABOUT? / MUCH IMDIGESTIOM
NIGHT ER SUNDAYS MO,THAT WON'T V-LET'S GO OVER
MR I LL SPEND A PO-THEY'RE \ TO THAT BUNCH" i
AW' CAM'T MAKE MY TALKIM' POLITICS") I HEARD A GUY
ITS OM MY HOUSE, OR IS IT WAR? \ LAUGH ' ^
I RADIO.' ALL I GET YOU SHOULD HAV/eV_, -
LIFE IS WORK,SLEEP PLEASAMT COM
r- A GUY IM TH' PEN) VERSATIOM WITH / jfiP^ S&YQl
THAT,POM'T HE? V MEALS A- ffTyfoJ
)-MORE-MORE// --y• **\
M. 4WlKA \uSft"?}
OUR BOARDING HOUSE , . with « .. Major H
; IF JOLLY DAY, MR.KEWL.1-JUST DROPPED WoK AY, MAJOR, JUS
| IN TO START AN ACCOUNT/**" HMP-KAFF.'r] MAKE OUT A Deposit! H -XX, 5 X
^ SUPPOSE! SHOULD VISIT A MOMENT WITH 1 SUP— HOPE it's ^hEr=-'
I THE PRESIDENT OF YOUR. VALUABLE THE REAL LETTUCE,fk wp r^}
BANK, BUT IT IS A SMALL MATTER/—NOT JUST STAGE #3, ^XX’ <:
8V THE WAY, I MAY DESIRE A.TRIFLINgY COPIES**-HA HA ha/)} bX~^ A1
LOAN LATER TO ATTEND THE <r~r^=i — JUST Mv LITTLE V { OP Xc X" 1
REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC JOKE- HA HA HA !/ \ c X.J:f
CONVENTIONS** " --
HAR-RUMPH/r 1 IXXX; , \ ;
I I!■■■■■ in f
V WPtL 1»ioUBY NEAT8EBVICE, INC. THE. SOUR. HOUQ._ _j-T- 23 J ^
LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE Naughty Nick Is Sweet NichoIaT\^l
f GOT YOUR^I f-v.
CALL. CHIER / NOT QUITE. A
AND HERE BOYS- BUT
Ewe are- _ we will be /—
-VERY SOON- f=
RE YOU A ( AND WHAT A
!ADY TO — GOLD MINE THIS
GO? J J TOWN IS GOING /
A
n—i—
( DOESN’T NO - HE'S TOO A
THIS GUY. BUSY WITH OTHER
GATX SUSPECT MATTERS-AND
ANYTHING // WHEN I HANG
YET? IS HE THAT KIDNAPING
! A DOPE OR ONTO HIM, HE’LL t
gSOMETHINQ? REAUY BE BUSY-^T
f BUT A GUY^i ( HO? HO? NO-HE'G^
LIKE GATT- L REFORMED! YES.
I'VE HEARD A BOYS. THE
PLENTY ABOUT BIG BAD WOLF
HIM- HE’S IS TRYING TO
LIABLE TO TAKE TURN INTO A
H A SHOT AT LITTLE ROLLO- t
YOU
f YEAH? I N' \ MOBSTERS ARP
WggflKSJWn- ALL ALIKE-WHEN
TOO MUCH THEY SEE How
ON THAT. CHIEF- THE WIND BLOWR
ANYWAY. WHAT / THEY'LL ALL C’MP
ABOUT HIS / FLOCKING over E
TO US- z
you'll SEE- ^
WASH TUBBS V New Member -
©WHEN SUDdIwlV HE ° Y 4 T 0 0ER6° SO VOU X VOU C-OTTA DO YER. | RODERISO EUT GOOD, DONE LIKE A CHAMP, BV THUNDER! 1 SEE
v-WH.K, SUDDENLY. 60INSEW \ STICKIN' UP CLOSE, HEY? WATCH THAT HAT.V : TV A BUCKO VM\' TALENT, EVEN IF YOU WAS DUMB R3IK»I
LACE OW RANTS EH? YOU AIN'T 6000 —H TO THROW AWAY YOUR WEAPON. I AIN'T OLE
OF THE 6REAT EN0L1SH TO STAND HOLD A 6RUD6E-HOW'D YOU LIKE TO WORK
RODERl60f/^CKa|J‘p°
GASOLINE ALLEY Cutting The Bait
t V " ' " - 1 i j - ■ _
you P<?N'T WAHT ME
you UP, SKEEZlX, so
I'D MEET YOU #£££.
V WOULDN'T WAIt.
~ c
TI KNOW OF A MONET OF "T I DIDN'T
A USED CAR FOR SALE. THE \ SAN I
MAN WANTS To GO NORTH WANTED
IN A HURRT AND IS WILLING J TO BUT
l TO take *tr ANT
ummr^w vCA*^
Enom, but this is such
\BGA1N! AND I THOUGHT
GULP BE PANDi FOB
TO GO HOME 'IN ON
7UB VACATION.
f OF COURSE IT I'M SOM ]
DOESN'T MAKE ANN j TC KEEP
DIFFERENCE TO ME, j TMS Bffl
BUT l THOUGHT y FWM fflA'C'
yYOl/'P LIKE TO j VOCTP. JlT
N. KHOM.^y \ IT'S HIS HU!
THE GUMPS The Lovelorn Hitch Hiker |
t-- ■ • i t .. —- -,-----'I
«IF I DIDW’T HAVE 1
EH with our poor.
.E LOVE-SICK
TESS .THAT PETR)
str»n<3&ean,Tilda
ALSO BECOME THE I
CjET OP CUPID'S FATAL
ARROW-^,
( Tll-fcA? >1
UNBB-l&VA&LE • \
WHO'S THE UUCKYl
i SWAIN? WHAT'S)
VHIS WORK?/
S?OM THE SIZE OF
't> SAY HE MANOL.ES
FRANTS OR PIANOS ~
RiAUUY, HE
VES ATRUCK^s^Pj
/ It* » KNOW 1
V Tilda,she’ll I
\ OUT HIM DDWNjI
BRICK BRADFORD—Seeks the Diamond Doll By William Ritt and Clarence Gray I
HOW DO I LOOK 1 LIKE THE ANSWERS TO
OUR TRIP WEST, ALL COWBOYS' DREAMS v
COMBINED/
"TT. ..
I LIKE IT? | JUST HOPE SOME L. HEY, FOLKS'
MOVIE STUDIO DOESN'T^ GIVE A ’
KIDNAP YOU ' y——LOOK ' f
K2FuALL STOW IT, PODNER.'FROM
OUTLANDISH — NOW ON IT'S BUCKAROQr
COME ON, FOLKSWE MAY NO ■ t .. I
NOW I GOTTA BUY ADVENTURE W I
A PAIR O'BIG TRIP BUT IT 00g
HORSE PISTOLS/ \ A LOT QFFUN-J I
//rji w' 11 w it ii mi«'n»i f 11/1' *1
BRICK. BUCKO AND JUNE GO SHOPPING 5-2:4
1 ■=.. ii '

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