a few words with thewitnessin hisown tongue?" he asked.
The Coroner hesitated. He saw that Forbes was ostentatiously
making notes, and that Traherne was waiting
for a move by Forbes. "I think the course you suggest
would be reasonable," he said. "It would help
Vuilmo to be more definite."
Waverton at once asked the Spaniard if the man who
bought the poison spoke like an American possessing
an ordinary command of the language, or was his diction
as fluent and his pronunciation as good as his (Waverton's).
It was distinctly amusing to watch Jos<5 Vuilmo's face
when he heard the accents of his native tongue delivered
with the accurate ease of one who spoke it without fault
or effort. He gazed spellbound at Waverton, and then
turned appealinglv to the Coroner.
"See here a mistake the most unfortunate!" he cried.
"This is not the gentleman who came to my establishment.
This one is a veritable Argentino; the other was
altogether American. I see now that I was in error; but
permit me to observe, Senor Judge, that I remarked on
the habit of the scientific mind?"
He was stopped by the interpreter, who forthwith
translated Waverton's question and the witness's answer.
"'WTT'AVERTOX resumed his seat again, and favored
Steingall with a satisfied smile. At the same time
he could not avoid Mrs. Delamar's glance, and he read
therein a profound amazement which conveyed a warning
that he had discomfited the druggist at the price of
creating active distrust in a far more dangerous quarter.
But he was evidently a man of singular strength of will;
for he looked fully satisfied with his achievement, and
the angry flush raised by the unexpected use of his name
quickly gave way to a contented expression which, to
^ f F ^lotYi'.r ?*oc 'ilrrwwt trtoro K?'U'i1f1r?rino tVinn tVip
I /V. UIIIUII , t* ao UUII'MI, IIU/IV tyv uutivnug ? *???< 1-nv
ticklish turn taken by the evidence.
Prompted by Forbes, the prosecutor hammered in the
druggist's disclaimer. "You believe now that the Claude
G. Waverton present in eourt is not the Claude G.
Waverton who bought the crystals of nicotine?" he asked.
"But no, Sehor," was the answer, and Waverton's
brow frowned again; because, perhaps, of the awkward
manner in which the prosecutor had framed the question.
He took thought while the Coroner's pen scratched
industriously, and broke in when the lawyer was about
to proceed. "That is a somewhat unreasonable way to
establish the fact aimed at. Why not ask the witness
to state that, if I am Claude G. Waverton, the person
who purchased the poison must have deceived him by
using my name?"
"You may put that point when I have finished," said
"But I protest now against the method you are adopting.
There are not two Claude G. Wavertons."
The attorney deigned to appear interested. "We are
not settling a matter of title to the Waverton property,"
he said. "The witness has stated that Claude G. Waverton
came to his shop in Palm Beach, and you have
got him to say that you are not the Claude G. Waverton
in dispute. What more do you want?"
"I want you to remember that you are representing
the State, and that you have no right to distort the
evidence from the meaning honestly attached to it by
Sehor Jose Vuilmo."
"How dare you say that I am distorting evidence?"
"And how dare you hint that I am not Claude G.
T 1 * 1 .1 * . f a1 A
i aid naming 01 me sori.
"What, when you flippantly allude to 'settling a matter
of title,' and that I am 'not the Claude G. Waverton
in dispute'? Have a care. Sir!"
IF a mild-eyed sheep, tied to the slaughtering block,
*' were suddenly to scarify his would-be slayer with stern
threats and words of hot indignation, the worthy tradesman
thus confounded could not have been more surprised
than Forbes and the two detectives. The lawyer
had certainly gone rather far in his disdain of one whom
his legal mind now regarded as an impostor; but he no
more expected this fiery denunciation than that the
Coroner should hurl an inkpot at him.
Even Stemgall was momentarily stupefied; but Clancy
kept his head, and flashed a glance imploring caution,
so Forbes temporized.
"I am not moved by fear of criticism," he said, addressing
the Coroner, who, for his own reasons, let the
two fight it out; "but I may as well explain that Mr.
Waverton is working himself into a passion about nothing.
I was seeking only to emphasize a point in his
"You must do it differently, then," interrupted Waverton,
and his contemptuous tone brought a'flush to the
"Of course, I cannot be dictated to!" said Forbes
The Coroner raised his hand. "I see no objection to
a subsidiary question, framed as Mr. Waverton suggests,
being put to the witness," he said, and Clancy blessed
the worthy man under his breath.
This was done, and the "breeze" died down. Traherne
tried to fan it into activity again by inducing the
druggist to reiterate that the buyer of the poison did
closely resemble Claude G. Waverton, and that his (the
witness's) altered belief arose largely from hearing Waverton
speak Spanish so well. He wanted to know too
why New York officials should appear in a New Jersey
court, and threatened to have the proceedings quashed
But neither Forbes nor Waverton paid heed to this
hair splitting, and Traherne subsided. Forbes simply
demanded that the address, "Asphodel House, Palm
Beach," given by "the person who described himself as
Claude G. Waverton" (whereat the bearer of the name
smiled grimly, feeling that he had worsted his opponent)
should be noted, and Jose Vuilmo was permitted to retire.
Then another rustle of excitement ran through the
court, because the Coroner raised his head, and, peering
through benignant gold spectacles, called:
"Mrs. Josephine Kyrle!"'
CHAPTER XIV. Mrs. Delamar's Ordeal
MRS- DELAMAR had dispensed with the veil she
usually affected when in the neighborhood of Absecon
or in any part of New Jersey where she might be
known as Mrs. Kyrle. Though wearing black, she
could hardly be said to be in mourning. The smart
coat and skirt, an imported hat, a lace blouse, a pair of
suede gloves, conveyed an artistic suggestion of widowhood
without any loss of elegance or charm. She was
really a strikingly handsome woman, and when she
stood in the witness box against a somewhat harsh
background of drab-painted wall she looked like a
Morland portrait divested of its frame.
Even the Coroner was impressed, and his voice grew
almost sympathetic when he explained that, as a supnlement
to her testimonv eiven nreviouslv. the ooliee
J ml 1 ? I
wished enlightenment on other matters that had come
to their knowledge.
She bowed silently. She had guessed already the
nature of the ordeal she would be called on to endure,
and she meant to go through with it as creditably as
might be. It was useless to struggle, and a complete
readiness to answer questions might soften the heart of
that dour-faced descendant of some Scottish Covenanter
who represented the District Attorney.
Forbes, observing the fiction of working through the
local prosecutor, was already on his feet and glancing
through some papers. Suddenly he raised his eyes anil
shot out his first question; though even he was elaborately
polite, and his manner gave no hint of the coming
"I have read through the testimony you gave at the
opening of this inquiry," he said, "and I find you stated
that you left Absecon for New York on the Tuesday of
the week in which your husband died. Is that correct?"
"Yes, in a sense."
"May I take it that it is also incorrect, in a sense?"
"I left Absecon on that day; but did not travel direct
to New York."
"Ah. Where did you sleep on the Tuesday night?"
"In the Board Walk Hotel, Atlantic City."
"You came to Atlantic City, took a room in the
Board Walk Hotel, went out, returned late at night,
and traveled to New York early next day,?is that an
accurate summarv of your movements?"
"Now, will you kindly tell the court why you acted
.- -tl 5 / >- r
.. V/'-V ; , //
:v ' f | r '* ' yi
' ?vySj. $* _Jt->? ,rr( jf*
4 &KS3; ' -' IfeSlH
* I Must Introduce a Distressing Element,**
in this way, and what you did during a two hours' visit
to Absecon, not to your own house, and during your
later absence from the Atlantic City hotel?"
Forbes was an adroit lawyer, and the very form taken
bv his questions told the mystified Traherne that he
wished to keep the witness clear of involuntary pitfalls.
Lest she might be tempted to prevaricate, he revealed
his hand clearly, and put forth a confident display of
knowledge of her devious comings and goings on the day
Kyrle was last seen alive, which was intended to warn
her not to attempt to mislead the authorities. Traherne,
who, of course, had received no definite instructions,
realized that the District Attorney would not
follow this line unless he was very sure of his ground,
and was, moreover, only leading up to matters of much
greater importance. He watched his client closely for
any signal of distress, when he would intervene on one
pretext or another, and at any rate gain time for her
to collect her thoughts; hut she was quite self possessed,
though very pale, and did not take her eyes off the grim,
sharp-faced, though smooth-spoken, lawyer who shared
the secrets of the police.
LANCY, alert as a jack rabbit, admitted to himself at
^ this juncture that he was puzzled by Waverton's behavior.
The latter was watching Mrs. Delamar with
curious interest. He might have been a man who now
saw her and heard her voice for the first time. His attitude
was wholly detached and impersonal. Once his
glance flitted to the rows of absorbed people in court,
and he smiled. Clancy literally put his thought into
"You honest Atlantic City tradesmen," he was musing,
"are giving your divided attention to a matter that
ii _ 1 j a. i 'i'i : *L*
you win never unuersianu. i nere are issues 111 ims ease
not to lie decided by the combined wits of the Coroner
and your good selves."
Clancy nodded his head in frank agreement, and
"What is it?"
"Nothing," said Clancy.
"Is that whv you nodded?"
Steingall had something sarcastic to say; but forbore,
for Mrs. Delamar was speaking.
"I remained in Absecon because I had to wait two
hours for a boat or train to Atlantic City," she said.
"Mv husband did not wish mv presence at the Roserv:
so I strolled to a farm where I was known. I bought
some milk there. If necessary, I can give you the farmer's
"Not at all." Forbes conveyed that he would not
dream of doubting her word in this matter.
Mrs. Delamar signified her appreciation of his courtesy
by an expressive glance. Thus far, they resembled
antagonists engaged in the punctilio of a duel; but steel
was bound to grate on steel
by and by.
"From Absecon," she said,
"I went back to Atlantic
City, and late at night returned
again to Absecon, at
my husband's wish, and received
two packages from
him. Altogether, I had a
very wearying and apparently
aimless day; but my
husband was morose and
eccentric, so I humored him.
' , j The packages were intended
'jJkfriL- ' f?r the post, and, luckily, I
remember the addresses.
One was addressed to Pro
fessor Leon Anthony, M. A.,
Harvard University, and the
i i other to a bank on Broadly
' f way, New York. Let me ex'i??
plain that my husband was
-* a man of peculiar, almost
fantastic, ideas, and he in,
sisted on a sort of secrecy
. and want of purpose in my
movements that We
did not agree very well,?
B have apart,?but he
gave me to understand that
he was going to Europe, as
a member of an expedition
to Morocco, and that his
return was doubtful. He informed
me that the packages
contained a scientific diary
and papers referring to his
personal affairs, that he had
described himself in his letters
as already en route to
the Cunard pier at New
York, and that he wished to
convey the impression that
the Rosery had l>een practically
closed since that
mnrtlltl** T t ti'O c nrr^rt/vrul
liiviuiu^. xt ?>cia diiaii^cu
? between us, however, that
he would really not go
' farther afield than Paris,
; until ?until each of us had
obtained freedom through
the divorce court, and, as
t; I was most anxious to have
my marriage dissolved, I
t agreed to humor him with
regard to the broken jourSaid
Forbes. neys of that day. Still, I
i could not help feeling a little
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