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|II As Seen By Detective Sweetwater||Anna Katharine Green|
XXII O. B. Again
|Page 3 of 4||
"I begin to see."
"No, you don't, Sweetwater. The affair is as blind as your hat; nobody sees. We're just feeling along a thread. O. B.'s letters - the real O. B., I mean, are the manliest effusions possible. He's no more of a milksop than this Brotherson; and unlike your indomitable friend he seems to have some heart. I only wish he'd given us some facts; they would have been serviceable. But the letters reveal nothing except that he knew Doris. He writes in one of them: 'Doris is learning to embroider. It's like a fairy weaving a cobweb!' Doris isn't a very common name. She must be the same little girl to whom Miss Challoner wrote from time to time."
"Was this letter signed O. B.?"
"Yes; they all are. The only difference between his letters and Brotherson's is this: Brotherson's retain the date and address; the second O. B.'s do not."
"How not? Torn off, do you mean?"
"Yes, or rather, neatly cut away; and as none of the envelopes were kept, the only means by which we can locate the writer is through this girl Doris."
"If I remember rightly Miss Challoner's letter to this child was free from all mystery."
"Quite so. It is as open as the day. That is why it has been mentioned as showing the freedom of Miss Challoner's mind five minutes before that fatal thrust."
Sweetwater took up the sheet Mr. Gryce pushed towards him and re-read these lines:
"Dear Little Doris:
"It is a snowy night, but it is all bright inside and I feel no
"Affectionately your friend,
"That to a child of sixteen!"
"D-o-r-i-s spells something besides Doris."
"Yet there is a Doris. Remember that O. B. says in one of his letters, ' Doris is learning to embroider.'
"Yes, I remember that."
"So you must first find Doris."
"Very good, sir."
"And as Miss Challoner's letter was directed to Derby, Pennsylvania, you will go to Derby."
"I've been reading this letter again."
"It's worth it."
"The last sentence expresses a hope."
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