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|I As Seen By Two Strangers||Anna Katharine Green|
II "I Know The Man"
|Page 3 of 3||
Such was the father's way of looking at the matter, and I own that it made our duty a trifle hard. But George's mind, when once made up, was persistent to the point of obstinacy, and while he was yet talking he led me out of the room and down the hall to the elevator.
"Mr. Slater knows we have something to say, and will manage the interview before us in the very best manner," he confided to me now with an encouraging air. "We are to go to the blue reception room on the parlour floor."
I nodded, and nothing more was said till we entered the place mentioned. Here we came upon several gentlemen, standing about, of a more or less professional appearance. This was not very agreeable to one of my retiring disposition, but a look from George brought back my courage, and I found myself waiting rather anxiously for the questions I expected to hear put.
Mr. Slater was there according to his promise, and after introducing us, briefly stated that we had some evidence to give regarding the terrible occurrence which had just taken place in the house.
George bowed, and the chief spokesman - I am sure he was a police-officer of some kind - asked him to tell what it was.
George drew himself up - George is not one of your tall men, but he makes a very good appearance at times. Then he seemed suddenly to collapse. The sight of their expectation made him feel how flat and childish his story would sound. I, who had shared his adventure, understood his embarrassment, but the others were evidently at a loss to do so, for they glanced askance at each other as he hesitated, and only looked back when I ventured to say:
"It's the peculiarity of the occurrence which affects my husband. The thing we saw may mean nothing."
"Let us hear what it was and we will judge."
Then my husband spoke up, and related our little experience. If it did not create a sensation, it was because these men were well accustomed to surprises of all kinds.
"Washed his hands - a gentleman - out there in the snow - just after the alarm was raised here?" repeated one.
"And you saw him come out of this house?" another put in.
"Yes, sir; we noticed him particularly.
"Can you describe him?"
It was Mr. Slater who put this question; he had less control over himself, and considerable eagerness could be heard in his voice.
"He was a very fine-looking man; unusually tall and unusually striking both in his dress and appearance. What I could see of his face was bare of beard, and very expressive. He walked with the swing of an athlete, and only looked mean and small when he was stooping and dabbling in the snow."
His clothes. Describe his clothes." There was an odd sound in Mr. Slater's voice.
"He wore a silk hat and there was fur on his overcoat. I think the fur was black."
Mr. Slater stepped back, then moved forward again with a determined air.
"I know the man," said he.
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Anna Katharine Green
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