Read Books Online, for Free
Phil Abingdon Arrives
|Page 2 of 4||
"He may have heard something to that effect in India."
"If this were so he would scarcely have awaited a chance encounter to prosecute his inquiries, since Nicol Brinn is a well-known figure in London and Sir Charles had been home for several years."
"Mr. Brinn may have said something after the accident and before he was in full possession of his senses which gave Sir Charles a clue."
"He did not, Innes. I called at the druggist's establishment this morning. They recalled the incident, of course. Mr. Brinn never uttered a word until, opening his eyes, he said: 'Hello! Am I much damaged?'"
Innes smiled discreetly. "A remarkable character, Mr. Harley," he said. "Your biggest difficulty at the moment is to fit Mr. Nicol Brinn into the scheme."
"He won't fit at all, Innes! We come to the final and conclusive item of evidence substantiating my theory of Sir Charles's murder: Nicol Brinn believes he was murdered. Nicol Brinn has known others, in his own words, 'to go the same way.' Yet Nicol Brinn, a millionaire, a scholar, a sportsman, and a gentleman, refuses to open his mouth."
"He is afraid of something."
"He is afraid of Fire-Tongue--whatever Fire-Tongue may be! I never saw a man of proved courage more afraid in my life. He prefers to court arrest for complicity in a murder rather than tell what he knows!"
"It would be, Innes, if Nicol Brinn's fears were personal."
Paul Harley checked his steps in front of the watchful secretary and gazed keenly into his eyes.
"Death has no terrors for Nicol Brinn," he said slowly. "All his life he has toyed with danger. He admitted to me that during the past seven years he had courted death. Isn't it plain enough, Innes? If ever a man possessed all that the world had to offer, Nicol Brinn is that man. In such a case and in such circumstances what do we look for?"
Innes shook his head.
"We look for the woman!" snapped Paul Harley.
There came a rap at the door and Miss Smith, the typist, entered. "Miss Phil Abingdon and Doctor McMurdoch," she said.
"Good heavens!" muttered Harley. "So soon? Why, she can only just--" He checked himself. "Show them in, Miss Smith," he directed.
As the typist went out, followed by Innes, Paul Harley found himself thinking of the photograph in Sir Charles Abingdon's library and waiting with an almost feverish expectancy for the appearance of the original.
Almost immediately Phil Abingdon came in, accompanied by the sepulchral Doctor McMurdoch. And Harley found himself wondering whether her eyes were really violet-coloured or whether intense emotion heroically repressed had temporarily lent them that appearance.
Surprise was the predominant quality of his first impression. Sir Charles Abingdon's daughter was so exceedingly vital--petite and slender, yet instinct with force. The seeming repose of the photograph was misleading. That her glance could be naive he realized--as it could also be gay--and now her eyes were sad with a sadness so deep as to dispel the impression of lightness created by her dainty form, her alluring, mobile lips, and the fascinating, wavy, red-brown hair.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004