Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Strange Disappearance Anna Katharine Green

The Secret Of Mr. Blake's Studio

Page 3 of 7

Table Of Contents: A Strange Disappearance

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"Mr. Blake," observed Mr. Gryce, and I declare I was proud of my superior at that moment, "no man who is a true citizen and a Christian should object to have his steps followed, when by his own thoughtlessness, perhaps, he has incurred a suspicion which demands it."

"And do you mean to say that I have been followed," inquired he, clenching his hand and looking steadily, but with a blanching cheek, first at Mr. Gryce then at me.

"It was indispensable," quoth that functionary gently.

The outraged gentleman riveted his gaze upon me. "In town and out of town?" demanded he.

I let Mr. Gryce reply. "It is known that you have lately sought to visit the Schoenmakers," said he.

Mr. Blake drew a deep breath, cast his eyes about the handsome apartment in which we were, let them rest for a moment upon a portrait that graced one side of the wall, and which was I have since learned a picture of his father, and slowly drew forward a chair. "Let me hear what your suspicions are," said he.

I noticed Mr. Gryce colored at this; he had evidently been met in a different way from what he expected. "Excuse me," said he, "I do not say I have any suspicions; my errand is simply to notify you of the death of the girl you were seen to speak with, and to ask whether or not you can give us any information that can aid us in the matter before the coroner."

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"You know I have not. If I have been as closely followed as you say, you must know why I spoke to that girl and others, why I went to the house of the Schoenmakers and--Do you know?" he suddenly inquired.

Mr. Gryce was not the man to answer such a question as that. He eyed the rich signet ring that adorned the hand of the gentleman before him and suavely smiled. "I am ready to listen to any explanations," said he.

Mr. Blake's haughty countenance became almost stern. "You consider you have a right to demand them; let me hear why."

"Well," said Mr. Gryce with a change of tone, "you shall. Unprofessional as it is, I will tell you why I, a member of the police force, dare enter the house of such a man as you are, and put him the questions I have concerning his domestic affairs. Mr. Blake, imagine yourself in a detective's office. A woman comes in, the housekeeper of a respected citizen, and informs us that a girl employed by her as seamstress has disappeared in a very unaccountable way from her master's house the night before; in fact been abducted as she thinks from certain evidences, through the window. Her manner is agitated, her appeal for assistance urgent, though she acknowledges no relationship to the girl or expresses any especial cause for her interest beyond that of common humanity. 'She must be found,' she declares, and hints that any sum necessary will be forthcoming, though from what source after her own pittance is expended she does not state. When asked if her master has no interest in the matter, she changes color and puts us off. He never noticed his servants, left all such concerns to her, etc.; but shows fear when a proposition is made to consult him. Next imagine yourself with the detectives in that gentleman's house. You enter the girl's room; what is the first thing you observe? Why that it is not only one of the best in the house, but that it is conspicuous for its comforts if not for its elegancies. More than that, that there are books of poetry and history lying around, showing that the woman who inhabited it was above her station; a fact which the housekeeper is presently brought to acknowledge. You notice also that the wild surmise of her abduction by means of the window, has some ground in appearance, though the fact that she went with entire unwillingness is not made so apparent. The housekeeper, however, insists in a way that must have had some special knowledge of the girl's character or circumstances to back it, that she never went without compulsion; a statement which the torn curtains and the track of blood over the roof of the extension, would seem to emphasize. A few other facts are made known. First, a pen-knife is picked up from the grass plot in the yard beneath, showing with what instrument the wound was inflicted, whose drippings made those marks of blood alluded to. It was a pearl-handled knife belonging to the writing desk found open on her table, and its frail and dainty character proved indisputably, that it was employed by the girl herself, and that against manifest enemies; no man being likely to snatch up any such puny weapon for the purpose either of offence or defence. That these enemies were two and were both men, was insisted upon by Mrs. Daniels who overheard their voices the night before.

Page 3 of 7 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
A Strange Disappearance
Anna Katharine Green

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004