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|II As Seen By Detective Sweetwater||Anna Katharine Green|
XXII O. B. Again
|Page 2 of 4||
"Two 0. B.s! Isn't that incredible, Mr. Gryce?"
Yes, it is incredible; but the incredible is not the impossible. The man you've been shadowing denies that these expressive effusions of Miss Challoner were meant for him. Let us see, then, if we can find the man they were meant for."
"The second 0. B.?"
Sweetwater's face instantly lit up.
"Do you mean that I - after my egregious failure - am not to be kept on the dunce's seat? That you will give me this new job?"
"Yes. We don't know of a better man. It isn't your fault, you said it yourself, that water couldn't be squeezed out of a millstone."
"The Superintendent - how does he feel about it?"
"He was the first one to mention you."
"And the Inspector?"
"Is glad to see us on a new tack."
A pause, during which the eager light in the young detective's eye clouded over. Presently he remarked:
"How will the finding of another 0. B. alter Mr. Brotherson's position? He still will be the one person on the spot, known to have cherished a grievance against the victim of this mysterious killing. To my mind, this discovery of a more favoured rival, brings in an element of motive which may rob our self-reliant friend of some of his complacency. We may further, rather than destroy, our case against Brotherson by locating a second 0.B."
Mr. Gryce's eyes twinkled.
"That won't make your task any more irksome," he smiled. "The loop we thus throw out is as likely to catch Brotherson as his rival. It all depends upon the sort of man we find in this second 0. B.; and whether, in some way unknown to us, he gave her cause for the sudden and overwhelming rush of despair which alone supports this general theory of suicide."
"The prospect grows pleasing. Where am I to look for my man?"
"Your ticket is bought to Derby, Pennsylvania. If he is not employed in the great factories there, we do not know where to find him. We have no other clew."
"I see. It's a short journey I have before me."
"It'll bring the colour to your cheeks."
"Oh, I'm not kicking."
"You will start to-morrow."
"Wish it were to-day."
"And you will first inquire, not for 0. B., that's too indefinite; but for a young girl by the name of Doris Scott. She holds the clew; or rather she is the clew to this second 0. B."
"No, a child; - well, I won't say child exactly; she must be sixteen."
"She lives in Derby. Derby is a small place. You will have no trouble in finding this child. It was to her Miss Challoner's last letter was addressed. The one -"
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