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I As Seen By Two Strangers Anna Katharine Green

VII The Letters

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And Dr. Heath read:

"Dear Miss Challoner:

    "Only a man of small spirit could endure what I endured from you
    the other day. Love such as mine would be respectable in a
    clod-hopper, and I think that even you will acknowledge that I
    stand somewhat higher than that. Though I was silent under your
    disapprobation, you shall yet have your answer. It will not lack
    point because of its necessary delay."

A threat!

The words sprang from Sweetwater, and were evidently involuntary. Dr. Heath paid no notice, but Mr. Gryce, in shifting his hands on his cane top, gave them a sidelong look which was not without a hint of fresh interest in a case concerning which he had believed himself to have said his last word.

"It is the only letter of them all which conveys anything like a reproach," proceeded the coroner. "The rest are ardent enough and, I must acknowledge that, so far as I have allowed myself to look into them, sufficiently respectful. Her surprise must consequently have been great at receiving these lines, and her resentment equally so. If the two met afterwards - But I have not shown you the signature. To the poor father it conveyed nothing - some facts have been kept from him - but to us -" here he whirled the letter about so that Sweetwater, at least, could see the name, "it conveys a hope that we may yet understand Miss Challoner."

"Brotherson! " exclaimed the young detective in loud surprise. "Brotherson! The man who -"

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"The man who left this building just before or simultaneously with the alarm caused by Miss Challoner's fall. It clears away some of the clouds befogging us. She probably caught sight of him in the lobby, and in the passion of the moment forgot her usual instincts and drove the sharp-pointed weapon into her heart.

"Brotherson!" The word came softly now, and with a thoughtful intonation. "He saw her die."

"Why do you say that?"

"Would he have washed his hands in the snow if he had been in ignorance of the occurrence? He was the real, if not active, cause of her death and he knew it. Either he - Excuse me, Dr. Heath and Mr. Gryce, it is not for me to obtrude my opinion."

"Have you settled it beyond dispute that Brotherson is really the man who was seen doing this?"

"No, sir. I have not had a minute for that job, but I'm ready for the business any time you see fit to spare me."

"Let it be to-morrow, or, if you can manage it, to-night. We want the man even if he is not the hero of that romantic episode. He wrote these letters, and he must explain the last one. His initials, as you see, are not ordinary ones, and you will find them at the bottom of all these sheets. He was brave enough or arrogant enough to sign the questionable one with his full name. This may speak well for him, and it may not. It is for you to decide that. Where will you look for him, Sweetwater? No one here knows his address."

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