May 12, 2020
The Last Straw
'What was that you said about our having an appointment at half-past seven?' asked Mr Cupples as the two came out of the great gateway of the pile of flats. 'Have we such an appointment?'
'Certainly we have,' replied Trent. 'You are dining with me. Only one thing can properly celebrate this occasion, and that is a dinner for which I pay. No, no! I asked you first. I have got right down to the bottom of a case that must be unique—a case that has troubled even my mind for over a year—and if that isn't a good reason for standing a dinner, I don't know what is.
May 12, 2020
Chapter XIV & XV
Writing a Letter
'If you insist,' Trent said, 'I suppose you will have your way. But I had much rather write it when I am not with you. However, if I must, bring me a tablet whiter than a star, or hand of hymning angel; I mean a sheet of note-paper not stamped with your address. Don't underestimate the sacrifice I am making. I never felt less like correspondence in my life.'
She rewarded him.
'What shall I say?' he enquired, his pen hovering over the paper. 'Shall I compare him to a summer's day? What shall I say?'
May 10, 2020
The following two months were a period in Trent's life that he has never since remembered without shuddering. He met Mrs Manderson half a dozen times, and each time her cool friendliness, a nicely calculated mean between mere acquaintance and the first stage of intimacy, baffled and maddened him. At the opera he had found her, to his further amazement, with a certain Mrs Wallace, a frisky matron whom he had known from childhood. Mrs Manderson, it appeared, on her return from Italy, had somehow wandered into circles to which he belonged by nurture and disposition.
May 9, 2020
'I am returning the cheque you sent for what I did on the Manderson case,' Trent wrote to Sir James Molloy from Munich, whither he had gone immediately after handing in at the Record office a brief dispatch bringing his work on the case to an unexciting close. 'What I sent you wasn't worth one-tenth of the amount; but I should have no scruple about pocketing it if I hadn't taken a fancy—never mind why—not to touch any money at all for this business. I should like you, if there is no objection, to pay for the stuff at your ordinary space-rate, and hand the money to some charity which does not devote itself to bullying people...'
May 8, 2020
My Dear Molloy:—-This is in case I don't find you at your office. I have found out who killed Manderson, as this dispatch will show. This was my problem; yours is to decide what use to make of it. It definitely charges an unsuspected person with having a hand in the crime, and practically accuses him of being the murderer, so I don't suppose you will publish it before his arrest, and I believe it is illegal to do so afterwards until he has been tried and found guilty. You may decide to publish it then; and you may find it possible to make some use or other before then of the facts I have given.
May 7, 2020
Chapter IX & X
A Hot Scent
'Come in!' called Trent.
Mr Cupples entered his sitting-room at the hotel. It was the early evening of the day on which the coroner's jury, without leaving the box, had pronounced the expected denunciation of a person or persons unknown. Trent, with a hasty glance upward, continued his intent study of what lay in a photographic dish of enamelled metal, which he moved slowly about in the light of the window. He looked very pale, and his movements were nervous.
May 6, 2020
Chapter VII & VIII
The Lady in Black
The sea broke raging upon the foot of the cliff under a good breeze; the sun flooded the land with life from a dappled blue sky. In this perfection of English weather Trent, who had slept ill, went down before eight o'clock to a pool among the rocks, the direction of which had been given him, and dived deep into clear water. Between vast grey boulders he swam out to the tossing open, forced himself some little way against a coast-wise current, and then returned to his refuge battered and refreshed. Ten minutes later he was scaling the cliff again, and his mind, cleared for the moment of a heavy disgust for the affair he had in hand, was turning over his plans for the morning.
It was the day of the inquest...
May 5, 2020
Mr Bunner on the Case
'Calvin C. Bunner, at your service,' amended the newcomer, with a touch of punctilio, as he removed an unlighted cigar from his mouth. He was used to finding Englishmen slow and ceremonious with strangers, and Trent's quick remark plainly disconcerted him a little. 'You are Mr Trent, I expect,' he went on. 'Mrs Manderson was telling me a while ago. Captain, good-morning.'
Mr Murch acknowledged the outlandish greeting with a nod.
'I was coming up to my room, and I heard a strange voice in here, so I thought I would take a look in.' Mr Bunner laughed easily. 'You thought I might have been eavesdropping, perhaps,' he said. 'No, sir; I heard a word or two about a pistol—this one,...”
May 4, 2020
There are moments in life, as one might think, when that which is within us, busy about its secret affair, lets escape into consciousness some hint of a fortunate thing ordained. Who does not know what it is to feel at times a wave of unaccountable persuasion that it is about to go well with him?—not the feverish confidence of men in danger of a blow from fate, not the persistent illusion of the optimist, but an unsought conviction, springing up like a bird from the heather, that success is at hand in some great or fine thing. The general suddenly knows at dawn that the day will bring him victory...
May 3, 2020
Handcuffs in the Air
A painter and the son of a painter, Philip Trent had while yet in his twenties achieved some reputation within the world of English art. Moreover, his pictures sold. An original, forcible talent and a habit of leisurely but continuous working, broken by fits of strong creative enthusiasm, were at the bottom of it. His father's name had helped; a patrimony large enough to relieve him of the perilous imputation of being a struggling man had certainly not hindered. But his best aid to success had been an unconscious power of getting himself liked. Good spirits and a lively, humorous fancy will always be popular. Trent joined to these a genuine interest in others that gained him something deeper than popularity. His judgement of persons was penetrating,...