酷兔英语



THE

H E R A P A T H

P R O P E R T Y

BY

J. S. FLETCHER

NEW YORK

ALFRED . A . KNOPF

MCMXXII

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY

ALFRED A. KNOPF, INC.

_Published October, 1921_

_Second Printing, May, 1922_

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I JACOB HERAPATH IS MISSING, 9

II IS IT MURDER? 18

III BARTHORPE TAKES CHARGE, 27

IV THE PRESSMAN, 36

V THE GLASS AND THE SANDWICH, 45

VI THE TAXI-CAB DRIVER, 54

VII IS THERE A WILL? 64

VIII THE SECOND WITNESS, 74

IX GREEK AGAINST GREEK, 83

X MR. BENJAMIN HALFPENNY, 91

XI THE SHADOW, 100

XII FOR TEN PER CENT, 109

XIII ADJOURNED, 118

XIV THE SCOTTISH VERDICT, 127

XV YOUNG BRAINS, 136

XVI NAMELESS FEAR, 145

XVII THE LAW, 154

XVIII THE ROSEWOOD BOX, 163

XIX WEAVING THE NET, 172

XX THE DIAMOND RING, 181

XXI THE DESERTED FLAT, 190

XXII YEA AND NAY, 199

XXIII THE ACCUSATION, 208

XXIV COLD STEEL, 217

XXV PROFESSIONAL ANALYSIS, 226

XXVI THE REMAND PRISON, 235

XXVII THE LAST CHEQUE, 244

XXVIII THE HOTEL RAVENNA, 253

XXIX THE NOTE IN THE PRAYER-BOOK, 263

XXX THE WHITE-HAIRED LADY, 273

XXXI THE INTERRUPTED DINNER-PARTY, 283

XXXII THE YORKSHIRE PROVERB, 290

XXXIII BURCHILL FILLS THE STAGE, 294

XXXIV DAVIDGE'S TRUMP CARD, 304

XXXV THE SECOND WARRANT, 312

THE

HERAPATH

PROPERTY

CHAPTER I

JACOB HERAPATH IS MISSING

This was the third week of Selwood's secretaryship to Jacob Herapath.

Herapath was a well-known man in London. He was a Member of Parliament,

the owner of a sort of model estate of up-to-date flats, and something

of a crank about such matters as ventilation, sanitation, and lighting.

He himself, a bachelor, lived in one of the best houses in Portman

Square; when he engaged Selwood as his secretary he made him take a

convenient set of rooms in Upper Seymour Street, close by. He also

caused a telephone communication to be set up between his own house and

Selwood's bedroom, so that he could summon his secretary at any hour of

the night. Herapath occasionally had notions about things in the small

hours, and he was one of those active, restless persons who, if they get

a new idea, like to figure on it at once. All the same, during those

three weeks he had not once troubled his secretary in this fashion. No

call came to Selwood over that telephone until half-past seven one

November morning, just as he was thinking of getting out of bed. And the

voice which then greeted him was not Herapath's. It was a rather anxious,

troubled voice, and it belonged to one Kitteridge, a middle-aged man, who

was Herapath's butler.

In the act of summoning Selwood, Kitteridge was evidently interrupted by

some person at his elbow; all that Selwood made out was that Kitteridge

wanted him to go round at once. He dressed hurriedly, and ran off to

Herapath's house; there in the hall, near the door of a room which

Herapath used as a study and business room, he found Kitteridge talking

to Mountain, Herapath's coachman, who, judging by the state of his

attire, had also been called hurriedly from his bed.

"What is it, Kitteridge?" demanded Selwood. "Mr. Herapath ill?"

The butler shook his head and jerked his thumb towards the open door of

the study.

"The fact is, we don't know where Mr. Herapath is, sir," he answered.

"He hasn't slept in his bed, and he isn't in the house."

"Possibly he didn't come home last night," suggested Selwood. "He may

have slept at his club, or at an hotel."

The butler and the coachman looked at each other--then the coachman, a

little, sharp-eyed man who was meditatively chewing a bit of straw,

opened his tightly-compressed lips.

"He did come home, sir," he said. "I drove him home--as usual. I saw him

let himself into the house. One o'clock sharp, that was. Oh, yes, he

came home!"

"He came home," repeated Kitteridge. "Look here, sir." He led the way

into the study and pointed to a small table set by the side of

Herapath's big business desk. "You see that tray, Mr. Selwood? That's

always left out, there, on that table, for Mr. Herapath every night. A

small decanter of whiskey, a syphon, a few sandwiches, a dry biscuit or

two. Well, there you are, sir--he's had a drink out of that glass, he's

had a mouthful or so of sandwiches. Oh, yes, he came home, but he's not

at home now! Charlesworth--the valet, you know, sir--always goes into

Mr. Herapath's room at a quarter past seven every morning; when he went

in just now he found that Mr. Herapath wasn't there, and the bed hadn't

been slept in. So--that's where things stand."

Selwood looked round the room. The curtains had not yet been drawn

aside, and the electric light cast a cold glare on the various

well-known objects and fittings. He glanced at the evidences of the

supper tray; then at the blotting-pad on Herapath's desk; there he might

have left a note for his butler or his secretary. But there was no note

to be seen.

"Still, I don't see that there's anything to be alarmed about,

Kitteridge," he said. "Mr. Herapath may have wanted to go somewhere by a

very early morning train----"

"No, sir, excuse me, that won't do," broke in the butler. "I thought of

that myself. But if he'd wanted to catch a night train, he'd have taken

a travelling coat, and a rug, and a bag of some sort--he's taken nothing

at all in that way. Besides, I've been in this house seven years, and I

know his habits. If he'd wanted to go away by one of the very early

morning trains he'd have kept me and Charlesworth up, making ready for

him. No, sir! He came home, and went out again--must have done.

And--it's uncommonly queer. Seven years I've been here, as I say, and he

never did such a thing before."

Selwood turned to the coachman.

"You brought Mr. Herapath home at one o'clock?" he said. "Alone?"

"He was alone, sir," replied the coachman, who had been staring around him

as if to seek some solution of the mystery. "I'll tell you all that

happened--I was just beginning to tell Mr. Kitteridge here when you come

in. I fetched Mr. Herapath from the House of Commons last night at a

quarter past eleven--took him up in Palace Yard at the usual spot, just as

the clock was striking. 'Mountain,' he says, 'I want you to drive round to

the estate office--I want to call there.' So I drove there--that's in

Kensington, as you know, sir. When he got out he says, 'Mountain,' he

says, 'I shall be three-quarters of an hour or so here--wrap the mare up

and walk her about,' he says. I did as he said, but he was more than

three-quarters--it was like an hour. Then at last he came back to the

brougham, just said one word, 'Home!' and I drove him here, and the clocks

were striking one when he got out. He said 'Good night,' and I saw him

walk up the steps and put his key in the latch as I drove off to our

stables. And that's all I know about it."

Selwood turned to the butler.

"I suppose no one was up at that time?" he inquired.

"Nobody, sir," answered Kitteridge. "There never is. Mr. Herapath, as

you've no doubt observed, is a bit strict in the matter of rules, and

it's one of his rules that everybody in the house must be in bed by

eleven-thirty. No one was ever to sit up for him on any occasion. That's

why this supper-tray was always left ready. His usual time for coming in

when he'd been at the House was twelve o'clock."

"Everybody in the house might be in bed," observed Selwood, "but not

everybody might be asleep. Have you made any inquiry as to whether

anybody heard Mr. Herapath moving about in the night, or leaving the

house? Somebody may have heard the hall door opened and closed, you

know."

"I'll make inquiry as to that, sir," responded Kitteridge, "but I've

heard nothing of the sort so far, and all the servants are aware by now

that Mr. Herapath isn't in the house. If anybody had heard anything----"

Before the butler could say more the study door opened and a girl came

into the room. At sight of her Selwood spoke hurriedly to Kitteridge.

"Have you told Miss Wynne?" he whispered. "Does she know?"

"She may have heard from her maid, sir," replied Kitteridge in low

tones. "Of course they're all talking of it. I was going to ask to see

Miss Wynne as soon as she was dressed."

By that time the girl had advanced towards the three men, and Selwood

stepped forward to meet her. He knew her as Herapath's niece, the

daughter of a dead sister of whom Herapath had been very fond; he knew,

too, that Herapath had brought her up from infancy and treated her as a

daughter. She was at this time a young woman of twenty-one or two, a

pretty, eminently likeable young woman, with signs of character and

resource in eyes and lips, and Selwood had seen enough of her to feel

sure that in any disturbing event she would keep her head. She spoke

calmly enough as the secretary met her.

"What's all this, Mr. Selwood?" she asked. "I understand my uncle is not

in the house. But there's nothing alarming in that, Kitteridge, is

there? Mr. Herapath may have gone away during the night, you know."

"Kitteridge thinks that highly improbable," replied Selwood. "He says

that Mr. Herapath had made no preparation for a sudden journey, has

taken no travelling coat or rug, or luggage of any sort."

"Did he come in from the House?" she asked. "Perhaps not?"

Kitteridge pointed to the supper-tray and then indicated the coachman.

"He came in as usual, miss," he replied. "Or rather an hour later than

usual. Mountain brought him home at one o'clock, and he saw him let

himself in with his latch-key."

Peggie Wynne turned to the coachman.

"You're sure that he entered the house?" she asked.

"As sure as I could be, miss," replied Mountain. "He was putting his key

in the door when I drove off."

"He must have come in," said Kitteridge, pointing to the tray. "He had

something after he got in."

"Well, go and tell the servants not to talk, Kitteridge," said Peggie.

"My uncle, no doubt, had reasons for going out again. Have you said

anything to Mr. Tertius?"

"Mr. Tertius isn't down yet, miss," answered the butler.

He left the room, followed by the coachman, and Peggie turned to

Selwood. "What do you think?" she asked, with a slight show of anxiety.

"You don't know of any reason for this, do you?"

"None," replied Selwood. "And as to what I think, I don't know

sufficient about Mr. Herapath's habits to be able to judge."

"He never did anything like this before," she remarked. "I know that he

sometimes gets up in the middle of the night and comes down here, but I

never knew him to go out. If he'd been setting off on a sudden journey

he'd surely have let me know. Perhaps----"

She paused suddenly, seeing Selwood lift his eyes from the papers

strewn about the desk to the door. She, too, turned in the same

direction.

A man had come quietly into the room--a slightly-built, little man,

grey-bearded, delicate-looking, whose eyes were obscured by a pair of

dark-tinted spectacles. He moved gently and with an air of habitual

shyness, and Selwood, who was naturally observant, saw that his lips and

his hands were trembling slightly as he came towards them.

"Mr. Tertius," said Peggie, "do you know anything about Uncle Jacob? He

came in during the night--one o'clock--and now he's disappeared. Did he

say anything to you about going away early this morning?"

Mr. Tertius shook his head.

"No--no--nothing!" he answered. "Disappeared! Is it certain he came in?"

"Mountain saw him come in," she said. "Besides, he had a drink out of

that glass, and he ate something from the tray--see!"

Mr. Tertius bent his spectacled eyes over the supper tray and remained

looking at what he saw there for a while. Then he looked up, and at

Selwood.

"Strange!" he remarked. "And yet, you know, he is a man who does things

without saying a word to any one. Have you, now, thought of telephoning

to the estate office? He may have gone there."

Peggie, who had dropped into the chair at Herapath's desk, immediately

jumped up.

"Of course we must do that at once!" she exclaimed. "Come to the

telephone, Mr. Selwood--we may hear something."

She and Selwood left the room together. When they had gone, Mr. Tertius

once more bent over the supper tray. He picked up the empty glass,

handling it delicately; he held it between himself and the electric

light over the desk; he narrowly inspected it, inside and out. Then he

turned his attention to the plate of sandwiches. One sandwich had been

taken from the plate and bitten into--once. Mr. Tertius took up that

sandwich with the tips of his delicately-shaped fingers. He held that,

too, nearer the light. And having looked at it he hastily selected an

envelope from the stationery cabinet on the desk, carefully placed the

sandwich within it, and set off to his own rooms in the upper part of

the house. As he passed through the hall he heard Selwood at the

telephone, which was installed in a small apartment at the foot of the

stairs--he was evidently already in communication with some one at the

Herapath Estate Office.

Mr. Tertius went straight to his room, stayed there a couple of minutes,

and went downstairs again. Selwood and Peggie Wynne were just coming

away from the telephone; they looked up at him with faces grave with

concern.

"We're wanted at the estate office," said Selwood. "The caretaker was

just going to ring us up when I got through to him. Something is

wrong--wrong with Mr. Herapath."

CHAPTER II

IS IT MURDER?

It struck Selwood, afterwards, as a significant thing that it was


生词表:
  • missing [´misiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.缺掉的;失踪的   (初中英语单词)
  • charge [tʃɑ:dʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.收费;冲锋 n.费用   (初中英语单词)
  • sandwich [´sænwidʒ, ´sændwitʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.三明治,夹心面包片   (初中英语单词)
  • witness [´witnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.见证人 vt.目击   (初中英语单词)
  • professional [prə´feʃənəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.职业的 n.自由职业   (初中英语单词)
  • analysis [ə´næləsis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.分解;分析(结果)   (初中英语单词)
  • well-known [,wel´nəun] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.著名的,众所周知的   (初中英语单词)
  • estate [i´steit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.财产;庄园;等级   (初中英语单词)
  • communication [kə,mju:ni´keiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.通信;通讯联系   (初中英语单词)
  • occasionally [ə´keiʒənəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.偶然地;非经常地   (初中英语单词)
  • restless [´restləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.没有休息的   (初中英语单词)
  • evidently [´evidəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.明显地   (初中英语单词)
  • pointed [´pɔintid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尖(锐)的;中肯的   (初中英语单词)
  • solution [sə´lu:ʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.解答;解决;溶解   (初中英语单词)
  • mystery [´mistəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.神秘;秘密;故弄玄虚   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • striking [´straikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显著的,明显的   (初中英语单词)
  • inquiry [in´kwaiəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.询问;质询;调查   (初中英语单词)
  • advanced [əd´vɑ:nst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.先进的;高级的   (初中英语单词)
  • character [´kæriktə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特性;性质;人物;字   (初中英语单词)
  • preparation [,prepə´reiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.准备;预习(时间)   (初中英语单词)
  • gently [´dʒentli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.温和地;静静地   (初中英语单词)
  • slightly [´slaitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.轻微地;细长的   (初中英语单词)
  • spectacled [´spektəkəld] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.戴眼镜的   (初中英语单词)
  • hastily [´heistili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.急速地;草率地   (初中英语单词)
  • cabinet [´kæbinit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.橱,柜;内阁   (初中英语单词)
  • apartment [ə´pɑ:tmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.一套房间   (初中英语单词)
  • downstairs [,daun´steəz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在楼下 a.楼下的   (初中英语单词)
  • bachelor [´bætʃələ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.未婚男子;学士   (高中英语单词)
  • summon [´sʌmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.召集;号召   (高中英语单词)
  • butler [´bʌtlə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(男)管家   (高中英语单词)
  • repeated [ri´pi:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.反复的;重复的   (高中英语单词)
  • biscuit [´biskit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.饼干   (高中英语单词)
  • strict [strikt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.严厉的;精确的   (高中英语单词)
  • luggage [´lʌgidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.行李;皮箱   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • significant [sig´nifikənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.重要的;意义重大的   (高中英语单词)
  • scottish [´skɔtiʃ, ´skɑtiʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.苏格兰人(的)   (英语四级单词)
  • verdict [´və:dikt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.裁决,判决;判定   (英语四级单词)
  • accusation [ækju:´zeiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.谴责;告发   (英语四级单词)
  • proverb [´prɔvə:b] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.谚语;格言   (英语四级单词)
  • warrant [´wɔrənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.根据;委任书;权利   (英语四级单词)
  • hurriedly [´hʌridli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.仓促地,忙乱地   (英语四级单词)
  • coachman [´kəutʃmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.赶马车人   (英语四级单词)
  • whiskey [´wiski] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.威士忌酒 =whisky   (英语四级单词)
  • mouthful [´mauθful] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.一口;少量   (英语四级单词)
  • infancy [´infənsi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.婴儿期;初期   (英语四级单词)
  • setting [´setiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.安装;排字;布景   (英语四级单词)
  • delicately [´delikitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.精美地;微妙地   (英语四级单词)
  • bitten [´bitn] 移动到这儿单词发声  bite的过去分词   (英语四级单词)
  • nameless [´neimlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无名字的;无名声的   (英语六级单词)
  • ventilation [,venti´leiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.通风(设备);换气   (英语六级单词)
  • sanitation [,sænə´teʃən, ,sæni´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(环境)卫生   (英语六级单词)
  • middle-aged [´midl´eidʒid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.中年的   (英语六级单词)
  • narrowly [´nærəuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.勉强地;严密地   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:19:24
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