H E R A P A T H
P R O P E R T Y
J. S. FLETCHER
ALFRED . A . KNOPF
COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY
ALFRED A. KNOPF, INC.
_Published October, 1921_
_Second Printing, May, 1922_
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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
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
was Herapath's butler.
In the act of summoning Selwood, Kitteridge was evidently
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?"
shook his head and jerked his thumb towards the open door of
"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."
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
"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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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?"
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
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
"Strange!" he remarked. "And yet, you know, he is a man who does things
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
"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
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
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
"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."
IS IT MURDER?
It struck Selwood, afterwards, as a significant
thing that it was
missing [´misiŋ] a.缺掉的；失踪的 (初中英语单词) charge [tʃɑ:dʒ] v.收费；冲锋 n.费用 (初中英语单词) sandwich [´sænwidʒ, ´sændwitʃ] n.三明治，夹心面包片 (初中英语单词) witness [´witnis] n.见证人 vt.目击 (初中英语单词) professional [prə´feʃənəl] a.职业的 n.自由职业 (初中英语单词) analysis [ə´næləsis] n.分解；分析(结果) (初中英语单词) well-known [,wel´nəun] a.著名的，众所周知的 (初中英语单词) estate [i´steit] n.财产；庄园；等级 (初中英语单词) communication [kə,mju:ni´keiʃən] n.通信；通讯联系 (初中英语单词) occasionally [ə´keiʒənəli] ad.偶然地；非经常地 (初中英语单词) restless [´restləs] a.没有休息的 (初中英语单词) evidently [´evidəntli] ad.明显地 (初中英语单词) pointed [´pɔintid] a.尖(锐)的；中肯的 (初中英语单词) solution [sə´lu:ʃən] n.解答；解决；溶解 (初中英语单词) mystery [´mistəri] n.神秘；秘密；故弄玄虚 (初中英语单词) beginning [bi´giniŋ] n.开始，开端；起源 (初中英语单词) striking [´straikiŋ] a.显著的，明显的 (初中英语单词) inquiry [in´kwaiəri] n.询问；质询；调查 (初中英语单词) advanced [əd´vɑ:nst] a.先进的；高级的 (初中英语单词) character [´kæriktə] n.特性；性质；人物；字 (初中英语单词) preparation [,prepə´reiʃən] n.准备；预习(时间) (初中英语单词) gently [´dʒentli] ad.温和地；静静地 (初中英语单词) slightly [´slaitli] ad.轻微地；细长的 (初中英语单词) spectacled [´spektəkəld] a.戴眼镜的 (初中英语单词) hastily [´heistili] ad.急速地；草率地 (初中英语单词) cabinet [´kæbinit] n.橱，柜；内阁 (初中英语单词) apartment [ə´pɑ:tmənt] n.一套房间 (初中英语单词) downstairs [,daun´steəz] ad.在楼下 a.楼下的 (初中英语单词) bachelor [´bætʃələ] n.未婚男子；学士 (高中英语单词) summon [´sʌmən] vt.召集；号召 (高中英语单词) butler [´bʌtlə] n.(男)管家 (高中英语单词) repeated [ri´pi:tid] a.反复的；重复的 (高中英语单词) biscuit [´biskit] n.饼干 (高中英语单词) strict [strikt] a.严厉的；精确的 (高中英语单词) luggage [´lʌgidʒ] n.行李；皮箱 (高中英语单词) seeing [si:iŋ] see的现在分词 n.视觉 (高中英语单词) saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] n.言语；言论；格言 (高中英语单词) significant [sig´nifikənt] a.重要的；意义重大的 (高中英语单词) scottish [´skɔtiʃ, ´skɑtiʃ] a.&n.苏格兰人(的) (英语四级单词) verdict [´və:dikt] n.裁决，判决；判定 (英语四级单词) accusation [ækju:´zeiʃən] n.谴责；告发 (英语四级单词) proverb [´prɔvə:b] n.谚语；格言 (英语四级单词) warrant [´wɔrənt] n.根据；委任书；权利 (英语四级单词) hurriedly [´hʌridli] ad.仓促地，忙乱地 (英语四级单词) coachman [´kəutʃmən] n.赶马车人 (英语四级单词) whiskey [´wiski] n.威士忌酒 =whisky (英语四级单词) mouthful [´mauθful] n.一口；少量 (英语四级单词) infancy [´infənsi] n.婴儿期；初期 (英语四级单词) setting [´setiŋ] n.安装；排字；布景 (英语四级单词) delicately [´delikitli] ad.精美地；微妙地 (英语四级单词) bitten [´bitn] bite的过去分词 (英语四级单词) nameless [´neimlis] a.无名字的；无名声的 (英语六级单词) ventilation [,venti´leiʃən] n.通风(设备)；换气 (英语六级单词) sanitation [,sænə´teʃən, ,sæni´teiʃən] n.(环境)卫生 (英语六级单词) middle-aged [´midl´eidʒid] a.中年的 (英语六级单词) narrowly [´nærəuli] ad.勉强地；严密地 (英语六级单词)