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HOME > Classical Novels > Red Money > CHAPTER IX.AFTERWARDS.
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 With amazing and rapidity the news spread that a burglar had been shot dead while trying to raid The . First, the Garvington villagers learned it; then it became the common property of the neighborhood, until it finally reached the nearest county town, and thus brought the police on the scene. Lord Garvington was not pleased when the local arrived, and intimated as much in a somewhat unpleasant fashion. He was never a man who spared those in an inferior social position.  
"It is no use your coming over, Darby," he said bluntly to the red-haired police officer, who was of Irish extraction. "I have sent to Scotland Yard."
"All in good time, my lord," replied the inspector coolly. "As the murder has taken place in my district I have to look into the matter, and report to the London authorities, if it should be necessary."
"What right have you to class the affair as a murder?" inquired Garvington.
"I only go by the I have heard, my lord. Some say that you winged the man and broke his right arm. Others tell me that a second shot was fired in the garden, and it was that which killed Ishmael Hearne."
"It is true, Darby. I only fired the first shot, as those who were with me will tell you. I don't know who shot in the garden, and no one else does. It was this unknown individual in the garden that killed Hearne. By the way, how did you come to hear the name?"
"Half a dozen people have told me, my lord, along with the information I have just given you. Nothing else is talked of far and wide."
"And it is just twelve o'clock," muttered the little lord, wiping his face . "Ill news travels fast. However, as you are here, you may as well take charge of things until the London men arrive."
"The London men aren't going to my privileges, my lord," said Darby, firmly. "There's no sense in taking matters out of my hands. And if you will pardon my saying so, I should have been sent for in the first instance."
"I daresay," snapped Garvington, coolly. "But the matter is too important to be left in the hands of a local policeman."
Darby was , and his hard eyes grew angry. "I am quite competent to deal with any murder, even if it is that of the highest in England, much less with the death of a common gypsy."
"That's just where it is, Darby. The common gypsy who has been shot happens to be my brother-in-law."
"Sir Hubert Pine?" questioned the inspector, taken aback.
"Yes! Of course I didn't know him when I fired, or I should not have done so, Darby. I understood, and his wife, my sister, understood, that Sir Hubert was in Paris. It passes my comprehension to guess why he should have come in the dead of night, dressed as a gypsy, to raid my house."
"Perhaps it was a bet," said Darby, puzzled.
"Bet, be hanged! Pine could come openly to this place whenever he liked. I never was so astonished in my life as when I saw him lying dead near the shrubbery. And the worst of it is, that my sister ran out and saw him also. She fainted and has been in bed ever since, attended by Lady Garvington."
"You had no idea that the man you shot was Sir Hubert, my lord?"
"Hang it, no! Would I have shot him had I guessed who he was?"
"No, no, my lord! of course not," said the officer hastily. "But as I have come to take charge of the case, you will give me a account of what has taken place."
"I would rather wait until the Scotland Yard fellows come," Garvington, "as I don't wish to repeat my story twice. Still, as you are on the spot, I may as well ask your advice. You may be able to throw some light on the subject. I'm hanged if I can."
Darby pulled out his notebook. "I am all attention, my lord."
Garvington into his account, first having looked to see if the library door was firmly closed. "As there have been many burglaries lately in this part of the world," he said, speaking with deliberation, "I got an idea into my head that this house might be broken into."
"Natural enough, my lord," interposed Darby, glancing round the splendid room. "A historic house such as this is, would any burglar."
"So I thought," remarked the other, pleased that Darby should agree with him so . "And I declared several times, within the hearing of many people, that if a raid was made, I should shoot the first man who tried to enter. Hang it, an Englishman's house is his castle, and no man has a right to come in without permission."
"Quite so, my lord. But the punishment of the burglar should be left to the law," said the inspector softly.
"Oh, the deuce take the law! I prefer to execute my own punishments. However, to make a long story short, I grew more afraid of a raid when these gypsies came to camp at Abbot's Wood, as they are just the sort of scoundrels who would break in and steal."
"Why didn't you order them off your land?" asked the policeman, alertly.
"I did, and then my brother-in-law sent a message through his secretary, who is staying here, asking me to allow them to remain. I did."
"Why did Sir Hubert send that message, my lord?"
"Hang it, man, that's just what I am trying to learn, and I am the more puzzled because he came last night dressed as a gypsy."
"He must be one," said Darby, who had seen Pine and now recalled his dark and jetty eyes. "It seems, from what I have been told, that he stopped at the Abbot's Wood camp under the name of Ishmael Hearne."
"So Silver informed me."
"Who is he?"
"Pine's secretary, who knows all his affairs. Silver declared, when the secret could be kept no longer, that Pine was really a gypsy, called Ishmael Hearne. Occasionally for the old life, he stepped down from his millionaire pedestal and mixed with his own people. When he was supposed to be in Paris, he was really with the gypsies, so you can now understand why he sent the message asking me to let these stay."
"You told me a few moments ago, that you could not understand that message, my lord," said Darby quickly, and looking searchingly at the other man. Garvington grew a trifle confused. "Did I? Well, to tell you the truth, Darby, I'm so mixed up over the business that I can't say what I do know, or what I don't know. You'd better take all I tell you with a grain of salt until I am quite myself again."
"Natural enough, my lord," remarked the inspector again, and quite believed what he said. "And the details of the murder?"
"I went to bed as usual," said Garvington, wearily, for the events of the night had tired him out, "and everyone else some time about midnight. I went round with the footmen and the butler to see that everything was safe, for I was too anxious to let them look after things without me. Then I heard a noise of footsteps on the outside, just as I was dropping off to sleep—"
"About what time was that, my lord?"
"Half-past one o'clock; I can't be certain as to a minute. I jumped up and laid hold of my revolver, which was handy. I always kept it beside me in case of a burglary. Then I stole downstairs in and to the passage,—oh, here." Garvington rose quickly. "Come with me and see the place for yourself!"
Inspector Darby put on his cap, and with his notebook still in his hand, followed the stout figure of his guide. Garvington led him through the entrance hall and into a side-passage, which terminated in a narrow door. There was no one to spy on them, as the master of the house had sent all the servants to their own quarters, and the guests were collected in the drawing-room and smoking-room, although a few of the ladies remained in their bedrooms, trying to recover from the night's experience.
"I came down here," said Garvington, opening the door, "and heard the burglar, as I thought he was, prowling about on the other side. I threw open the door in this way and the man plunged forward to enter. I fired, and got him in the right arm, for I saw it swinging uselessly by his side as he departed."
"Was he in a hurry?" asked Darby, rather needlessly.
"He went off like greased lightning. I didn't follow, as I thought that others of his gang might be about, but closing the door again I shouted blue murder. In a few minutes everyone came down, and while I was waiting—it all passed in a flash, remember, Darby—I heard a second shot. Then the servants and my friends came and we ran out, to find the man lying by that shrubbery quite dead. I turned him over and had just grasped the fact that he was my brother-in-law, when Lady Agnes ran out. When she learned the news she naturally fainted. The women carried her back to her room, and we took the body of Pine into the house. A doctor came along this morning—for I sent for a doctor as soon as it was dawn—and said that Pine had been shot through the heart."
"And who shot him?" asked Darby .
Garvington to the shrubbery. "Someone was there," he declared.
"How do you know, that, my lord?"
"My sister, attracted by my shot, jumped out of bed and threw up her window. She saw the man—of course she never guessed that he was Pine—running down the path and saw him fall by the shrubbery when the second shot was fired."
"Her bedroom is then on this side of the house, my lord?"
"Up there," said Garvington, pointing directly over the narrow door, which was painted a rich blue color, and looked rather bizarre, set in the puritanic greyness of the walls. "My own bedroom is further along towards the right. That is why I heard the footsteps so plainly on this gravel." And he stamped hard, while with a wave of his hand he invited the inspector to examine the surroundings.
Darby did so with keen eyes and an alert brain. The two stood on the west side of the , where it fronted the three-miles distant Abbot's Wood. The Manor was a heterogeneous-looking sort of place, suggesting the and fancies of many generations, for something was taken away here, and something was taken away there, and this had been altered, while that had been left in its original state, until the house seemed to be made up of all possible architectural styles. It was a tall building of three stories, although the flattish red-tiled roofs took away somewhat from its height, and spread over an amazing quantity of land. As Darby thought, it could have housed a , and must have cost something to keep up. As wind and weather and time had its incongruous parts into one neutral , it looked odd and attractive. and , and Virginia creeper—this last in glory—clothed the massive stone walls with a gracious of natural beauty. Narrow stone steps, rather chipped, led down from the blue door to the broad, yellow path, which came round the rear of the house and swept down hill in a wide curve, past the miniature shrubbery, right into the of the park.
"This path," explained Garvington, stamping again, "runs right through the park to a small wicket gate set in the brick wall, which borders the high road, Darby."
"And that runs straightly past Abbot's Wood," the inspector. "Of course, Sir Hubert would know of the path and the wicket gate?"
"Certainly; don't be an , Darby," cried Garvington . "He has been in this house dozens of times and knows it as well as I do myself. Why do you ask ............
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