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HOME > Classical Novels > Red Money > CHAPTER XXI. A FINAL SURPRISE.
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 A week later and Lambert was seated in the library of The , looking worn and anxious. His appearance was not due so much to what he had passed through, trying as late events had been, as to his of what Darby was about to say. That officer was beside him, getting ready for an conversation by turning over various papers which he produced from a large and well-filled pocket-book. Darby looked and important, as an examination into the late tragedy had added greatly to his reputation as a officer. Things were now more ship-shape, as Miss Greeby had died after making of her crime and had been duly buried by her shocked relatives. The ashes of Lord Garvington and Mother Cockleshell, recovered from the débris of the cottage, had also been disposed of with religious ceremonies, and Silver's broken body had been placed in an unwept grave. The which had resulted in the death of four people had been the talk of the United Kingdom for the entire seven days.  
What Lambert was to hear was the report of Miss Greeby's confession, which Inspector Darby had come to talk about. He had tried to see her himself at the village inn, whither she had been transferred to die, but she had refused to let him come to her dying bed, and therefore he did not know in what state of mind she had passed away. Judging from the spirit which she had displayed, Lambert fancied that she had told Darby the whole wretched story of the forged letter and the murder. The last was bound to be confessed, but the young man had hoped against hope that Miss Greeby would be silent regarding Garvington's share in the plot. Wickedly as his cousin had behaved, Lambert did not wish his memory to be smirched and the family honor to be by a revelation of the little man's true character. He wished that the evil Garvington had done might be buried with him, and the whole affair forgotten.
"First, my lord," said Darby , when his papers were in order, "I have to congratulate your lordship on your accession to the title. Hitherto so busy have I been that there has been no time to do this."
"Thank you, Mr. Inspector, but I regret that I should have succeeded through so a death."
"Yes, yes, my lord! the feeling does you honor," Darby nodded sympathetically; "but it must be some comfort for you to know that your poor cousin perished when on an errand of mercy, although his aim was not perhaps quite in accordance with strict justice."
Lambert stared. "I don't know what you mean," he remarked, being puzzled by this coupling of Garvington's name with any good deed.
"Of course you don't, my lord. But for you to understand I had better begin with Miss Greeby's confession. I must touch on some rather intimate things, however," said the inspector rather shyly.
"Meaning that Miss Greeby was in love with me."
"Exactly, my lord. Her love for you—if you will excuse my mentioning so private a subject—caused the whole catastrophe."
"Indeed," the young man felt a sense of relief, as if Darby put the matter in this way the truth about the forged letter could scarcely have come to light, "will you explain?"
"Certainly, my lord. Miss Greeby always wished to marry your lordship, but she knew that you loved your wife, the present Lady Garvington, who was then Lady Agnes Pine. She believed that you and Lady Agnes would sooner or later run away together."
"There was no reason she should think so," said Noel, becoming .
"Of course not, my lord. Pardon me again for speaking of such very private matters. But I can scarcely make your lordship understand how the late Sir Hubert Pine came by his death unless I am painfully frank."
"Go on, Mr. Inspector," Noel leaned back and folded his arms. "Be frank to the of rudeness, if you like."
"Oh, no, no, my lord; certainly not," Darby said in a shocked manner. "I will be as delicate as I possibly can. Well, then, my lord, Miss Greeby, thinking that you might elope with the then Lady Agnes Pine, resolved to place an even greater barrier between you than the marriage."
"What could be a possibly greater barrier?"
"Your honor, my lord, your strict sense of honor. Miss Greeby thought that if she got rid of Sir Hubert, and Lady Agnes was in possession of the millions, that you would never risk her losing the same for your sake."
"She was right in supposing that, Mr. Inspector, but how did Miss Greeby know that Lady Agnes would lose the money if she married me?"
"Sir Hubert told her so himself, my lord, when she discovered that he was at the Abbot's Wood camp under the name of Ishmael Hearne."
"His real name."
"Of course, my lord; of course. And having made this discovery and knowing how jealous Sir Hubert was of his wife—if you will pardon my mentioning the fact—Miss Greeby laid a trap to him to The Manor that he might be shot."
The listener moved uneasily, and he now quite expected to hear the revelation of Garvington's . "Go on, Mr. Inspector."
"Miss Greeby," pursued the officer, glancing at his notes, "knew that the late Mark Silver, who was Sir Hubert's secretary, was not well disposed toward his employer, as he fancied that he had been cheated out of the proceeds of certain inventions. Miss Greeby worked on this point and induced Silver to forge a letter to come from Lady Agnes to you saying that an elopement had been arranged."
"Oh," Lambert drew a breath of relief, "so Silver laid a trap, did he?"
"Yes, my lord, and a very clever one. The letter was arranged by Silver to fall into Sir Hubert's hands. That unfortunate gentleman came to the blue door at the appointed time, then Miss Greeby, who had climbed out of the window of her bedroom to hide in the shrubbery, shot the unsuspecting man. She then got back into her room—and a very clever climber she must have been, my lord—and with the guests."
"But why did she think of Sir Hubert to be shot?" asked Noel with ignorance, "when she ran such a risk of being discovered?"
"Ah, my lord, therein lies the cleverness of the idea. Poor Lord Garvington had threatened to shoot any burglar, and that gave Miss Greeby the idea. It was her hope that your late cousin might kill Sir Hubert by mistaking him for a robber, and she only posted herself in the shrubbery to shoot if Sir Hubert was not killed. He was not, as we know that the shot fired by Lord Garvington only broke his arm. Miss Greeby made sure by him herself, and very cleverly she did so."
"And what about my late cousin's philanthropic visit to Silver?"
"Ah, my lord, that was a mistake. His lordship was informed of the forged letter by Chaldea the gypsy girl, who found it in Sir Hubert's tent, and for the sake of your family wished to get Silver out of the country. It would have been dreadful—as Lord Garvington rightly considered—that the name of his sister and your name should be mentioned in connection with an elopement even though it was untrue. He therefore went to induce Silver to leave the country, but the man, instead of being grateful, his lordship with a blow from a which he had picked up."
"How was that known, Mr. Inspector?"
"Miss Greeby had the truth from his own lips. Silver threatened to denounce her, and knowing this Chaldea went to London to warn her."
"Oh," muttered Lambert, thinking of what Gentilla Stanley had said, "how did she find out?"
"She overheard a conversation between Silver and Lord Garvington in the cottage."
Lambert was relieved again, since Miss Greeby had not evidently mentioned him as being mixed up with the matter. "Yes, Mr. Inspector, I can guess the rest. This unfortunate woman came down to get Silver, who could have hanged her, out of the country, and he set fire to the cottage."
"She set fire to it," corrected Darby quickly, "by chance, as she told me, she overturned a lamp. Of course, Lord Garvington, being senseless, was burned to death. Gentilla Stanley was also burned."
"How did she come to be there?"
"Oh, it seems that Gentilla followed Hearne—he was her grandson I hear from the gypsies—to The Manor on that night and saw the shooting. But she said nothing, not feeling sure if her unsupported would be sufficient to convict Miss Greeby. However, she watched that lady and followed her to the cottage to denounce her and prevent the escape of Silver—who knew the truth also, as she . Silver knocked the old woman down and stunned her, so she also was burned to death. Then Silver ran for the motor car and crushed Miss Greeby—since he could not manage the machine."
"Did he crush her on purpose, do you think?"
"No," said Darby after a pause, "I don't think so. Miss Greeby was rich, and if the pair of them had escaped Silver would have been able to money. He no more killed her than he killed himself by dashing into that chalk pit near the road. It was mismanagement of the motor in both cases."
Lambert was quiet for a time. "Is that all?" he asked, looking up.
"All, my lord," answered the inspector, his papers together.
"Is anything else likely to appear in the papers?"
"No, my lord."
"I noted," said Lambert slowly, "that there was no mention of the forged letter made at the inquest."
Darby nodded. "I arranged that, my lord, since the forged letter made so free with your lordship's name and that of the present Lady Garvington. As you probably saw, it was only stated that the late Sir Hubert had gone to meet his secretary at The Manor and that Miss Greeby, knowing of his coming, had shot him. The was ascribed as anger at the late Sir Hubert for having lost a great sum of money which Miss Greeby to him for the purpose of ."
"And is it true that such money was entrusted and lost?"
" true, my lord. I saw in that fact a chance of hiding the real truth. It would do no good to make the forged letter public and would cast both on the dead and the living. Therefore all that has been said does not even hint at the trap laid by Silver. Now that all parties concerned are dead and buried, no more will be heard of the matter, and your lordship can sleep in peace."
The young man walked up and down the room for a few minutes while the inspector made ready to depart. Noel was deeply touched by the man's consideration and made up his mind that he should not lose by the he had shown in preserving his name and that of Agnes from the tongue of gossips. He saw plainly that Darby was a man he could trust and forthwith did so.
"Mr. Inspector," he said, coming forward to shake hands, "you have acted in a most kind and generous manner and I cannot show my of your behavior more than by telling you the exact truth of this sad affair."
"I know the truth," said Darby staring.
"Not the exact truth, which closely concerns the honor of my family. But as you have saved that by suppr............
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