Page 5, 23rd March 1935

23rd March 1935
Page 5
Page 5, 23rd March 1935 — T'he Viaduct Murder

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T'he Viaduct Murder

By Ronald Knox



CI-1,‘PTEI1 XI-rontinned 6 6 (t.iii,i1".e, I. r.;!hl Carmichael, "1 " \VIP) has. Meier " \VIP) has. Meier

"There the pone. 1 should er elod II 1 voge in ;I 'esteem tu

t tile-Men yule You :,,C1, i l■ou V., lila: iiiii,,l wa,-. latootletis us riegarde that pee e ur peper. ehe ottly does the rooms early le Ilie inormeg; nee, 1 iiiiiin le eller iiretiktitet, \ellen yened etete oft hi kneel', In l'uvc,“11"t',.'1. in()ic al the 1 ether tied see it' 1 tenet mime anytime!, of it by iletpeetinin. And it was -.IIII alone -.Ned yeirre ,III•Li 3'1111 didlli, 1111:c II il\V-IV WW1 Y1111?

i'05a1Ve. NI..oes., ObSerVe this: that C1Orliti1e111 1111.15t hilVe been titeen ktetuy while you and tinnlon ‘.4 cre both at Dineen svelte I :wee over at the station."

nut how did it gel haul, there?"

' id Nee", Put beck there. el le _II ,,,vas put. bark there, not dttrieg lunrheon, for I hail another look afterearde. but while we were dowii at the lieteral. It follows -that none of our peen, this aftermon has: been Itielldlilli.., With your papers-Fre gled 10 think, for netionple, that the seerelery eseapes suepicion."

"But do you seteouely mean to say

there. orutbod in this house who 4:0111es 1100 III\ 100111 and disturbs my paper:lor I1 1s ewe ends?"

"Don't be se shoeked about it. You've eeet nu:tiding the 1o51 three days spying on other people; is it impossible that Miter people should spy on you? 1.0oe here, that paper is in your room at half-pi ten; it is no longer there at half-poet twelve; it is back again at four o'clock. Do you mean to tell me that somebody a.equainted with your habits hasn't been meddling with your papers?" "What made you suspeet it?"

-Thate the odd thing. Did you ever Loner: bow often a false calculation pule yon on the track of a true one? puzzling iner that edd experience we had lest night about the phoingraph, foetid myselr -wondering whether conceivably someone could have conic in and eleered if while you N% ere out. Well, epee reflection, that ens impossible. 1We:111Se WO Were ill ale MOM the whole time. all four of us. BM meanwhile. It did .occur to me that perlutpe our prisn'edings were being rather too

Lonk how full of comparative straneers this dormy-bouse is; any °Re

or iney be Brotherhood's 'termdonne tor all we -know, or at least .1tn aceomplice. And then, when you found the cipher gone, it occurred to 1/112 at owe, ' I was right; there is somebody on the spot who is following our moveensnlele Thee \ea; why I had that ' ingfit al n echeon; you were just III tall about the disappearance eteciplier ii a crowded dining-room; ii seemed to me imprudent."

"Bile looe here. what's the man's game': Win Wee ihe thing away and then put il lege; again?"

"My dear Reeves, yon shouldn't go tofUlleralS, a has a dopreesing elle& on your intellig.enee. '.Fhe cipher lvae %lien away this morning, when ii. might have, been nr some use eel you, I etispeet, Ely sornehody whn lead seen me looking at it and Sri realized that it was important. Then, by a mere aecidene it proved that you did not need the paper after all. and had read the Ineagts without if, Isaw what would happen -if wo left your room empty, the cipher, now useless. would be put hack. And that is ,exartly what. happened. The hypothesis has become a certainty."

"Good Lord," said Reeves, walking up anti flown the room. "What on earth aro Wetu do about it?"

"Keep quiet ;11)0111 0111' movements for oue thing. 1 ehouldn't even discuss them with elate-y:1h more Man you cell

help: Ii U 1:1111.1 l. V. ;tee, yen see. and a little toed of talking, so anything you. suy to hint get round. Gordon is different,he's all right• The next point is clear, Wt: ['met eel, a trap elf

some .111111, .110(1 Caltill It11111 red!Whiled."

yid! wean the murderer?"

"Net necessarily the iteird.erer.

malt wile is watching us; it may hot be the murderer at all."

how do you Propose tit vete() Wm'!"

" 1 ttropose thul two IA us-pref,..rubly you end Gordon, berausei I en, feud or III y, eleep-ehould it up te night und width outside the dem. Meantime, we have t11 ("NCO!! 1,110 1.21[10,it-y of your visitor so poeerfully thut he will want to come out end ievestigate your loom. I propose thet ae should put a nutlet) (with the secretary's leave, of course) saying thut yell have ono or twe of Brotherhood's books and things stench

you are prepared P give away us eouvenirs to anybody whit cared for hint; please apply le your roems

Ts-morrow. And III INV 101.'S go down anti have. eome " But I haven't, got any or itretherhood's 'hinge,ehjectee neeyes, ;le tecy were dewnstairs.

'Exactly.. .enci nebocle cered a brass farthing for Brotherhood But ine.anwhile, Ihen• is every elianee that this

ti110113,111,,LI, :4t•1111,111i111 '11 be interested to see ¼ 101 1.111 tll\4 gil, alld Will ptly nuctuniiil I'Ii lo yowlroom. If eou see anybody you fall on him end tlirottle item If tiobody paseee, at about one centime, I ellould go to bed if I were you. Irs a pity to forgo one's elect)."

"Well. we'd better do the thing thoroughly 1'11 go out this evening and conic in with a bag, so as to look as if l'd been over and got some things frode Brotherhood's house."

"Theles a good idea. One moment, nvest go over In young vett Retiree and get some chewing-guile"

"Carmichael," said Beeves ween he got hack, " you've been surprieitie ite a good deal lately, but one thing I Aloilict havo guessed about you-I :emelt! never bateimagined that you chewed." " I donee' eaid Carmichael, and would 1.1115Wrir lel .1110re OP the .subjeel. Nor had Beeves ;lay opportu nity to prees the poire„fer elerryatt came in euon afteredirde, Hurl sat dowry,

at their table. "Is it true? " asked Carmichael, "that Drutherhood is the first member of the club to be buried here?"

" lie is. There was Parry, of course', who died here, but le: vkati burled in

London. It must be strange for these Oatvilee, whir have had all the expensive funerals 1.0 theirteelves for the lest two hundred year:, to n la ke room [or WI old fellow like that."

"'ewe liendredt Why not three hundred?" a_eked 114'ex-ere

"Well, the. Datvilles were Catholics, you know, tip 1,, irs time.

People say that the room we use as the billiard-room now, ueed to be the chapel at One tulle. Anti the Oatviles don't hem to have leeen buried here till the time rkf Queen Anne."

" Really, elaneratt? " said Farm ie hetet " That is moet intereeting. They must.

have died, I fanny, for, of

course, Protestant burial Was the only kind legal in England. Did it ever

occur to you how little early Renaiesame architecture you find in 'English villages? It's an odd testimony, I think. to the vitality of Catholicism Puritanism must have had something to do with ft of couree, but considering what an itch for architecture awn Renaissance brought with il, you would expect. InOre lraet'S P-1.1. I , iI Ile lengthen religion 110(1 e\'I1 miilly lakell "1 thine, to indge by the parish

ery s nrel it great vee m, I, g tremble to ne, "'redone:They left., ill t were ire r s Intel I people. he

neighbeerhocel, even before the great house was huuill,while they lived hero at the Dower-house:.

Gordon was not acquainted eith the evening's programme till after dinner; lie arcepted his part in it with a wry face; but with pleoeurable tremors of excitement. It would he the first time, he said, his revolver would have been loaded since he shot off his last cartridges in November, 1918. • There was a small. unoccupied room whose door faced that, of Beeves'; this door habitually stood ajar, and there was not mute' likelihood Mot any eneuthorized wanderer would trespass there. ttordon and Beeves were lo make their way there quietly at twelve reelock, and sit there in the dark till one, They pleaded hard to he allowed to play betique with an electric toffee hut Carmichael wae firm. Even whispering Wd..5 not. to he carried on except in raert of meet-sits, and te erewn their privations. they Witre Warnect not in smoke. lentil twelve they set playing bridge in Beeves's room with Marl-yen then the company dispersed, although Carmichael Insisted on being left behind for a little while lice-yes and Gordon went off and pretended to undress, " to make sure," he said, "that our visitor doesn't arrive too early."

It is extmordinary what a lot you ean heat', even in a country house, when yell se for an heur in the dark on tete alert. E.xpre..■sCS -Whistled

through Paston Gale ile; :Hirt one goods train only oaesed eignals

after se\ eral elepeages. eadi of w hit ii

meant repetition or thc

riink-dioh-Hink which goods trerks make as lltey hit one another. A deg sotnewheie et, the beek had it lit of loneliness. and liewled; vets told their nightly tale of live and Irate. Coals reit out or cm-,taiii. •gratol-, I he woodwork creaked 'uncannily ;it Intervals. 13ut hit no moment 111ere a step In lite passage: lenWitslila hand laid on the door of Ileroom opposite. They both felt crailifled :11111 OVerwatcheri when one o'clock sounded from liie belfry of the old etahles. tied they were free to creep back It) their bole. "I say," whispered neevee, " win" tititi Ge11110 11110 illy town mid have a whisky-and-soda lielore we turn ins " Ole" replied iitirdon, " didn't Cer michael tell sem! Veare not to go min your sitling-roorn on any aecoma." The. old brute! '' said elorclatint Rivvp.s. •' Rut. I suppose he ',noses what he's. doing."


A Scorch with Piano .4rrrirtipanimerit

I Carmehael let les cent-aeries in for a late sitting, at least hc niade amends for it himself by uneventfully early rising. Ileevee found him fully dressed when, pyjamaed himself, he set out for lite morning bath.

"What on earth are you doing," be aseed. " wandering about at this hour?"

"Well, you see," said Carmichael, hed tel go and dear up your room Delon: the housentaid came in. House. maids don't likeehewing-guni on their boots." And with this partial explance time Reeves had to ijç satiened till they

sot down 10 S1110ke ! 11,1, after break

feet ill II eeeluded cot me ei the lounge.

" leer 1 I st ell's 55 ke let's hay,. an explaiiiiimile Ile urged. "There's a chewing-gum motif running through liftat .preeent whelk Is worryirig; me more then 1 can seise "I done, mind about that,' sale Gordon; -what 'worries inn Is Carmichael being up and dressed at liatte past. eeven."

"Well, if eau prefer It, let us put it this way," said Carmichael. ' I had Li, get up early, Reeves, to unlock your r0011,17. otherwise the maid weeldn't have been able to tidy it for you."

"To erilock it? When chd you lock It, then?'

"13,Thei, I lee it, to be sure, at twelve o'clock last night."

"Whet! Do you mean to say tnat Gordon end I sat there For a solid_ hour Waitin2. for somebody to go into my room, when the door was locked Ill the time? look here, fearmrchasse it' yen •, -in empty been puleng our legs-----

"No, T have rail been pulling your legs, if F apprehend rightly the mean log of 'hat rather puzzling metapnor. You were waiting for somebody to try to get into your room; it he had tried, lie would have found two muscular young, inert tackling hen from beheld., and the possibility of getting througn the door would have had a moreiy academic interest."

"But I thought you said we were to

eateli him red-handed? Pretty good fortes me should have looked if eve hal found that ht was some guest who'd tnientlen his room, or sontebody vehe yeas \valuing to borrow a pipe. cleaner!"

" I a I it. But then, you see, I had en intuition, almost emoted:en; to Ii certainty, that the visitor who intruded upon your room does nett come in through the door."

"Oh, he doesn't? Then you mean that Gordon and I were merely eangi. aced 'to your peculiar eeese el humour -we weren't really doing any good? My word, Carmielmel--"

"You are always too haety in leaping to conclusions. You were doing a great deal of ,irood by sitting up In the ream opposite. You were eanvineing the mysterious gentleman that I expected him to come througe the door. .end it was that conviction which emboldelied hint to pay you a visit last night. I am sorry to have practised any deception on you two, but really it wa,s the only means that occurred to me for inducing the gentleman behind the seenee to net as he did. And after

I Only made you sit up for an hour."

-An bonne said Gordon, "cannot be properly measured by the movements of a clock, an inanimate thing which registers time but doesn't frel Many things lengthen time: but three things above all, darkness, silence, and not smoking. The watch we kept last night was a fair equivalent for three hours over a fire with a pipe.'

" well, j apologize. Bet you will he glad to hear that, the experiment succeeded. Somebody did come into your room last night, Reeves, and wandered all Over it, though, of course, he found nothing that was of the slightegt intereet to him, because there wete nothing to find."

To be cOutinued

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