The unexpected discovery that Ferris had pawned the necklace, spurred
Gebb to unusual activity. No longer doubtful how to act, he hastened
to procure a warrant of arrest against the young man; yet before doing
so, and to be certain that his belief was not a false one, he called
first at Aaron and Nathan’s. These worthy Jews he questioned closely
concerning the necklace, and the man who had pawned it. The ornament
corresponded in every way with the description furnished by Prain; and
the individual, on the evidence of his appearance, and of the
birth-mark on his right cheek, could not be mistaken for any one but
Ferris. Furthermore, his connection with Edith, who in her turn was
connected with the murdered woman, gave colour to Gebb’s assumption
that Ferris was the guilty person.

“I understand now why Miss Wedderburn fainted,” said Gebb to himself.
“She thought, when I mentioned him as her lover, that I had discovered
the truth, and feared for his safety. No doubt, having informed him
about that necklace, and Miss Gilmar’s fear of death, he killed and
robbed the woman in the hope that Dean would be blamed.”

If things were as Gebb surmised, Ferris, in hoping that his crime
would be laid to the charge of Dean, displayed an amount of cunning
hardly compatible with his disposal of the plunder. He had
accomplished the crime so cleverly, and had escaped so mysteriously,
that Gebb could not understand why he had pawned the necklace so
openly, the very next day, under the obviously false name of James
Brown. The rashness nullified his former caution, for he might have
guessed that information concerning the jewels would be sent to all
pawnshops. As a criminal, Ferris evidently had to learn the A.B.C. of
his craft.

“Why did he not wait until the storm blew over before pawning the
necklace,” murmured Gebb, much perplexed, “or, at least, take the
stones out of their setting and sell them separately, either in
London, Paris, or Amsterdam? Discovery would have been more difficult
in that case. And why did he pawn them so hurriedly unless he intended
to leave England? But in that case Edith Wedderburn would have known
of his intended departure, and probably would have gone with him. Rum
sort of cove he must be.”

Gebb in this manner argued the case for and against Ferris, for the
young man’s conduct displayed such a mixture of caution and rashness
as to perplex the detective. Still it was no use, as he well knew, to
waste his time in making bricks without straw, when the arrest of the
culprit might enable him to gain a frank explanation of these
obviously silly actions; so Gebb, on the evidence of the pawning,
procured a warrant and proceeded to take Ferris in charge. As a
further mark of the man’s folly, he had given a wrong name but a right
address; and Gebb, proceeding to Chelsea, asked at an Eden Street
house for Mr. Brown, only to be told that Mr. Ferris was the sole
lodger in it. The naïve simplicity of this novice in crime almost made
the detective swear to his innocence on the spot.

“Confound it!” said Gebb, disconcerted by this, “the man has gone
about the pawning so openly that I really believe he is guiltless of
the crime. Either that or he’s a born fool, although even that is
doubtful Miss Wedderburn is not the sort of woman to love an idiot,
although she does protect one. Seems to me as I’m dealing with a lot
of crazy folk.”

Ferris chanced to be absent at the time of Gebb’s visit, but was
expected back every moment; so, on intimating that he wished to see
the artist on a matter of importance, and would wait for his return,
the detective was shown into the studio. It was a bare apartment of
some size, with ample light, but few decorations. Ferris seemed to be
rather a hard worker than an artistic dandy, for there were scattered
around none of the knickknacks and “bibelots” which many painters love
to collect. There was a sprawling lay-figure near a carpeted daïs for
the model, specimens of work on the walls, plaster heads and
unfinished pictures lying about in disorder, and on the easel, beside
a rusty iron stove, a landscape picture in progress of painting.
Altogether the studio looked anything but that of a Sybarite, and in
no wise accorded with Prain’s description of Ferris as a scamp, for
scamps as a rule owe their doubtful reputations to their assiduity in
gratifying all their tastes, the best and the worst.

“Yet he must have been hard pushed for money to murder that old woman
in order to rob her,” said Gebb. “So, if he is economical here, I
expect he is wasteful in other ways. Hullo! here’s a letter on the
writing-table with the Norminster postmark. Empty!” he added in
disgust, finding no letter inside. “Yet it is from that girl, I am
certain. The handwriting is that of a woman. Hum! And yesterday’s
date, I see by the postmark. She had been writing to warn him. She
knows all about the matter. I wish I could find the letter. She’s a
deep one, that girl, and as sharp as a needle. She wouldn’t have
bungled the murder as Ferris has done.”

With this doubtful tribute of admiration, Gebb calmly proceeded to
turn over the papers on the writing-table, and examine the drawers.
But he could find no letter from Edith amongst the loose papers, and
the drawers proved to be locked, which showed that Ferris was a more
cautious man than his conduct in pawning the necklace indicated. How
far Gebb would have proceeded with his search, or how successful he
would have been, it is hard to say; for just as he was casting his
eyes towards a bureau which, he thought, might contain papers likely
to illuminate Ferris and his dark ways, the door opened and the man
himself entered with a brisk step. He appeared agitated and rather
pale, but on the whole composed and business-like.

For a moment or so he did not speak, but looked at Gebb with no very
friendly expression of countenance. On his side, the detective
scrutinized the face of the newcomer with close attention, to see in
what degree he corresponded to the descriptions of Prain and Martin.
He beheld a tall and slender man, with an intelligent expression and
brilliant black eyes. On his short upper lip there was a small pointed
moustache, which gave him a rather military appearance, and on his
right cheek a purple mark, the size of a sixpence, but which–his skin
being so dark–did not show very conspicuously. He was dressed quietly
and in good style, and to all appearance was a man who respected
himself too much to indulge in the profligacy with which he was
credited by Prain. Gebb was rather favourably impressed by him than
otherwise, and could not help regretting his errand.

“I am told you are waiting to see me,” said Ferris, civilly. “May I
inquire your business?”

“Is your name Arthur Ferris?”

“It is. May I ask what—-”

“I arrest you in the Queen’s name!” interrupted Gebb, laying one hand
on the young man’s shoulder, and with the other drawing forth his

Ferris turned white even to the lips, and leaped back with an
exclamation of alarm and surprise. The detective’s action seemed to
amaze him.

“Arrest me! Why? What for? Who are you?”

“My name is Gebb; I am a detective. Here is my warrant for your
arrest, Mr. Ferris, on a charge of murder.”

“Murder!” repeated Ferris, much agitated, as was natural. “You accuse
me of murder? There is some mistake.”

“People in your position always say so,” replied Gebb, dryly; “but
there is no mistake. You murdered a woman called Gilmar on the
twenty-fourth of July last.”

“It’s a lie! I no more murdered Miss Gilmar than you did.”

“That has yet to be proved, sir. Here is my warrant, and I have a
couple of men outside in case of need. However, I have no desire to
make trouble, and if you come along with me quietly, I shall use you
civilly. We can drive to the prison in a hansom.”

Ferris, who was looking round wildly, as though for some means of
escape, started and recoiled at the sound of the ill-omened word.

“To prison!” he echoed hoarsely. “Great God! you would not take me to
prison. I am innocent, I tell you. I know nothing of this murder.”

“We have evidence to the contrary,” said Gebb, quietly; “and I advise
you, sir, to hold your tongue. Anything you say now will be used in
evidence against you.”

“I shall not hold my tongue,” said Ferris, with more composure. “There
is nothing I can say likely to inculpate me in the matter. I protest
against your action. I protest against being treated as a criminal.”

“You can protest as much as you like, Mr. Ferris, but you must come
with me. You may thank your stars that I have not put the darbies on
you. Give me your word not to attempt escape, and we’ll walk out
arm-in-arm; no one will guess where you are going. You see, I wish to
make matters easy for you.”

“I shall not try to escape,” said the unfortunate young man, proudly,
“as I have done nothing wrong. If I must go to prison on this charge,
I must; and I thank you, Mr. Gebb, for your civility, but I swear
before God that I am innocent of this crime.”

With this speech he resumed his hat and walked slowly out of the
studio. Gebb followed forthwith, and slipped his arm within that of
Ferris, so that the pair seemed to be leaving the house in a friendly
way. Two men were waiting at a distance, but on Gebb’s nodding to them
to intimate that his charge was amenable to reason, they walked off;
and shortly afterwards the detective and Ferris got into a hansom.
Gebb directed the driver whither to go, and then turned to comfort his
companion, for whose despair he felt extremely sorry. Certainly, the
young man’s conduct did not suggest guilt.

“Cheer up, Mr. Ferris,” he said kindly; “if you are innocent you will
soon be out of this trouble.”

“I don’t know how ever I came into it,” replied Ferris,
disconsolately. “You mean kindly, Mr. Gebb; therefore, in spite of
what you say regarding my remarks being used against me, I shall speak
freely. I did not know Miss Gilmar at all I never set eyes on her in
my life; and until yesterday I was not aware of her death.”

“I see. Miss Wedderburn wrote and informed you of that,” said Gebb,

“What do you know of Miss Wedderburn?” asked Ferris, in surprise.

“I have seen her and spoken with her; and I know from her own lips
that she is engaged to you. On your writing-table I saw an envelope
with the Norminster postmark and yesterday’s date, so I guessed that
she wrote to you about Miss Gilmar’s death.”

“She did! I have no reason to conceal it. But she did not mention that
she had conversed with you.”

“Perhaps not, Mr. Ferris. She is a young lady who can keep her own

“She has no secrets that I know of,” said Ferris, haughtily.

Gebb shrugged his shoulders. “She has one about you,” he said calmly.

“Indeed!” replied the other with sarcasm. “And do you know what it is,
Mr. Gebb?”

“I did not know when I saw her, but I know now. Miss Wedderburn is
aware that you killed Miss Gilmar.”

“Did she say so?” asked Ferris, anxiously.

“No; but I guess that is her secret. You are guilty, you know.”

“I swear I am not!” rejoined Ferris, vehemently. “I never saw Miss
Gilmar. I did not murder her. I know nothing about the woman.”

“Do you know anything about the diamond necklace?”

“The diamond necklace!” stammered Ferris, changing colour, and with a
visible start, for this leading question evidently took him by

“Yes! the necklace you pawned on the twenty-fifth of July to Aaron and

“It–it–was–was mine,” replied the young man, as clearly as his
consternation would let him.

“It was not yours,” said Gebb, sharply; “it was Miss Gilmar’s. She
wore it on the night of the murder, and it was taken from the corpse.”

“I did not take it. I did not take it.”

“Yet you pawned it.”

“Yes, I pawned it, but I swear I did not take it.”

“Then how did it come in your possession?”

“I refuse to answer that question,” said Ferris, sullenly.

Gebb shrugged his shoulders. “Just as you please,” he said; “but the
fact of your pawning that necklace is the cause of your arrest. If you
can explain—-”

“I explain nothing. I intend to keep my business to myself.”

“Then you will be in danger of the gallows.”

Ferris bit his lip and shuddered. “I am innocent,” he said,
wonderfully calm considering his position, “but I refuse to state how
I became possessed of the necklace.”

The next day Ferris was brought up before the magistrate on the charge
of murdering Miss Gilmar. He looked pale and ill, and heard the
evidence of his pawning of the necklace in absolute silence. When he
was asked to defend himself he refused to utter a word; he declined
even to engage a solicitor; so in the face of this conduct there was
nothing for it but to commit him for trial. Ferris asked for bail, but
his request being refused, he was taken back to prison, still silent.
He might have been a stone image for all the information the law got
out of him; and every one marvelled at his obstinacy, so dangerous to
himself, so inexplicable to others.

Gebb could not understand why he acted in this way, and risked his
neck in so obstinate a manner. Certainly Ferris declared himself to be
innocent; but he refused to prove the truth of his words, and
preserved an impenetrable silence which at once perplexed and provoked
the detective. The only reason he could conjecture for the mulish
behaviour of the artist was that the evidence against him was too
strong for disproval, and that he knew this to be the case.

“Still he might make an effort to save himself,” thought Gebb, as he
sat meditating in his office, “if only to tell a lie; although I don’t
quite see what he could say. Mrs. Presk declared that Miss Gilmar wore
her jewels on that evening, and when we found the body those jewels
were gone. The principal jewel–which is a necklace–was pawned the
day after the murder by Arthur Ferris, who knows Miss Wedderburn, who
knew Miss Gilmar; and he refuses to state how the necklace came into
his possession. If he murdered the woman his possession of the
diamonds is easily accounted for: if he is innocent he must have
obtained the necklace from the assassin. Therefore, if not guilty
himself, he must know who is: that is plain logic.”

Logic or not, the result of the argument was very unsatisfactory, and
Gebb, in his own mind, was unable to decide either for or against
Ferris. He had that morning informed Prain by letter about the
artist’s committal for trial, and asked him to call at the prison to
discover if possible the reason for the strange conduct of Ferris.
Also, he requested Prain to call at his office, and tell him the
result of the interview. So when his meditations were interrupted by a
sharp knock at the door, he quite expected to see the little solicitor
enter. In place of Prain, however, he beheld the burly form of John
Alder, who appeared to be different from his usual genial self.

“You are no doubt surprised to see me here, Mr. Gebb,” he said, when
the first greetings had passed, “but I am greatly disturbed about
Ferris. He is a friend of mine, you know.”

Gebb did not know about the friendship, but he was well aware that
Ferris was Alder’s favoured rival with Edith Wedderburn, so wondered
at the tender-heartedness of the man who was distressed over the
removal of an obstacle to his wooing.

“Why are you disturbed?” asked Gebb, rather sceptically. “What makes
you worry over Ferris?”

“Because I am sure he is innocent of this murder,” replied Alder. “Oh,
I heard all about his arrest and committal for trial from Prain, who
has gone round to see him. So I thought I would come and tell you that
I am convinced of his innocence.”

“But he pawned the necklace, Mr. Alder; he admits that he did.”

“Then he must have obtained the necklace from some one else.”

“That may be, sir,” said Gebb, quietly; “but if he did he refuses to
say as much. And whosoever gave him the necklace killed Miss Gilmar.”

“What defence does he make?” asked Alder, looking puzzled.

“None. He asserts his innocence, but refuses to explain how he became
possessed of the necklace. If he can’t explain, or won’t explain,
those diamonds will hang him.”

“In what way? I don’t quite see how you arrive at that point.”

“Miss Gilmar wore the necklace on the night she was killed,” explained
the detective; “it was gone when we found the body; so by the
strongest of circumstantial evidence the assassin must have taken it.”

“All this may be true, Mr. Gebb, but it does not prove that poor
Ferris is guilty.”

“I think it does,” replied Gebb, coolly, “seeing that he pawned the
necklace in question. If he isn’t the principal, he is an accessory
before the fact.”

“Won’t he confess how he became possessed of the diamonds?”

“No, not to me. He refuses to say a word in his own defence.”

“Then I tell you what,” said Alder, gravely, “this quixotic young man
is defending another person; he is shielding the assassin.”

“If he is, that shows him to be an accessory either before or after
the fact,” repeated Gebb. “But who is the person you think he is

“Dean! I believe the man killed my cousin.”

“Does Mr. Ferris know Dean?” asked Gebb, looking up sharply.

“No. Nor did he know Miss Gilmar, so far as my knowledge goes,” said
Alder, with a nod. “Ferris has been a friend of mine for many years,
and although for certain reasons we are not very intimate, I am sure
he is not guilty of this crime.”

“If Ferris did not know Dean, or does not know him, I don’t very well
see how he can be shielding him!” cried Gebb, irritably. “If you will
excuse me saying so, Mr. Alder, I think you are talking sheer

“I am sorry you think so,” said Alder, stiffly. “Of course I only
state that Ferris is not acquainted with Dean, so far as I am aware;
but he may know him for all that.”

“Why?” asked Gebb, pertinently.

“Because I am certain that Dean is guilty.”

“Admitting that he is–which I don’t on the strength of the romantic
vow–how did Ferris become possessed of the necklace?”

“I don’t know. Only Ferris can explain that.”

“Well, then, Mr. Alder, he won’t explain. So on the face of it he is
guilty, and Dean isn’t.”

“I tell you he is innocent!” said Alder, angrily, “and my friend Mr.
Basson can prove it.”

“Basson–Clement Basson, the barrister?” said Gebb, with a stare.
“Why, what on earth has he got to do with it?”

“He saw Ferris on the night of the murder!”

“Saw him! Where?”

“At Grangebury! In the evening.”

“And Miss Gilmar was murdered at Grangebury,” said the detective.
“Why, that looks as though Ferris was guilty. Your evidence rather
condemns than exonerates him.”

“Not at all,” rejoined Alder, tartly. “I read the evidence of the
murder in the daily papers, although I did not know at the time that
Miss Ligram was my cousin, Ellen Gilmar.”

“Well. What of that?” inquired Gebb, rather puzzled by the irrelevancy
of this remark.

“This much. Mrs. Presk and her servant were at a lecture on Dickens in
the Grangebury Town Hall.”

“I know that.”

“Well, Mr. Gebb, that lecture was given by Basson!”

“By Clement Basson, the barrister, who defended Dean twenty years

“The same! You must know that Basson is a friend of mine,” continued
Alder, conversationally, “and a barrister, like myself. He is by no
means well off, as he is fonder of play than of work. I suggested to
him that he should write and deliver a few lectures in order to make
money, for he has a fine voice and is an excellent orator. He adopted
my suggestion and wrote a lecture on Dickens; but being nervous, he
wished to make an experiment in the suburbs, before attempting to
interest a London audience. I suggested that he should deliver it in
the Grangebury Town Hall, as I know many people in that suburb. He
consented, and delivered the lecture on the twenty-fourth of July,
that is, on the very night my cousin was murdered.”

“And Mrs. Presk attended the lecture with her servant,” reflected
Gebb. “Did you know that Miss Gilmar was in Grangebury?”

“I! No! She took lodgings in Paradise Row under the name of Ligram,
you know,” said Alder. “I had not set eyes on her for years–in fact,
not since she left Kirkstone Hall. Out of terror lest she should be
killed by Dean, she kept her address secret from all, although I
believe she occasionally wrote to Miss Wedderburn on business.”

“I know,” replied Gebb, with a nod. “But Miss Wedderburn had not heard
from your cousin since six months before the murder; so she was not
aware of Miss Ligram’s–or rather Miss Gilmar’s–presence in
Grangebury. But what has the lecture to do with Ferris and his

“I’m coming to that,” said Alder, quietly. “As I had suggested the
lecture to Basson, I wished him to have a large audience, so I asked
my friends in Grangebury to attend; also I invited some London
acquaintances, amongst them Ferris.”

“Did Ferris go to the lecture?”

“Yes. I saw him myself at the door, when I spoke a few words to him.
He sat in a front row, and Basson–who knows him–told me that he
stayed almost to the end of the lecture.”

“Oh,” said Gebb, meaningly. “Almost to the end!”

“Well, at all events, he stayed until ten o’clock,” replied Alder,
rather nettled “And as my cousin was killed about that time, Ferris
could not have murdered her.”

“No! Certainly not So far as I can see, Ferris can prove an alibi. If
so, why does he not defend himself in that way?”

Alder shrugged his shoulders. “I can’t say; unless he is shielding
some one. I suggest Dean, as I really believe that Dean is guilty; but
then–so far as I know–Ferris is not acquainted with Dean. Nor is
anybody, for the man has not been heard of since he escaped from
prison. But you see, Mr. Gebb, that if my cousin was murdered at ten
o’clock–and the medical evidence says she was–Ferris, who was in the
Grangebury Town Hall at that hour, cannot be guilty.”

“I admit that! I shall look into the matter,” said Gebb, “and let me
tell you, Mr. Alder, that I think very well of you for coming forward
with this evidence, as I know that Mr. Ferris is your rival.”

“With Miss Wedderburn,” said Alder, colouring. “True enough; but for
all that I don’t want him to be hanged when I know that he is
innocent. If Miss Wedderburn marries Ferris I’ll just have to put up
with it, that’s all.”

Gebb was about to express further admiration of Alder’s conduct when
the door opened unexpectedly, and Prain came hurriedly into the room.
The little man looked worried, and with a nod to his brother lawyer,
he threw himself into a chair near the detective’s desk.

“Well, Gebb,” he said, in a vexed tone, “I have been to see that young
ass, and I can’t induce him to speak.”

“There will be no need for it,” said Gebb, quietly; “I know now that
he is innocent, Mr. Prain.”

“How is that?” asked the solicitor, in amazement. Whereat Gebb, with
the assistance of Alder, told him of the presence of Ferris in the
Town Hall at the hour the murder was committed. Prain was more amazed
than ever. “Great Heavens!” he said; “if the man is innocent, and can
prove it, as you say, why doesn’t he speak out?”

“Because he is screening some one, I think,” said Gebb.

“I know he is,” said Alder; “and I believe that the some one is Dean.”

“Why?” asked Prain, with a sharp look.

“I believe that Dean committed the crime, Mr. Prain.”

“Yes, but you also believe that Ferris does not know Dean,” cried
Gebb, crossly; “so why should he shield him?”

“That is a paradox,” said Alder, smiling.

Prain looked up with a grave expression on his face. “It is a paradox
which I can explain,” he said shortly. “Ferris does know Dean.”

“He does know Dean!” cried both his hearers in amazement.

“Yes! I may as well tell you both, that Arthur Ferris is the son of
Marmaduke Dean.”

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