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Graeve, Oscar (ed.) / Delineator
Vol. 118, No. 6 (June, 1931)

[Continued articles and works],   pp. 60-65 PDF (3.4 MB)

Page 62

Summer fun is on. But My! how
dry your mouth gets when you are
out in the open all day long. And
then nothing in the world seems
to satisfy except a nice fresh stick
of DOUBLE MINT . . . cooling and
refreshing because it is such
magnificently good chewing gum.
Then there is the new Beauty angle.
Science, in its attempt to counteract the
sagging lines which come from the effect
of eating soft foods and the lack of facial
exercise, says to do more daily chewing.
This is what DOUBLE MINT provides so
enjoyably and inexpensively. Chew it
ten minutes twice daily. Keep a pack-
age always handy in your purse and on
your dressing table.
Then Sophia surrendered. "Yes. I know.
I really did mean everything I said at lunch,
but I've had clues showered round my feet.
I've struggled, but it's no good. I must fol-
low them up. Listen, Nancy." And she re-
peated the three discrepancies connected with
the Prince's visit, which had finally tempted
her into the r6le of secret detective. The
Prince had said that he had walked from the
station at La Thfor, arriving by a train which
Sophia knew did not exist; he seemed to be on
excellent terms with Lal; and when she men-
tioned that Juniper had quarreled with
Heriot and left Balmoral, the Prince showed
surprise, as though he were not au courant
with events, although he had presumably
just come from Balmoral.
Nancy knitted her delicate brows. "Then
do you think that the Prince murdered Fred?"
MY dear child! You mustn't leap like a
gazelle. We're going to work together.
I've a theory that this mystery couldbesolved
by close attention, not to facts or tangible
clues, but to psychology-psycholcgy as re-
vealed by behavior. Character is the impor-
tant thing. One who is trained, as I am, to
observe the minute functioning of the sub-
conscious, is likely to get far more results
than by the old-fashioned gaudy style of
going over the panelling with a stethoscope!"
Nancy was impressed by the lecture. It
(lid sound as though the murderer were going
to have very little chance to escape.
"We've got to be perfectly frank," said
"Of course," Nancy assented, realizing
anew that there was one thing which at all
costs she must conceal.
"None of the others need know of this
partnership until," added Sophia sternly,
"we've justified it."
And Nancy suddenly felt a little cold.
Justified! It meant perhaps the guillotine
for somebody. It was not a game. It was
real; as real as Fred's body had been that
morning, lying rigid under the mosquito-net.
"Well then," said Sophia, "let's add to-
gether what we've already got. There are
those three clues from the Prince. On the
other hand, he was at the casino at St. Ra-
phael the whole evening."
Then she related the puzzle of Fred's tie,
which he had obviously been wearing that
evening and which Sophia had found neatly
folded up in the suitcase.
"Sophia!" exclaimed Nancy, suddenly ex-
cited. "I can tell you something queer. I've
only just thought of it. Fred didn't like
herb tea. He wouldn't say so openly because,
oh, I suppose because he was keen on Rum-
ples. She said he was, didn't she? And she
prepared the tea. But I poured it out, and
Fred only drank it occasionally, when Rum-
ples was looking. He was the whisky-and-
soda type of man." She rattled all this out
breathlessly. "Sophia, why was there a half-
finished cup of poisoned herb tea next to him,
when he didn't drink it-except when Rum-
ples was looking?"
"Except when Rumples was looking,"
Sophia repeated slowly. "Well, that's one of
the things we've got to find out. We've got
to consider everybody in turn."
"Not each other!" Nancy pleaded. "It'll
muddle things so, if we can't just exempt
ourselves. Anyhow, whom have we got so
far?" She had forgotten again, fortunately,
Sophia thought, that this was more than a
game.   "The Prince; Rumples . . . Are
Paul and Prunella cleared?"
"Yes. Prunella doesn't want me to tell
unless I have to, but, in confidence, here is
one part of her story which might link up with
our investigations: she was down on the rocks
with Paul, as she said, between eleven and
twelve last night, and she was aware, though
she couldn't locate it, of a small motor-boat
beating like a pulse. It may have been just a
fisherman, of course."
"Motor-boats make one think of Juniper,"
said Nancy, promptly.
And Sophia answered: "I am thinking of
"Juniper!" repeated Nancy. "Why spe-
cially Juniper? Except, of course, the motor-
"That's a tangible clue," said Sophia. "I
told you, I'm following up the intangible.
Did you notice that curious moment of ten-
sion between him and Lal, in front of the
Commissaire this morning, after Juniper had
let out they had all seen Fred last night?"
"Yes, I did. Juniper didn't exactly let it
out, did he? He announced it very deliber-
ately, and why should he do that if he was the
Sophia opined that this was the Russian
streak in Juniper.
"Besides, there's something else. Why has
he quarreled with Heriot? Why has he left
Balmoral? Why was Lal sent over here be-
cause he's on the nerves of Prince Louis,
which he isn't?"
("I'm not going to tell," Nancy determined
feverishly . . . "I'm not. It'snothing to do
with it, really.")
"And," Sophia went on, "who put that
vase of rambler roses in Fred's room?  I
didn't. Did you?"
"Don't, Sophia! You're giving me the
creeps, hurling questions at me like that.
Roses? No, I didn't notice any roses. You
and I did the flowers together; honeysuckle
and a bowl of hydrangeas."
"A small vase of rambler roses," Sophia
repeated obstinately. "How did that get
"Well," remarked the cheeky brat whom
she had so unwisely taken into partnership,
"a vase of roses strikes me as a tangible clue,
not in the least valuable to a psycholc gist."
"On the contrary-"majestically-"for a
murderer to leave a small vase of flowers as a
delicate attention to his victim, instead of a
visiting-card, strikes me as peculiarly indica-
tive of some wayward mental derangement."
"Russian, in fact?"
"A very typical Russian joke," said Sophia.
"Callous, senseless-and yet, somehow touch-
"My head's whirling," Nancy confessed.
"The tie, the motor-boat, the vase of roses,
the herb tea, Rumples."
"Let's assume, for the sake of experiment
in summing-up, that it was Juniper," sug-
gested Sophia boldly. "Now, then, as the
Commissaire said, we will reconstruct: have
you got your notebook, Nancy? Take down
all we've got so far, or later on we may forget
some essential detail."
Sophia was glorying in this new and ex.
hilarating pastime, and not in the least
ashamed, any more, of her back-sliding from
the principles she had so firmly laid down at
lunch. She worked it out that Fred had
called at Balmoral; that Juniper, in a mood of
dark purposes, had offered to take him to
Aloes in the motor-boat-
Nancy interrupted. "But I heard the car.
The one that cranked up at the gate."
"That car was irrelevant. It was Paul's,
he was lending it to a friend.'"
"Oh! Sorry. Go on, Sophia."
". . . They arrive at the villa. All the
lights are out. The household is in bed.
Fred invites Juniper in for a drink. Juniper
poisons him," finished Sophia victoriously.
"But where did they get the herb tea? Do
you think they borrowed Rumples' spirit-
lamp and her recipe?"
"My dear, I can't discover everything all
at once. Give me a chance. Now, after Fred
was dead, Juniper shut the banging door to
Paul's room, undressed Fred, and put him to
bed so that it should seem like suicide."
"THE tie," Nancy reminded her.   "When
the rest of the things were strewn about,
why was it so neatly folded up andputaway?"
Sophia replied, "It's through the little
mechanical mistakes like this that murderers
betray themselves."
"How much, do you think, do the other
Balmorals know, if Juniper did it?" With
secret anxiety, Nancy waited for Sophia's
answer to this. But she never got it, because
at that moment their conclave was inter-
rupted by the call to dinner.
During dinner, obedient to Sophia's in-
structions, everyone was feverishly normal,
ostentatiously refusing to mention the one
subject which obsessed them. But when at
bedtime Rumples suggested herb tea, even
Sophia gave way to nausea: "Never any
more at Aloes!"
Nancy woke up behind her mosquito-net,
next morning, with a sensation of some-
thing particularly disagreeable hanging over
her. She lay with closed eyes reluctant
to face a day which was to hold both an in-
quest and a funeral.   (Turn to page 65)
Continued  from  page 60

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