The Circular Staircase (Chapter 6, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 6

When the detective left he enjoined absolute secrecy on everybody in
the household. The Greenwood Club promised the same thing, and as
there are no Sunday afternoon papers, the murder was not publicly known
until Monday. The coroner himself notified the Armstrong family
lawyer, and early in the afternoon he came out. I had not seen Mr.
Jamieson since morning, but I knew he had been interrogating the
servants. Gertrude was locked in her room with a headache, and I had
luncheon alone.

Mr. Harton, the lawyer, was a little, thin man, and he looked as if he
did not relish his business that day.

"This is very unfortunate, Miss Innes," he said, after we had shaken
hands. "Most unfortunate--and mysterious. With the father and mother
in the west, I find everything devolves on me; and, as you can
understand, it is an unpleasant duty."

"No doubt," I said absently. "Mr. Harton, I am going to ask you some
questions, and I hope you will answer them. I feel that I am entitled
to some knowledge, because I and my family are just now in a most
ambiguous position."

I don't know whether he understood me or not: he took of his glasses
and wiped them.

"I shall be very happy," he said with old-fashioned courtesy.

"Thank you. Mr. Harton, did Mr. Arnold Armstrong know that Sunnyside
had been rented?"

"I think--yes, he did. In fact, I myself told him about it."

"And he knew who the tenants were?"

"Yes."

"He had not been living with the family for some years, I believe?"

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