The Circular Staircase (Chapter 8, page 1 of 10)


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Chapter 8

"Miss Innes," the detective began, "what is your opinion of the figure
you saw on the east veranda the night you and your maid were in the
house alone?"

"It was a woman," I said positively.

"And yet your maid affirms with equal positiveness that it was a man."

"Nonsense," I broke in. "Liddy had her eyes shut--she always shuts
them when she's frightened."

"And you never thought then that the intruder who came later that night
might be a woman--the woman, in fact, whom you saw on the veranda?"

"I had reasons for thinking it was a man," I said remembering the pearl
cuff-link.

"Now we are getting down to business. WHAT were your reasons for
thinking that?"

I hesitated.

"If you have any reason for believing that your midnight guest was Mr.
Armstrong, other than his visit here the next night, you ought to tell
me, Miss Innes. We can take nothing for granted. If, for instance, the
intruder who dropped the bar and scratched the staircase--you see, I
know about that--if this visitor was a woman, why should not the same
woman have come back the following night, met Mr. Armstrong on the
circular staircase, and in alarm shot him?"

"It was a man," I reiterated. And then, because I could think of no
other reason for my statement, I told him about the pearl cuff-link.
He was intensely interested.

"Will you give me the link," he said, when I finished, "or, at least,
let me see it? I consider it a most important clue."

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