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About The Alliance herald. (Alliance, Box Butte County, Neb.) 1902-1922 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 14, 1916)
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The Mystery of the Causeway
(Copyright. 1911, by W G. Chapman.)
T was on Thursday, May
18, 1S99, that young Sir
Andrew Chcyne was
found dead of a gun
shot wound in the .grounds of
Airlie Hall, his house in Surrey.
I was myself especially inter
ested in the case, as I was stay
ing at a cottage within three miles
of the Hall at the time. All the
gossip came to us first hand. By
breakfast we learned of his death.
An hour later came the rumor of
the murder, mid the fact that an
arrest had been made. A man
had been caught running from the
spot where the body lay.
My host was a bachelor and a
brother artist. His little place was
bound by no conventions. Go or
come, but don't trouble to ex-
plain such was the custom. He
was busy that morning, as I knew,
80 I appropriated his bicycle and
set off through the lanes to visit
the scene of the .tragedy.
Airlie Hall lay some two hun
dred yards back from the main
road. The drive, framed in wide
stretches of tuft, and flanked by
a triple avenue of chestnuts, ran
in a straight line from the great
porch to the entrance gates of
twisted iron. Peering through the
bars were a dozen villagers. With
in, his hand upon the lock, stood
a policeman, massive, red-faced,
pompous with his present impor
tance. "May I come in?" I asked
"You may not," he said quite
I put my hand in my pocket,
hesitated, and drew it out empty.
It was too public a place for cor
ruption. If Addington Peace had
only been with me, I thought
and, so thinking, came by an idea.
Even a rural policeman would know the
famous detective 8 name.
"My friend, Inspector Peace "
"Inspector who?" he interrupted.
"Addington Peace of the Criminal
Investigation Department. I hoped
he would be here."
His manner changed with a celerity
which was the greatest compliment
he could have paid to the little detec
tive. "I beg your pardon, sir," he said.
"The inspector drove up from the
station not ten minutes ago. If you
will inquire at the hall, you will be
sure to find him."
The servant who answered my modest
ring led me through a dark passage
of paneled oak and out upon the
terrace that lay on the farther side of
the house. Below it a sloping lawn
yian down to a broad lake fringed with
reeds. Beyond the lake a park stretch
ed away dotted with single oaks now
struggling into foliage. It was a lovely
view, unmolested by the centuries.
ifivF w0W) mr-"- imm s
-SSit. t a 1 H ' A 3 5 1 ii I a
Within Stood a Policeman, Mauiv
As it was bo it bad been three hundred
years before, when some courtier of
Elizabeth, in tightly fitting hose and
immaculate ruffles, chose it as the out
look from the windows of his dining
room. In the middle of the terrace, Adding
ton Peace stood, smoking a cigarette
and talking to a tall and stately person
in a black coat, who looked every inch
the man he was the butler of a British
The little inspector turned, as he
heard my footsteps on the gravel, and
nodded a benevolent welcome.
"A fine morning, Mr. Phillips," he
said. "I did not know you were stay
ing in the neighborhood."
"I cycled over after hearing the
news. Your name opened the gates,
" Well, I am pleased to see you, any
how. Mr. Roberts here was giving
me his view of this unfortunate affair.
You may continue, Mr. Roberts."
The butler had been staring at me
with great suspicion; but apparently he
concluded that, as a friend of a detective,
I was a respectable person.
"Well, gentlemen," he said, in a
Boft, oily voice, as from confirmed
over-eating, " my mind is, bo to speak,
a blank. But what I know I will Bay
without fear or favor. Sir Andrew had
not previously honored us with his
presence, he having remained abroad
from the death of Sir William, which
was his uncle, some six months ago.
Yesterday that is, Thursday morning
he wired from London for a carriage
to meet the 12:32 train. We were all
in a flutter of excitement, as you can
well imagine. But when he arrived
it was, he said, with no intention of
staying the night. During the after
noon he saw his agent on business, and
afterwards went for a walk, returning
about six. He dined at eight, and had
his coffee served in the email library.
"The last train to London was at
10:25, and we had our orders for a
carriage to be ready for him at five
minutes to the hour. At ten o'clock
precisely 1 took the liberty of entering
the small library to inform Sir
Andrew that the carriago was
waiting, and that there was only
just time to catch tho train. Ho
was not there, and, the windows .
on to tho terrace being open, I
walked through to seo if ho was
sitting outside, tho evening being
salubrious for tho time of the year.
It was whilo I was there that I
heard tho footsteps of Borne one
running on tho gravel, and, first
thing I knew, who should appear
but Juke Warner, tho keeper.
Hello, Mr. Warner,' snys I, an.l
where may you bo going in such
a hurry? Is it poachers?' " I says.
No,' says he, in a sad taking, ' but
Sir Andrew's been shot shot
dead, Mr. Roberts, on tho cause
way to tho island.' ' Heaven de
fend us,' I says; 'but do'"
"Quito so, Mr. Roberts," said
Peace. " We understand you were
much upset. So you havo no
ida when it was .that Sir Andrew
left the little library?" '
" No, sir, save that it was be
tween nine and ten."
"Thank you. And now, Mr.
Thillips, I think wo will go down
and have a look at the causeway
At the end of terrace we found
a policeman waiting. Ho touched
bin helmet to tho inspector, and,
after a few words with him, led
tho way down some moss-grown
steps and over a sloping lawn
towards the lake. We skirted
the right hand edge for perhaps
two hundred yards, until we came
to where a short causeway of
stone had been built out into
the water, joining the lawns to
a shrub-grown island. The roof
of a gabled cottage peeped out
from the heart of its yew and
laurels. Tho causeway, paved
with great slabs of slate, was
never more than five feet broad. On
either side of it was a dense growth of
feathery reeds, hiding the lake behind
their rustling walls.
"What cottage is that?" asked
Peace, pointing a finger.
"When he was a young man, Sir
William, that was Sir Andrew's uncle,
used to give lunches and teas there in
the summer months," said the police
man. "But the place has been shut
up for a long time now, sir. No one
goes to the island barring the ducks,
and they nest there by the hundred."
" Where did you catch the prisoner ?"
"About this very place, sir. It was
about half-past nine, and I was walk
ing down the public path, which passes
the east corner of the lake, when I
heard the shot. It seemed a strange
time of the year for night poaching,
but there are rascals in the village who
wouldn't hesitate about the seasons
bo long as they had a duck for dinner.
"Off I raced as hard as I could
put legs to the ground. When I came
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