Mr. Gryce's fears were only too well founded. Though Mr. McElroy was kind
enough to point out the exact spot where he saw Miss Watkins stoop, no trace of
blood was found upon the rug which had lain there, nor had anything of the kind
been washed up by the very careful man who scrubbed the lobby floor in the
early morning. This was disappointing, as its presence would have settled the
whole question. When, these efforts all exhausted, the two detectives faced each
other again in the small room given up to their use, Mr. Gryce showed his
discouragement. To be certain of a fact you cannot prove has not the same
alluring quality for the old that it has for the young. Sweetwater watched him in
some concern, then with the persistence which was one of his strong points,
ventured finally to remark:
"I have but one idea left on the subject."
"And what is that?" Old as he was, Mr. Gryce was alert in a moment.
"The girl wore a red cloak. If I mistake not, the lining was also red. A spot on it
might not show to the casual observer. Yet it would mean much to us."
A faint blush rose to the old man's cheek.
"Shall I request the privilege of looking that garment over?
The young fellow ducked and left the room. When he returned, it was with a
"Nothing doing," said he.
And then there was silence.