11. Alike In Essentials
"Mr. Gryce, I am either a fool or the luckiest fellow going. You must decide
The aged detective, thus addressed, laid down his evening paper and
endeavoured to make out the dim form he could just faintly discern standing
between him and the library door.
"Sweetwater, is that you?"
"No one else. Sweetwater, the fool, or Sweetwater, much too wise for his own
good. I don't know which. Perhaps you can find out and tell me."
A grunt from the region of the library table, then the sarcastic remark:
"I'm just in the mood to settle that question. This last failure to my account ought
to make me an excellent judge of another's folly. I've meddled with the old
business for the last time, Sweetwater. You'll have to go it lone from now on. The
Department has no more work for Ebenezar Gryce, or rather Ebenezar Gryce will
make no more fool attempts to please them. Strange that a man don't know when
his time has come to quit. I remember low I once scored Yeardsley for hanging
on after he had lost his grip; and here am I doing the same thing. But what's the
matter with you? Speak out, my boy. Something new in the wind?"
"No, Mr. Gryce; nothing new. It's the same old business. But, if what I suspect is
true, this same old business offers opportunities for some very interesting and
unusual effort. You're not satisfied with the coroner's verdict in the Challoner
"No. I'm satisfied with nothing that leaves all ends dangling. Suicide was not
proved. It seemed the only presumption possible, but it was not proved. There
was no blood-stain on that cutter-point."
"Nor any evidence that it had ever been there."