II.3. The Round Road; or, the Desertion Charge
Pym rose with sincere embarrassment; for he was an American, and his respect
for ladies was real, and not at all scientific.
"Ignoring," he said, "the delicate and considerable knightly protests that have
been called forth by my colleague's native sense of oration, and apologizing to all
for whom our wild search for truth seems unsuitable to the grand ruins of a feudal
land, I still think my colleague's question by no means devoid of rel'vancy. The
last charge against the accused was one of burglary; the next charge on the
paper is of bigamy and desertion. It does without question appear that the
defence, in aspiring to rebut this last charge, have really admitted the next. Either
Innocent Smith is still under a charge of attempted burglary, or else that is
exploded; but he is pretty well fixed for attempted bigamy. It all depends on what
view we take of the alleged letter from Curate Percy. Under these conditions I
feel justified in claiming my right to questions. May I ask how the defence got
hold of the letter from Curate Percy? Did it come direct from the prisoner?"
"We have had nothing direct from the prisoner," said Moon quietly. "The few
documents which the defence guarantees came to us from another quarter."
"From what quarter?" asked Dr. Pym.
"If you insist," answered Moon, "we had them from Miss Gray.
"Dr. Cyrus Pym quite forgot to close his eyes, and, instead, opened them very
"Do you really mean to say," he said, "that Miss Gray was in possession of this
document testifying to a previous Mrs. Smith?"
"Quite so," said Inglewood, and sat down.