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The Bat

Billy Practices Jiu-Jitsu
"We have had a very sad occurrence here, Doctor," said Miss Cornelia gently.
The Doctor braced himself.
"Who?"
"Richard Fleming."
"Richard Fleming?" gasped the Doctor in tones of incredulous horror.
"Shot and killed from that staircase," said Miss Cornelia tonelessly.
The detective demurred.
"Shot and killed, anyhow," he said in accents of significant omission.
The Doctor knelt beside the huddle on the floor. He removed the fold of the raincoat that
covered the face of the corpse and stared at the dead, blank mask. Till a moment ago,
even at the height of his irritation with Bailey, he had been blithe and offhand - a man
who seemed comparatively young for his years. Now Age seemed to fall upon him,
suddenly, like a gray, clinging dust - he looked stricken and feeble under the impact of
this unexpected shock.
"Shot and killed from that stairway," he repeated dully. He rose from his knees and
glanced at the fatal stairs.
"What was Richard Fleming doing in this house at this hour?" he said.
He spoke to Miss Cornelia but Anderson answered the question.
"That's what I'm trying to find out," he said with a saturnine smile.
The Doctor gave him a look of astonished inquiry. Miss Cornelia remembered her
manners.
"Doctor, this is Mr. Anderson."
"Headquarters," said Anderson tersely, shaking hands.
It was Lizzie's turn to play her part in the tangled game of mutual suspicion that by now
made each member of the party at Cedarcrest watch every other member with nervous
distrust. She crossed to her mistress on tiptoe.
 
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