The Film Mystery
15. I Become A Detective
Important as it was to watch Enid and Marilyn, Werner and the rest, Kennedy decided
that it was now much more important to hold to his expressed purpose of returning to the
laboratory with our trophies of the day's crime hunt.
"For people to whom emotion ought to be an old story in their everyday stage life, I must
say they feel and show plenty of it in real life," I remarked, as Enid set us down and
drove off. "It does not seem to pall."
"I don't know why the movie people buy stories," remarked Craig, quaintly. "They don't
need to do it--they live them."
When we were settled in the laboratory once more Kennedy plunged with renewed vigor
into the investigation he had dropped in the morning in order to make the hurried trip to
the Phelps home in Tarrytown.
I had hoped he would talk further of the probabilities of the connection of the various
people with the crime, but he had no comment even upon the admission of Enid that she
had known Millard for a period long antedating the trouble with Stella Lamar.
It seemed that, after all, he was quite excited at the discovery of the ampulla and was
anxious to begin the analysis of its scale-like contents. I was not sure, but it struck me
that this might be the same substance which had spotted the towel or the portieres. If that
were so, the finding of it in this form had given him a new and tangible clue to its nature,
accounting for his eagerness.
I watched his elaborate and thorough preparations, wishing I could be of assistance, but
knowing the limitations of my own chemical and bacteriological knowledge. I grasped,
however, that he was concentrating his study upon the spots he had cut from the
portieres, in particular the stain where the point of the needle had been, and upon the
incrustations on the inner surface of the tube. He made solutions of both of these and for
some little time experimented with chemical reactions. Then he had recourse to several
weighty technical books. Though bursting with curiosity, I dared not question him, nor
distract him in any way.
Finally he turned to a cage where he kept on hand, always, a few of those useful martyrs
to science, guinea pigs. Taking one of the little animals and segregating him from the
others, he prepared to inoculate him with a tiny bit of the solution made from the stain on
the piece cut from the portiere.
At that I knew it would be a long and tiresome analysis. It seemed a waste of time to wait
idly for Kennedy to reach his conclusions, so I cast about in my mind for some sort of
inquiry of my own which I could conduct meanwhile, perhaps collecting additional facts
about those we were watching at the studio.