The Leavenworth Case
35. Fine Work
"No hinge nor loop
To hang a doubt on!"
"But yet the pity of it, Iago!
Oh, Iago, the pity of it, Iago."
One sentence dropped by Mr. Gryce before leaving R---- prepared me for his next move.
"The clue to this murder is supplied by the paper on which the confession is written. Find
from whose desk or portfolio this especial sheet was taken, and you find the double
murderer," he had said.
Consequently, I was not surprised when, upon visiting his house, early the next morning,
I beheld him seated before a table on which lay a lady's writing-desk and a pile of paper,
till told the desk was Eleanore's. Then I did show astonishment. "What," said I, "are you
not satisfied yet of her innocence?"
"O yes; but one must be thorough. No conclusion is valuable which is not preceded by a
full and complete investigation. Why," he cried, casting his eyes complacently towards
the fire-tongs, "I have even been rummaging through Mr. Clavering's effects, though the
confession bears the proof upon its face that it could not have been written by him. It is
not enough to look for evidence where you expect to find it. You must sometimes search
for it where you don't. Now," said he, drawing the desk before him, "I don't anticipate
finding anything here of a criminating character; but it is among the possibilities that I
may; and that is enough for a detective."
"Did you see Miss Leavenworth this morning?" I asked, as he proceeded to fulfil his
intention by emptying the contents of the desk upon the table.
"Yes; I was unable to procure what I desired without it. And she behaved very
handsomely, gave me the desk with her own hands, and never raised an objection. To be
sure, she had little idea what I was looking for; thought, perhaps, I wanted to make sure it
did not contain the letter about which so much has been said. But it would have made but
little difference if she had known the truth. This desk contains nothing we want."
"Was she well; and had she heard of Hannah's sudden death?" I asked, in my irrepressible
"Yes, and feels it, as you might expect her to. But let us see what we have here," said he,
pushing aside the desk, and drawing towards him the stack of paper I have already
referred to. "I found this pile, just as you see it, in a drawer of the library table at Miss
Mary Leavenworth's house in Fifth Avenue. If I am not mistaken, it will supply us with
the clue we want."