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35. An Afterword
This shall be a brief afterword, for I have little else to say. As Madame had
predicted, all antidotes and restoratives were of no avail. She had taken enough
of some drug which she had evidently had in her possession for this very
purpose to ensure that there should be no awakening, and although Dr.
Rolleston was on the spot within half an hour, Madame de Staemer was already
past human aid.
There are perhaps one or two details which may be of interest. For instance, as a
result of the post-mortem examination of Colonel Menendez, no trace of disease
was discovered in any of the organs, but from information supplied by his
solicitors, Harley succeeded in tracing the Paris specialist to whom Madame de
Staemer had referred; and he confirmed her statement in every particular. The
disease, to which he gave some name which I have forgotten, was untraceable,
he declared, by any means thus far known to science.
As we had anticipated, the bulk of Colonel Don Juan's wealth he had bequeathed
to Madame de Staemer, and she in turn had provided that all of which she might
die possessed should be divided between certain charities and Val Beverley.
I thus found myself at the time when all these legal processes terminated
engaged to marry a girl as wealthy as she was beautiful. Therefore, except for
the many grim memories which it had left with me, nothing but personal good
fortune resulted from my sojourn at Cray's Folly, beneath the shadow of that Bat
Wing which had had no existence outside the cunning imagination of Colonel
Juan Menendez.