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4. Sweet Little Miss Clarke
When we took our seats at the breakfast-table, it was with the feeling of being no
longer looked upon as connected in any way with this case. Yet our interest in it
was, if anything, increased, and when I saw George casting furtive glances at a
certain table behind me, I leaned over and asked him the reason, being sure that
the people whose faces I saw reflected in the mirror directly before us had
something to do with the great matter then engrossing us. His answer conveyed
the somewhat exciting information that the four persons seated in my rear were
the same four who had been reading at the round table in the mezzanine at the
time of Miss Challoner's death.
Instantly they absorbed all my attention, though I dared not give them a direct
look, and continued to observe them only in the glass.
"Is it one family?" I asked.
"Yes, and a very respectable one. Transients, of course, but very well known in
Denver. The lady is not the mother of the boys, but their aunt. The boys belong to
the gentleman, who is a widower."
"Their word ought to be good."
George nodded.
"The boys look wide-awake enough if the father does not. As for the aunt, she is
sweetness itself. Do they still insist that Miss Challoner was the only person in
the room with them at this time?"
"They did last night. I don't know how they will meet this statement of the
He leaned nearer.