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7. The Letters
Before a table strewn with papers, in the room we have already mentioned as
given over to the use of the police, sat Dr. Heath in a mood too thoughtful to
notice the entrance of Mr. Gryce and Sweetwater from the dining-room where
they had been having dinner.
However as the former's tread was somewhat lumbering, the coroner's attention
was caught before they had quite crossed the room, and Sweetwater, with his
quick eye, noted how his arm and hand immediately fell so as to cover up a
portion of the papers lying nearest to him.
"Well, Gryce, this is a dark case," he observed, as at his bidding the two
detectives took their seats.
Mr. Gryce nodded; so did Sweetwater.
"The darkest that has ever come to my knowledge," pursued the coroner.
Mr. Gryce again nodded; but not so, Sweetwater. For some reason this simple
expression of opinion seemed to have given him a mental start.
"She was not shot. She was not struck by any other hand; yet she lies dead from
a mortal wound in the breast. Though there is no tangible proof of her having
inflicted this wound upon herself, the jury will have no alternative, I fear, than to
pronounce the case one of suicide."
"I'm sorry that I've been able to do so little," remarked Mr. Gryce.
The coroner darted him a quick look.
"You are not satisfied? You have some different idea?" he asked.
The detective frowned at his hands crossed over the top of his cane, then
shaking his head, replied: