The Filigree Ball
15. White Bow And Pink
Mr. Jeffrey's examination and its triumphant conclusion created a great furor in town.
Topics which had hitherto absorbed all minds were forgotten in the discussion of the
daring attempt which had been made by the police to fix crime upon one of Washington's
most esteemed citizens, and the check which they had rightly suffered for this outrage.
What might be expected next? Something equally bold and reprehensible, of course, but
what? It was a question which at the next sitting completely filled the inquest room.
To my great surprise, Mr. Jeffrey was recalled to the stand. He had changed since the
night before. He looked older, and while still handsome, for nothing could rob him of his
regularity of feature and extreme elegance of proportion, showed little of the spirit which,
in spite of the previous day's depression, had upheld him through its most trying ordeal
and kept his eye bright, if only from excitement. This was fact number one, and one
which I stored away in my already well-furnished memory.
Miss Tuttle sat in a less conspicuous position than on the previous day, and Mr. Moore,
her uncle, was not thereat all.
The testimony called for revived an old point which, seemingly, had not been settled to
the coroner's satisfaction.
Had Mr. Jeffrey placed the small stand holding the candelabrum on the spot where it had
been found? No. Had he carried into the house, at the time of his acknowledged visit, the
candles which had been afterward discovered there? No. He had had time to think since
his hesitating and unsatisfactory replies of the day before, and he was now in a position to
say that while he distinctly remembered buying candles on his way to the Moore house,
he had not found them in his pocket on getting there and had been obliged to make use of
the matches he always carried on his person in order to find his way to the upstairs room
where he felt positive he would find a candle.
This gave the coroner an opportunity to ask:
"And why did you expect to find a candle there?"
The answer astonished me and, I have no doubt, many others.
"It was the room in which my wife had dressed for the ceremony. It had not been
disturbed since that time. My wife had little ways of her own; one was to complete her
toilet by using a curling iron on a little lock she wore over her temple. When at home she
heated this curling iron in the gas jet, but there being no gas in the Moore house, I
naturally concluded that she had made use of a candle, as the curl had been noticeable
under her veil."