The Illustrious Prince HTML version

6. Mr. Coulson Interviewed
The Lusitania boat specials ran into Euston Station soon after three o'clock in the
afternoon. A small company of reporters, and several other men whose profession was
not disclosed from their appearance, were on the spot to interview certain of the
passengers. A young fellow from the office of the Evening Comet was, perhaps, the most
successful, as, from the lengthy description which had been telegraphed to him from
Liverpool, he was fortunate enough to accost the only person who had been seen
speaking to the murdered man upon the voyage.
"This is Mr. Coulson, I believe?" the young man said with conviction, addressing a
somewhat stout, gray-headed American, with white moustache, a Homburg hat, and
clothes of distinctly transatlantic cut.
That gentlemen regarded his interlocutor with some surprise but without unfriendliness.
"That happens to be my name, sir," he replied. "You have the advantage of me, though.
You are not from my old friends Spencer & Miles, are you?"
"Spencer & Miles," the young man repeated thoughtfully.
"Woollen firm in London Wall," Mr. Coulson added. "I know they wanted to see me
directly I arrived, and they did say something about sending to the station."
The young man shook his head, and assumed at the same time his most engaging manner.
"Why, no, sir!" he admitted. "I have no connection with that firm at all. The fact is I am
on the staff of an evening paper. A friend of mine in Liverpool--a mutual friend, I believe
I may say," he explained--"wired me your description. I understand that you were
acquainted with Mr. Hamilton Fynes?"
Mr. Coulson set down his suitcase for a moment, to light a cigar.
"Well, if I did know the poor fellow just to nod to," he said, "I don't see that's any reason
why I should talk about him to you newspaper fellows. You'd better get hold of his
relations, if you can find them."
"But, my dear Mr. Coulson," the young man said, "we haven't any idea where they are to
be found, and in the meantime you can't imagine what reports are in circulation."
"Guess I can figure them out pretty well," Mr. Coulson remarked with a smile. "We've
got an evening press of our own in New York."
The reporter nodded.