The Leavenworth Case HTML version

1. A Great Case
"A deed of dreadful note."
I HAD been a junior partner in the firm of Veeley, Carr & Raymond, attorneys and
counsellors at law, for about a year, when one morning, in the temporary absence of both
Mr. Veeley and Mr. Carr, there came into our office a young man whose whole
appearance was so indicative of haste and agitation that I involuntarily rose at his
approach and impetuously inquired:
"What is the matter? You have no bad news to tell, I hope."
"I have come to see Mr. Veeley; is he in?"
"No," I replied; "he was unexpectedly called away this morning to Washington; cannot be
home before to-morrow; but if you will make your business known to me----"
"To you, sir?" he repeated, turning a very cold but steady eye on mine; then, seeming to
be satisfied with his scrutiny, continued, "There is no reason why I shouldn't; my
business is no secret. I came to inform him that Mr. Leavenworth is dead."
"Mr. Leavenworth!" I exclaimed, falling back a step. Mr. Leavenworth was an old client
of our firm, to say nothing of his being the particular friend of Mr. Veeley.
"Yes, murdered; shot through the head by some unknown person while sitting at his
library table."
"Shot! murdered!" I could scarcely believe my ears.
"How? when?" I gasped.
"Last night. At least, so we suppose. He was not found till this morning. I am Mr.
Leavenworth's private secretary," he explained, "and live in the family. It was a dreadful
shock," he went on, "especially to the ladies."
"Dreadful!" I repeated. "Mr. Veeley will be overwhelmed by it."
"They are all alone," he continued in a low businesslike way I afterwards found to be
inseparable from the man; "the Misses Leavenworth, I mean--Mr. Leavenworth's nieces;
and as an inquest is to be held there to-day it is deemed proper for them to have some one