The Silent Bullet HTML version

6. The Diamond Maker
"I've called, Professor Kennedy, to see if we can retain you in a case which I am sure will
tax even your resources. Heaven knows it has taxed ours."
The visitor was a large, well-built man. He placed his hat on the table and, without taking
off his gloves, sat down in an easy chair which he completely filled.
"Andrews is my name--third vice-president of the Great Eastern Life Insurance
Company. I am the nominal head of the company's private detective force, and though I
have some pretty clever fellows on my staff we've got a case that, so far, none of us has
been able to unravel. I'd like to consult you about it."
Kennedy expressed his entire willingness to be consulted, and after the usual formalities
were over, Mr. Andrews proceeded.
"I suppose you are aware that the large insurance companies maintain quite elaborate
detective forces and follow very keenly such of the cases of their policy-holders as look
at all suspicious. This case which I wish to put in your hands is that of Mr. Solomon
Morowitch, a wealthy Maiden Lane jeweller. I suppose you have read something in the
papers about his sudden death and the strange robbery of his safe?"
"Very little," replied Craig. "There hasn't been much to read."
"Of course not, of course not," said Mr. Andrews with some show of gratification. "I
flatter myself that we have pulled the wires so as to keep the thing out of the papers as
much as possible. We don't want to frighten the quarry till the net is spread. The point is,
though, to find out who is the quarry. It's most baffling."
"I am at your service," interposed Craig quietly, "but you will have to enlighten me as to
the facts in the case. As to that, I know no more than the newspapers."
"Oh, certainly, certainly. That is to say, you know nothing at all and can approach it
without bias." He paused and then, seeming to notice something in Craig's manner, added
hastily: "I'll be perfectly frank with you. The policy in question is for one hundred
thousand dollars, and is incontestable. His wife is the beneficiary. The company is
perfectly willing to pay, but we want to be sure that it is all straight first. There are certain
suspicious circumstances that in justice to ourselves we think should be cleared up. That
is all--believe me. We are not seeking to avoid an honest liability."
"What are these suspicious circumstances?" asked Craig, apparently satisfied with the
"This is in strict confidence, gentlemen," began Mr. Andrews. "Mr. Morowitch,
according to the story as it comes to us, returned home late one night last week,