The Yellow Claw HTML version

Inspector Dunbar Takes Charge
Detective-Inspector Dunbar was admitted by Dr. Cumberly. He was a man of notable
height, large-boned, and built gauntly and squarely. His clothes fitted him ill, and through
them one seemed to perceive the massive scaffolding of his frame. He had gray hair
retiring above a high brow, but worn long and untidily at the back; a wire- like straight-
cut mustache, also streaked with gray, which served to accentuate the grimness of his
mouth and slightly undershot jaw. A massive head, with tawny, leonine eyes; indeed,
altogether a leonine face, and a frame indicative of tremendous nervous energy.
In the entrance lobby he stood for a moment.
"My name is Cumberly," said the doctor, glancing at the card which the Scotland Yard
man had proffered. "I occupy the flat above."
"Glad to know you, Dr. Cumberly," replied the detective in a light and not unpleasant
voice--and the fierce eyes momentarily grew kindly.
"This--" continued Cumberly, drawing Dunbar forward into the study, "is my friend,
Leroux--Henry Leroux, whose name you will know?"
"I have not that pleasure," replied Dunbar.
"Well," added Cumberly, "he is a famous novelist, and his flat, unfortunately, has been
made the scene of a crime. This is Detective-Inspector Dunbar, who has come to solve
our difficulties, Leroux." He turned to where Exel stood upon the hearth-rug--toying with
his monocle. "Mr. John Exel, M. P."
"Glad to know you, gentlemen," said Dunbar.
Leroux rose from the armchair in which he had been sitting and stared, drearily, at the
newcomer. Exel screwed the monocle into his right eye, and likewise surveyed the
detective. Cumberly, taking a tumbler from the bureau, said:--
"A scotch-and-soda, Inspector?"
"It is a suggestion," said Dunbar, "that, coming from a medical man, appeals."
Whilst the doctor poured out the whisky and squirted the soda into the glass, Inspector
Dunbar, standing squarely in the middle of the room, fixed his eyes upon the still form
lying in the shadow of the writing-table.
"You will have been called in, doctor," he said, taking the proffered tumbler, "at the time
of the crime?"
"Exactly!" replied Cumberly. "Mr. Leroux ran up to my fiat and summoned me to see the
"What time would that be?"