The Yellow Claw HTML version
Returning to Scotland Yard, Inspector Dunbar walked straight up to his own room. There
he found Sowerby, very red faced and humid, and a taximan who sat stolidly surveying
the Embankment from the window.
"Hullo!" cried Dunbar; "he's turned up, then?"
"No, he hasn't," replied Sowerby with a mild irritation. "But we know where to find him,
and he ought to lose his license."
The taximan turned hurriedly. He wore a muffler so tightly packed between his neck and
the collar of his uniform jacket, that it appeared materially to impair his respiration. His
face possessed a bluish tinge, suggestive of asphyxia, and his watery eyes protruded
remarkably; his breathing was noisily audible.
"No, chuck it, mister!" he exclaimed. "I'm only tellin' you 'cause it ain't my line to play
tricks on the police. You'll find my name in the books downstairs more'n any other driver
in London! I reckon I've brought enough umbrellas, cameras, walkin' sticks, hopera
cloaks, watches and sicklike in 'ere, to set up a blarsted pawnbroker's!"
"That's all right, my lad!" said Dunbar, holding up his hand to silence the voluble
speaker. "There's going to be no license- losing. You did not hear that you were wanted
The watery eyes of the cabman protruded painfully; he respired like a horse.
"ME, guv'nor!" he exclaimed. "Gor'blime! I ain't the bloke! I was drivin' back from takin'
the Honorable 'Erbert 'Arding 'ome-- same as I does almost every night, when the 'ouse is
a-sittin'-- when I see old Tom Brian drawin' away from the door o' Palace Man--"
Again Dunbar held up his hand.
"No doubt you mean well," he said; "but damme! begin at the beginning! Who are you,
and what have you come to tell us?"
"'Oo are I?--'Ere's 'oo I ham!" Wheezed the cabman, proffering a greasy license. "Richard
'Amper, number 3 Breams Mews, Dulwich Village" . . .
"That's all right," said Dunbar, thrusting back the proffered document; "and last night you
had taken Mr. Harding the member of Parliament, to his residence in?"--
"In Peers' Chambers, Westminister--that's it, guv'nor! Comin' back, I 'ave to pass along
the north side o' the Square, an' just a'ead o' me, I see old Tom Brian a-pullin' round the
Johnny 'Orner,--'im comin' from Palace Mansions."
"Mr. Exel only mentioned seeing ONE cab," muttered Dunbar, glancing keenly aside at
"Wotcher say, guv'nor?" asked the cabman.