"And that something?"
"The body of your husband."
"You beastly little cad," began Mrs. Athelstone, anger flaming in her
face again. Then she stopped short, and her expression went to one of
The change was not lost on Simpkins. "That's better," he said. "If a
fellow has to condone murder to meet your standards of what's a perfect
little gentleman, you can count me out. Now, just you make up your mind
that repartee won't take us anywhere, and let's get down to cases. There
may be, I believe there are, extenuating circumstances. Tell him the
whole truth and you'll find Simp. your friend, cad or no cad."
As he talked, Mrs. Athelstone regained her composure, and when he was
through she asked calmly enough: "And because you've blundered on
something you don't understand, something that has aroused your silly
suspicions, you would turn me over to the police?"
"It's not a silly suspicion, Mrs. Athelstone, but a cinch. I know your
husband was murdered there," and he pointed to the altar. "And you're
not innocent, though how guilty morally I'm not ready to say. There may
be something behind it all to change my present determination; that
depends on whether you care to talk to me, or would rather wait and take
the third degree at headquarters."
"But you really have made a frightful mistake," she protested, not
angrily now, but rather soothingly.