and then he determined to cut short the tardy revelation,
and prick the bubble of mystery which the great man was
so slowly blowing.
"I take it that you think some one at Glencader stole
your needle, and so saved your collie's life," he said.
"That is what I mean," responded Mr. Mappin, a lit-
tle discomposed that his elaborate synthesis should be so
sharply brought to an end.
There was almost a grisly raillery in Stafford's reply.
"Now, the collie were you sufficiently a fatalist to let
him live, or did you prepare another needle, or do it in
the humdrum way?"
"I let the collie live."
" Hoping to find the needle again?" asked Stafford, with
"Perhaps to hear of it again."
"Hello, that is rather startling! And you have done
THE JUDGMENT HOUSE
"I think so. Yes, I may say that."
"Now how do you suppose you lost that needle?"
"It was taken from my pocket-case, and another
"Returning good for evil. Could you not see the dif-
ference in the needles?"
"There is not, necessarily, difference in needles. The
substitute was the same size and shape, and I was not
"And what form does your suspicion take now?"
The great man became rather portentously solemn
he himself would have said "becomingly grave." "M)'
conviction is that Mr. Fellowes took my needle."
Stafford fixed the other with his gaze. "And killed
himself with it?"
Mr. Mappin frowned. "Of that I cannot be sure, of
" Could you not tell by examining the body?"
"Not absolutely from a superficial examination."
"You did not think a scientific examination neces-
"Yes, perhaps; but the official inquest is over, the
expert analysis or examination is finished by the authori-
ties, and the superficial proofs, while convincing enough
to me, are not complete and final; and so, there you are."
Stafford got and held his visitor's eyes, and with slow
emphasis said: "You think that Fellowes committed
suicide with your needle?"
"No, I didn't say that."
"Then I fear my intelligence must be failing rapidly.
You said "
"I said I was not sure that he killed himself. I am
sure that he was killed by my needle; but I am not sure
that he killed himself. Motive and all that kind of thing
would come in there."
"Ah and all that kind of thing! Why should you
discard motive for his killing himself?"
THE LOST IS FOUND
"I did not say I discarded motive, but I think Mr.
Fellowes the last man in the world likely to kill himself."
"Why, then, do you think he stole the needle?"
"Not to kiU himself."
Stafford turned his head away a little. "Come now;
this is too tall. You are going pretty far in suggesting
that Fellowes took your needle to kill some one else."
"Perhaps. But motive might not be so far to seek."
"What motive in this case?" Stafford's eyes narrowed
a little with the inquiry.
"Well, a woman, perhaps."
"You know of some one, who "
"No. I am only assuming from Mr. Fellowes' some-
what material nature that there must be a woman or so."
"Or so why 'or so?' " Stafford pressed him into a
"There comes the motive one too many, when one
may be suspicious, or jealous, or revengeful, or impos-
"Did you see any mark of the needle on the body?"
" I think so. But that would not do more than suggest
further delicate, detailed, and final examination."
"You have no trace of the needle itself?"
"None. But surely that isn't strange. If he had
killed himself, the needle would probably have been found.
If he did not kill himself, but yet was killed by it, there
is nothing strange in its not being recovered."
Stafford took on the gravity of a dry-as-dust judge.
"I suppose that to prove the case it would be necessary
to produce the needle, as your theory and your invention
are rather new."
"For complete proof the needle would be necessary,
though not indispensable."
Stafford was silent for an instant, then he said: "You
have had a look for the little instrument of passage?"
"I was rather late for that, I fear."
"Still, by chance, the needle might have been picked
THE JUDGMENT HOUSE
up. However, it would look foolish to advertise for a
needle which had traces of atric acid on it, wouldn't it?"
Mr. Mappin looked at Stafford quite coolly, and then,
ignoring the question, said, deliberately: "You discovered
the body, I hear. You didn't by any chance find the
needle, I suppose?"
Stafford returned his look with a cool stare. "Not by
any chance," he said, enigmatically.
He had suddenly decided on a line of action which would
turn this astute egoist from his half-indicated purpose.
Whatever the means of Fellowes' death, by whomsoever
caused, or by no one, further inquiry could only result in
revelations hurtful to some one. As Mr. Mappin had sur-
mised, there was more than one woman, there may have
been a dozen, of course but chance might just pitch on
the one whom investigation would injure most.
If this expert was quieted, and Fellowes was safely be-
stowed in his grave, the tragic incident would be lost
quickly in the general excitement and agitation of the
nation. The war-drum would drown any small human
cries of suspicion or outraged innocence. Suppose some
one did kill Adrian Fellowes? He deserved to die, and
justice was satisfied, even if the law was marauded.
There were at least four people who might have killed
Fellowes without much remorse. There was Rudyard,
there was Jasmine, there was Lou the erstwhile flower-
girl and himself. It was necessary that Mappin, how-
ever, should be silenced, and sent about his business.
Stafford suddenly came over to the table near to his
visitor, and with an assumed air of cold indignation,
though with a little natural irritability behind all, said,
" Mr. Mappin, I assume that you have not gone elsewhere
with your suspicions?"
The other shook his head in negation.
"Very well, I should strongly advise you, for your own
reputation as an expert and a man of science, not to
attempt the rather cliche occupation of trying to rival
THE LOST IS FOUND
Sherlock Holmes. Your suspicions may have some dis-
tant justification, but only a man of infinite skill, tact,
and knowledge, with an almost abnormal gift for tracing
elusive clues and, when finding them, making them fit in
with fact only a man like yourself, a genius at the job,
could get anything out of it. You are not prepared to
give the time, and you could only succeed in causing pain
and annoyance beyond calculation. Just imagine a Scot-
land Yard detective with such a delicate business to do.
We have no Hamards here, no French geniuses who can
reconstruct crimes by a kind of special sense. Can you
not see the average detective blundering about with his
ostentatious display of the obvious; his mind, which never
traced a motive in its existence, trying to elucidate a clue?
Well, it is the business of the Law to detect and punish
crime. Let the Law do it in its own way, find its own
clues, solve the mysteries given it to solve. Why should
you complicate things? The official fellows could never
do what you could do, if you were a detective. They
haven't the brains or initiative or knowledge. And since
you are not a detective, and can't devote yourself to this
most delicate problem, if there be any problem at all, I
would suggest I imitate your own rudeness that you
mind your own business."
He smiled, and looked down at his visitor with in-
At the last words Mr. Mappin flushed and looked con-
sequential; but under the influence of a smile, so winning
that many a chancellerie of Europe had lost its irritation
over some skilful diplomatic stroke made by its possessor,
he emerged from his atmosphere of offended dignity and
feebly returned the smile.
"You are at once complimentary and scathing, Mr.
Stafford," he said; "but I do recognize the force of what
you say. Scotland Yard is beneath contempt. I know
of cases but I will not detain you with them now. They
bungle their work terribly at Scotland Yard. A detec-
THE JUDGMENT HOUSE
tive should be a man of imagination, of initiative, of deep
knowledge of human nature. In the presence of a mys-
tery he should be ready to find motives, to construct
them and put them into play, as though they were real
work till a clue was found. Then, if none is found, find
another motive and work on that. The French do it.
They are marvels. Hamard is a genius, as you say. He
imagines, he constructs, he pursues, he squeezes out every
drop of juice in the orange. . . . You see, I agree with you
on the whole, but this tragedy disturbed me, and I thought
that I had a real clue. I still believe I have, but cui
"Cut bono indeed, if it is bungled. If you could do it
all yourself, good. But that is impossible. The world
wants your skill to save life, not to destroy it. Fellowes
is dead does it matter so infinitely, whether by his own
hand or that of another?"
"No, I frankly say I don't think it does matter in-
finitely. His type is no addition to the happiness of the
They looked at each other meaningly, and Mappin re-
sponded once again to Stafford's winning smile.
It pleased him prodigiously to feel Stafford lay a firm
hand on his arm and say: "Can you, perhaps, dine with
me to-night at the Travellers' Club? It makes life worth
while to talk to men like you who do really big things."
"I shall be delighted to come for your own reasons,"
answered the great man, beaming, and adjusting his cuffs
"Good, good. It is capital to find you free." Again
Stafford caught the surgeon's arm with a friendly little
Suddenly, however, Mr. Mappin became aware that
Stafford had turned desperately white and worn. He had
noticed this spent condition when he first came in, but
his eyes now rediscovered it. He regarded Stafford with
THE LOST IS FOUND
"Mr. Stafford," he said, "I am sure you do not realize
how much below par you are You have been under
great strain I know, we all know, how hard you have
worked lately. Through you, England launches her ship
of war without fear of complications; but it has told on
you heavily. Nothing is got without paying for it. You
need rest, and you need change."
"Quite so rest and change. I am going to have both
now," said Stafford with a smile, which was forced and
"You need a tonic also, and you must allow me to
give you one," was the brusque professional response.
With quick movement he went over to Stafford's
writing-table, and threw open the cover of the blotter.
In a flash Stafford was beside him, and laid a hand upon
the blotter, saying with a smile, of the kind which had so
far done its work
"No, no, my friend, I will not take a tonic. It's only
a good sleep I want, and I'll get that to-night. But I give
my word, if I'm not all right to-morrow, if I don't sleep,
I'll send to you and take your tonic gladly."
"I promise, my dear Mappin."
The great man beamed again: and he really was
solicitous for his new-found friend.
"Very well, very well Stafford," he replied. "It
shall be as you say. Good-bye, or, rather, au revoir!"
" A la bonne heure!" was the hearty response, as the door
opened for the great surgeon's exit.
When the door was shut again, and Stafford was alone,
he staggered over to the writing-desk. Opening the blot-
ter, he took something up carefully and looked at it with
a sardonic smile.
"You did your work quite well," he said, reflectively.
It was such a needle as he had seen at Glencader in Mr.
Mappin's hand. He had picked it up in Adrian Fellowes'
THE JUDGMENT HOUSE
" I wonder who used you," he said in a hard voice. " I
wonder who used you so well. Was it was it Jasmine?"
With a trembling gesture he sat down, put the needle
in a drawer, locked it, and turned round to the fire again.
"Was it Jasmine?" he repeated, and he took from his
pocket the letter which Lady Tynemouth had given him.
For a moment he looked at it unopened at the beautiful,
smooth handwriting so familiar to his eyes; then he slowly
broke the seal, and took out the closely written pages.
" T AN, oh, Ian, what strange and flreadful things you have written
1 to me!" Jasmine's letter ran the letter which she told him
she had written on that morning when all was lost. " Do you realize
what you have said, and, saying it, have you thought of all it means
to me? You have tried to think of what is best, I know; but have
you thought of me? When I read your letter first, a flood of fire
seemed to run through my veins; then I became as though I had
been dipped in ether, and all the winds of an arctic sea were blowing
"To go with you now, far away from the world in which We live
and in which you work, to begin life again, as you say how sweet
and terrible and glad it would be! But I know, oh, I know myself,
and I know you! I am like one who has lived forever. I am not
good, and I am not foolish, I am only mad; and the madness in me
urges me to that visionary world where you and I could live and
work and wander, and be content with all that would be given us
joy, seeing, understanding, revealing, doing.
"But Ian, it is only a visionary world, that world of which you
speak. It does not exist. The overmastering love, the desire for
you that is in me, makes for me the picture as it is in your mind;
but down beneath all, the woman in me, the everlasting woman, is
sure there is no such world.
" Listen, dear child I call you that, for though I am only twenty-
five I seem as aged as the Sphinx, and, like the Sphinx that begets
mockery, so my soul, which seems to have looked out over unnum-
bered centuries, mocks at this world which you would make for
you and me. Listen, Ian. It is not a real world, and I should not
and that is the pitiful, miserable part of it I should not make
you happy, if I were in that world with you. To my dire regret I
know it. Suddenly you have roused in me what I can honestly say
I have never felt before strange, reckless, hungry feelings. I am
like some young dweller of the jungle which, cut off from its kind,
tries, with a passion that eats and eats and eats away his very flesh,
to get back to its kind, to his mate, to that other wild child of nature
which waits for the one appeasement of primeval desire,
THE JUDGMENT HOUSE
"Ian, I must tell you the whole truth about myself as I under*
stand it. I am a hopeless, painful contradiction; I have always
been so. I have always wanted to be good, but something has al-
ways driven me where the flowers have a poisonous sweetness, where
the heart grows bad. I want to cry to you, Ian, to help me to be
good; and yet something drives me on to want to share with you
the fruit which turns to dust and ashes in the long end. And behind
all that again, some tiny little grain of honour in me says that I must
not ask you to help me; says that I ought never to look into your
eyes again, never touch your hand, nor see you any more; and from
the little grain of honour comes the solemn whisper, ' Do not ruin
him; do not spoil his life.'
"Your letter has torn my heart, so that it can never again be as
it was before, and because there is some big, noble thing in you,
some little, not ignoble thing is born in me. Ian, you could never
know the anguished desire I have to be with you always; but, if I
keep sane at all, I will not go no, I will not go with you, unless the
madness carries me away. It would loll you. I know, because I
have lived so many thousands of years. My spirit and my body
might be satisfied, the glory in having you all my own would be so
great; but there would be no joy for you. To men like you, work
is as the breath of life. You must always be fighting for something,
always climbing higher, because you see some big thing to do which
is so far above you.
"Yes, men like you get their chance sooner or later, because you
work, and are ready to take the gifts of Fate when they appear and
before they pass. You will be always for climbing, if some woman
does not drag you back. That woman may be a wife, or it may be
a loving and living ghost of a wife like me. Ian, I could not bear
to see what would come at last the disappointment in your face;
the look of hope gone from your eyes; your struggle to climb, and
the struggle of no avail. Sisyphus had never such a task as you
would have on the hill of life, if I left all behind here and went with
you. You would try to hide it; but I would see you growing older
hourly before my eyes. You would smile I wonder if you know
what sort of wonderful, alluring thing your smile is, Ian? and that
smile would drive me to kill myself, and so hurt you still more.
And so it is always an everlasting circle of penalty and pain when
you take the laws of life you get in the mountains in your hands,
and break them in pieces on the rocks in the valleys, and make
new individual laws out of harmony with the general necessity.
"Isn't it strange, Ian, that I who can do wrong so easily still
know so well and value so well what is right? It is my mother in
me and my grandfather in me, both of them fighting for possession.
Let me empty out my heart before you, because I know I do not
know why, but I do know, as I write that some dark cloud lowers,
gathers round us, in which we shall be lost, shall miss the touch of
hand and never see each other's face again. I know it, oh so surely!
I did not really love you years ago, before I married Rudyard ; I did
not love you when I married him; I did not love him; I could not
really love any one. My heart was broken up in a thousand pieces
to give away in little bits to all who came. But I cared for you
more than I cared for any one else so much more; because you
were so able and powerful, and were meant to do such big things;
and I had just enough intelligence to want to understand you; to
feel what you were thinking, to grasp its meaning, however dimly.
Yet I have no real intellect. I am only quick and rather clever
sharp, as Jigger would say, and with some cunning, too. I have
made so many people believe that I am brilliant. When I think
and talk and write, I only give out in a new light what others like
you have taught me; give out a loaf where you gave me a crumb;
blow a drop of water into a bushel of bubbles. No, I did not love
you, in the big way, in those old days, and maybe it is not love I
feel for you now; but it is a great and wonderful thing, so different
from the feeling I once had. It is very powerful, and it is also very
cruel, because it smothers me in one moment, and in the next it
makes me want to fly to you, heedless of consequences.
"And what might those consequences be, Ian, and shall I let you
face them? The real world, your world, England, Europe, would
have no more use for all your skill and knowledge and power, be-
cause there would be a woman in the way. People who would want
to be your helpers, and to follow you, would turn away when they
saw you coming; or else they would say the superficial things which
are worse than blows in the face to a man who wants to feel that
men look to him to help solve the problems perplexing the world.
While it may not be love I feel for you, whatever it is, it makes me
a little just and unselfish now. I will not unless a spring-time
madness drives me to it to-day I will not go with you.
"As for the other solution you offer, deceiving the world as to
your purposes, to go far away upon some wild mission, and to die!
"Ah, no, you must not cheat the world so; you must not cheat
yourself so! And how cruel it would be to me! Whatever I deserve
and in leaving you to marry Rudyard I deserved heavy punish-
ment still I do not deserve the torture which would follow me to
the last day of my life if, because of me, you sacrificed that which
is not yours alone, but which belongs to all the world. I loathe my-
self when I think of the old wrong that I did you; but no leper
woman could look upon herself with such horror as I should upon
myself, if, for the new wrong I have done you, you were to take
your own life.
THE JUDGMENT HOUSE
"These are so many words, and perhaps they will not read to
you -as real. That is perhaps because I am only shallow at the
best; am only, as you once called me, 'a little burst of eloquence.'
But even I can suffer, and I believe that even I can love. You
say you cannot go on as things are; that I must go with you or
you must die; and yet you do not wish me to go with you. You
have said that, too. But do you not wonder what would become of
me, if either of these alternatives is followed? A little while ago
I could deceive Rudyard, and put myself in pretty clothes with a
smile, and enjoy my breakfast with him and look in his face boldly,
and enjoy the clothes, and the world and the gay things that are
in it, perhaps because I had no real moral sense. Isn't it strange that
out of the thing which the world would condemn as most immoral,
as the very degradation of the heart and soul and body, there should
spring up a new sense that is moral perhaps the first true glim-
mering of it? Oh, dear love of my life, comrade of my soul, some-
thing has come to me which I never had before, and for that, what-
ever comes, my lifelong gratitude must be yours! What I now feel
could never have come except through fire and tears, as you yourself
say, and I know so well that the fire is at my feet, and the tears I
wept them all last night, when I too wanted to die.
"You are coming at eleven to-day, Ian at eleven. It is now
eight. I will try and send this letter to reach you before you leave
your rooms. If not, I will give it to you when you come at
eleven. Why did you not say noon noon twelve of the clock?
The end and the beginning! Why did you not say noon, Ian?
The light is at its zenith at noon, at twelve; and the world is dark
at twelve at midnight. Twelve at noon; twelve at night; the
light and the dark which will it be for us, Ian? Night or noon?
I wonder, oh, I wonder if, when I see you, I shall have the strength
to say, 'Yes, go, and come again no more.' Or whether, in spite of
everything, I shall wildly say, 'Let us go away together.' Such is
the kind of woman that I am. And you dear lover, tell me truly
what kind of man are you?
" Your "JASMINE."
He read the letter slowly, and he stopped again and
again as though to steady himself. His face became
strained and white, and once he poured brandy and drank
it off as though it were water. When he had finished the
letter he went heavily over to the fire and dropped it in.
He watched it burn, until only the flimsy carbon was left.
"If I had not gone till noon," he said aloud, in a nerve-
less voice "if I had not gone till noon . . . Fellowes
did she or was it Byng?"
He was so occupied with his thoughts that he was not
at first conscious that some one was knocking.
"Come in," he called out at last.
The door opened and Rudyard Byng entered.
" I am going to South Africa, Stafford," he said, heavily.
"I hear that you are going, too; and I have come to see
whether we cannot go out together."
MESSAGE from Mr. Byng to say that he may be a
little late, but he says will you go on without him?
He will come as soon as possible."
The footman, having delivered himself, turned to with-
draw, but Barry Whalen called him back, saying, "Is
Mr. Krool in the house?"
The footman replied in the affirmative. " Did you wish
to see him, sir?" he asked.
"Not at present. A little later perhaps," answered
Barry, with a glance round the group, who eyed him
At a word the footman withdrew. As the door closed,
little black, oily Sobieski dit Melville said with an attempt
at a joke, "Is 'Mr.' Krool to be called into consul-
" Don't be so damned funny, Melville," answered Barry.
"I didn't ask the question for nothing."
"These aren't days when anybody guesses much," re-
marked Fleming. "And I'd like to know from Mr.
Kruger, who knows a lot of things, and doesn't gas,
whether he means the mines to be safe."
They all looked inquiringly at Wallstein, who in the
storms which rocked them all kept his nerve and his
countenance with a power almost benign. His large,
limpid eye looked little like that belonging to an eagle of
finance, as he had been called.
"It looked for a while as though they'd be left alone,"
said Wallstein, leaning heavily on the table, "but I'm not
so sure now." He glanced at Barry Whalen significantly,