6. CHAPTER VI. TOBIAS GREGSON SHOWS WHAT HE CAN DO.
THE papers next day were full of the "Brixton Mystery,"
as they termed it. Each had a long account of the affair,
and some had leaders upon it in addition. There was some
information in them which was new to me. I still retain in
my scrap-book numerous clippings and extracts bearing upon
the case. Here is a condensation of a few of them:--
The Daily Telegraph remarked that in the history of crime
there had seldom been a tragedy which presented stranger
features. The German name of the victim, the absence of
all other motive, and the sinister inscription on the wall,
all pointed to its perpetration by political refugees and
revolutionists. The Socialists had many branches in America,
and the deceased had, no doubt, infringed their unwritten
laws, and been tracked down by them. After alluding airily
to the Vehmgericht, aqua tofana, Carbonari, the Marchioness
de Brinvilliers, the Darwinian theory, the principles of
Malthus, and the Ratcliff Highway murders, the article
concluded by admonishing the Government and advocating
a closer watch over foreigners in England.
The Standard commented upon the fact that lawless outrages
of the sort usually occurred under a Liberal Administration.
They arose from the unsettling of the minds of the masses,
and the consequent weakening of all authority. The deceased
was an American gentleman who had been residing for some
weeks in the Metropolis. He had stayed at the boarding-house
of Madame Charpentier, in Torquay Terrace, Camberwell.
He was accompanied in his travels by his private secretary,
Mr. Joseph Stangerson. The two bade adieu to their landlady
upon Tuesday, the 4th inst., and departed to Euston Station
with the avowed intention of catching the Liverpool express.
They were afterwards seen together upon the platform.
Nothing more is known of them until Mr. Drebber's body was,
as recorded, discovered in an empty house in the Brixton Road,
many miles from Euston. How he came there, or how he met his
fate, are questions which are still involved in mystery.
Nothing is known of the whereabouts of Stangerson. We are
glad to learn that Mr. Lestrade and Mr. Gregson, of Scotland
Yard, are both engaged upon the case, and it is confidently
anticipated that these well-known officers will speedily
throw light upon the matter.