7. CHAPTER VII. LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.
THE intelligence with which Lestrade greeted us was so
momentous and so unexpected, that we were all three fairly
dumfoundered. Gregson sprang out of his chair and upset the
remainder of his whiskey and water. I stared in silence at
Sherlock Holmes, whose lips were compressed and his brows
drawn down over his eyes.
"Stangerson too!" he muttered. "The plot thickens."
"It was quite thick enough before," grumbled Lestrade,
taking a chair. "I seem to have dropped into a sort of council
"Are you -- are you sure of this piece of intelligence?"
"I have just come from his room," said Lestrade.
"I was the first to discover what had occurred."
"We have been hearing Gregson's view of the matter," Holmes
observed. "Would you mind letting us know what you have seen
"I have no objection," Lestrade answered, seating himself.
"I freely confess that I was of the opinion that Stangerson
was concerned in the death of Drebber. This fresh
development has shown me that I was completely mistaken.
Full of the one idea, I set myself to find out what had
become of the Secretary. They had been seen together at
Euston Station about half-past eight on the evening of the
third. At two in the morning Drebber had been found in the
Brixton Road. The question which confronted me was to find
out how Stangerson had been employed between 8.30 and the
time of the crime, and what had become of him afterwards.
I telegraphed to Liverpool, giving a description of the man,
and warning them to keep a watch upon the American boats.
I then set to work calling upon all the hotels and
lodging-houses in the vicinity of Euston. You see, I argued
that if Drebber and his companion had become separated,
the natural course for the latter would be to put up somewhere
in the vicinity for the night, and then to hang about the
station again next morning."
"They would be likely to agree on some meeting-place beforehand,"