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CHAPTER 19: MY GREAT HOUR
The library doors were shut, and I closed the secret one behind me before opening the other and peering out through a wrack of bluish smoke; and there lay Captain Harris, sure enough, breathing his last in the arms of one constable, while another was seated on the table with a very wry face, twisting a tourniquet round his arm, from which the blood was dripping like raindrops from the eaves. A third officer stood in the porch, issuing directions to his men without.
"He's over the wall, I tell you! I saw him run up our ladder. After him every man of you - and spread!"
I looked in vain for Rattray and the rest; yet it seemed as if only one of them had escaped. I was still looking when the man in the porch wheeled back into the hall, and instantly caught sight of me at my door.
"Hillo! here's another of them," cried he. "Out you come, young fellow! Your mates are all dead men."
"They're not my mates."
"Never mind; come you out and let's have a look at you."
I did so, and was confronted by a short, thickset man, who recognized me with a smile, but whom I failed to recognize.
"I might have guessed it was Mr. Cole," said he. "I knew you were here somewhere, but I couldn't make head or tail of you through the smoke."
"I'm surprised that you can make head or tail of me at all," said I.
"Then you've quite forgotten the inquisitive parson you met out fishing? You see I found out your name for myself!"
"So it was a detective!"
"It was and is," said the little man, nodding. "Detective or Inspector Royds, if you're any the wiser.
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