Lombard shrugged his shoulders disparagingly. “I’ve knocked about here and there, sir.” He thought to himself, “He’ll ask me now if I was old enough to be in the War. These old boys always do.” But General Macarthur did not mention the War.

[Mr. Narracott] summed them up dispassionately. One old maid—the sour kind—he knew them well enough. She was a tarter he could bet. One military gentleman—real Army look about him. Nice-looking young lady—but the ordinary kind, not glamorous—no Hollywood touch about her. That bluff cheery gent—he wasn’t a real gentleman. Retired tradesman, that’s what he is, thought Fred Narracott. The other gentleman, the lean hungry-looking gentleman with the quick eyes, he was a queer one, he was.

The butler came forward bowing slightly. He was a tall lank man, grey-haired and very respectable. He said: “Will you come this way, please.” In the wide hall drinks stood ready. Rows of bottles. Anthony Marston’s spirits cheered up a little…. What was it the butler chap was saying? Mr. Owen—unfortunately delayed—unable to get here till tomorrow.

Vera went over to the window and sat down on the window seat. She was faintly disturbed. Everything—somehow—was a little queer. The absence of the Owens, the pale ghostlike Mrs. Rogers. And the guests! Yes, the guests were queer, too. An oddly assorted party.

“It’s of no consequence,” said the judge. “Very vague woman —and practically unreadable handwriting. I was just wondering if I’d come to the wrong house.” Dr. Armstrong shook his head and went on up to the house. Mr. Justice Wargrave reflected on the subject of Constance Culmington. Undependable like all women. His mind went on to the two women in the house the tight-lipped old maid and the girl. He didn’t care for the girl, cold-blooded young hussy.