Into that silence came The Voice. Without warning, inhuman, penetrating….
Ladies and gentlemen! Silence please!... You are charged with the following indictments:
“Edward George Armstrong, that you did upon the 14th day of March, 1925, cause the death of Louisa Mary Clees….
“Lawrence John Wargrave, that upon the 10th day of June, 1930, you were guilty of the murder of Edward Seton.
“Prisoners at the bar, have you anything to say in your defence?”
Inside the second room a table had been brought up close to the wall which adjoined the drawing room. On the table was a gramophone—an old-fashioned type with a large trumpet attached. The mouth of the trumpet was against the wall, and Lombard, pushing it aside indicated where two or three small holes had been unobtrusively bored through the wall.
“Ulick Norman Owen! In Miss Brent’s letter, though the signature of the surname is a mere scrawl the Christian names are reasonably clear—Una Nancy Owen—each time, that is to say, U. N. Owen. Or by a slight stretch of fancy, UNKNOWN!... I’ve no doubt in my own mind that we have been invited here by a madman—probably a dangerous homicidal lunatic.”
“This purports to be from an old friend of mine, Lady Constance Culmington…. I only mention it because it agrees with the other evidence—from all of which emerges one interesting point. Whoever it was who enticed us here, that person knows or has taken the trouble to find out a good deal about us all. . . . He knows, you see, a good deal. And out of his knowledge concerning us, he has made certain definite accusations.”
Anthony said with a grin:
“The legal life’s narrowing! I’m all for crime! Here’s to it.”
He picked up his drink and drank it off at a gulp.
Too quickly, perhaps. He choked—choked badly. His face contorted, turned purple. He gasped for breath—then slid down off his chair, the glass falling from his hand.