They went back again to the drawing room. Although it was summer the room was dark. Lombard switched on the lights but they did not come on. He said: “Of course, The engine’s not been run today since Rogers hasn’t been there to see to it.” Lombard went out. The other four sat watching each other. He came back with a box of candles and a pile of saucers. Five candles were lit and placed about the room.
Then in the entrance to the drawing room door, Armstrong stopped dead. The others crowded up and looked over his shoulder. Somebody cried out. Mr. Justice Wargrave was sitting in his high-backed chair at the end of the room. Two candles burnt on either side of him. But what shocked and startled the onlookers was that he sat there robed in scarlet with a judge’s wig upon his head… Dr. Armstrong lifted the lifeless hand and felt for the pulse…
“He’s been shot….”
They went up the stairs. The next move was like a scene in a farce. Each one of the four stood with a hand on his or her bedroom door handle. Then, as though at a signal, each one stepped into the room and pulled the door shut. There were sounds of bolts and locks, of the moving of furniture. Four frightened people were barricaded in until morning.
Blore’s thoughts were cut short. He sat up on the bed, suddenly alert. For her had heard a sound—a very faint sound—somewhere outside his bedroom door.
There was someone moving about in the darkened house.The perspiration broke out on his forehead. Who was it, moving secretly and silently along the corridors? Someone who was up to no good, he’d bet that!
Blore had an instantaneous glimpse of a figure just passing out through the front door. In the act of running down the stairs in pursuit, he paused. Once again, he had nearly made a fool of himself! This was a trap, perhaps, to lure him out of the house! But what the other man didn’t realize was that he had made a mistake, had delivered himself nearly into Blore’s hands. For, of the three tenanted rooms upstairs,
one must now be empty.All that had to be done was to ascertain which!