The butler was standing very pale but very collected before us.
`I may have spoken too warmly, sir,' said he, `and if I have, I am sure that I beg your pardon. At the same time, I was very much surprised when I heard you two gentlemen come back this morning and learned that you had been chasing Selden. The poor fellow has enough to fight against without my putting more upon his track.'
`If you had told us of your own free will it would have been a different thing,' said the baronet, `you only told us, or rather your wife only told us, when it was forced from you and you could not help yourself.'
`I didn't think you would have taken advantage of it, Sir Henry - indeed I didn't.'
`The man is a public danger. There are lonely houses scattered over the moor, and he is a fellow who would stick at nothing. You only want to get a glimpse of his face to see that. Look at Mr. Stapleton's house, for example, with no one but himself to defend it. There's no safety for anyone until he is under lock and key.'
`He'll break into no house, sir. I give you my solemn word upon that. But he will never trouble anyone in this country again. I assure you, Sir Henry, that in a very few days the necessary arrangements will have been made and he will be on his way to South America. For God's sake, sir, I beg of you not to let the police know that he is still on the moor. They have given up the chase there, and he can lie quiet until the ship is ready for him. You can't tell on him without getting my wife and me into trouble. I beg you, sir, to say nothing to the police.'
`What do you say, Watson?'
I shrugged my shoulders. `If he were safely out of the country it would relieve the tax-payer of a burden.'
`But how about the chance of his holding someone up before he goes?'
`He would not do anything so mad, sir. We have provided him with all that he can want. To commit a crime would be to show where he was hiding.'
`That is true,' said Sir Henry. `Well, Barrymore - '
`God bless you, sir, and thank you from my heart! It would have killed my poor wife had he been taken again.'
`I guess we are aiding and abetting a felony, Watson? But, after what we have heard I don't feel as if I could give the man up, so there is an end of it. All right, Barrymore, you can go.'
With a few broken words of gratitude the man turned, but he hesitated and then came back.
`You've been so kind to us, sir, that I should like to do the best I can for you in return. I know something, Sir Henry, and perhaps I should have said it before, but it was long after the inquest that I found it out. I've never breathed a word about it yet to mortal man. It's about poor Sir Charles's death.'
The baronet and I were both upon our feet. `Do you know how he died?'
`No, sir, I don't know that.'
`I know why he was at the gate at that hour. It was to meet a woman.'
`To meet a woman! He?'
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