assistants who was on duty at this place, he proceeded back to the ill-omened house where the tragedy itself
“Any one waiting for me?” he inquired of Styles, who came to the door.
“Yes, sir; a young man; name, Hines. Says he’s an electrician.”
“That’s the man I want. Where is he?”
“In the parlor, sir.”
“Good! I’ll see him. But don’t let any one else in. Anybody upstairs?”
“No, sir, all gone. Shall I go up or stay here?”
“You’d better go up. I’ll look after the door.”
Styles nodded, and went toward the stairs, up which he presently disappeared. Mr. Gryce proceeded to the
A dapper young man with an intelligent eye rose to meet him. “You sent for me,” said he.
The detective nodded, asked a few questions, and seeming satisfied with the replies he received, led the way
into Mr. Adams’s study, from which the body had been removed to an upper room. As they entered, a mild
light greeted them from a candle which, by Mr. Gryce’s orders, had been placed on a small side table near the
door. But once in, Mr. Gryce approached the larger table in the centre of the room, and placing his hand on
one of the buttons before him, asked his companion to be kind enough to blow out the candle. This he did,
leaving the room for a moment in total darkness. Then with a sudden burst of illumination, a marvellous glow
of a deep violet color shot over the whole room, and the two men turned and faced each other both with
inquiry in their looks, so unexpected was this theatrical effect to the one, and so inexplicable its cause and
purpose to the other.
“That is but one slide,” remarked Mr. Gryce. “Now I will press another button, and the color changes to–pink,
as you see. This one produces green, this one white, and this a bilious yellow, which is not becoming to either
of us, I am sure. Now will you examine the connection, and see if there is anything peculiar about it?”
Mr. Hines at once set to work. But beyond the fact that the whole contrivance was the work of an amateur
hand, he found nothing strange about it, except the fact that it worked so well.
Mr. Gryce showed disappointment.
“He made it, then, himself?” he asked.
“Undoubtedly, or some one else equally unacquainted with the latest method of wiring.”
“Will you look at these books over here and see if sufficient knowledge can be got from them to enable an
amateur to rig up such an arrangement as this?”
Mr. Hines glanced at the shelf which Mr. Gryce had pointed out, and without taking out the books, answered
“A man with a deft hand and a scientific turn of mind might, by the aid of these, do all you see here and more.
CHAPTER IV. 13The aptitude is all.”