There was also a short note to the manuscript, stating that Edermont
had found out and helped the son of his old enemy, Dr. Scott, on the
ground that he felt himself to be the cause indirectly of the man’s
death. Allen took occasion to explain this particular matter.

“Now I come to look back on it,” he said reflectively, “I believe that
Edermont must have supplied most of the funds for my education. I
understood they came from moneys left by my dead father; but from this
story”–touching the manuscript–“it would appear that he died poor.
Certainly Mr. Edermont behaved generously in inviting me to settle in
Canterbury when I qualified for a doctor, and in helping me with a
loan. I am afraid I acted badly to him on that day,” added Allen, in a
penitent tone, “but I was not myself; the news of my father’s terrible
death maddened me.”

“And he was my father, after all!” sighed Dora. “Poor soul! I never
cared over-much for him, as I did not like his personality. And, as I
thought I was living on my own money, I did not realize his
generosity. I am glad to know that I am not the daughter of Carew.”

“It is strange that Mrs. Tice did not know Edermont was your father,”
said Allen, after a pause, “for you must have been born shortly before
the Dargills returned to Christchurch. Ah, here is Mrs. Tice,” he
added, as the housekeeper entered. “Come here, nurse; we have good
news for you.”

“And what may that be?” asked the old dame, smiling.

“Dora and I intend to fulfil our engagement, and marry.”

The face of Mrs. Tice grew stern with dismay and disapproval.

“Impossible, Mr. Allen! How can you marry the daughter of your
father’s murderer?”

“That is just it, nurse; Dora is not the daughter of Carew, but of
Julian Dargill.”

“Oh, she was adopted by Mr. Dargill, I know,” said Mrs. Tice, still
unconvinced, “and was called by his name in Christchurch. Why he
changed her name to Carew I do not know, though, to be sure, she was
his ward, and not his daughter, and Carew was her real name.”

“So we all thought,” said Dora impetuously; “but we have just
discovered that I am really and truly the daughter of Mr. Dargill and
his wife Laura. Listen, Mrs. Tice, and I’ll tell you the story.”

The narrative greatly surprised Mrs. Tice, who was forced to sit
down and lift up her hands in her surprise. She was forced to believe
that Dora was Dargill’s daughter by Laura Carew’s second marriage,
and–as Mrs. Tice mentally noted–illegitimate, owing to Carew still
being alive after her birth. But the housekeeper was too wise and
kind-hearted to touch upon so delicate a point.

“Deary, deary me!” she ejaculated. “And no one knew it in
Christchurch! I never saw you myself, Miss Dora, or I should have
known that so young a child could not have been the daughter of a man
dead over a year. I am surprised no one else guessed it. How blind we
all are!”

“Oh, you may be sure Lady Burville told some story to account for the
appearance and size of the child,” said Allen cynically. “She is an
adept at trickery. But I cannot understand, Dora, why she did not tell
you the name of your real father.”

“She did not wish to inculpate herself more than was necessary,” said
Dora, in a bitter tone. “She told me she was my mother only because
she believed I would denounce her as guilty of the crime. And you know
those letters Pallant wanted, Allen? Well, I have no doubt that those
were the letters she wrote to Edermont–I can hardly bring myself to
call him father–giving him permission to take me to live with him.
Probably he paid her for doing so.”

“After all, she is your mother, Miss Dora,” said Mrs. Tice

“She has not acted a mother’s part,” retorted Dora. “She deserted me,
she deceived me, she lied to me; I never wish to set eyes on her

“I think that will be rather a relief to her than otherwise,” said
Allen. “She is determined to keep her position as Sir John’s wife, and
will refuse to make any explanation likely to endanger it. However, it
does not matter to us, my dear. The bar to our marriage is removed;
indeed, I wonder your father did not tell me the truth.”

“The poor soul was a coward, Allen. He admits as much in his
confession. Few men would have behaved as he did, especially in the
face of the fact that Captain Carew was in danger of arrest for the
murder of your father. All Mr. Edermont’s elaborate precautions were
dictated solely by his lifelong dread. I can see no other reason why
he should have passed me off as his ward. However, now that we know
the truth, I can marry you.”

“We will marry as soon as you like, dearest. And I am glad for your
sake, Dora, that you will inherit the fifty thousand pounds left by
your father.”

“But how is that, Mr. Allen?” cried Mrs. Tice in amazement. “That
money was only left to the person who discovered the murderer.”

“Well, nurse, Dora has done so. Joad is the culprit.”

“You don’t say so! Well, I always did think he was a bad man. And he
had the boldness to say you were guilty of his own wickedness!” cried
Mrs. Tice indignantly. “I am glad he has fallen into his own trap. But
why did he kill Mr. Dargill?”

“Ah,” said Allen, “that is just what I should like to know. No motive
is assigned in the manuscript. It is a mystery at present.”

“Mr. Carver may force him to confess his reason,” suggested Dora, “or
perhaps he may guess it.”

“What! Mr. Carver?”

“Yes, Mrs. Tice. I believe Mr. Carver knows a great deal more about my
unhappy father than he chooses to confess. From the reference in the
manuscript to my father’s family lawyers, I am inclined to think that
Mr. Carver knows who they are. If he does, he knows also that Mr.
Edermont’s real name was Julian Dargill.”

“I wonder if he knows anything about John Mallison,” said Allen

“I don’t see what there is to know about him,” replied Dora
carelessly; “the man did his work well, and inveigled Carew to
America. When he returned my father recompensed him, as he says in his
confession. I dare say John Mallison is settled somewhere in England,
happy and content. Why do you ask, Allen?”

“I was thinking that failing Joad’s confession Mallison might know his
motive. Depend upon it, Dora, the reason is mixed up somehow with that
dark story of the past.”

“Well, well,” said Dora with a sigh, “we shall know all when Mr.
Carver comes. In the meantime, let us enjoy our present happiness.”

Mrs. Tice approved of this sentiment, and brought in tea. The two
lovers, with confidence restored between them, lingered over their
simple meal, and made plans for the future. It was after six before
they awoke to the fact that twilight was waning; and as Dora had to
return to the Red House on her bicycle, Allen suggested that she
should start at once. She demurred to this, as she was anxious to hear
the lawyer’s report of his interview with Joad, and while they were
arguing the matter Mr. Carver arrived.

For so unemotional a man, he seemed greatly excited, and shook hands
heartily with Dora, although he had seen her but a few hours before.
Mr. Carver explained the meaning of that second salute.

“I congratulate you, young lady,” he said heartily. “Through your
cleverness and tact we have found out the truth. You are a heroine,
Miss Carew.”

“Not Miss Carew,” interposed Allen brightly, “but Miss Dargill.”

“I beg your pardon,” said Mr. Carver in a stiff manner. “I am aware
that Mr. Edermont’s real name was Dargill, as you have no doubt learnt
from the manuscript. But this young lady—-”

“Is the daughter of your late client,” interrupted Dora. “Captain
Carew was not my father, Mr. Carver. I am the child of Julian
Edermont–or rather, Dargill.”

“In that case I congratulate you again, Miss Dora,” said Carver,
compromising the matter by calling her by her Christian name; “you can
now marry Dr. Scott, since your father did not kill his father.”

“Do you know that story?” asked Allen with a start.

“Oh dear, yes! I was told it by my late client. But he did not inform
me that this young lady was his daughter. I was always under the
impression that she was the child of Captain Carew, and the ward of
the late Mr. Dargill. Strange he should have kept that from me,” mused
the lawyer; “but I never yet knew a client to tell the whole truth.”

“But this is all very well,” broke in Dora. “What has Joad done–fled
to London?”

“No. He has been with me for the last two hours; and by this
time”–Mr. Carver glanced at his watch–“he is no doubt back in his

“Back in his cottage?” echoed the doctor. “Did he not make a

“Certainly. It was written out and signed in my presence, with two
witnesses–myself and one of my clerks–to testify to the signature.”

“Then he confesses the murder?”

“Oh dear me, no!” said Carver dryly; “he does nothing of the sort; but
he confesses as to who committed the murder.”

“Didn’t he do it himself?”

“No, Miss Dora, he did not. Our friend Joad is innocent; although,”
added the lawyer with an afterthought, “he may be described as an
accessory after the fact.”

“Then who killed my father?” cried Dora in blank amazement.

“Aha! that is a long, long story,” replied Carver with a nod. “All in
good time, my dear young lady. You tell me briefly what is contained
in the manuscript, and I shall supply the sequel. Thus,” added Mr.
Carver, rubbing his dry hands, “we shall arrive at a clear and logical
understanding of the whole complicated matter.”

Both lovers protested against this proposal, but Carver firmly refused
to speak a word until the gist of the manuscript was communicated to
him. In the end they were reluctantly compelled to give way to the
lawyer’s obstinacy, and postpone the satisfaction of their own
curiosity. Assisted by Allen, the young girl communicated all the
details, but succeeded little in moving the emotions of Mr. Carver.
Perhaps the sequel he referred to was more exciting than what they
told him. But on this point the pair had a speedy opportunity of

“It’s a queer story,” said Carver reflectively, “but I’ve heard
queerer. It is the sequel that is the odd thing about this. Here is a
man who for twenty years goes in dread of his life, and takes all
manner of precautions to look after it. Yet, a few days after he has
learnt that his enemy is dead and his life is safe, he is foully
murdered. I am not a superstitious man, Miss Dora, but I see the
finger of Fate in this. Your father was doomed to die a violent death,
and his lifelong fears were justified by the result.”

“But he was not killed by the man whom he expected to be his

“Quite true, Dr. Scott. He was killed by the man whom he did _not_
expect to be his murderer.”

“What do you mean?” cried Dora, rising. “Did my father know this man?”

“Intimately. He was the man who at one time saved Mr. Edermont from
being caught by Captain Carew.”

“You don’t mean John Mallison?” shouted Allen in wide-eyed surprise.
Mr. Carver nodded.

“That’s the man. He killed Edermont. You must admit that there is
something ironical in the fact?”

“I don’t understand it at all,” said Dora helplessly. “Will you be so
kind as to tell us how and why the crime was committed?”

“Willingly,” replied Carver, and commenced forthwith. “My late client,
as you know, went for years in fear of his life,” he said in his dry
way; “but shortly before the murder his fears were ended by a
communication from a Mr. Pallant. This gentleman told him that Captain
Carew had died in San Francisco, and as a reward for his intelligence
asked Mr. Edermont for a packet of letters written by Lady Burville to
her second husband. Mr. Edermont was unwilling to give them up, as he
saw that Pallant wanted to blackmail the unfortunate woman–your
mother, Miss Dora. He refused to comply with Mr. Pallant’s request,
and wrote to Lady Burville at Hernwood Hall, asking her to come to his
study in the Red House on the night of the second of August between
eleven and twelve o’clock, when he undertook to give her up the

“But why did he choose so late an hour?”

“Because he did not wish to compromise Lady Burville’s position;
nor did he wish Pallant to know. This letter he posted himself. But
Joad–who was afraid of losing his home with his patron, and thinking
something was wrong–obtained the letter in some way from the village
post-office, and made himself master of its contents. Those he
communicated to me as I have told them. So you see,” continued Mr.
Carter, “that Edermont expected a visit from Lady Burville on that
night. He also expected a visit from Scott.”

“Yes,” said Allen eagerly; “he wrote to me, and appointed almost the
same hour. But why?”

“I will tell you, doctor. He wished to give Lady Burville the letters,
but only conditionally that in your presence she admitted that Dora
was her child.”

“Oh! so he repented telling me that Carew killed my father?”

“No; but he repented letting you remain under the impression that Dora
was the child of your father’s murderer. That, as he knew, was a bar
to your marriage, and to do away with it he asked you to meet Lady

“But I did not meet her!”

“No; because you were late, and she would not wait. But let us
continue. Edermont also wrote a letter to Mallison, telling him that
now Carew was dead, and his fears at an end, he would no longer pay
him the pension he had hitherto allowed him. That letter was the cause
of his death.”

“But how?” asked Dora and Allen together.

“You shall hear. Joad, learning, as I have said, about the appointment
with Lady Burville, made up his mind to overhear the conversation.
He knew by the letter he had opened that the postern-gate and the
glass-door were to be left ajar, so about eleven o’clock he got into
the house that way.”

“Without being seen by Mr. Edermont?”

“Yes. Mr. Edermont at that moment was in his bedroom, so Joad slipped
through the study and hid in the darkness of the hall. Here he altered
the clock by putting it on an hour.”

“But why did he do that?”

“In case Edermont should suspect him the next day,” explained Carver;
“then he could prove an alibi by saying he was in his cottage. He did
this with success to clear himself of the murder, but primarily it was
to make himself safe in the eyes of Edermont.”

“Well, we know that he altered the clock. What happened then?”

“Lady Burville arrived, and Edermont, returning to the study, gave her
the letters. Joad, hidden behind the door, saw and heard all. Edermont
showed her the manuscript, which he took out of the bureau, and told
her he was going to burn it and alter his will. Afterwards, when Dr.
Scott did not come, she refused to wait, and went off. Edermont saw
her to the glass-door at the end of the deserted drawing-room. He left
the manuscript on the desk; and, seeing a way to get a hold over
Edermont, Joad stepped into the room during his absence and secured

“The scoundrel!” cried Dora excitedly. “Go on, Mr. Carver.”

“Hardly had Joad hidden himself again when Edermont came back in a
state of terror, with Mallison at his heels. Mallison reproached him
for cutting off his income, and swore he would obtain the manuscript,
which he knew was in the bureau, and reveal the whole story. He began
to pull out the drawers, smash the desk, and toss the papers all out.
Edermont raved and implored and threatened. Ultimately he took out a
pistol to shoot Mallison, in the extremity of his terror. Mallison, to
defend himself, caught the knobkerrie from the wall. The first barrel
of the revolver proved empty, and before Edermont could fire again,
Mallison killed him by smashing in his head with the club.”

“Horrible! And Joad?”

“When he saw the murder he rushed in, and tried to raise an alarm.
Mallison caught him by the throat, and swore he would kill him also if
he did not hold his tongue. Joad, in terror, promised to do so. Then
the clock struck one. Mallison looked at his watch and found it was
only twelve. Seeing a chance of proving an alibi for them both, he
dragged Joad out of the house into his cottage; and so he was safe. It
was shortly after they entered the cottage that Dr. Scott came down
the road. He entered, saw the evidence of the crime, and fled.”

“And why did Joad hold his tongue?”

“Because Mallison found out he had the manuscript, which Joad hid and
would not give up. He swore he would say that Joad had committed the
crime if he did not keep quiet. You can see for yourself the position
in which Joad was placed. Of two evils he chose the least, and held
his peace. But when he found that the manuscript was gone, he thought
Mallison had taken it, and, fearful for his life lest Mallison should
denounce him to gain the fifty thousand pounds, he came in to-day and
confided all to me.”

“I understand all,” said Dora–“all but one point. Who is John

“Why,” said Carver quietly, “none other than your polite friend, Mr.

And now that the mysterious criminal has been discovered, nothing
remains but to relate the end of some and the future of
others–meaning all those persons who, directly or indirectly, have
been connected in any way with the tragic death of Julian Edermont.

In the first place, Joad died of heart disease. This organ had been
affected for some considerable period, and he had always been told to
live quietly and to avoid excitement. For years he had taken this
advice, and had vegetated at the Red House; but the dread of what
Mallison might do to him, and the excitement of the subsequent arrest,
proved too much for him. He fell dead on his own doorstep on the very
night on which the murderer was arrested.

“Although,” said the _Morning Planet_, commenting on this event, “it
was perhaps as well that he did not live. He might have been arrested
for keeping silence as to his knowledge of the assassin. He was an
accessory after the fact, and in his terror he compounded a felony;
so, probably, if he had lived the law would have taken cognisance of
his behaviour. But as it was, Lambert Joad died worth fifty thousand
pounds. By the will of Julian Edermont, this amount was left to the
person who should bring his murderer to justice. Mr. Joad did this, as
it was through his instrumentality that the criminal Mallison, alias
Pride, was secured by the police. He was arrested in Joad’s cottage,
whither in the evening he had gone to see the old man, and owing to
the excitement of the struggle and subsequent capture, Joad fell dead
of heart disease. His gaining of the reward did him but little good.
But it will now go to his relatives, if he has any, and should prove a
lucky windfall for them.”

Although Lady Burville’s name was kept out of the papers, a rumour got
about that she was connected in some way with the case. Nothing very
definite was known as to how she was implicated, but it was hinted
that in some vague way the death was due to her influence. Alarmed at
this hint of publicity, and tired of being blackmailed by Pallant, the
little woman plucked up her small portion of courage, and confessed
the whole story to Sir John. Needless to say, the millionaire was
deeply shocked, but as he recognised that his wife was one of those
weak fools of women who bring trouble on themselves and on everyone
else, he forgave her. He trusted to the influence of his strong nature
to keep her in the right path for the future, and, indeed, as Laura
Burville had an assured position–for Sir John insisted upon marrying
her again after he knew that Carew was really dead–and plenty of
money, she had no temptation to behave badly. After the confession and
second marriage and forgiveness, she felt much happier than she had
done since the tragedy at Christchurch. Her fate was a better one than
she had a right to expect.

With Pallant, who knew that Lady Burville had not been actually
married, seeing that Carew still lived, when the first ceremony took
place, Sir John came to a compromise. He paid him a handsome sum of
money, for which he received a receipt. Then he turned the blackmailer
out of the house, made him leave England, and swore if he ever set
foot in London again that he would prosecute him for blackmailing. As
Pallant knew that Sir John was a man of his word, and, moreover, as he
had reaped a rich harvest by his blackguardly conduct, he willingly
went abroad. Ultimately he returned to San Francisco, and was shot in
a Chinese gambling shop while playing fan-tan. No one regretted him
when he died, and the only people who gave him a thought were the
Burvilles, who breathed more freely when they saw an account of the
tragedy. So Augustus Pallant was punished in the long-run for his many

And the still greater villain, John Mallison, came to his right end
also. He refused to admit his guilt, but, thanks to the evidence of
Meg Gance, who deposed as to the alteration of the clock, and to the
confession of Joad, he was arrested, and tried for the murder of his
quondam friend. The jury brought him in guilty, and he was condemned
to death. At the last moment he confessed that the charge was true.

“I did kill Julian Dargill,” he confessed, the night before his
execution, “and I am glad that I rid the world of the crawling little
ingrate. Twenty and more years ago I saved his life from the bullet of
Carew at the risk of my own. I took his name, and led Carew off to
America on a false trail; and had it not been for the dexterity with
which I avoided him, I should have been killed by my pursuer in
mistake for Dargill. And for this service Julian allowed me only a
paltry two hundred a year. I turned tutor and took the name of Pride
at Chillum to keep Dargill under my eye; and I had to have some excuse
for remaining in so dull a hole.

“Julian was afraid to tell me face to face that he intended to cut off
my pension. The coward wrote, although I was at Chillum at the time.
It was no coincidence that I was in the study between the visits of
Lady Burville and Scott. I learnt from Joad, who opened the letter to
Lady Burville, that Edermont expected those two at midnight on the
second of August. I wanted to go and taunt him before them with his
mean conduct. I did not intend to kill him, but only to taunt him, and
to get possession of the manuscript, so as to force him to continue my
pension. But he threatened me with a pistol, and in self-defence I
killed him. The blow was unpremeditated, but, since it killed him, I
refuse to say that I am sorry. I knew that Joad had secured the
manuscript, but he refused to give it up, and I could not find out
where he had hidden it. If I had secured the manuscript, no one would
have known that John Mallison was in existence, and I would then have
denounced Joad as the assassin and gained the fifty thousand pounds.
It was his belief that I had taken it instead of Miss Dora that made
him tell Carver the truth. But he is dead, too, the miserable traitor!
I shall have one satisfaction in going to the scaffold in knowing that
the man who injured me and the man who betrayed me have gone before.
Both their deaths, directly and indirectly, can be laid at my door.
I’m glad of it.”

As to Dora, there was some difficulty over her marriage–this time
through her own scruples about her birth. She reminded Allen of the
blot upon her life–that she had not even a right to the name of
Dargill, much less that of Carew. But Allen laughed away her scruples
and kissed away her tears, and swore that she should be his wife in
the spring. Dora yielded to his persuasions and to those of Mrs. Tice,
and surrendered herself to the full tide of happiness which was
bearing her along to a prosperous future. So all was settled, and then
came a final surprise from no less a person than Mr. Carver.

Shortly after Mallison, alias Pride, had paid the penalty of his
crime, the lovers were seated on the lawn of the Red House, under the
shadow of the mighty cedar. It was a quiet and beautiful evening, just
after sunset, and the sky was resplendent with colours like the hues
of a butterfly’s wing. Allen’s arm was round the waist of Dora, and
they were talking of their future.

“I think it will be best for you to come to Canterbury, Dora,” he was
saying. “After the tragedy which has taken place in this house, you
can never live in it without a shudder. Marry me, live in Canterbury,
and we will keep on Mrs. Tice as housekeeper.”

“But I lose what little fortune I have if I leave it,” remonstrated
the girl.

“What of that? I can give you a comfortable home, dearest. My practice
is increasing, and in a few years we shall be quite opulent. Give up
your father’s bequest, my own, and let us begin our new life without
dwelling within the shadow of a crime.”

While Dora was reflecting what answer to make, the gate opened–it was
never locked now–and Mr. Carver, as black as a raven and as lean as a
stick, made his appearance. He saw the couple on the lawn, and walked
directly towards them, with what was meant for a smile on his grim
face. Indeed, he had taken a great fancy to the young couple–to Dora
in particular–and they both welcomed him heartily.

“Well, my young friends,” said he, when the first greetings were over,
“I have come to learn your plans.”

“We were just making them,” said Dora with a blush. “Allen wants me to
give up the Red House and live in Canterbury when we are married.”

“I agree with him there, Miss Dora. The Red House is what the Scotch
call uncanny. I should not like to live in it myself, with the
knowledge that a brutal murder had been committed within its walls.”

“I feel the same as you do,” replied Dora. “All the same, if I give it
up I lose my poor two hundred a year, and shall go to Allen a pauper.”

“Dearest, as if that mattered! I can provide a home for you, and Mrs.
Tice shall look after it.”

“Be comforted, Miss Dora,” said Carver, smiling. “You will not go to
Allen a pauper. You are entitled to fifty thousand pounds–your
father’s money.”

“But why, Mr. Carver? I did not find out who killed my father.”

“No; but Joad did, and the money came to him. On the day that he made
his confession–as if anticipating his untimely end–he made his will,
and left all the money to you.”

“All the money to Dora?” cried Allen joyfully. “Then she inherits her
father’s money, after all!”

“Every penny of it,” replied Carver gravely; “and I’m glad to say so.”

“But–but can I take it?” said Dora in a hesitating manner.

“Tut, tut! Why not? You need have no compunction in doing so, my dear.
As your father’s daughter and sole offspring, he should have left it
to you. It has only passed through Joad’s hands on its way to your
pockets. Take it by all means. I kept the telling of this for you as a
pleasant surprise. Do not spoil my little plot by a refusal.”

“What do you say, Allen?”

“I say with Mr. Carver, my dear, take it–it is lawfully yours.”

“Then I shall accept it. Fifty thousand pounds! O Allen!” Dora flung
her arms round his neck. “You can go to London–we can take a house in
Harley Street–you can become a famous physician–and–and—-”

“And all your geese will be swans!” laughed Carver kindly.

But Allen did not laugh. He held Dora to his breast and kissed her.

“My dearest,” he said in a grave tone, “the money is not unwelcome;
but a greater gift has come to me than that–the gift of a
true-hearted, stanch woman, who will be a noble wife.”

“Hear, hear!” said Carver the misogamist. And so that disturbed
chapter in their lives came to an end.