The message I just now sent by Ham was one addressed to the Home Secretary, telling him on no account to let Cibras die to-morrow. He well knows my name, and will hardly be silly enough to suppose me capable of using words without meaning.
You remember I took from your hands the newspaper containing the earl's letter to Cibras, in order to read it with my own eyes. I had my reasons, and I was justified. That letter contains three mistakes in spelling: "here" is printed "hear," "pass" appears as "pas," and "room" as "rume." Printers' errors, you say?
'No, but that may have been because his death intervened. 'And in the old will, was Mdlle. Cibras provided for? 'Yes, that at least was correct. A shadow of pain passed over his face. 'And now, I went on, 'I come to the closing scene, in which one of England's foremost men perished by the act of an obscure assassin. The letter I have read was written to Maude Cibras on the 5th of January.
So that many points remain mysterious. What part did the burglars play in the tragedy? Were they in collusion with Cibras? Had the strange behaviour of at least one of the inmates of Orven Hall no hidden significance? The wildest guesses were made throughout the country; theories propounded. But no theory explained all the points. The ferment, however, has now subsided.
However that be, Randolph writes to Cibras a violent woman, a woman of lawless passions assuring her that in four or five days she will be excluded from the will of his father; and in four or five days Cibras plunges a knife into his father's bosom.
When I had read Lord Pharanx's letter, he took the paper eagerly from my hand, and ran his eyes over the passage. 'Tell me the end, he said. 'Maude Cibras, I went on, 'thus invited to a meeting with the earl, failed to make her appearance at the appointed time.
It is clear that he did not expect it to occur when it did by the hand of Maude Cibras for this is proved by his knowledge that she had left the neighbourhood, by his evidently genuine astonishment at the sight of the closed window, and, above all, by his truly morbid desire to establish a substantial, an irrefutable alibi for himself by going to Plymouth on the day when there was every reason to suppose she would do the deed that is, on the 8th, the day of the earl's invitation.
I read as follows: "Dear Mdlle. Cibras, I am exerting my utmost influence for you with my father. But he shows no signs of coming round as yet. If I could only induce him to see you! But he is, as you know, a person of unrelenting will, and meanwhile you must confide in my loyal efforts on your behalf.
When, in conjunction with this, we recall the fact that during the intrigues with Cibras the lectures were discontinued, and again resumed immediately on her unlooked-for departure, we arrive at the conclusion that the means by which Lord Pharanx's death was expected to occur was the personal presence of Randolph in conjunction with the political speeches, the candidature, the class, the apparatus.
There had been some burglaries in the neighbourhood, and the suspicion at once arises in the mind of the crude reasoner: Could Randolph finding now that Cibras has "left the country," that, in fact, the tool he had expected to serve his ends has failed him could he have thus brought those jewels there, and thus warned the servants of their presence, in the hope that the intelligence might so get abroad and lead to a burglary, in the course of which his father might lose his life?