The lee rail, where the dead man lay, was buried in the sea, and as the schooner lifted and righted the water swept across the deck wetting us above our shoe-tops.
They elevated the end of the hatch-cover with pitiful haste, and, like a dog flung overside, the dead man slid feet first into the sea.
A grim smile touched his lips as he withdrew the weapon from the rugs and placed it carefully in the right hand of the dead man, fixing three of the fingers around the grip and the index finger inside the trigger guard.
This, and Allah, are our witnesses," and they pointed to a revolver in the dead man's hand.
They all three talked together in whispers, the attendant telling them the few incidents of the journey down, which, except for the dead man's nervous desire for solitude, seemed to possess very little significance.
The papers upon the table before the dead man were simply circulars and prospectuses of no possible importance.
Without your aid," continued he, repeating the count's words "I should have been a dead man
-- thrice dead."
The sergeant picked up a card which lay beside the dead man on the floor.
The dead man's right arm was thrust out from his dressing gown, and exposed as high as the elbow.
At first I had supposed "the dead man
's chest" to be that identical big box of his upstairs in the front room, and the thought had been mingled in my nightmares with that of the one-legged seafaring man.
There is no doubt in my mind, there can be no doubt in the mind of any one, that he was a dead man
before ever we got to the empty cottage, and worked with might and main to tear down the beam.
I think that we are both agreed, Inspector that the fragment of paper in the dead man's hand, bearing, as it does, the very hour of his death written upon it, is of extreme importance."
Now, in this case there was not the slightest doubt in my mind from the first that the key of the whole matter must be looked for in the scrap of paper in the dead man's hand.
The dead man
and the living man ex- changed a long look.
He checked his first impulse to ring the bell, and looked carefully on the table for some note or message from the dead man
. He found it almost at once - a large envelope in Duson's handwriting.