The footprints of a man, parallel with the wall--marks which we will examine presently, and which I have already seen--prove that he only needed to make one stride to find himself in front of the vestibule window, left open by Daddy Jacques.
"What makes me think that?--Why these footprints, which I expected to find!" he cried, pointing to the sharply outlined imprint of a neat boot.
"Monsieur Fred, these neat footprints seem to have been made since the discovery of the crime."
Here, after looking at the marks of the bicycle, which followed, going and coming, the neat footprints, I thought I might intervene.
"Defective observation--defective observation!--the examination of the handkerchief, the numberless little round scarlet stains, the impression of drops which I found in the tracks of the footprints, at the moment when they were made on the floor, prove to me that the murderer was not wounded at all.
Had he had the necessary knowledge and the wit of eye-observance, he would have noted that the footprint was smaller than a man's and that the toeprints were different from a Mary's in that they were close together and did not press deeply into the earth.
A white man's footprints he had smelled, and through the maze of all the other prints he followed the one print down through a breach of sea-wall to the sea-pounded coral sand lapped by the sea.
From what we knew of von Schoenvorts, we would not have been surprised at anything from him; but the footprints
by the spring seemed indisputable evidence that one of Caprona's undeveloped men had borne off the girl I loved.
And well it might; for if the chain that bound a saint, and the footprints
a saint has left upon a stone he chanced to stand upon, be holy, surely the spot where a man gave up his life for his faith is holy.
In the mud along the bank the ape-man saw the footprints
of the two he sought, but there was neither boat nor people there when he arrived, nor, at first glance, any sign of their whereabouts.
Holmes, they were the footprints
of a gigantic hound!"
As he examined the newer spoor a tiny particle of earth toppled from the outer edge of one of the footprints
to the bottom of its shallow depression--ah, the trail was very fresh, his prey must have but scarcely passed.
But these others are not the footprints of man or woman or grey wolves or bears or lions, nor do I think they are the tracks of a rough- maned Centaur -- whoever it be that with swift feet makes such monstrous footprints; wonderful are the tracks on this side of the way, but yet more wonderfully are those on that.'
There were double tracks, and wonderful they were, such as one might marvel at, the doing of a clever sprite; for as for the cows, the dark dust kept and showed their footprints leading towards the flowery meadow; but he himself -- bewildering creature -- crossed the sandy ground outside the path, not on his feet nor yet on his hands; but, furnished with some other means he trudged his way -- wonder of wonders!
There is a saying in Footprints
, "Once a Footprint
always a Footprint
." That could not be truer.