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Another Death

Another Death
It was a cold night. The wind was blowing hard. It blew dust and paper about in the dark London streets. Eugene Wrayburn looked idly out of his window the churchyard below. Dust and paper were blowing about there too. It looks as if the churchyard ghosts were rising from their graves,’ said Eugene ‘And this looks like one of the ghots now,’ Mortimer said as dark figure appeared ‘Who are you?’ he called to the man below. I’m looking for someone,’ a rough voice anwered. ‘Is one of you Lawyer Lightwood?’ ‘One of us is.’ All right. I’m here on buiness.’ The figure moved and a footstep was heard on the stairs. Mortimer opened the door and Eugene lit the candles. The man stood in the doorway holding an old, wet cap in his hands. Mortimer took a sep towards him. I’m Lightwood. Why do you want a lawyer?’ Sir, said the man in a low, rough voice, I want to take an oath. I want my words written down and signed as the truth. First tell me why you are here. It’s about a ten thousand pound reward. It’s about Murder.’ Sit down,’ said Lightwood. What’s your name? ‘Rogue Riderhood.’ ‘Where do you live and what is your work? By the river. On the river. Eugene leant back in his chair, smoking. His pen was ready and his eyes were on Riderhood as he began speaking. ‘Let this be written down. I give information that the man who
 done the Harmon Murder is Jesse Hexam. His hand done it and no other. Why do you say this? I know his ways. I was his partner. I’ve watched him for many long days and nights. I stopped working with him because I didn’t trust him. His daughter will tell you a different story, of course. She’ll tell any lie to save her father. You have no proof, said Lightwood Haven’t I ?’ cried Riderhood. But he told me he done it. Hexam told me himself. "I done it for his money. Don’t betray me." Those were his own words. Why didn’t you tell anyone this beforeľ asked Eugene. Why did you wait until a reward was offered Riderhood turned suddenly like an angry dog I want to forget the trouble. Why shouldn’t I have the money? Iant the reward. I tell you Hexam done it and I want him caught-tonight" There was silence I suppose we must ake this fellow to the police station, Lightwood said at last suppose we must. Eugene looked hard at Riderhood. You don t say that Hexam s daghter knew shout this? No, I don’t. All I know is his words to me "I done it." Those were his words. Riderhood led the way through the dark night. As they passed by Hexam’s house, Riderhood looked through the window. Hexam’s out. And his boat’s gone. But his daughter’s there, getting supper ready. He ll be back soon." At the police station, the same Inspector was there as before. When he had heard Riderhood s story, he stood up and put a pair of handcuffs in his pocket They went back to Hexam’s house and stood waiting by the riverside. Eugenie looked at the lighted window. He walked towards it. Lizzie was sitting by the fire, her hands over her

face. Eugene saw that she was crying. He made no noise, but suddenly Lizzie stood up. Eugene drew back into the shadows as she opened the door. ‘Father, was that you calling me?’ Lizzie cried out. ‘Father, Father The wind blew her words away and after a few minutes she went back into the house. Eugene moved quietly back and stood with the others .Time passed. The dark shapes of boatsmoved up and down the river. The tide was up now and the water was very near. They could see the river and they could see the house. It will be light at five, said the Inspector. He may be keeping away on purpose, said Riderhood. Why don’t I take my boat and have a look round? I know all his hiding-places.
More than an hour passed before Riderhood returned
Have you seen him? asked the Inapector ‘I’ve seen his boat. ‘what! Empty?’ ‘Yes, it’s caught berween two lines of berges. And one oar’s gone. Where is Hexam, then? ‘I can’t think. But he always was a cheat. I told you that. Come in my boat and see for yourselves." The wind beat the rain in their faces. They were shivering and wet and the old boat was low in the water. Riderhood kept near to the shore. Now tell me I’m a liar,’ he said at last, pointing to something between the barges. That is Hexam’s boat, said the Inspector. I know it well. Now I must have a look at that boat. That’s not so easy, said Riderhood, pulling was stretched tightly under the water. I must have that rope up, replied the Inspector. It was a slow and terrible kind of fishing. At last,the rope
came free. Riderhood leant over the side of the boat and gave a loud cry. By the Lord, he’s done me!’ What do you mean? they all asked. Look, it’s him. He is cheated me! They pulled together on the rope. Then Riderhood rowed back to the shore. They laid the body on the ground. The man had been dead some hours. Jesse Hexam lay strangled, his neck caught in his own rope. Father, was that you calling mel Fatherl Words never to be answered. Father, did you call me The wind moved the hair and the rain fell upon the dead, cold face.


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