"Mr. Fenley was shot dead on his own doorstep," continued Eliza. Shegave proper emphasis to the concluding words. That a man should bemurdered "on his own doorstep" was a feature of the crime thatenhanced the tragedy in the public mind. The shooting was bad enoughin itself, for rural England is happily free from such horrors; butswift and brutal death dealt out on one's own doorstep was a thing atonce monstrous and awe-compelling. [Pg 118]Eliza, perhaps, wondered why Mr.Trenholme flushed, but she fully understood the sudden blanching ofhis face at her tidings, for all Roxton was shaken to its foundationswhen the facts slowly percolated in that direction.
The mild radiance of the torch showed that the detective's face waswhite with fury and his eyes gleaming red. To think that a danglingrope's end should have spoiled his finest capture, undone a flawlesspiece of imaginative reasoning which his own full record had neverbefore equaled! It was humiliating, maddening. No wonder the policementhought him crazy! 2b1af7f3a8