I felt a strong uneasiness in leaving Cross to deal with the police and the deceased suitor on his own. The body was lying in the entranceway of my rooms, after all. But, Cross assured me that he was quite comfortable dealing with the delicate situation on his own. “Besides, dear Martin, you’re most needed elsewhere,” he said, the familiar glint in his eye shining up at me. He leaned back against the couch in my sitting room, there was no pained expression on his face, but his face had no color.
After I left word with the police that they should make their way to my address, I headed to the Adell estate. Though I’m sure I should have quickened my pace, I could not make myself move any faster. My heart might have been pounding with the increased adrenaline of someone panicked enough to sprint, but, no matter how hard I wished to make my body move faster, it would not.
I had no earthly idea what I was going to say to Miss Adell. I had no earthly idea what I was looking for when I finally did reach the Adell estate. More than anything, I wished Cross were with me now. Or, at the very least, I wish he had told me what his suspicions were, so that I might prepare myself for what I might be walking into. Other lives were at risk, that’s what he said. Did he mean Miss Adell? Or, her father? Perhaps both?
One of the most insufferable qualities of Cross’s character was his frugal nature in doling out his information. I don’t know if he was deliberately obtuse and unwilling to share what he knew or if he unfairly expected everyone to automatically understand the same information in the same manner as himself. Either way, all it meant was, Cross had some inkling as to what was going on while the rest of us did not. And, as I am sure that I’m not more dense than my neighbors in intuition and comprehension, it can only mean that Cross had an uncanny ability to see all ends which might be obscured to the rest of us.
For all the distraction that dwelling on Cross’s character provided, it did nothing to prevent me from finding the Adell estate. And well before I’d like to, I was presently about to deal with a situation that I knew nothing whatsoever about. Yet again, I was soon to be standing in front of Miss Mary Adell, searching, vainly, for a way to impart the seriousness of something that concerned her.
The last time I struggled, to no avail, to find a way of warning her about her chosen suitor and his dangerous behavior. Last time, all I had were strong convictions and very little proof. This time, all I had were Cross’s strong convictions and even less proof. How was I to make Miss Adell understand that, though her treacherous suitor was not around, her life could still be in danger? How was I to tell Miss Adell that her suitor would never be coming back?