Mr. Stanton Mowbray
was a very wealthy man, a
residing in that beautiful old mansion that has figured so much in
English history, Grangemoor Park.
He was a bachelor, spent most of the
year at home, and lived quietly enough.
According to the
evidence given, on the day
night of the
crime he received by the second post a single letter, the contents of
which evidently gave him a shock.
At ten o'clock at night he dismissed
the servants, saying that he had some important business matters to
into, and would be sitting up late.
He would require no attendance.
was supposed that after all had gone to bed he had admitted some person
to the house, for one of the servants was positive that she had heard
loud conversation at a very late hour.
Next morning, at a
quarter to seven o'clock, one
entering the room, found Mr. Mowbray lying on the floor, shot through
head, and quite dead.
Now we come to the curious circumstance of the
It was clear that after the bullet had passed out of the dead
head it had struck the tall clock in the room, right in the very centre
of the face, and actually welded together the three hands; for the
had a seconds hand that revolved round the same dial as the hour and
But although the three hands had become welded together
exactly as they stood in relation to each other at the moment of
yet they were free to revolve round the swivel in one piece, and had
stupidly spun round several times by the servants before Mr. Wiley
was called uponthe spot.
But they would not move separately.
Now, inquiries by
the police in the neighbourhood
led to the
London of a stranger who was identified by several persons as having
seen in the district the day before the murder, but it was ascertained
beyond doubt at what time on the fateful morning he went away by
If the crime took place after his departure, his innocence was
For this and other reasons it was of the first importance
fix the exact time of the pistol shot, the sound of which nobody in the
house had heard.
The clock face in the illustration shows exactly how
hands were found. Mr. Slyman was asked to give the police the benefit
his sagacity and experience, and directly he was shown the clock he
smiled and said:
"The matter is
You will notice
appear to be at equal distances from one another.
The hour hand, for
example, is exactly twenty minutes removed from the minute
the third of the circumference of the dial.
You attach a lot of
importance to the fact that the servants have been revolving the welded
hands, but their act is of no consequence whatever; for although they
were welded instantaneously, as they are free on the swivel, they would
swing round of themselves into equilibrium.
Give me a few moments, and
can tell you beyond any doubt the exact time that the pistol was fired."
Mr. Wiley Slyman
took from his pocket a notebook,
and began to
out. In a few minutes he handed the police inspector a slip of paper,
which he had written the precise moment of the crime.
The stranger was
proved to be an old enemy of Mr. Mowbray's, was convicted on other
evidence that was discovered; but before he paid the penalty for his
wicked act, he admitted that Mr. Slyman's statement of the time was
Can you also give
the exact time?