Some of the members were one evening seated
together in their
in the Adelphi.
Those present were: Henry Melville, a barrister not
overburdened with briefs, who was discussing a problem with Ernest
Russell, a bearded man of middle age, who held some easy post in
House, and was a Senior Wrangler and one of the most subtle thinkers of
Fred Wilson, a journalist of very buoyant spirits, who had
real capacity than one would at first suspect;
John Macdonald, a
Scotsman, whose record was that he had never solved a puzzle himself
since the club was formed, though frequently he had put others on the
track of a deep solution;
Tim Churton, a bank clerk, full of cranky,
unorthodox ideas as to perpetual motion; also Harold Tomkins, a
prosperous accountant, remarkably familiar with the elegant branch of
mathematics—the theory of numbers.
Suddenly Herbert Baynes entered the room, and
everybody saw at
his face that he had something interesting to communicate. Baynes was a
man of private means, with no occupation.
"Here's a quaint little poser for you all," said
it to-day from Dovey."
Dovey was proprietor of one of the many private
found it to their advantage to keep in touch with the club.
"Is it another of those easy cryptograms?" asked
so, I would
suggest sending it upstairs to the billiard-marker."
"Don't be sarcastic, Wilson," said
"Remember, we are
to Dovey for the great Railway Signal Problem that gave us all a week's
amusement in the solving.
"If you fellows want to hear," resumed Baynes,
"just try to
while I relate the amusing affair to you.
You all know of the jealous
little Yankee who married Lord Marksford two years ago?
and her husband have been in Paris for two or three months.
poor creature soon got under the influence of the green-eyed monster,
formed the opinion that Lord Marksford was flirting with other ladies
"Now, she has actually put one of Dovey's spies on
husband of hers; and the myrmidon has been shadowing him about for a
fortnight with a pocket camera.
A few days ago he came to Lady
in great glee.
He had snapshotted his lordship while actually walking
the public streets with a lady who was not his wife."
"'What is the use of this at all?' asked the
"'Well, it is evidence, your ladyship, that your
I know where she is staying, and in a few days shall have
out all about her.'
"'But, you stupid man,' cried her ladyship, in
tones of great
'how can any one swear that this is his lordship, when the greater part
of him, including his head and shoulders, is hidden from
And—and'—she scrutinized the photo
carefully—'why, I guess it is
impossible from this photograph to say whether the gentleman is walking
with the lady or going in the opposite direction!'
"Thereupon she dismissed the detective in high
just returned from Paris, and got this account of the incident from her
He wants to justify his man, if possible, by showing that the
photo does disclose which way the man is going.
Here it is. See what
fellows can make of it."
Our illustration is a faithful drawing made from
It will be seen that a slight but sudden summer shower is the real
of the difficulty.
All agreed that Lady Marksford was
right—that it is
determine whether the man is walking with the lady or not.
"Her ladyship is wrong," said Baynes, after
everybody had made
"I find there is important evidence in the picture. Look at
"Of course," said Melville, "we can tell nothing
may be the front or the tails. Blessed if I can say!
Then he has his
overcoat over his arm, but which way his arm goes it is impossible to
"How about the bend of the legs?" asked Churton.
"Bend! why, there isn't any bend," put in Wilson,
glanced over the
"From the picture you might suspect that his lordship
has no knees.
The fellow took his snapshot just when the legs happened
be perfectly straight."
"I'm thinking that perhaps——"
Macdonald, adjusting his
"Don't think, Mac," advised Wilson.
"It might hurt
Besides, it is no
use you thinking that if the dog would kindly pass on things would be
easy. He won't."
"The man's general pose seems to me to imply
movement to the
"On the contrary," Melville declared, "it appears
suggest movement to the right."
"Now, look here, you men," said Russell, whose
opinions always carried
respect in the club.
"It strikes me that what we have to do is to
consider the attitude of the lady rather than that of the man.
attention seem to be directed to somebody by her side?"
Everybody agreed that it was impossible to say.
"I've got it!" shouted Wilson. "Extraordinary that
none of you
it. It is as clear as possible.
It all came to me in a flash!"
"Well, what is it?" asked Baynes.
"Why, it is perfectly obvious.
You see which way
the dog is
Now, Baynes, to whom does the dog belong?"
"To the detective!"
The laughter against Wilson that followed this
boisterous, and so prolonged that Russell, who had at the time
of the photo, seized the opportunity for making a most minute
In a few moments he held up his hands to invoke silence.
"Baynes is right," he said.
"There is important
settles the matter with certainty.
Assuming that the gentleman is
Lord Marksford—and the figure, so far as it is visible, is
his I have
no hesitation myself in saying that"
"Stop!" all the members shouted at once.
"Don't break the rules of the club, Russell,
"Recollect that 'no member shall openly disclose his solution
to a puzzle unless all present consent.'"
"You need not have been alarmed," explained
to say that I have no hesitation in declaring that Lord Marksford is
walking in one particular direction.
In which direction I will tell you
when you have all 'given it up.'"