Tales of Murder, for readers with time to kill!
The White Cell by Gregory Hay
Professional Sleuth

The White Cell

by Gregory Hay

Detective Story Magazine | Jan. 5, 1917 | Vol. 6, No. 1 THE RED FILE | Jan. 15, 2017 | Vol. 1 No. 3 Casefile No: 55ccf75fb3901011515aef13

When Mr. Ivor's second son is found dead, dressed in a blue robe, exactly one year after his elder brother was found in the same atire and location, can Demers uncover what evil mind is taunting Ivors?

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Table of Contents
  1. DEMERS’ MYSTERY
  2. THE INVESTIGATION
  3. MR. IVORS’ OAKS
  4. EDMUND WYNN
  5. IN THE INTEREST OF HARRISON IVORS
  6. WYNN’S STORY
  7. THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF SIN

Chapter 1

Demers’ Mystery

I had been installed as curate at Cowleton only about six months when, after a long day’s tramp over the moors, where I had been visiting the parishioners, I returned to my lodgings to find awaiting me a telegram from my old friend Demers, who was still on the staff of the Morning Call. The message read:

Come at once. Interesting case on hand.

Demers.

It was Monday evening, and I was free for the week, so I scribbled a note to the vicar, replaced my clericals with a tweed suit, took my automatic pistol—the one presented to me after the solution of the Silver Bullet case—and made for the station.

Demers, short, fat, jolly, and busy as ever, met me at Waterloo, and we took a cab to Mount joy Hill, where he and I had roomed together for nearly three years. It was late, and Demers was on an important assignment for the morning issue, so he soon left me and I turned in.

The next morning at breakfast, Demers gave me an outline of his “interesting case,” and I found that even his enthusiasm did not overestimate the interest of it. We had been boyhood chums; we had lived together in London after Demers, by his wonderful work in distancing Scotland Yard in the solution of the Explosive Pearl case, had secured his present place on the Call, and we had traced together the intricacies of crime in a number of causes celebres, but none had more mysterious features than the one which had now been assigned to him to unravel.

“That’s all we have to go on, so far. But Mr. Ivors is coming at ten, and he will tell you the whole thing, and then you will understand it better.”

As he spoke, the bell rang, and we heard Mrs. Gammie letting in a visitor. We went across the hall to the room which Demers had fitted up as a chemical laboratory, and it was there that I first saw Mr. Harrison Ivors. Demers removed a box of test tubes from the only chair, and begged his visitor to be seated. I found a place on a trunk, and Demers perched on the edge of the sink. Mr. Ivors was a man of about forty-five, tall and distinguished in appearance, naturally of a nervous temperament, now accentuated by the evident strain under which he was laboring, but with such self-command that he was able to tell his story with a straightforward simplicity. His quiet voice and manner showed him to he a person of culture, and he gave evidence of being a man of very strong will.

“Two years ago,” he began, “my eldest son, Gerald, was found dead on the morning of his fifteenth birthday. The night before, he had gone to a party, given by a cousin, in honor of the event, and his mother and I supposed he had decided to stay all night. We found afterward that he had made some excuse to leave his cousin’s house before midnight. In the morning, his body was found lying at the foot of an oak tree in my grounds, clothed in a woman’s silk dressing gown, tied about the waist with a piece of greenish-yellow whipcord. There was absolutely, no sign of a wound or of poison, and he lay quietly, as though asleep. We never learned how or why he died.

“Yesterday morning, the tragedy was repeated in the person of my youngest son, Jack, and again it was on the morning of his birthday. I had become acquainted with the great success Mr. Demers has had in solving such problems, and I have put the case in his hands. I implore you and your friend, if he will be so good, to help me, and bring to justice, if there be such a thing as justice for such diabolical crimes, the fiend who has murdered my sons. Expense does not matter, and I give you a free hand in every way.”

Demers sat silent for some minutes. Presently he washed out a new test tube, carefully shaped a spatula from a piece of cedar, and selected a stick of wax. “Well, perhaps we’d better take a look over the ground first, Mr. Ivors, and if you will show us the way, we will start at once.’”

As we drove through the busy streets, Demers asked him if Jack had been found dressed in the same sort of silk dressing gown as Gerald had worn, and was answered, “Yes.”

The carriage stopped at Mr. Ivors’ gate. The house stood far in from the street, and was approached by a gravel walk which wound in and out among beds of flowers. Along the street was a high iron fence with a spiked top, and the sides and back were enclosed by a stone wall at least eight feet high. To the left of the entrance gate stood a group of oaks, and Mr. Ivors was leading us toward them to point out the exact spot where his boys had been laid, but Demers held us back.

~ End of Sample ~


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