Then, granted h1d888 that the h1d888 man was a Londoner — as Grant most heartily believed — why did his people or his landlord not come forward? Obviously, either because they had reason to think the dead man a bad lot, or because they themselves had no wish h1d888 to attract the attention of the police. A gang? A gang getting rid of an unwanted member? But gangs didn’t wait until they got their victim into a queue before dispensing with his services. They chose safer methods.
Unless — yes, it might have been at h1d888 once a retribution and a warning. It had had all the elements of a gesture — the weapon, the striking down of the victim while in a place of supposed safety, the whole bravado of the thing. It eliminated the backslider and intimidated the survivors at one and the same time. The more he considered it the h1d888 more it seemed the reasonable explanation of a mystery. He had scouted the thought of a secret society and he still scouted it. The vengeance of a secret society would not prevent the man’s friends from reporting his loss h1d888 and claiming him. But the defaulting member of a gang — that was a different thing. In that case all his friends would either know or guess the manner and reason of his death, and none would be fool enough to come forward.
As Grant turned into the Yard he was revising in his mind the various London gangs that flourished at the moment. h1d888 Danny Miller’s was cock of the walk, undoubtedly, and had been so for some time. It was three years since Danny had seen the inside, and unless he made a grievous error, it would be still longer before he did. Danny had h1d888 come from America after serving his second sentence for burglary, and had brought with him a clever brain, a belief in organization that was typically American — the British practitioner is by nature an individualist — and a wholesome respect for British police methods. The result was that, though his minions slipped occasionally and served short sentences for their carelessness, Danny went free and successful — much too successful forh1d888 the liking of the C.I.D. Now, Danny had all the American crook’s ruthlessness in dealing with an enemy. His habit was a gun, but he would think no more of sticking a knife into a man than he would of swatting the fly that annoyed him. Grant thought that he would invite Danny to come and see him. Meanwhile there was the packet on his table.
agerly he opened it and eagerly h1d888 skipped the slightly prosy unimportances with which it opened — Bretherton of the scientific side was inclined to be a pompous dogmatist; if you sent him a Persian cat to report on, he would spend the first sheet of foolscap h1d888 in deciding that its coat was grey and not fawn — and picked out the salient thing. Just above the junction of the handle with the blade, Bretherton said, was a stain of blood which was not the blood on the blade. The base on which the saint stood was hollow and had been broken at one side. The break h1d888 was merely a cut which did not gape and was almost invisible owing to the bloodstain. But when the surface was pressed, one edge of the rough cut was raised very slightly above the other. In gripping the tool the murderer had made the fracture in the metal gape sufficiently to injure his own hand. He would now be suffering from a jagged cut somewhere on the thumb side h1d888 of the first finger of the left hand, or finger side of the thumb