Of course they will

A few months after the confession of Vaud and the end of the Tooley
Alley case, Fanks was seated with Louis Fellenger in the house of the
latter at Taxton-on-Thames. Louis had surrendered the estates to
Hersham, who was now known by his rightful title of Sir Gregory
Fellenger. Mrs. Boazoph was dead; Anne Colmer contemplated marriage
with the new Sir Gregory; and Mr. Fanks was having a chat with
Fellenger about the extraordinary matters in which they both had been
concerned.

“When did you get back to town, Fanks?” asked Louis, when they were
comfortably seated.

“Last week, old fellow. I have been enjoying myself in Italy, and I
assure you that I needed it after the wear and tear of the Tooley
Alley affair. I came down to have a chat with you about it.”

“I am glad you have. There are one or two points about those
confessions which I do not understand. That case was a hard nut to
crack, Fanks.”

Fanks looked up from the pipe he was filling. “Hard?” he echoed; “you
may well say that, Fellenger. I have had many hard cases in my time,
but the Tooley Alley mystery was the hardest a them all. The affair
of Monsieur Judas was difficult; so was the Chinese Jar Puzzle. The
Carbuncle Clue gave me some trouble; but all these were child’s play
compared to the mystery of your cousin’s death. I thought I should
never get a hold of the rope with which I designed to hang Vaud.”

“You didn’t hang him, however.”

“No; he managed to hang himself before his trial. I was not sorry,
poor devil.”

“Nor was I,” said Louis; “and I think that Vaud was mad when he killed
Gregory, mad with despair and grief at the end of Emma Calvert. The
old man has gone abroad, I hear.”

“Yes; I met him in Italy. He is quite broken down, as he was very
proud of his son Herbert. But he told me that he always thought
Herbert would do something rash, although he never suspected that he
killed Gregory. How could he when the young man conducted himself so
circumspectly? I don’t think Herbert was insane,” said Fanks,
decisively; “he acted too cleverly and cunningly for that. He killed
Gregory in cold blood with the greatest determination. Besides, look
at the measures he took to secure his safety. No, no, my friend; Vaud
was not mad.”

“Crate told me that you suspected him for some time before you found
out the truth.”

“Yes, I did. I suspected him without any evidence to go on. But he
protested so much, and behaved so queerly, that I thought he was the
man I wanted. All the same, as I had no evidence to go on, I held my
tongue until I was certain. When I left Binjoy ill at Mere Hall I
could think of no one so likely to have committed the crime as Vaud;
so, on the chance that Mrs. Boazoph would tell the truth, I sent Garth
for him. When he came into the room at the Red Star Mrs. Boazoph
spotted him at once. I knew that the woman was aware of the real
murderer. I saw that on the night the crime was committed. Her action
with the gunpowder gave me that tip.”

“And Mrs. Boazoph, alias Mrs. Bryant, alias Mrs. Fielding, alias
Madaline Garry, is dead also. I was sorry for that woman, Fanks.”

“So was I,” said the detective, promptly. “She had a hard time of it.
I don’t think that she was naturally bad, and in happier circumstances
she might have been a decent member of society. But look at the
training and misfortunes she had. Sir Francis, a fool of a first
husband, a brute of a second, and all the temptations at Tooley’s
Alley to contend against. I wonder she was as decent as she was. I am
a deal sorrier for her than for your friend Binjoy, who got off
scot-free.”

“Don’t call him my friend,” said Louis, with a shudder. “I hate the
very name of the man. It was only out of respect for my father that I
bore with him for so long. I was glad when he went away. Did you ever
see so insolent a confession as he made?”

“Oh, I was prepared for anything from a scoundrel like Binjoy. He gave
me a rub for myself; and so did his friend, Turnor. ‘Arcades Ambo.’
Blackguards both,” quoted Fanks, smiling. “But Hersham did not
remember him as he expected him to.”

“No, the present Sir Gregory, whom you will call Hersham, sent Binjoy
away pretty sharply, I can tell you. Binjoy and Turnor actually had
the cheek to call on him at Mere Hall, and ask him for money in order
to leave England; on the plea that their substantiation of Mrs.
Boazoph’s evidence had gained him the estate.”

“I think it was your decency in letting Hersham have the estates
without going into Court that made things so smooth, Fellenger. Do you
regret the loss?”

“No, I assure you I do not. I was satisfied that Hersham was truly the
heir; the evidence of that paper we found, and of Mrs. Boazoph, was
quite enough. I was glad to come back here, and go on with my
experiments in peace. I accepted a thousand a year from Hersham, which
he insisted on giving me; so you see I am fairly well off.”

“And you are good friends with Hersham–I beg his pardon–Sir Gregory
Fellenger, of Mere Hall, in the county of Hants?”

“I am excellent friends with him and with his future wife, Anne
Colmer. You know, of course, that they are going to be married in a
month or so, that is, if Mrs. Colmer does not die in the meantime?”

“From what I hear from Garth, it is likely that she will die,” said
Fanks. “I expect the poor woman will be glad to go now that she sees
her daughter will make a good marriage.”

“Garth came to see me the other day,” said Louis, “and he told me that
at one time he thought I had committed the crime.”

“I thought so, too,” said Fanks, quietly. “Mrs. Jerusalem did her best
to make me suspect you.”

“I am glad you found that I was guiltless. By the way, where is Mrs.
Jerusalem?”

“She is keeping house for Garth. I hear that Hersham gave Garth some
money, knowing how hard-up he was, so he has set up a house on the
strength of it. I don’t envy Garth his housekeeper.”

“Oh, she loves him in her own savage way,” said Louis, coolly. “I
daresay when he marries he will give her the go-by. I am sure she
deserves it for the double way in which she treated me. Then she will
go to the Union, or become an emigrant to America, like Messrs. Binjoy
and Turnor.”

“Why America?”

“She has a sister there. I wonder what those two scoundrelly doctors
are doing in the States?”

“Evil, you may be sure of that,” replied Fanks. “Let us hope that they
will be lynched some day. I am sure that they deserve it.”

“They do,” assented Fellenger. “I am sorry they did not get into
trouble.”

Fanks laughed. “That was certainly your own fault, my dear fellow,” he
said.

“Well, I was unwilling to prosecute for that blackmailing, because I
did not want the public to know more of our family scandal than was
necessary. I was sorry to let the blackguards go, but, after all, it
is best so. Don’t you think so yourself?”

“No, I don’t,” said Fanks. “You are too full of the milk of human
kindness, my dear Fellenger. I should have punished the rascals.”

“I am sure you would not if your family had been involved in such a
business. I am glad you kept so much from the public ear; there are
quite enough scandals as it is. Well, we have discussed the case a
good time, so suppose you come inside and have some luncheon.”

“I’m agreeable,” was Fanks’ reply, and he got up to follow his friend.
“By the way, can I take any message from you to Hersham and Miss
Colmer? I am going down to Mere Hall next week.”

“Tell them I hope they will ask me to dance at the wedding.”

“Of course they will. I shall dance also,” added Fanks, with a smile.
“I deserve to, for I danced enough after the evidence of this Tooley
Alley case. May I never have such another; it was more like a
detective novel than a story in real life. But it is over now, thank
Heaven. We have acted our several parts; the bad have been punished
and the good rewarded, so we can drop the curtain on the Tragedy of
Tooley’s Alley.”

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