OCR Interpretation


The daily press. (White Plains, N.Y.) 1929-????, April 08, 1929, Image 13

Image and text provided by White Plains Public Library

Persistent link: http://dev.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn2001062090/1929-04-08/ed-1/seq-13/


Thumbnail for 13
TTUtPHONr 9 2 Q0 THE DAILY PRESS, WHITE PLAINS. N. Y., MONDAY. APRIL 8,1929 9200 A Thrilling Detective Story The Greene Murder Case B t S. S. Van Dine chapter x. Tho dsy after we had taken leave of Markham at hi* office the rigor of tho weather suddenly relaxed. The aun came out. and the thermo ­ meter rose nearly thirty degrees. Toward night of Jho second day,- however, a One, damp snow began to fall, spreading a thin white blan ­ ket over the city; but around eleven the skies were again clear. I mention these facts because they had a curious bearing on the second crime at the Oreene man ­ sion. Footprints again appeared on the front walk; and, na a result of the clinging softness of the snow, the police also found tracks In the lower hall and on the marble stairs. Vance hod spent Wednesday and Thursday In hla library reading desultorily. He was restless and distracted, and his long silences st dinner (which we ate together In the living-room before the great log •Hro) told mo only too clearly that' something wan perturbing him. Moreover, he had sent notes can ­ celling several social engagements, and hod given orders to Currie, his valet and domestic factotum, that he was •■out\ to callers. As he sat sipping his cognac at the end of dinner on Thursday nlght, his eyes idly tracing tho forms In the Renoir Belgneusa above the mantel, he gave voice to his thoughts. •••Pon my word. Von. I can't aljoko the atmosphere of that dam, nablc house. Markham Is probably rigbt In refusing to tako the mat ­ ter seriously — one can't very well chivy a bereaved family simply be ­ cause I'm oversensitive. And yet — that Greene murder Is haunting my slumbers liko a lamia. And tha business Isn't over yet. There's a horrible incompleteness about, wbat'a already occurred . . It was scarcely eight o'clock on the following morning when Mark ­ ham brought us the news of tlio second Greene tragedy. I had risen early, and was hating my coffee In the library when Markham came In. brushing past the astonished Currie with only a curt nod. \Get Vanco out right away — will you. Van Dine?\ he began, without even a word of greeting. \Some ­ thing serious has happened.\ I hastened to fetch Vance, who grumbllngly slipped Into a camera- hair dressing-gown and came leis ­ urely Into the library. \My dear Markham:\ he re ­ proached the District Attorney. \Why pay your social calls ITKtho middle of the night?\ «n?iXhls isn't a social call.\ Mark ­ ham told him tartly. ..^Chester Greene has been murdered.\ “ Ah:\ Vanco rang for Currie, and lighted a cigarette, \doffee for two and clothes for one.\ he or ­ dered. when the man appeared. Then he sank Into a chair before the Ore ar.U gavo Markham a wag ­ gish look. \That same unique burg ­ lar. I suppose. Aperevcrln' lad. Did the family plain disappear ihi, ■ Markham gave a mirthless laugh. \No tho piste's intact; and I think we can now eliminate the burglar theory- I'm afraid your premonitions were correct — damn your uncanny faculty:\ \Pour out your heart-breakln' story.\ Vance, for all his levity. stood M^ard outside the' great Iron gates .and a plain-clothes man lounged on the front steps beneath the arched doorway. Heath was In the drawing-room talking earnestly to Inspector Mo­ ran, who had just arrived; and two men from the Homicide Bureau stood by the window awaiting or ­ ders. The house was peculiarly cl ­ ient; no member of the family was The Sergeant cams forward at once. His usual ruddiness of of complexion was gone and his eyes wero troubled. He shook hands with Markham, and then gave Vance a look of friendly welcome. : “ You had the right dope. Mr. Vance. Somebody's ripping things wide open here; and It Isn't swag they're after.\ Inspector Moran Joined us, and again the handshaking ceremony took place. \This case is going to stir things up considerably.\ he said. \And we're In for an unholy scandal If wo don't dean It up quickly.\ The worried look In Markham' eyes deepened. The sooner we get to work. then, the better. Are you going to lend a hand. Inspector?\ \Ttiere'o no need, I think,\ Mo ­ ran answered quietly. \I'll leave the police end entirely with Sergeant Heath; and now that you — and Mr. Vance — are here. I'd be of no use.\ He gavo Vanco a pleasant smile, and mode his adieus. \Keep In touch with me. Sergeant, and ui all the men you want.\ When he hod gone Heath gai a the details of the crime. At about half past eleven, after the family and the servants had tired, the shot was fired. Slbella reading In bed at the tlmo and d It distinctly. She rose Im ­ mediately, and. after listening for several moments, stole up the ser ­ vants' stairs — the entrance to which was but a few feet from her door. She wakened, the butler, and tho two of them went to Chester ’ s room. The door was unlocked, and the lights In the room were burning. •one wns Bitting, slightly a choir near tho desk, it to him, but he saw •d. and Immediately left . locking tho door. He then telephoned to the pollco and to Doctor Von Blon. \I got here before Von Blon did,\ Heath explained. \The doctor was out again when the buUer phoned, and didn't get tho message till nearly one o'clock. I was damn glad of It, because It geve me a chance to check up on the foot ­ prints outside. The minute I turned In at the gate I could see that somebody had com* and gone, the same as last time; and 1 whist ­ led for the man on the best to guard the entrance until Snltkln arrived. Then I come on In. keep ­ ing along the edge of the walk; — 1 the first thing I noticed when butler opened the door waa a !o puddle of water on tho rug In e hall.. Somebody had re ­ dly tracked tho soft snow I found a coupla other puddles in the hall, and there tre some wot Imprints on the rps leading upstairs. Flvo min ­ es later Snltkln gave mo tho sig ­ nal from tha street, and 1 put him w 9 rk on th* footprints outside, he tracks were plain, and Snltkln as able to get some pretty accu- Ue measurements. ” After 6n!tkin had been put to ork on tho footprints, the Ser- rant. It seemed, went up-otalra to Chester's room and made an ex- nation. But he found nothing aual. aside from the murdered i in the choir, and after half hour descended again to the dining-room, where Slbella and Sprnot were waiting He hod Just his questioning of them Doctor Von Blon arrived, took him up-stalrs.\ sold Heath, \and he looked at the body. He seemed to want to slick around. I told him he ’ d be In the way. he talked to Miss Greene out for five or ten minutes, given wey to an almost \It was Sproot who phoned the news to Headquarters a little be ­ fore midnight. The operator In the Homicide Bureau caught Heath at home, and the Sergeant was at the Greene house inside of half an hour. He's there now — phoned me at seven this morning. I told him I'd hurry out, so I didn't get many details over the wire. All I know Is that Chester Grceno was fatally ■hot lost night.at almost the exact hour that the former shootings oc ­ curred — a llttlo after half past eleven.\ \Was he In his own room at the time?\ Vance was pouring tho cof- fee which Currie had brought In. \I believe fleeth did mention he was found In hi* bedroom. ” \Shot from the front?\ \Yes through the heart, at very iloso range.\ \Very Interestin'. A duplication of Julia's'death, as It were.\ Vance became reflective. “ So the old louse has claimed another victim. But why Chester? . . . Who found film. Incidentally?\ \Slbella. I think Heath said. Her room, you remember, la next to Chester's, and the shot probably roused her. But we'd better be going.\ . \Am I lnvttgd?\ “ I wish you would come.\ Mark- bun made no effort to hide his de ­ ll re to have tho other ac'com|Tany \Oh. I hod every Intention of do ­ ing so, don't y' know.\ And Vance -eft the roomvbniptly to get dressed. It took the District Attorney's .car but a few minutes to reach the Oreene mansion from Vance's la. East 38th street. A patrolman l left.\ Shortly after Doctor Von departure two other men from tho Homicide Bureau arrived, and the next two houl-s''*-ero spent In Inter ­ rogating yfo member* of tho house ­ hold. But nobody, except Slbella ad ­ mitted even hearing the shot. Mrs. Greene was not questioned. When Miss Craven, the nurse, who slept on the third floor, was sent In to her. she reported that the old lady was sleeping soundly; and the Ser ­ geant decided not to disturb her. Nor was Ada awakened; accord ­ ing to tho nurse, tho girl had been aaieep since nine o'clock. Rex Greene, however, when In ­ terviewed. contributed one vogue and. as It seemed, contradictory bit of evidence. Ho had boon lying awake, he sold, at the time the snowfall ceased, which was a little after eleven. Then, about ten min , utes later, ho hod imagined he beud a faint shuffling noise In the hall and the sound of a door clos ­ ing softly. Ho hod thought noth ­ ing of it, and only recalled It when pressed by Heath. A quarter of an £? Ur V t J' rW ’ . ard ho h,d l°°ked at i. — then twenty-five guard, and set the machinery of hi* lay down his book', but sot back In office In operation. Ha had re- 1 turned to the Greene mansion early that morning, and waa now waiting for the Medical Examiner, the finger-print expert*, and the of ­ ficial photographer. He bad given orders for the servants to remain In their quarters, and had Instruct ­ ed Sproot to serve breakfast to all the members of the family In their own rooms. 'This thing ’ s going to take work, sir.\ he concluded. \And If* going to be .touchy going, too.\ Markham nodded gravely, and glanced toward Vance, whoee eyes were resting moodily on on old oil- pointing of Tobias Greene. 'Docs this new development help co-ordinate any of your former Im ­ pressions?\ he asked. \It at least substantiate* the feel ­ ing I had (hat this old house reeks with a deadly poison.\ Vance re ­ plied. \This thing Is liko a witches' sabbath.\ He gave Markham a hu ­ morous smile. \I'm beginning to think your task Is going to take on the nature or exorcising devils.\ Markham grunted. •Til leave the magic potion* to you . . . Sergeant, supposo we take a look at the body before the. Medical Examiner gets here.\ Heath led the way without a word, . When we reached the head of the stair* ho took a key from bis pocket and unlocked the door of Chester's room. The clectrlo light* were still burning — elckly yellow disks tn the gray daylight which Altered In from the window* above the river. The room, long and narrow, con ­ tained an anachronistic assortment of furniture. It was a typical man's apartment, with an air of comfort ­ able unlidlneM. Newspapers and sports magazines cluttered the table and desk; ash-tray* were everywhere: an open cellaret stood In one corner; and a collection of golf-clubs lay on the tapestried Chesterfield. The bed. I noticed, had not been slept In. In the centre of the room, be- neath ' an old-fashioned cut-glass chandelier, was a Chippendale \kneehole\ desk, beelde which stood a sleepy-hollow chair. It was In this chair that the body of Chester Greene, clad in a dressing gown ahd slipper*, reclined. He waa slumped a little forward, the head turned (lightly back and resting | against the tufted upholstery. The ! light from the chandelier cast a spectral Illumination on his face; and the sight of It laid a'spell of horror on me. The eyes, tioimally prominent, now eeemed.to be pro- tudlng from their sockets In a stare of unutterable amazement: and the sagging chin and flabby parted lips intensified this look of terrified wonder. Vance was studying the dead man's features latently.' \Would you **y. Sergeant.\ he asked, without looking up. \that Chester and Julia sew the same thing as they passed from this Heath coughed' uneasily. \Well.\ he admitted, \something surprised them, and that'* a fact.\ \Surprised them: Sergeant, you should thank your Maker that you are not cursed with an Imagination. The whole truth of this fiendish business Use In those bulbous eyes and that gaping moutb. Unlike Ada, both Julia and Chester saw the thing that menaced them; and it left them stunned and aghast.\ \Well .we can't get any Informa ­ tion outa them.\ Heath's practi ­ cality as usual was uppermost. \Not oral Information, certainly.\ \Come come. Vance. Be tan ­ gible.\ Markham epoke with acer ­ bity. \Wljat ’ s In your mind? ” \ 'Pon my word. I don't know. It ’ s too vague.\ He leaned over and picked up a small book from the floor just beneath where the dead man's hand hung over the arm of the chair. “ Chester apparently was Immersed In literature at the time of his taking off.\ He opened the book casually. 'Hydrotherapy and Constipation.' Yes, Chester was Just tjie kind to worry about his colon. Some one probably told him that Intestinal stasis Interfered with the proper etance. He's no doubt clearing the asphodel from the BLyslan fields at the present momem preparat'ry to laying out a golf-course.\ became suddenly serious. chair relaxed. Why? Because the murderer was some one Chea ­ ter knew — and trusted! And when the gun ws* suddenly brought forth and pointed at his heart, he ws* too astounded to move. And In that second of be ­ wilderment and unbelief the trig ­ ger was pulled and the bullet en ­ tered. his heart.\ Mark&un nodded slowly, In deep perplexity, and Heath studied tho attitude of the dead man more doeely. That's a good theory.\ the Ser ­ geant conceded finally. \Yes. he rnueta let the bird get right on top of him without suspecting any ­ thing. Same like Julia did.\ “Exactly. Sergeant. The two murders constitute a most sugges ­ tive parallrl.\ \Still and all. there's one point you're overlooking.\ Heath's brow waa roughened In a troubled frown. \Chester's door mights been un ­ locked last night, seeing as ho hadn't gone to bed, and so this per ­ son could* walked In without any trouble. But Julia, now. won al- resdy undressed and In bed: and she always locked her door at night. Now. how would you any ­ th!* person with the gun got Into Julia's room, Mr Vnnee?\ \There's no difficulty about that >t us soy. as a tentative hy pot he ­ lls. that Julia had disrobed, twitched off the lights, and climbed nto her queenly l{ed. Then come t tap on the door — perhaps a tap ■be recognized. She rose, put-on In Full Regalia th- lights, opened the door, end again repaired to her bed for: warmth while sho held parley with ! visitor. Maybe — vfio knows? — visitor sat on tho edge of the bed during the call. Then sudden- , ly the visitor produced the revol- : and fired, and mode a hurried' exit, forgetting to switch ths lights off. Such a theory — though I don't Insist on the details — would square neatly with my Idea regarding Chester's caller.\ \It may ’ ve been like you say.\ admitted Heath dubiously. \But why all the hocus-pocus when It J ESTATE GOES TO HDSBAID Mr*. Hath S. Plate, Yonken, Also Name* Survivor Executor on Will r late Mrs Ruth «. * 1.000 in p queothed by tb» lota ll Plata of* f* Kingston • Mawr. Yonkers, to her h usba nd . Henry V,'. Plate, of th* some ad ­ dress, according to the will on Ole Saturday with Surrogate George A. Slater for probate. Mrs. Plate died on March 23 of this yea ---------- In addition to her b u s h an d . Mra. Plate la survived by her mother, Mrs. Mary A Smith, of S3 Chat* worth avenue, Larchmont, and a brother. Leslie C. Smith, tfl the shooting Ada? That Job tell us. Sergeant\ — \thst these* a reason for everything, but that the Unite mind la woefully restricted.\ LAWYERS TABOO Governor Vetoes Senator WestaB'* Bids ’ Providing far Invert**- boa of Jud icial Prncnrtnr* Governor Rooaevelf hag ♦etoad the bill appropriating *80.000 to cover the expense* at * ---- commission of seven make a surrey of th* Judldi cedure in New York State. The hill, which was introduced by Senator Walter Westell of * ------- \You e Markham? Chester was sitting hero reading when the murderer no In. Yet ho did not so much rise or coll out. Furthermore, let the Intruder stand directly front of him. He did not even fallen i minutes post eleven; •oon after that asleep. \The only queer thing about his story.\ commented Heath, \Is the time If he's telling the tale straight, he heard this noise and ' e door shutting twenty minutes so before the ihot was fired. .And >body In the house was up at that **• I tried to shake him on the question of the exact hour, but he stuck to It like a leech. 1 compared hi* welch with mine, and It was O. Anyhow, there's nothing much the story. The wind mights blown h door shut, or he mights -•ward a noise tj«t In tho street and thought it wadi In the-hall.\ “ Nevertheless. Sergeant, ” put In Vance. \If I were you I'd file Rex ’ s (tor* away for future meditation. Somehow It appeals to me.\ Heath looked up sharply and was about to ask a question; but be changed his mind and sold merely: \It'e filed.'' Then he finished hi* report lo Markhnm. After interrogating the occupants ’ the house he hod gone back to Bureau, legvlng his man on HAMBONE ’ S MEDITATIONS ByJ.F.ABsy I A unt tu - dy , she A lluz FERGNE HER Ol E MAN FuH <3mriN' p P unk . B ut ■SHE MOS' EN G/N'AU-Y B eats him up F us'\ ■ an the Back of Every Great and Growing Is a Good Newspaper City (FROM THE 6CBIPPS-HOWABD CODE) As a city thitaketh, so it is. Public thought is the stuff the city is made of. And day by day year in and year out, the daily newspaper is weaving the strands of public thought. Pick out any community with a well-posted, modern-minded and right-thinking citizenry. There you ’ ll find a good .newspaper, working tirelessly and ably for public welfare and enlightenment; for constant and needed civic improvements; for efficient ana economical government; for fair and impartial taxation; for larger returns to both capital and labor; for an equitable distribu ­ tion of opportunity and privileges; for better lives and living-standards. The people must do the work, but its newspapers can give them the light by keeping them informed as to the world ’ s'achievements and mistakes; by awakening them to their obligations; by protecting them from their exploits and by educating and refining their tastes and ideals. When a newspaper is faithful to these community missions, its readers are faithful to it and respond, freely an! loyally . . . both to its news and advertising columns. JUST SUCH A NEWSPAPER IS THE DAILY DDES* A most significant factor in the building of a Greater White Plaint

xml | txt