**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Diamond Queen
by [?]

Thompson leaned over. “The steward in the corridor tells me,” he said in a low tone, “that early in the evening Dr. Preston and Rawaruska were on the promenade deck together.”

I tried vaguely to piece together the scraps of information which we had gleaned. Kennedy, however, said nothing, but was now leaning over the body of the little dancer, looking at the upper region of her spine attentively. Quietly, from a group of three or four little red marks on her back he squeezed out several drops of liquid, absorbing them on a piece of sterile gauze.

A moment later, De Guerre, who had quietly slipped away during the examination, as if unable to bear the sight of the tragedy, returned, and with him was a young woman.

“Miss Elsa Hoffman,” he introduced.

Elsa Hoffman was of a fascinating type, tall, finely gowned, of superb poise, physically perfect. One could not help admiring her deep blue eyes and blonde radiance. Indeed, I felt that one must rely much on her attractions in pursuit of her business of selling gems to wealthy men and women. Still, in spite of her evident poise, the tragedy seemed to have oppressed and unnerved her.

She did not seem to be able to add much to the scanty stock of facts we had, even after repeating the story of her discovery of Rawaruska, which was substantially as the purser had already told it.

“I–I think perhaps Mr. Kennedy ought to question Cecilie,” she suggested finally, turning toward De Guerre, who nodded his assent.

A sudden movement in the passageway followed, and the door opened quietly. A man entered, a youngish fellow of fine physique and attractive face. I recognized him immediately as Dr. Preston. His apparently usually debonair manner was visibly subdued by the presence of death.

Evidently he had just heard that someone was investigating the tragedy and had hastened to be present. Both De Guerre and Elsa nodded to him, a trifle coldly. Only a moment did he pause to look at the drawn face on the pillow, then stood apart, ill at ease until Kennedy had finished his minute examination.

As Kennedy moved away from the bed, Dr. Preston contrived to place himself near him and apart from the rest.

“Mr. Kennedy,” he began in a husky undertone, “they tell me you have been engaged to investigate this–this awful affair.”

Kennedy assented.

“If there is anything I can do to help you,” Preston added anxiously, “I hope you will command me. In fact,” he added as Kennedy nodded while Preston glanced covertly at De Guerre and Miss Hoffman, “I hope you’ll get at the truth.”

“Thank you,” responded Kennedy, meeting his eye squarely this time; “I shall be glad to call on you if occasion arises.”

I watched Preston closely, not quite making out just what he was driving at, nor the reason for the strained relations that now seemed to exist among the former friends. Still following Kennedy’s every motion, Preston retired to the position of a more than interested spectator.