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The Toxin Of Fatigue
by [?]

He waited a moment, then answered his own question.

“Naturally,” he proceeded, “it might be, theoretically at least, a small dose of those products of fatigue by which nature herself brings on sleep. I am not going into the theory of the thing. The fact that you had such a thing is all that interests me.”

I watched the girl’s eyes as they were riveted on Kennedy. She seemed to be fascinated, horrified.

“This bottle contains a weak solution of the toxin of fatigue,” persisted Kennedy.

I thought she would break down, but, by a mighty effort, she kept her composure and said nothing.

“Someone was trying to discredit and ruin Murchie by making the horses he trained lose races–somebody whose life and happiness Murchie himself had already ruined.

“That person,” pursued Kennedy relentlessly, “was defeated in the attempt to discredit Murchie when, by my injection of the antitoxin, Lady Lee finally did win. In that person’s mind, Murchie, not the horse, had won.

“The wild excitement over Murchie’s vindication drove that person to desperation. There was only one more road to revenge. It was to wait until Murchie himself could be easily overpowered, when an overwhelming dose of this fatigue toxin could be shot into him–the weapon that had failed on the horses turned on himself. Besides, no one–not even the most expert physician or chemist–would ever suspect that Murchie’s death was not natural.”

“That–that bottle is mine–mine!” shouted a wild voice interrupting. “I took it–I used it–I–“

“Just a moment, Miss Safford,” entreated Kennedy. “That person,” he rapped out sharply, picking up the pedigrees O’Connor had handed him, “that person gave the toxin to a poor dope fiend as a sleeping-potion in one strength, gave it to Lady Lee in still another strength, and to Murchie in its most fatal strength. It was the poor and unknown pharmacist described in this pedigree whose dream of happiness Murchie shattered when he captivated Cecilie Safford–her deserted lover, Ronald Mawson.”