g since settled on the rigid features had given anything of ghastliness to the face. The dead man lay back in his chair in such an easy posture that but for his utter quietness, his intense immobility, he might have well been taken for one who was hard and fast asleep.
The sound of the night-porter's returning footsteps sent Allerdyke out into the corridor. Unconsciously he shook his head and raised a hand--as if to warn the man against noise.
"Sh!" he said, still acting and speaking mechanically. "Here's--I knew something was wrong. The fact is, my cousin's dead!"
In his surprise the night-porter dropped the key which he had been to fetch. When he straightened himself from picking it up, his ruddy face had paled.
"Dead!" he exclaimed in a whisper. "Him! Why, he looked the picture of health last night. I noticed that of him, anyway!"
"He's dead now," said Allerdyke. "He's lying there dead. Come in!"
The door along the corridor from which the man of the shock head and