By Wit of Woman
I made a carefully calculated pause and then replied, choosing my words with deliberation: "It is the answer to your Excellency's question as to my opinion of the solution. If you have followed my formula, you have of course found the jewels. The Count was the thief."
"In God's name!" he cried, glancing round as though the very furniture must not hear such a word so applied.
"It was so obvious," I observed, with a carelessness more affected than real.
He sat in silence for some moments as he fingered the paper, and then striking a match burnt it with great deliberation, watching it jealously until every stroke of my writing was consumed.
"You say Charlotte has had this nearly a week?"
"The date was on it. I am always methodical," I replied, slowly. "I meant to prove to you that I can read things."
His eyes were even harder than before and his face very stern as he paused before replying with well-weighed significance: