Day of Doom: The Complete Battles of Gordon Manning & The Griffin, Volume 2

Free Day of Doom: The Complete Battles of Gordon Manning & The Griffin, Volume 2 by J. Allan Dunn

Book: Day of Doom: The Complete Battles of Gordon Manning & The Griffin, Volume 2 by J. Allan Dunn Read Free Book Online
Authors: J. Allan Dunn
Tags: Detective/Hard-Boiled
fluids.
    “Where’s this maid, and where’s Mr. Power?” he asked.
    “The maid’s in her room. She’s the only servant sleeps here. The cook comes later. And the girl’s scared stiff. I don’t think she knows a thing. I’m not so sure about him. No doubt the doc knew what he was doing, but I’d have let him talk. But Henley said he’d come out of it soon. ’Twas an hour ago he gave him the dose,” Doherty said.
    Manning saw the maid first. It was obvious the girl knew little of the actual tragedy, but she gave enlightening information. Manning asked her to make some strong coffee for her master, and took it in to him himself.
    Power was in one of the rooms of the suite. Manning looked at him before he wakened him. The man’s face was good-looking but weak, the face of a spoiled boy, not quite grown up. It was haggard with what might be worry, but was certainly part dissipation. He jumped like a landed trout, twitching, when Manning roused him.
    “Who are you?” he asked. “Another cop? Who doped me? Why in hell don’t you do something? Evelyn? Where is she? They haven’t—taken her away?”
    “You get a grip on yourself and drink this coffee,” said Manning. “They had you listed on the All-American team once, Power, didn’t they? Then you know how to buck up. If you want us to do something, pull yourself together. My name’s Manning. I’m not exactly a cop….”
    “Manning? The chap who got the Griffin? Then….”
    Power sat up, drank the hot coffee. He gulped at it a bit convulsively and Manning could see the pulses throb in wrists and neck. But he got himself under control.
    “I’ll talk to you, Manning. The doctor thought I was crazy and the sergeant thought I was lying. I don’t blame either of them. I’m not so sure I’m sane myself. I was out all last night, drinking. I suppose May, that’s the maid, told you that.”
    Manning nodded.
    “She said you’d been out several times lately, alone. Also that you quarreled with your wife each time before you did go out. You’ve been played up in the gabby columns, lately, Power. It’s hinted that you’re more or less of a playboy who has come to the end of his rope. I’m telling you this because I want you to understand you don’t have to talk without advice of counsel.”
    “You think I killed my wife?” asked Power. His nerves were twitching, though he was clearly trying to steady himself.
    “I have an open mind, Power,” said Manning. “I am an investigator, not a prosecutor, nor a persecutor. You don’t have to say anything unless you want to. I won’t advise you. It may entangle you and yet not incriminate you. I am out to get the guilty and also to protect an innocent man. You are not in a good position and you may improve it. We know that you have become estranged from your wife, that you have frequently quarreled with her, that she has threatened to leave you, and that you had a violent scene before you went out last night.”
    “The maid again!” said Power bitterly. “All right, I admit all that. I’ll take the blame for the estrangement, if you like, but I’ll talk about what happened after I came home, a little before four this morning. I had been drinking, but I was not drunk. If I had been, what I saw would sober any man.”
    He covered his face with his hands and shuddered. Manning let him recover himself. Power gulped more coffee.
    “If I don’t tell it to some one who’ll listen without showing he thinks I’m crazy, I’ll go haywire in earnest. It sounds incredible. I believe, if I thought much more about it, I’d think I had dreamed it in some frightful nightmare, except for Evelyn. It was monstrous.”
    “I’ve traveled a lot, Power,” Manning said quietly. “I have seen too many strange and monstrous things in Africa, in India, to be a sceptic.”
    “You’ve been in India? Then… never mind!”
    IV
    Power showed a swift and tremendous excitement. His eyes flamed and then the light went out of

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