1. CHAPTER I
Contributed by SERGEANT CUFF
Dorking, Surrey, July 30th, 1849. To Franklin Blake, Esq. Sir,--
I beg to apologise for the delay that has occurred in the production
of the Report, with which I engaged to furnish you. I have waited
to make it a complete Report; and I have been met, here and there,
by obstacles which it was only possible to remove by some little
expenditure of patience and time.
The object which I proposed to myself has now, I hope, been attained.
You will find, in these pages, answers to the greater part--if not all--
of the questions, concerning the late Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite, which occurred to
your mind when I last had the honour of seeing you.
I propose to tell you--in the first place--what is known of the manner
in which your cousin met his death; appending to the statement such
inferences and conclusions as we are justified (according to my opinion)
in drawing from the facts.
I shall then endeavour--in the second place--to put you in possession
of such discoveries as I have made, respecting the proceedings
of Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite, before, during, and after the time,
when you and he met as guests at the late Lady Verinder's country-house.