2. CHAPTER II
As to your cousin's death, then, first.
It appears to be established, beyond any reasonable doubt,
that he was killed (while he was asleep, or immediately on
his waking) by being smothered with a pillow from his bed--
that the persons guilty of murdering him are the three Indians--
and that the object contemplated (and achieved) by the crime,
was to obtain possession of the diamond, called the Moonstone.
The facts from which this conclusion is drawn, are derived
partly from an examination of the room at the tavern;
and partly from the evidence obtained at the Coroner's Inquest.
On forcing the door of the room, the deceased gentleman was discovered, dead,
with the pillow of the bed over his face. The medical man who examined him,
being informed of this circumstance, considered the post-mortem appearances
as being perfectly compatible with murder by smothering--that is to say,
with murder committed by some person, or persons, pressing the pillow over
the nose and mouth of the deceased, until death resulted from congestion
of the lungs.
Next, as to the motive for the crime.
A small box, with a sealed paper torn off from it (the paper containing
an inscription) was found open, and empty, on a table in the room.
Mr. Luker has himself personally identified the box, the seal,
and the inscription. He has declared that the box did actually contain
the diamond, called the Moonstone; and he has admitted having given
the box (thus sealed up) to Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite (then concealed
under a disguise), on the afternoon of the twenty-sixth of June last.
The fair inference from all this is, that the stealing of the Moonstone
was the motive of the crime.
Next, as to the manner in which the crime was committed.