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Lord Dawlish stood in the doorway of the outhouse, holding the body of Eustace gingerly by the tail. It was a solemn moment. There was no room for doubt as to the completeness of the extinction of Lady Wetherby's pet.
Dudley Pickering's bullet had done its lethal work. Eustace's adventurous career was over. He was through.
Elizabeth's mouth was trembling, and she looked very white in the moonlight. Being naturally soft-hearted, she deplored the tragedy for its own sake; and she was also, though not lacking in courage, decidedly upset by the discovery that some person unknown had been roaming her premises with a firearm.
'Oh, Bill!' she said. Then: 'Poor little chap!' And then: 'Who could have done it?'
Lord Dawlish did not answer. His whole mind was occupied at the moment with the contemplation of the fact that she had called him Bill. Then he realized that she had spoken three times and expected a reply.
'Who could have done it?'
Bill pondered. Never a quick thinker, the question found him unprepared.
'Some fellow, I expect,' he said at last brightly. 'Got in, don't you know, and then his pistol went off by accident.'
'But what was he doing with a pistol?'
Bill looked a little puzzled at this.
'Why, he would have a pistol, wouldn't he? I thought everybody had over here.'
Except for what he had been able to observe during the brief period of his present visit, Lord Dawlish's knowledge of the United States had been derived from the American plays which he had seen in London, and in these chappies were producing revolvers all the time. He had got the impression that a revolver was as much a part of the ordinary well-dressed man's equipment in the United States as a collar.
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