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238                     The Stolen White Elephant
NEXT morning it was all in the newspapers, in the minutest detail. It even had additions — consisting of Detective This, Detective That, and Detective The Other's " Theory" as to how the robbery was done, who the robbers were, and whither they had flown with their booty. There were eleven of these theories, and they covered all the possibilities; and this single fact shows what independent thinkers detect­ives are. No two theories were alike, or even much resembled each other, save in one striking particular, and in that one all the other eleven theories were abso lutely agreed. That was, that although the rear of my building was torn out and the only door remained locked, the elephant had not been removed through the rent, but by some other (undiscovered) outlet. All agreed that the robbers had made that rent only to mislead the detectives. That never would have oc­curred to me or to any other layman, perhaps, but it had not deceived the detectives for a moment. Thus, what I had supposed was the only thing that had no mystery about it was in fact the very thing I had gone furthest astray in. The eleven theories all named the supposed robbers, but no two named the same robbers; the total number of suspected persons was thirty-seven. The various newspaper accounts all closed with the most important opinion of all — that of Chief Inspector Blunt. A portion of this statement read as follows:
"The chief knows who the two principals are, namely, 'Brick' Duffy and ' Red' McFadden. Ten days before the robbery was achieved he was already aware that it was to be attempted, and had quietly proceeded to shadow these two noted villains; but unfortunately on the night in ques-