THE MYSTERY OF OAKLANDS 17
the Greenhouse.' It might be like that with him. He's tryin' to kill us so as to get the money himself."
" Yes," said Henry, " but none of us have any relations that we think was drowned in a shipwreck."
" Oh, do shut up arguing about everything I say," said William wearily. " You've got no sense at all. D'you think our parents would bother to tell us about every single relation they ever had and what happened to 'em ? "
" I'll ask mine to-night," said Henry, " whether they've got any relation they think was drowned in a shipwreck."
" They'll prob'ly say they haven't 'cause they'll have forgotten him but I bet you anythin' one of 'em has. Why's he tryin' to kill us if they haven't ? "
The question seemed so unanswerable that the Outlaws did not attempt to answer it.
But for a time there was so little to feed their suspicion that it might have died away altogether had they not happened to go past the two cottages one day a week or so later and found the garden of Oaklands empty, the blinds of the house drawn and a general air of desolation over the whole. They hung over the gate for some time, but it is of course no fun hanging over the gate of a garden when there is no one in the garden to send you away. So after a time they walked on down the road.
They had long since ceased to dally over the gate of Beechgrove.
" Wonder where he's gone," said Ginger meditatively.
" He's killed him, of course," said William. " Squirted him with poison or jabbed at him with a poisoned spade same as he'd 've done at us if we hadn't run off so quick. Poor old Scraggy." William heaved a compassionate sigh for the victim. " He couldn't run off quick so he got him."
" But why should he want to kill Scraggy ? " said