THE MYSTERY OF OAKLANDS 19
murdered anyone we'd never think of doin' that— diggin' over our gardens for weeks beforehand to make it all look fresh dug over. No, I bet if we murdered anyone we'd simply dig a hole an' bury 'em an' then someone clever 'd come along an' find someone disappeared an' a bit of our garden dug up jus' about the size of a man an' he'd dig it up again an' find 'em an' then we'd get hung. No, he's one of the very clever ones. I bet he's one of the sort that have poison in a ring an' jus' when they're goin' to be caught they raise it to their lips an' fall lifeless to the ground. Sooner than be hung, you know. I'd sooner do that than be hung myself. I bet that's the sort I'd be if I was one."
" Wonder what he'd say," said Douglas thoughtfully, " if you asked him where ole Scraggy was."
Let's go'n' ask him an' see," said William, promptly turning on his heel.
William had been walking away from the scene of the crime more and more reluctantly. After all, when an opportunity offered itself of entering his chosen career it seemed foolish to neglect it.
" That's how I'll start," said William, assuming his stern frown of leadership. " I'll ask him quite innocent where Scraggy is an' I'll watch how he looks an' what he says. That's what they often do. Only the very cleverest ones can help lookin' guilty. D'you remember in ' The Myst'ry of the Sundial' the man couldn't help keep lookin' at his rose bed where he'd buried him ? Couldn't help lookin' at it. Kept on lookin' at it. Sort of scared of it. An' they noticed that an' that was what made 'em suspicious."
" William," said Douglas, " I don't think you ought to go back an' ask him that, you know. It seems sort of dangerous to me. S'pose he got savage an' squirted poison at us. It seems sort of silly to me to go back talkin' to him now we know he's a murderer."
" No, I think it'll be all right," said William earnestly. " I think it'll be all right. I don't think they