MISS EVELYN ROGERS
Carroll was more than amused; he was
keenly interested. He motioned his visitor to
a chair and seated himself opposite, regarding her
She was not exactly the type of person
he had anticipated encountering in a murder investigation.
From the tip of her pert little hat to the toes of
her ultra-fashionable shoes she was expressive of the
independent rising generation a generation
wiser in the ways of the world than that from which
it was sprung a generation strangely bereft
of genuine youth, yet charming in an entirely modern
and unique manner.
She was obviously a young person of
italics, a human exclamation-point, enthusiastic,
irrepressible. She sat fidgeting in her chair,
trying her best to convince the detective that she
was a woman grown.
“I’m Evelyn Rogers,”
she gushed. “I’m the sister of Naomi
Lawrence you know her, of course.
She’s one of the city’s social leaders.
Of course, she’s kind of frumpy and terribly
old. She must be why, I suppose she’s
every bit of thirty! And that’s simply awful!"
“I’m thirty-eight,” smiled Carroll.
“Well, you don’t look
it. You don’t look a day over twenty-two,
and I think men who are really grown up and yet look
like boys are simply adorable! I do, really.
And I simply despise boys of twenty-two who
try to look like thirty-eight. Don’t you?”
“M-m! Not always.”
“Well, I do! They’re
always putting on airs and trying to make us girls
think they’re full-grown. I just simply
haven’t time to waste with them. I feel
“I haven’t a doubt of
it, Miss Rogers. And now I believe
you came to tell me something about the Warren case?”
“Oh, yes, indeed just
lots! But do you know” she
stared at him with frank approval “I’m
terribly tickled with the way you look. You may
not believe it, but I’ve always been atrociously
in love with you.”
“Yes, indeed! You’re
such a wonderful man having your
name in the papers all the time. Oh, I’ve
read about everything you’ve done! That’s
how I learned so much about detectiving or
isn’t that what you call it?”
“That’s it. You know
I always was simply incorrigible in making up
words when I couldn’t think of the right one.
Don’t you think it’s a lot of trouble
sometimes thinking of just the right word
in the right place?”
“Sometimes. But about the Warren case?”
“Oh, yes, certainly! I’m
always getting off my subject, ain’t I?
I mean am I not? Bother grammar, anyway.
It’s a terrible bore, don’t you think?”
“Yes, Miss Rogers. And now ”
“Back to that awful crime again,
aren’t you? It’s simply sugary the
way you great detectives stick to one subject.
I can do it, too, when I have to. I took some
lessons once in power of will concentration
and all that sort of thing. It made me feel wickedly
old; but I learned a great deal about keeping my mind
on one subject all the time. You know, it doesn’t
matter what you concentrate on even if it’s
only making biscuits, or something messy and domestic
like that it does you good. It trains
you not to waste words, and to store up your mental
energy, and all that sort of thing. And all the
time I was studying that course, I was thinking how
perfectly glorious modern science is. Just suppose
Shakespeare had been able to concentrate like us moderns
can! His plays would have been utterly marvelous,
“I suppose they would.
And now let’s try concentrating on the Warren
“That’s what I’ve
been leading up to. You see, I knew Mr. Warren
very well. In fact, he was awfully friendly with
me. To tell you the strict truth, and absolutely
in confidence, I really believe he was in love with
“Yes, truly! We women have
a way of knowing when a man is in love with us.
He used to be around at the house all the time.
Of course, he pretended that he came around because
he liked Sis and Gerald ”
“That’s Mr. Lawrence.
He’s my brother-in-law Sis’s
husband. Insufferably old-timy. Don’t
think of anything but business. Used to look
at me through his horn-rimmed glasses and say I was
entirely too young to be receiving attentions from
a man as old as Mr. Warren; but he didn’t know.
I’m not young, really, you know. Of course,
I’m not twenty yet, but a girl can be under
twenty and yet be a woman, can’t she?”
“Yes” dryly “especially
after she learns to concentrate.”
“And as intimately as I knew
Roland that’s Mr. Warren, you know of
course I didn’t call him Roland to his face.
Not that he didn’t want me to, but then Sis
and Gerald would have disapproved old frumps!
Knowing him so intimately, and really believing that
he was in love with me although, of course,
the minute he became engaged to Hazel Gresham I didn’t
even flirt with him any more not the least
little tiny harmless bit well, I find it excruciatingly
hard to believe that he is dead!”
“He is quite. We’re trying
to discover who killed him.”
“I know it. That’s what I came to
see you about.”
“So you did. I’d quite forgotten ”
“You ought to learn to concentrate,
Mr. Carroll. It’s really ridiculously easy
after you’ve studied it a little bit. Now
if I had been you, and you had been I me I
never would have forgotten what you came to see me
about. Of course, I know you didn’t forget,
really; but the chances are that you were interested
talking, and absolutely failed to remember that poor
“What poor boy?”
Carroll with difficulty concealed a smile.
“I see! And now that I’ve
remembered him again, suppose you tell me what you
know about him and the case?”
“It’s principally about
what I read in the papers this morning. Really,
Mr. Carroll, there ought to be a law against newspapers
printing such ridiculous things!”
“As what, for instance?”
“That thing they had in there
this morning. Why, the way they mentioned Hazel
Gresham, you’d have thought that they thought
she was the woman who killed Roland the
woman in the taxicab.”
Carroll’s eyes narrowed slightly.
The faint smile still played about his lips.
“You don’t think she was?”
“Oh, Mr. Carroll! Please,
please, don’t be so irresistibly absurd!
Why in the world should Hazel kill the man she was
“I don’t know.”
“And besides, what does she
know about killing some one? That is the most
bizarre idea I have ever heard in all my life.
Besides, she couldn’t have killed him, anyway.”
“Even if she’d wanted
to, she couldn’t; and I’m sure she didn’t
want to. Not that I think Roland Warren was the
finest man in the world, or anything like that.
Of course, I do believe he was interested in me, and
that made me know him pretty well; but still he was
an awfully nice boy, and I’m sure Hazel was
very much in love with him. So even if she could
have killed him, she wouldn’t, would she?”
“I hope not; but you said she
couldn’t. What did you mean by that?”
“I mean that nobody can be in
two places at one time. Although I did read a
funny article in the Sunday magazine section of one
of the big newspapers, last year, which said that ”
“If Miss Gresham had been with
Mr. Warren last night at midnight she would
have been in two places at one time!”
“Why, yes and that’s not possible;
so, of course, she ”
“What makes you think that, Miss Rogers!”
“That Miss Gresham was not with Mr. Warren at
midnight last night?”
“Why,” answered Evelyn Rogers simply,
“I know she wasn’t that’s
“Yes, indeed beyond the what-you-call-’em
of a doubt.”
“How do you know that?”
“It’s very simple,” she explained
casually. “She was with me all night.”
Carroll gazed at the girl before him
with new interest. Out of her chatter he had
at last garnered one important fact. His mind,
trained to seize upon the vital and instantly discard
the inconsequential, clutched the bit of information,
and turned it over. From the first Carroll had
scouted the idea that the dead man’s fiancee
might have been responsible for his death; but still
it was a line of investigation which demanded examination,
and his pretty young visitor was making that road
exceedingly simple. He injected all the warmth
of his friendly, sunny nature in the smile which he
bestowed upon her.
“You have helped me tremendously
with that piece of information, Miss Rogers.”
“I don’t see how, particularly.
No one with any sense provided they knew
Hazel, of course could even imagine her
killing any one, and least of all an adorable boy
like Roland. She was so much in love with him!”
“Of course, I haven’t the pleasure of
Miss Gresham’s acquaintance.”
“Of course not. You’ll
have to meet her, though. She’s a darling!
Naturally, she’s all broken up this morning because
her wedding date was all set. Now all her plans
have gone smash, and she really was terribly
“You say you spent the night with Miss Gresham?”
“Certainly, and ”
“At her house.”
“And you are sure she was there all night?”
“Of course! We slept in
the same bed and that’s certainly
proof enough, isn’t it?”
“I suppose so.”
“You suppose? My goodness gracious!
Don’t you know?”
“Well yes. If you’re sure ”
“Why, my dear Mr. Carroll, we
didn’t even actually go to bed until a quarter
before twelve. At ten o’clock we made some
waffles downstairs Hazel has just bought
a perfectly darling aluminum electric waffle-iron.
It makes the most toothsome waffles all
crisp and everything. And you know when you use
aluminum you don’t need any grease, so that
makes the waffles much nicer. I’m getting
horribly domestic since Hazel became engaged, because
she is learning ”
“And after you made the waffles?”
“Oh! After that we went
up-stairs to her room, and put on our kimonos,
and had a heart-to-heart talk. I can’t tell
you what we talked about, because sometimes well,
it was atrociously risque as women
will, you know, and ”
“At a quarter before twelve
you were still sitting up talking, and you had your
“Yes, and oh, you
just ought to see Hazel’s new kimono pink
crepe de chine, trimmed with satin. She
looks simply ravishing in it. I told Sis I wanted
one like it, but ”
“And then you went to bed?”
“Yes, just about then.”
“You are sure Miss Gresham didn’t get
“Oh, I’m positive she
didn’t! I didn’t get to sleep until
after one o’clock, anyway, and I would have
“You’ve given me some
valuable information, Miss Rogers; and I’ll see
to it that the newspapers correct any impression they
may have left that Miss Gresham might have been connected
with the crime. Meanwhile” he
rose “I’m a bit overdue down
at headquarters; so if you’ll excuse me ”
Evelyn Rogers rose and stood before
him. Her pretty little face was eager.
“I’ve really helped you, Mr. Carroll?”
“Well, I wonder you
know I’m just fiendishly anxious to be
helpful in the world I wonder if you’d
let me help you some more?”
“I’d be delighted.”
“Would you really?”
“And I can come to you any time to talk things
“Whenever you get ready.”
She clapped her hands.
“That’s simply exquisite!
You know, Mr. Carroll, I’m just simply crazy
about you! I always have been, but I’m more
so now than ever just hopelessly!”
She made her way to the door.
There she turned, and there was a peculiar light in
“I wish you had been nineteen years old just
“Because,” she flashed,
“if you had been nineteen years old when I told
you what I did, you would have kissed me!”