The Man Called Gilrayby Fred M White
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For the last three weeks the placard had been staring the whole of London in the face. It was a brief document, epitomising one of these extraordinary crimes which from time to time stir England from one end to the other. It had first come to the attention of the public through the medium of the 'Southern Daily Herald,' a popular paper which was published in London by the same firm which are responsible for the 'Southern Weekly Herald.' The latter is a sort of weekly magazine, and enjoys a large circulations throughout the whole of the South of England. Now it so happened that the chief sub-editor on the staff of the Daily was also editor of the Weekly. Philip Temple was a journalist of the smart type, and never lost an opportunity of keeping up his reputation. He also made it a point of being on exceedingly good terms with the police, and by this means he had pulled off many a coup for his proprietors. Therefore it was that about two o'clock on the morning of the murder, he received an urgent telephone message from Inspector Sparrow asking him to go down to the Police Station at once.
"Anything very special?" he asked.
"It looks very much like it," Inspector Sparrow replied. "At any rate, the crime has features out of the common. I should say that it is likely to make a big sensation. I haven't been round to Ponder-avenue myself yet, because I have only just this minute heard what has happened from the sergeant on the beat."
"Murder, of course?" Temple asked.
"Well, at any rate, a fatality which has resulted in a man's death. Oh, it's murder, right enough. The victim is Mr. John Gilray, who lives in one of the flats at Ponder-avenue. I've got practically no details yet, except from a constable who is on duty in that neighbourhood sometimes. He says that he knew Mr. Gilray well enough by sight. From his description I should say that he was a smart-looking man of about fifty. I believe he was a bit of a mystery, though he attracted little or no attention. He must have had money, or else he could not have afforded to live in Ponder-avenue."
Temple nodded approvingly. He knew Ponder-avenue quite well, indeed, he had one or two friends in the immediate neighbourhood. It was a quiet street, but of very desirable houses, semi-detached, and more than one of them having studios. A good many of the better-class of artists and journalists and musicians lived in Ponder-avenue. There were gardens at the back and front of the houses, and altogether they formed a very attractive and respectable class property.
"I think I know what you mean," Temple said. "You mean that the man was of a Bohemian temperament."
"Well, at any rate, that's what the constable said. Mr. Gilray appears to have had very few friends calling upon him, and I should say that he was a very independent type of man. He generally dined out, was exceedingly fond of theatres and concerts, and always came home in a cab. They tell me he was a very well-dressed man, so that he must have been possessed of means."
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