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April 09 , 2009

The Luminous Face


“A bit thick, I call it,” Pollard looked round the group; “here’s Mellen been dead six weeks now, and the mystery of his taking-off still unsolved.” “And always will be,” Doctor Davenport nodded. “Mighty few murders are brought home to the villains who commit them.” “Oh, I don’t know,” drawled Phil Barry, an artist, whose dress and demeanor coincided with the popular idea of his class. “I’ve no head for statistics,” he went on, idly drawing caricatures on the margin of his evening paper as he talked, “but I think they say that only one-tenth of one per cent, of the murderers in this great and glorious country of ours are ever discovered.” “Your head for statistics is defective, as you admit,” Doctor Davenport said, his tone scornful; “but percentages mean little in these matters. The greater part of the murders committed are not brought prominently before public notice. It’s only when the victim is rich or influential, or the circumstances of some especial interest that a murder occupies the front pages of the newspapers.” “Old Mellen’s been on those same front pages for several weeks—off and on, that is,” Pollard insisted; “of course, he was a well-known man and his exit was dramatic. But all the same, they ought to have caught his murderer—or slayer, as the papers call him.”
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