Edgar Saltus.

The Truth About Tristrem Varick: A Novel



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It was possible, of course, to impugn the testimony of the committee, but the attorney in this instance deemed it wiser to let it go for what it was worth, while showing that Tristrem, if sane at the time of the committee's examination, was insane at the time the crime, if crime there were, was committed. It was his settled conviction that if Tristrem would only explain the motive, it would be of such a nature that the chances of acquittal would be in his favor. In this, presumably, he was correct. But, in default of any explanation, he determined that the only adoptable line of defence was the one already formulated; to wit, that in slaying Weldon his client was temporarily deranged.

Meanwhile he expressed his conviction to the grief-stricken old man by whom he had been retained, and who himself had tried, unavailingly, to learn the cause. Whether he divined, or not, what it really was, is a matter of relative unimportance. In any event, he had discovered that on leaving Weldon's house Tristrem, instead of giving himself up at once, which he would have done had he at the time intended to do so at all, had gone directly to Miss Raritan.

And one day he, too, went to her. "You can save him," he said.

He might as well have asked alms of a statue. He went again, but the result was the same. And then a third time he went to her, and on his knees, with clasped and trembling hands, in a voice broken and quavering, he besought her to save his grandson from the gallows. "Come to court," he pleaded; "if you will only come to court!"

"I will come," the girl at last made answer, "I will come to see him sentenced."

Such is the truth about Tristrem Varick. In metropolitan drawing-rooms it was noticed that since Miss Raritan's return from Europe the quality of her voice had deteriorated. Mrs. Manhattan said that for her part she did not approve of the French method.

THE END

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