The Doubling of Heyward West
A Mystery Story Arising Out of the Murder of a Famous Railroad Engineer
T. B. COSTAIN
THE Newton avenue tragedy occurred on the stormiest night that Ottawa had known in a decade. It had snowed all day and at eight p.m. the north-west wind began to sweep through the streets with the relentless fury and driving force of a gale, turning the falling snow into crystals of ice and whirling them into the faces of the hardy few who ventured forth like a storm of miniature shot from the artillery of Aeolus. The wind howled about the eaves of the houses with a note of droning ill-will, rising with the more piercing blasts to outbursts of elemental malignancy; and it heaped up the drifting snow on street corners and before doorsteps, depositing the deepest drifts, with seemingly unerring judgment, where they would cause the most discomfort to plodding wayfarers.
At 12.15 the sleepy desk sergeant at the police station was galvanized into feverish action by a telephone message from 115 Newton avenue, to the effect that a murder had been committed there. Heyward West, asknowledged to be the leading authority on railroad engineering on the continent, had been found dead on the floor of his library, his skull fractured and his face beaten beyond recognition. Detective Tooley, who was on duty that night, pressed a patrolman into service and plunged out into the storm, cursing and blessing it in the same breath; for, while the condition of the weather would hamper him in his work, it would serve the murderer still harder. The railroads were completely tied up. Trains were stalled, wires were down, country roads had been rendered strictly impassable. The murderer would be imprisoned in the city by fetters of ice and snow, and Toomey was confident that, before the storm king raised the barriers, he would have time to track down his man.
Arriving at the large house, which Heyward West had occupied during the nine months of his residence in the Capital, they were admitted by a whitefaced serving man whose fumbling hands could scarcely turn the knob of the door and whose close-set eyes were round with horror.
“Was it you telephoned?” asked Tooley, in low tones, but with businesslike briskness.
“Yes,” whispered the man, as though afraid of the sound of his own voice. “It’s—in there.”
He indicated the doorway to the left of the hall, hung with curtains, through which an intermittent flicker of light
showed from a dying grate-fire in the room within. Tooley and the policeman shoved through, finding themselves in a spacious and well-appointed library. Bookcases lined the walls to a height of seven feet, the space above being used for the display of a wonderful collection of curios and relics. A large table stood in the centre of the room, heaped up with magazines and books. A partly curtained archway joined the library with a room beyond. And on the floor just beneath this arch with the head
reaching to the edge of a leopard skin in front of the library grate lay the body of Heyward West.
“Who found him?” asked Tooley, after a hasty examination.
“I did,” said the man, who had come only part of the way into the room. “I was down the cellar when I heard a sort of scuffle and then a heavy fall. When I got up, I found—this. There was no one in the room.”
“Who saw him last?”
“Mrs. West. She came in half an hour ago and spoke to him from the doorway. He called to her that he was
“Where had she been?”
“Out with some friends for the evening. ’ ’
“Did she return alone?”
The man appeared to hesitate. “No, sir. Mr. Trevelyan was with her.” “And when did he leave?”
“I don’t know. After letting them in I walked to the back of the house. It must have been within ten minutes for I heard Mrs. West go upstairs then.” “Do you mean Mr. Harvey Trevelyan?” asked the detective, sharply.
“Yes, he’s quite a friend of Mrs. West ’s. ’ ’
“And do you mean to say that you didn’t hear anyone enter or leave the house?” demanded Tooley, giving him the benefit of a close scrutiny.
The man appeared to shrink from the detective’s glance, but answered with apparent sincerity.
“Not a sound. He’d been in this room all the evening, walking up and down as he always did when he was thinking out anything. From eight
0 ’clock until when the missus came in
1 could hear him. Eight steps to one end of the room and eight back as sure as clockwork. He was muttering to himself and several times he kind of laughed out gruff and sudden.”
“Sure he wasn’t talking to some one in the room?”
“No, sir. He was a great one to talk to himself. Many’s the night I’ve heard him talking away as though the room was full of people. I passed down the hall about nine o’clock to-night and caught a glimpse of his back. He was in his old dressing gown, and had his arms folded behind his back—just as he always done. No one was allowed to go in when he got into his walking fits, not even the missus.”
“Who lias been in the house tonight?”
“Just me and the two maids. Not another soul, sir. Mr. Morley, his secretary, went to Montreal on the evening
“And no one heard a sound?”
“No, sir, not a sound.”
Tooley examined the second room, finding it to be an alcove containing but one chair and a table littered with papers and maps. A door opened from it on to a back verandah. He tried this and found it to be locked. On a later search the key was found in a pocket of the dressing gown on the murdered man. There was a window also which refused to raise when the detective tried it. Thomas, the serving man, assured the detective that it had never been opened during the time that the Wests had been in possession of the house.
Tooley then saw Mrs. West. She was in a state of hysterical grief, a mingling of horror and incredulity, and quite unable to tell him anything of the happenings of the evening. He left without getting any further light on the mystery.
“Clint” Smith, an aggressive police reporter left his boarding house at 7.20 next morning and walked over to Bank street with an air of jaunty confidence. He purchased a morning paper and boarded a downtown car. Next minute the hurried pedestrians on the street were startled to see a body hurl itself
precipitously from the platform of the moving car and land head first in a deep snowdrift.
“Well, Clint,” said a comfortablelooking young man in a fur-lined overcoat, whose well-filled cheeks were ruddy with the invigorating cold and whose bright eyes rested with amusement on the reporter hurriedly picking himself up. “A cold morning for acrobatic stunts of this kind.”
“Shut up, Porter,” panted Smith. “Come along with me. There’s a story to be turned loose on the old town today. Heyward West—murdered!”
Porter, who was a journalist of sorts, contributing occasionally to the news-
papers and magazines, needed no second bidding to follow in the wake of the breathless Smith. They arrived at the scene of the tragedy in a few minutes’
“You’re the first on the job this morning,” said the policeman who opened the door. “I haven’t got orders to keep you out so I guess you can look around. Better hurry. The rest of the afternoon paper boys will be over here in droves in no time.”
He showed them into the library and loquaciously proceeded to explain the meagre details. Everything had been
left untouched since the previous night.
“Done with that war-club on the floor,” explained the officer in a hoarse whisper. “Got it off the wall. A thorough job, too. Nothing much left to recognize him by.”
“Any clues?” asked Smith, whose eyes were scanning the room eagerly for the details necessary to clothe his story in the most lurid light.
“Not a clue,” said the policeman. “But there’s no doubt as to who done it.” He glanced into the hall cautiously before continuing. “I guess Mr. Harvey Trevelyan could tell who was at the business end of that club all right.” “No!” exclaimed Smith, his natur-
ally protuberant eyes threatening to pop out of his head. “Do you mean Harvey Trevelyan, the society willy boy?” “Exactly,” said the officer. “Servants tell me he’s been rushing Mrs West strong. She’s a fine spirited woman and mighty handsome they say West thought of nothing, but his work and wouldn’t go out with her anywhere I learned something this morning from old rattlebones, the butler,” here he sunk his voice again to a whisper “They’ve had words about this chap Trevelyan. He brought Mrs. West home last night and no one saw him leave!” “Parkins!” called Porter, who had been looking around the back room “You say this window does not open.”
“That’s what they say,” returned Parkins.
Porter took hold of the catch and with an effort raised the window.
“That’s how your murderer escaped,” he said. “If you want any further proof examine this catch. It is covered with blood-stains.”
“You’re right,” said the officer after making the examination. “That explains why no one saw him leaving. He got out here.”
“Have you examined the papers on that table?” asked Porter, indicating the table in the far corner of the alcove.
“Don’t think they’ve been looked over. What have they got to do with it?”
“Probably nothing. Could you get the man Thomas up to answer some questions? In the meantime I’ll just make a plan of these rooms, if you’ve no objections, Parkins.”
Thomas came and gave them what information he could. Nothing of a valuable nature was brought out, during the cross-examination, however, as far as Smith and Parkins could see. A request to see Mrs. West met with a refusal. She had not left her room since hearing the news of her husband’s terrible end and absolutely refused to talk to anyone.
“Looks black for Trevelyan,” said Smith, as they left the house. “He was the only man in the house except old Thomas, and no one is likely to suspect him. And the motive is not hard to find.”
“West’s papers were on that table in the back room,” said Porter in a ruminative tone. “His desk is in the front room.”
“I’ve seen Trevelyan out with Mrs. West,” went on Smith, ignoring his companion’s remark. “I tell you, she's a stunner. A tall, willowy brunette with a melting eye. Beautiful enough to drive a man to anything to get her.”
“There was a cigar on that table, too,” said Porter abstractedly, “Did West smoke? I’ve heard not.”
“Now to see Tooley and then I’ll hustle round and buttonhole Mr. Harvey Trevelyan,” said Smith briskly. “Guess I had better call up the city ed. first and let him know I’m on the job. He’ll be having a conniption fit by this time.”
They parted at this point, Smith to begin a day of feverish activity, of countless interviews and of much overuse of lurid adjectives and exclamation marks, Porter to slowly wend his way towards a small hotel in lower town a few blocks beyond the Byward Market.
“So West got a telegram to go to Montreal last evening, but sent Morley, his secretary, instead,” he said to himself, repeating a piece of information that P. C. Parkins had imparted to them. “I would like to see that telegram. It wasn’t in the room. _ Of course, it might have been thrown into the grate fire.”
“French Andy been around this morning?” he asked the proprietor, when he had reached his destination. “Oh, there he is. Look here, Andy, how long since you ’ve been up in the Hudson ’s Bay country?”
“Two years,” said French Andy, a stoop-shouldered old man, with a limp and a whimsically weazened face. “I’m going to strike north again soon as the Guvment gets railroad route fixed.”
A bottle was produced and as soon as his companion had swallowed his first glass, Porter asked. “Ever meet a fellow named Morley—Jim Morley?”
“Tall fellow, sandy hair, big nose with scar, big talk all time?” asked Andy. “Sure, I know him. Stay Fort Nelson. Trade a little, gamble a whole lot.”
“Did he have any pals that you knew f ^
“Bart Bryce,” replied the Frenchman. “Bad lot, Bart. Partners with Jim Morley. Knew them both. Bart big man, red hair, strong like bull. Crush you, me ver’ easy, one hand.”
Porter continued to pump the old man until he had secured a thorough record of the doings of Jim Morley and Bart Bryce in the country around Hudson’s Bay, through which the projected Government railway was to pass. Morley, he found, had been engaged in various enterprises and had only been in Ottawa for the past two months. His knowledge of the North land had been instrumental in getting him the position of
secretary to Heyward West, a post he had held about one month.
The storm continued all morning. Information coming in over such wires as were not down, showed that none of the trains starting out the previous evening had reached their destinations. The Montreal train out had been stalled within the first ten miles, it was believed. In the meantime the city seethed with excitement over the West murder. The newspapers ran extras off the press every few hours, but without giving any startling developments in the case. Absolutely nothing new had been uncovered. The public agreed with the newspapers, however, that the motive for the deed was clear, even if the details of its carrying out were shrouded in the most impenetrable mystery. Suspicion pointed to young Trevelyan. The fact that he had visited a club at midnight showing visible signs of excitement was accepted as strong corroborative evidence.
Peregrine Porter read every special issue that he could secure. He found that the newspapers had not hesitated to speak openly of the intimacy between Mrs. West and Trevelyan. One paper gave an interview with Thomas, the butler, in which details of a recent altercation between Mr. and Mrs. West on the score of this friendship were given. The departure of Morley, the secretary, was mentioned incidentally. “He (West) had received a telegram calling him to Montreal and had at first intended to go but later had changed his mind and sent his secretary instead,” read the account in one paper. There was an obvious inference to be drawn; that Mrs. West, expecting her husband to be away had permitted Trevelyan to escort her home. It might even have betn that West had laid a trap to catch them. That the murder was the result of the stormy scene which ensued was not an unnatural assumption. The police seemed content with this explanation of the tragic event. At any rate, they were not following up other lines of investigation or considering other possible motives.
At a busy corner on Sparks street, late that afternoon after a hard day’s work, Porter again encountered the voluble “Clint” Smith The latter had extras sticking out of every pocket and wore the gratified smile which comes from knowledge of a hard task well
“Hello, Porter!” he hailed. What do you think of my stuff?”
“You are to be congratulated,” said Porter, “on the thoroughness with which you have supplied the kind of matter to appeal to the morbid mind. From that viewpoint your story is a masterpiece. You have written a real Homeric of horror, a classic of clammy detail, friend Clint, but you’re just as far away from the facts as our obtuse friends, the police. ’ ’
“What are you driving at?” demanded Smith, indignantly. “There’s nothing to this story now. It’s as clear as daylight.”
Peregrine Porter laughed and proceeded to refill his pipe with exasperating
“There is more in this case than is dreamed of in the philosophy of Mike Tooley, sleuth, and Clint Smith, scoop merchant,” lie said. “Come along, Smith. I'm going to let you in on a real story. ’’
They visited a small hotel on a side street, the Hanlon House. To the proprietor Porter gave a detailed description of the man, Bart Bryce, as he had received it from French Andy, without mentioning any names.
“The very man,” said the hotelkeeper. “Been here for a week now. Here’s where he registered. H. W. Barton, Room 26. He intended to get away to-day, but the storm’s holding him. Want to see him?”
“I’ll drop in later,” said Porter. “Unless I’m mistaken this case is going to take a very sudden and unexpected turn,” he told the reporter, when they had regained the street. “A queer idea came to me this morning when we were in the house. It was suggested by certain details which the police have so far overlooked. I’m on the right track, I know. You help me out and you’ll get the biggest story of your life.” “What can I do?” asked Smith, all eagerness now.
“Stick to the police as close as a miser to his hoard. Let me know anything that comes up as soon as you get wind of it. By the way, Smith, you know, of course, that West was commissioned a year ago by the Government to make an investigation of the proposed routes of the Northern Bay Railway. His report was to cover every point, including the selection of a northern terminus, and it is highly probable that it would have been accepted by the department of railways. What you probably did not know was that West was completing his report and would have turned it in at the end of the present week. No one had any idea what town he was suggesting for the terminus. I don’t suppose that Morley, his secretary, had any inkling. There were the best grounds possible for maintaining secrecy. If advance information got out as to the route, look at the opportunity for land-grafting there would be! Property in the town selected as the terminus would go sky-high. Is any suggestion of a new motive for this crime beginning to dawn on you?” “You mean that someone tried to get
at his papers-” began Smith.
“Exactly,” said Porter. “This phase of the case has never occurred to the police apparently and not a newspaper has even hinted at it yet!”
“How did we ever miss it!” said Smith, despondently. “It puts an entirely new complexion on the whole thing. Look here, Porter, can’t I help you out-. ’ ’
“By sticking to headquarters,” said Porter. “Better get around there now.” Late that afternoon Porter called at the West home and asked again for an interview with Mrs. West. “Tell her I believe I can be of assistance to her,” he told Thomas. “I’m neither a newspaper man nor a detective. ’ ’
Continued on page 135
The Doubling of Heyward West
Continued from page 16
A minute later Thomas returned with the information that Mrs. West would see him. “She hasn’t left her room since it occurred,” whispered the serving man, who was beginning to assume an air of importance, as a result of the attention that the newspaper fraternity had been paying to him all day. “It’s my opinion she’s going off her dot.”
“I felt sure she had not been into the room since you made the discovery,” was the only comment Porter made as he ascended the stairs.
He was shown into a small living room on the floor above. Mrs. West was reclining on a couch and did not rise when he entered. She was still dressed in the gown she had worn the previous evening. Despite the fact that her face was pale and haggard and her eyes told of the mental strain she had undergone, she greeted him with quiet courtesy and admirable restraint.
“I believe that I can promise you good news, Mrs. West,” said Porter, plunging at once into the object of his visit. “An extraordinary turn is coming in this case. But before I can give you any inkling of what it is, I must request you to answer a few questions.”
“I don’t understand what you mean by good news,” said Mrs. West, in a tone which reflected the dullness of despair that filled her whole being. “How can there be any good news for me? But go on. I’ll answer you if I can.” “When did Morley leave the house last night?” he asked.
“I don’t know. He telephoned to the house late in the afternoon that he was going to Montreal on the evening train. Thomas got the message.”
“When did you see Mr. West last?” “I spoke to him when I came in last night from the hall, but did net see him. 1 saw him last at lunch.”
“Didn’t he have dinner at home last night?”
“He did not take dinner. He was working hard in his study and did not pay any attention when dinner was announced.”
“Did you not send for him?”
“Oh, no. When he was working hard, he did not like to be interrupted. No one dared go near him at such times.” “Mrs. West, I trust that I can inspire you with confidence in me to the degree of following what may seem very unusual instructions,” said Porter rising. “As I said before an extraordinary turn is going to take place. Will you believe me when I say that I am actuated only by a desire to help you in this matter?” “You are very mysterious and I don’t understand what it is you want,” she
“This is what I want you to do,” explained Porter. “Some time this evening I will send a carriage for you. Accompany the driver without question, wherever he takes you.”
Mrs. West had risen now and was studying him with the first hint of a real interest in her eyes.
“But why?” she asked. “Please— what is going to happen? What is this extraordinary turn you mention?”
“If it were not that I am afraid to rouse your hopes at this stage, I would tell you,” replied Porter, gravely. “Will you promise to do what I say?”
There was a pause.
“Yes!” she said.
An hour later Porter secured information at the G.T.R. station that the tracks had been cleared for ten miles out and that the train which had pulled out for Montreal on the previous night would hack in again within half an hour with its load of half-starved passengers. He at once despatched a carriage to the West house, giving instructions to the driver. He got a telephone message a few minutes later from Smith.
“A warrant’s out for the arrest of Trevelyan,” announced the latter. “Tooley has it.”
“Don’t let him get away from the station until I get there,” exclaimed Porter. “I’m coming right over.”
“So you have a warrant for an arrest in this West case, Tooley,” he said, when he had arrived almost breathless at police headquarters. “What are you going to do with it?”
“Have it framed for my sitting room at home,” said the detective with broad sarcasm. “What do you suppose a warrant’s for?”
“Don’t try to execute it for half an hour anyway, Tooley,” said Porter. “Something is going to happen. I’m speaking in all seriousness, man. Come with me and bring a blank warrant along. ’ ’
“See here, Porter, what is this? A practical joke?”
“It will be no joke for you if you execute that warrant. Better come with me, Tooley, Your man can’t get away in the meantime. You come too, Smith.”
The detective followed them in a decidedly puzzled state of mind. They reached the station just as the stormbound train pulled in. At the same moment, the carriage that Porter had sent for Mrs. West returned. As she stepped out, Tooley, with a startled exclamation, made as though to cross over.
“Now what is she up to?” he demanded gruffly.
Porter grasped him by the arm and ! swung him around.
“Your attention this way please,” he said. “Who is that tall, sandy-complexioned man coming down the steps of the steps of the third coach?”
“Heyward West!” exclaimed the detective, with a gasp of astonishment.
Someone else had seen at the same moment. They heard a quick gasp between them, followed by a cry of mingled joy and incredulity, and the next moment, Mrs. West had plunged I forward and thrown herself into the arms of her husband.
Tooley’s jaw dropped at a ridiculous angle. He stood transfixed, literally struck dumb and motionless with the surprise of it.
“Then who was murdered?’’ asked Smith, the first to recover himself.
“Morley, the secretary,’’ said Porter. “If you brought that blank warrant, Tooley, fill it in with the name of Bart Bryce. You’ll get him at the Hanlon House under the name of H. W. Barton. ’ ’
With the click of typewriters and the rush and bustle around them that pervades a newspaper office when an “extra’’ is under way, Porter gave Smith the facts that he required to fill in his story.
“Morley and Bryce were partners up in the north country. They knew they could make a pile if they got advance information on the recommendations that West was going to make. So Morley applied for the job of secretary to West when it fell vacant a month ago. But West was careful to keep Morley away from the real facts and the latter began to see that he would have to find some other way. He and West were busy in the Railway Department yesterday afternoon. A telegram arrived for West from a firm of engineers in Montreal, asking him to see them at once. He decided to take the evening train out and told Morley to notify Mrs. West. Being rushed, he occupied himself until train time and then made for the station and got on the train without dinner. It is likely that, owing to the storm, no one noticed him on the street. In the meantime, Morley knew that his employer had completed the work of putting his recommendations in writing and West’s departure seemed a golden opportunity to rifle the papers and get the information he wanted. Accordingly he telephoned to the house that he himself was going to Montreal and then probably made his entrance to - the house unobserved, by means of the door opening into the study alcove.
“The next step showed considerable cunning on Morley’s part. He knew that it would take considerable time to go through the papers and secure the information he required. West had given strict instructions to the household not to permit anyone to enter the study when he was not there and so Morley could not hope to remain there long undetected. He and West were almost identical in height and build and had hair of the same shade. Accordingly Morley put on the dressing gown the engineer always used. He was acting on his knowledge that no member of the household dared come into the study when West was busy. By pacing the floor and talking to himself he gave warning against intrusion, Mrs. West and the servants being tlius led to believe that West bad returned home.
“Left in undisputed possession of the study, Morley pried open the engineer’s lesk and got out the papers. To enable ïim to go over them free from fear of detection, he took them to a table in a corner of the alcove. He then let his fide partner in through the back door, taking the precaution of locking it afterward and putting the key in his pocket. While Bryce went through the mass of
papers at his leisure in the back room, Morley paced the study, thus advertising to the household the fact that the engineer was still there and not to be disturbed under any circumstances. Can you imagine more ideal conditions for a burglary?
‘ ‘ What transpired in that room no one will ever know—unless Bryce elects to tell. What I imagine happened is this: West had very carefully collected all really important data and the copy oi his recommendations before leaving the house that day. He assured us on this point at the station just now. When Bryce failed to find them he became irritable and this probably led to words. Hard feelings over some old feud must have come to the surface leading to a clash. In a fit of rage Bryce seized a war club from the wall and struck Morley down with one terrific blow. They were both men of violent temperament as their records in the north country show: and this picture of a midnighi struggle between them in the study oi the man they planned to rob, which may seem unreal to you, is easily understandable when you know the men. After striking the fatal blow, Bryce found the door locked and being in a mad haste to escape from the room, did not stop to look for the key, but succeeded in forcing open the window, being a man of tremendous physical strength.
“That,” he wound up, “seems to cover the case.”
“But how did you get wise to it?” asked Smith. “There was no indication of all this on the surface.”
“You were too busy looking for coloring for your story to notice anything else,” responded Porter smiling, “and as for the police you wouldn’t expect them to get the essentials.”
“There were several things that set me thinking right at the start. The fact that the papers had been taken from West’s desk on the study and removed to a small table in the back room was suspicious in itself. Why should West do this? Then there was a cigar on the table and I had a well-defined suspicion that the engineer did not smoke. Finally I found a piece of Hanlon House stationery among the other papers on which various notes had been made in a rough hand. It was quite apparent that this was not the work of Heyward West. And yet the idea of anyone else going through his papers in that way when he was around did not seem feasible. This started me thinking on the right track— and the rest came easy.”
Smith bent over his typewriter and began to pound the keys. “In half an hour this story will be on the streets.” he said.
Mme. Sarah Bernhardt has become a member of the Legion of Honor. Her aspirations for the honor had for many years been frustrated by influential opposition. The cross of the order was pinned on the breast of the famous actress at the conclusion of a performance in her own theatre in Paris.