“I found it yesterday afternoon. She tried to tell me about it, but I knew it was something funny.”
“You mean your wife bought it?”
“She had it wrapped in tissue paper on her bureau.”
Michaelis didn’t see anything odd in that, and he gave Wilson a dozen reasons why his wife might have bought the dog-leash. But conceivably Wilson had heard some of these same explanations before, from Myrtle, because he began saying “Oh, my God!” again in a whisper — his comforter left several explanations in the air.
“Then he killed her,” said Wilson. His mouth dropped open suddenly.
“I have a way of finding out.”
“You’re morbid, George,” said his friend. “This has been a strain to you and you don’t know what you’re saying. You’d better try and sit quiet till morning.”
“He murdered her.”
“It was an accident, George.”
Wilson shook his head. His eyes narrowed and his mouth widened slightly with the ghost of a superior “Hm!”
“I know,” he said definitely, “I’m one of these trusting fellas and I don’t think any harm to nobody, but when I get to know a thing I know it. It was the man in that car. She ran out to speak to him and he wouldn’t stop.”
Michaelis had seen this too, but it hadn’t occurred to him that there was any special significance in it. He believed that Mrs. Wilson had been running away from her husband, rather than trying to stop any particular car.
“How could she of been like that?”
“She’s a deep one,” said Wilson, as if that answered the question. “Ah-h-h ——”
He began to rock again, and Michaelis stood twisting the leash in his hand.
“Maybe you got some friend that I could telephone for, George?”
This was a forlorn hope — he was almost sure that Wilson had no friend: there was not enough of him for his wife. He was glad a little later when he noticed a change in the room, a blue quickening by the window, and realized that dawn wasn’t far off. About five o’clock it was blue enough outside to snap off the light.
Wilson’s glazed eyes turned out to the ashheaps, where small gray clouds took on fantastic shape and scurried here and there in the faint dawn wind.
“I spoke to her,” he muttered, after a long silence. “I told her she might fool me but she couldn’t fool God. I took her