“Mr. Carmatle, I believe?”
“At your service.”
“Governor, it’s rather a personal matter I have come to see you about and I may have made a mistake in identity. Do you know anything about ‘J. W. B.’ or did you ever know a man with those initials?”
The governor paled.
“Young man, tell me where you heard those initials and what brought you here.”
In as few words as possible I related to him my story, beginning with the will and ending with my theories regarding it.
When I had finished, the governor rose to his feet.
“I see it all; I see it all. Now with your permission I shall spend a night with you in your house in company with a friend of mine who is in the Secret Service. If I am right, concealed in that house is—well,” he broke off. “I had better not say now, for it may be only a remarkable coincidence. Meet me at the station in half an hour, and you had better bring a revolver.”
Six o’clock found us at the manor; and the governor and I, with the detective he had brought along, a fellow by the name of Butler, proceeded at once to the room.
After half an hour’s labor we succeeded in finding no such thing as a passageway, secret or otherwise. Being tired I sat down to rest and in doing so my hand touched a ledge projecting from the wall. Instantly a portion of the wall swung open, disclosing an opening about three feet square. Instantly the governor, with the agility of a cat, was through it and his form disappeared from view. We grasped the situation and followed him. I found myself crawling along on hard stone in black darkness. Suddenly a shot resounded, and another. Then the passageway came to an end. We were in a room magnificently hung with oriental draperies, the walls covered with medieval armor and ancient swords, shields and battle axes. A red lamp on the table threw a lurid glare over all and cast a red glow on a body which lay at the foot of a Turkish divan. It was the Confederate officer, shot through the heart, for the life blood was fast staining his grey uniform red. The governor was standing near the body, a smoking revolver in his hand.
“Gentlemen,” said he, “let me present to you John Wilkes Booth, the slayer of Abraham Lincoln.”