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Black Mask

AUGUST. 1922

A Weapon of the Law

By George W. Breuker

IT was very still in the library where Judge Lathrop sat reading. The lamp on the table at his elbow shed a soft circle of light in the centre of the room, leaving the outer edges dim and shadowy. The house was quiet. A small clock in the room had already struck one. The Judge's wife and daughter had been in bed for some hours.

At last the Judge put down the legal tome and sat thinking over what he had read. He became so lost in meditation that the door at his left was quietly opened and closed without his hearing it. Then a low cough brought him out of his abstraction. He turned and gazed at the intruder.

The man he saw standing near the door in the semi-darkness was about his own ageā€”that is to say, somewhat over forty years. He was dressed in shabby clothes that seemed a trifle too large for him. A slouch hat was pulled down over his eyes. His right hand was thrust in the side pocket of his coat. Even in that subdued light the gleam of triumph in his eyes was only too apparent. Judge Lathrop stared...

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