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GHOST STORIES FEBRUARY, 1931

Everybody was baffled by the death of young Marguerite until this tiny ball rolled on the floor

Clue of the Blue Bead

By W. HAROLD WILSON

THE two were seated in a stuffy private office at police headquarters. Harriet Oden repeatedly wiped the tears that insisted upon clouding her soft brown eyes while occasional shudders passed over her slender body. Her fair complexion seemed pallid in contrast with her curly black hair and dark brows and lashes.

Neither had spoken for several minutes. Detective Michael Kelly, a middle-aged man of medium height and stocky build, was tapping on the desk with a pencil. His gray head drooped forward, his heavy brows knitted in a frown of deep concern.

"Now, let's see. Miss," he began to review the facts. "We ain't got much here to work on. Your sister was found dead this morning in bed, by her husband. The doctor says that death was from natural causes."

"But that is impossible. She was not ill," Harriet insisted. "Why, last evening she was in the best of spirits and feeling fine."

"That may be, Miss, but there ain't a mark on the body," the detective drawled. And after a brief pause: "Of course, circumstances point to him and his secretary pretty strong. Did your sister know what relations there was between them?"

"No," she answered. "I didn't know myself until a short time ago and I learned it then by accident. I happened to return to the house one afternoon, after Marguerite and I had started for a bridge party, and I overheard Floyd and Marie quarreling. She was insisting that he leave with her."

"You didn't tell your sister about that?" the detective queried.

"No—I couldn't."

"Have you notified your people?" he then asked.

"I—you see—Marguerite was the only one of my family left—she was like a mother to me," Harriet sobbed.

THE detective sat for several minutes, apparently turning things over in his mind, then proceeded in a slow drawling voice that was tempered with sympathy arid yet distinctly apprehensive: "Of course, she might have been poisoned or •something like that; and I've ordered that an autopsy be performed, but it couldn't be done to-day because Mr. Langdon's been hanging too close around and we don't want him to know just yet, that he's under suspicion. They'll get to that tonight. You coine in to-morrow and in the meantime I'll keep him shadowed."

"All right, but I shall never rest until I am sure that my sister was not murdered by Floyd Langdon." Her voice emphasized an unmistakable tone of determination.

Kelly frowned. "Better be careful, Miss," he warned. "If he's guilty and gets suspicious of you—there's no telling what harm he might do you."

AS she stepped into her bright colored roadster and headed toward the beach road, she thought of that happy home back in Virginia that would be no more. Having lived with her sister and brother-in-law since her mother's death several years before, she was naturally included when the Langdons decided to come to Miami Beach for a vacation. She couldn't understand then why it was that Floyd had insisted upon bringing Marie Chadwick, his private secretary, along. He wasn't engaged in any definite business. He was one of those extremely fortunate young men who had inherited a comfortable income, and who held an honorary office in one, or possibl...

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