Q. And when did the prisoner return?
A. It may have been five o'clock when I saw him come in.
Q. Did his manner then show any signs of agitation or disturbance?
A. No, sir, I can't say it did. On the contrary, he seemed cheerful and relieved, as if he had got something off his mind.
Q. Did you tell him what had happened?
A. Yes, to be sure. -
Q. And how did he take it?
A. Very quiet-sort of stunned hke.
Q. Did he make any remark?
A. He said something in his own language, sir, very deep and hoarse. It sounded like-but I really can't manage it.
M. le Baron (interposing): ' It was " Non, non, par pitiel'"
Counsel (tartly): I shall be obliged, sir, if you will keep your evidence till it is asked for. (M. le Baron admitted his error with a bow.)
Q. Was that all?
A. One of the maids told him, sir, that his master was asking for him, and he went off at once, without another word.
Q. And he has never referred to the subject since ?
A. He would not talk of it. It was too horrible, he said.
Jessie Ellis, parlour-maid, and a couple of housemaids-(they kept no male indoor servants, except the butler, at Wildshott)-Kate Vokes and Mabel Wheelband, gave corroborative evidence, substantiating in all essential particulars the last witness's statement.
Reuben Henstridge, landlord of the Red Deer inn, was the next witness summoned. He was a big cloddish fellow, unprepossessing in appearance, and reluctant and unwilling in his answers, as though surlily suspecting some design to ensnare him into compromising himself. He deposed that on the afternoon of the crime he was out on the hill somewhere, below his inn 'taking the air,' when he saw a man break through the lower beech-thicket skirting Wildshott, and go down quickly towards the high road. That man was the prisoner. He parted the branches savage-like, and jumped the bank and trench, moving his arms and talking to himself all the time. Witness went on with his business of 'taking the air,' and, when he had had enough, returned to his own premises. Later, Mr Cleghorn, whom he knew very well as a casual customer, came in for a glass. He did not look himself, and stayed only a short time, and that was the whole he knew of the matter.
Q. What time of day was it when you saw the prisoner come from the wood?
A. Ten after two, it might be.
Q. And he went down towards the road?
A. Aye. ,
Q. Did you notice what became of him? A. No, I didn't. I had my own concerns to look after.
Q. Taking the air, eh? A. That's it.
Q. You weren't taking it with a wire, I suppose? (Laughter.)
A. No, I weren't. You keep a civil tongue in your head.
The witness, called sharply to order by the Coroner, stood glowering and muttering.
Q. Where is your inn situated?
A. Top o' Stockford Down.
Q. How far is it from the high road?
A. Call it a mile and a half.
Q. Where were you on the hill when you saw the prisoner?
A. Nigher the road than the inn. Three-quarters way down, say.
Q. Were you anywhere near the prisoner when he emerged?
A. Nigh as close as I am to you.
Q. Did he see you?
A. No, he didn't. I were hid in the ditch. [Laughter.)
Q. You didn't recognise him?
A. Not likely. I'd never seen him before.
Q. Did anything strike you in his manner or expression ? A. He looked uncommon wild.
Q. Did he? Now, what time was it when you started to return to your inn? A. It may have been an hour later. Q. A little after three, say? A. Aye.
Q. Did you pass anybody by the way? A. No.
Q. The Red Deer is very lonely situated, is it not?
A. Lonely enough.
Q. High up, at the meeting of four cross roads, I understand? A. That's it.
Q. You don't have many customers in the course of a day?
A. Maybe, maybe not.
Q. Not so many that you would forget this one or that having called yesterday or the day before?
A. What are you trying to get at?
Q. I must trouble you to answer questions, not put them. What time was it on that day when Mr Cleghorn looked in?
A. Put it at four o'clock.
Q. And you thougnt he looked unwell?
A. He said himself he was feeling out of sorts. The liquor seemed to pull him round a bit.
Q. Did he say anything else?
A. Not much. He went as soon a'most as he'd drunk it down. I thought he'd tired himself walking up the hill.
Q. What made you think that?
A. I see'd him a'coming when he was far off. I was crossing the yard to the pump at the time. That might have been at a quarter before four. He looked as if he'd pulled his cap over his eyes and turned his coat collar up; but I couldn't make him out distinct.
Q. How did you know, then, that it was Mr Cleghorn ?
A. Because he come in himself a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes later. Who else could it be?
What sort of coat and hat or cap was this figure wearing ?
A. What I see when Mr Cleghorn come in, of course-same as he's got now.
Q. Colour, style-the same in every particular?
A. That's it.
Q. You made out the figure in the distance to be wearing a coat and cloth cap hke Mr Cleghorn's?
A. Nat'rally, as it were Mr Cleghorn himself.
Q. Now attend to me. Will you swear you could distinguish the colour of the coat and cap the figure was wearing?
A. I won't go so far as to say that. It were a dull day, and my eyesight none of the bestk and he were too far off, and down in the shadder of the hollers. He looked all one colour to me--a sort o' misty purple. But I knew him for Mr Cleghorn, sure enough, when he walked into the tap.
Q. Wonderfully sagacious of you. (Laughter.) How far away was this figure when you saw it?
A. Couple o' hundred yards, maybe.
Q. Was it climbing the hill fast?
A. What you might call fast-hurrying.
Q. Didn't it strike you as odd, then, that it should take it a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes to cover that short distance between the spot where you saw it and your inn?