Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Sussex Tragedies and Romances.            217
damning a piece of evidence, fling it away almost as soon as he had got it? Then why did he take it at the peril of his life? Robbers—especially highwaymen—do not act in this way, unless in immediate danger of apprehension, and nobody ran this risk as a murderer of Mr. Griffith. A few people of doubtful character were questioned as to their whereabouts on the night in question ; but nobody was ever taken into custody or even lay under suspicion. There was a rumour about two men being seen in the neighbourhood on the day of the murder; but they could not have been Brighton men, or they would have been marked and known; and if strangers, how is the warning letter to be explained? This points to a long-planned robbery, and if so, it must have been planned by men living in the same town as the writer of the letter and the intended victim resided in—that is, Brighton. It must not be forgotten, too, that the warning letter was sent, not to Mr. Griffith, but to Mr. Martin, his clerk—that he was the party who, in the ordinary course of events, would have made the journey, and he, therefore, must have been the object of attack, and not Mr. Griffith. This does away with the idea of personal revenge as a motive to the crime.
There is one circumstance in this mysterious crime to which we have not referred, namely, the presumptive evidence of a desire for concealment on the part of one of the murderers, in the shape of the mask formed by the spectacle frame and the crape. Was, then, the assailant known to his intended victim ? If so, he could not have been unknown to Mr. Griffith's friends and dependents—to Mr. Martin especially, whom he must have expected to meet—and he could scarcely have avoided suspicion. None such ever fell on any individual. How singular, too, that this piece of disguise (which might have led to detection) and the knife with which the reins were cut should have been left in the road, when they might have been, in a comparatively clear night, so easily carried off! for it was some hours before any passer-by came to discover the body. Yet the men who did not do this took the precaution
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