"There!" he said mockingly, straightening out the hair and holding it up in the light. "That's calculated to set one's thoughts running all over the place, isn't it? That piece of hair was caught in the buckle of one of the straps with which Miss Mackwayte was bound to the bed. Miss Mackwayte, I would point out, has brown hair. Whose hair do you think that is?"
Desmond looked closely at the strand of hair in the detective's fingers. It was long and fine and glossy and jetblack.
The Chief laughed and shook his head.
"Haven't an idea, Marigold," he answered, "Barney's, I should imagine, that is, if he goes about with black ringlets falling round his shoulders
"Barney?" echoed the detective. "Barney's as bald as I am. Besides, if you saw his sheet, you'd realize that he has got into the habit of wearing his hair short!"
He carefully rolled the strand of hair up, replaced it in its paper and stowed it in his waistcoat pocket.
"It just shows how easily one is misled in a matter of this kind," he went on. "Supposing Barney hadn't got himself nabbed, supposing I hadn't been able to find out from Miss Mackwayte her movements on the night previous to the murder, that strand of hair might have led me on a fine wild goose chase!"
"But, damn it, Marigold," exclaimed the Chief, laughing, "you haven't told us whose hair it is?"