and, looking up, dazed, he saw that the detective had sprung back, and was contemplating him with a grim smile over the barrel of an ugly-looking little revolver.
Guilty or innocent, the first thing a man does when he finds handcuffs on his wrists is to try to get them off. The action is automatic. Mr. McEachern strained at the steel chain till the veins stood out on his forehead. His great body shook with rage.
The detective eyed these efforts with some satisfaction. The picture presented by the other as he heaved and tugged was that of a guilty man trapped.
"It's no good, my friend," he said.
The voice brought McEachern back to his senses. In the first shock of the thing, the primitive man in him had led him beyond the confines of self-restraint. He had simply struggled unthinkingly. Now, he came to himself again.
He shook his manacled hands furiously.
"What does this mean?" he shouted. "What the—?"
"Less noise," said the detective, sharply. "Get back!" he snapped, as the other took a step forward.
"Do you know who I am?" thundered McEachern.
"No," said the detective. "And that's just why you're wearing those bracelets. Come, now, don't be a fool. The game's up. Can't you see that?"
McEachern leaned helplessly against the billiard-table. He felt weak. Everything was unreal. Had he gone mad? he wondered.