"It's Mrs. McMurdle's pest of a monkey, sirs" blithered the maid. "Asking your pardon. The one she made such a fuss about sending away, last month, when all beastees was barred from the Park. It must 'a' strayed back from where she sent it to, the crafty little nuisance! It's--"
"Incidentally," said the Master, "it is the creature that wrecked your room. See the ink on it. And that bit of porcelain it's brandishing at us looks like a match for some of these smashed bits on the floor. It got in here, I suppose, through that window, earlier,--and--"
"No," corrected the Mistress, wiser at deduction. "Through the doorway, downstairs. From somewhere outside. Probably while the maid was dusting the dining-room. It came in here and began destroying things; as monkeys love to. And Laddie struck its trail and followed it up here. It heard Lad coming and it got out through the window. Then, just now, something outside scared it; and it climbed back in again. I wonder if--"
As she talked, the Mistress had moved toward the nearest window.
"See?" she finished, in triumph, as she pointed out and down.
On the patch of back lawn, below, stood a very much flustered old lady, her worried gaze upraised to the study. In one hand she carried a leash, in the other a half-peeled banana.
"It's Mrs. McMurdle!" exclaimed Harmon. "The maid was right. She must have disobeyed the ordinance and had the miserable monkey hidden in her house all the time. It must have gotten out, this morning; and she hunted around till she saw it perched on the top of the window cornice. I suppose it dived back in here, at sight of her. She--"
"Come on, Laddie!" whispered the Mistress, under cover of a new outbreak of multiple talk. "YOU'RE acquitted, anyhow. And the rest of the scene is really no business of ours. The sooner we get you to the boarding kennels again, the less chance there is of trouble. And Master and I will come to see you there, every single day, till we go back home."