This is the way I figure it out: Sprague has good reason to be afraid he's next on the program.
"Sprague's hat?" he asked, pointing to a brightly banded straw which lay upon the top of the cabinet.
Collins--the lad I sent to check up on the taxi companies--says he's located the driver that answered Sprague's call last night.
The driver says he was called about 9:15, told to come immediately, and to wait for Sprague at the foot of the hill, on the main road.
Of course, nobody knew Sprague was in here, and since his hat and stick was both missing from the hall closet, they took it for granted he'd beat it....
Not until he had taken in the general aspect of the room did Dundee look at the thing over which Captain Strawn and the coroner were bending--the body of Dexter Sprague.
"I was, except Sprague, of course, and I had no idea he'd gone there. Drake wanted to play anagrams, and before the bridge game started, I went to the trophy room to get the box," Miles explained.
The one visible eye was half open, but on the sallow, thin face, which had been strikingly handsome in an obvious sort of way, was a peace and dignity which Dundee had never seen upon Sprague's face when the man was alive.
Once before--on Sunday, the day after Nita Selim's murder, when he had come to interview Lydia Carr and had secured the alibi which had eliminated Dexter Sprague as a suspect--Dundee had driven his car up this hill between the tall yew hedges.