Holmes and I rushed out and round the angle of the house, with Toller hurrying behind us.
There was the huge famished brute, its black muzzle buried in Rucastle's throat, while he writhed and screamed upon the ground.
Running up, I blew its brains out, and it fell over with its keen white teeth still meeting in the great creases of his neck.
With much labour we separated them and carried him, living but horribly mangled, into the house.
We laid him upon the drawing-room sofa,
and having dispatched the sobered Toller to bear the news to his wife, I did what I could to relieve his pain.
We were all assembled round him when the door opened, and a tall, gaunt woman entered the room.
"Mrs. Toller!" cried Miss Hunter.
"Yes, miss. Mr. Rucastle let me out when he came back before he went up to you.
Ah, miss, it is a pity you didn't let me know what you were planning, for I would have told you that your pains were wasted."
"Ha!" said Holmes, looking keenly at her. "It is clear that Mrs. Toller knows more about this matter than anyone else."
"Yes, sir, I do, and I am ready enough to tell what I know."