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Chapter I. AT LEAST I MEANT WELL When the dreadful thing occurred that night, every one turned on me. The injustice of it hurt me most. They said I got up the dinner, that I asked them to give up other engagements and come, that I promised all kinds of jollification, if they would come; and then when they did come and got in the papers and every one—but ourselves—laughed himself black in the face, they turned on ME! I, who suffered... more...

CHAPTER I I HAVE A WARNING When it was all over Mr. Sam came out to the spring-house to say good-by to me before he and Mrs. Sam left. I hated to see him go, after all we had been through together, and I suppose he saw it in my face, for he came over close and stood looking down at me, and smiling. "You saved us, Minnie," he said, "and I needn't tell you we're grateful; but do you know what I think?" he asked, pointing his long forefinger at... more...

So many unkind things have been said of the affair at Morris Valley that I think it best to publish a straightforward account of everything. The ill nature of the cartoon, for instance, which showed Tish in a pair of khaki trousers on her back under a racing-car was quite uncalled for. Tish did not wear the khaki trousers; she merely took them along in case of emergency. Nor was it true that Tish took Aggie along as a mechanician and brutally... more...

SENTIMENT AND CLUES In my criminal work anything that wears skirts is a lady, until the law proves her otherwise. From the frayed and slovenly petticoats of the woman who owns a poultry stand in the market and who has grown wealthy by selling chickens at twelve ounces to the pound, or the silk sweep of Mamie Tracy, whose diamonds have been stolen down on the avenue, or the staidly respectable black and middle-aged skirt of the client whose... more...

CHAPTER I The old stucco house sat back in a garden, or what must once have been a garden, when that part of the Austrian city had been a royal game preserve. Tradition had it that the Empress Maria Theresa had used the building as a hunting-lodge, and undoubtedly there was something royal in the proportions of the salon. With all the candles lighted in the great glass chandelier, and no sidelights, so that the broken paneling was mercifully... more...


CHAPTER I. I GO TO PITTSBURG McKnight is gradually taking over the criminal end of the business. I never liked it, and since the strange case of the man in lower ten, I have been a bit squeamish. Given a case like that, where you can build up a network of clues that absolutely incriminate three entirely different people, only one of whom can be guilty, and your faith in circumstantial evidence dies of overcrowding. I never see a shivering,... more...

I am not a susceptible woman. I am objective rather than subjective, and a fairly full experience of life has taught me that most of my impressions are from within out rather than the other way about. For instance, obsession at one time a few years ago of a shadowy figure on my right, just beyond the field of vision, was later exposed as the result of a defect in my glasses. In the same way Maggie, my old servant, was during one entire summer... more...

CHAPTER I I TAKE A COUNTRY HOUSE This is the story of how a middle-aged spinster lost her mind, deserted her domestic gods in the city, took a furnished house for the summer out of town, and found herself involved in one of those mysterious crimes that keep our newspapers and detective agencies happy and prosperous. For twenty years I had been perfectly comfortable; for twenty years I had had the window-boxes filled in the spring, the carpets... more...

I "Heaven and earth," sang the tenor, Mr. Henry Wallace, owner of the Wallace garage. His larynx, which gave him somewhat the effect of having swallowed a crab-apple and got it only part way down, protruded above his low collar. "Heaven and earth," sang the bass, Mr. Edwin Goodno, of the meat market and the Boy Scouts. "Heaven and earth, are full—" His chin, large and fleshy, buried itself deep; his eyes were glued on the music sheet in... more...

I The stage on which we play our little dramas of life and love has for most of us but one setting. It is furnished out with approximately the same things. Characters come, move about and make their final exits through long-familiar doors. And the back drop remains approximately the same from beginning to end. Palace or hovel, forest or sea, it is the background for the moving figures of the play. So Sara Lee Kennedy had a back drop that had... more...