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CHAPTER ONE The Man Who Died I returned from the City about three o'clock on that May afternoon pretty well disgusted with life. I had been three months in the Old Country, and was fed up with it. If anyone had told me a year ago that I would have been feeling like that I should have laughed at him; but there was the fact. The weather made me liverish, the talk of the ordinary Englishman made me sick, I couldn't get enough exercise, and the... more...

CHAPTER I The trouble from which great events were to come began when Everard Dominey, who had been fighting his way through the scrub for the last three quarters of an hour towards those thin, spiral wisps of smoke, urged his pony to a last despairing effort and came crashing through the great oleander shrub to pitch forward on his head in the little clearing. It developed the next morning, when he found himself for the first time for many... more...

AN ACCIDENTAL SPY The boy sat up and rubbed his eyes. He was stiff, footsore, and a little chilly. There was no man-servant arranging his bath and clothes, no pleasant smell of coffee—none of the small luxuries to which he was accustomed. On the contrary, he had slept all night upon a bed of bracken, with no other covering than the stiff pine needles from the tall black trees, whose rustling music had lulled him to sleep. He sat up, and... more...

ALL AT SEA Mr. Joseph P. Mangles, at his ease in a deck-chair on the broad Atlantic, was smoking a most excellent cigar. Mr. Mangles was a tall, thin man, who carried his head in the manner curtly known at a girls' school as "poking." He was a clean-shaven man, with bony forehead, sunken cheeks, and an underhung mouth. His attitude towards the world was one of patient disgust. He had the air of pushing his way, chin first, doggedly through life.... more...

CHAPTER I “Down with the traitors! Down with the Russian spies! Down with Metzger!” Above the roaring of the north wind rose the clamour of voices, the cries of hate and disgust, the deep groaning sobs of fierce and militant anger. The man and the woman exchanged quick glances. “They are coming nearer,” he said. She drew aside the heavy curtain, and stood there, looking out into the night. “It is so,” she... more...


I HAVE read of men who, when forced by their calling to live for long periods in utter solitude—save for a few black faces—have made it a rule to dress regularly for dinner in order to maintain their self-respect and prevent a relapse into barbarism. It was in some such spirit, with an added touch of self-consciousness, that, at seven o'clock in the evening of 23rd September in a recent year, I was making my evening toilet in my... more...

I SEEK A BED IN ROTTERDAM The reception clerk looked up from the hotel register and shook his head firmly. "Very sorry, saire," he said, "not a bed in ze house." And he closed the book with a snap. Outside the rain came down heavens hard. Every one who came into the brightly lit hotel vestibule entered with a gush of water. I felt I would rather die than face the wind-swept streets of Rotterdam again. I turned once more to the clerk who was... more...

CHAPTER I A RENCONTRE There was no particular reason why, after having left the Opera House, I should have retraced my steps and taken my place once more amongst the throng of people who stood about in the entresol, exchanging greetings and waiting for their carriages. A backward glance as I had been about to turn into the Place de l'Opera had arrested my somewhat hurried departure. The night was young, and where else was such a sight to be... more...

CHAPTER I The woman leaned across the table towards her companion. "My friend," she said, "when we first met—I am ashamed, considering that I dine alone with you to-night, to reflect how short a time ago—you spoke of your removal here from Paris very much as though it were a veritable exile. I told you then that there might be surprises in store for you. This restaurant, for instance! We both know our Paris, yet do we lack anything... more...

CHAPTER I. THE DEPUTY TURN Mr. Arthur Mackwayte slipped noiselessly into the dining-room and took his place at the table. He always moved quietly, a look of gentle deprecation on his face as much as to say: "Really, you know, I can't help being here: if you will just overlook me this time, by and by you won't notice I'm there at all!" That was how he went through life, a shy, retiring little man, quiet as a mouse, gentle as a dove, modesty... more...