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CHAPTER I THE STRANGE MAN'S ARRIVAL The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself... more...

PREFACE It is with great good will that I write this short preface to the edition of "A Doctor of the Old School" (which has been illustrated by Mr. Gordon after an admirable and understanding fashion) because there are two things that I should like to say to my readers, being also my friends. One, is to answer a question that has been often and fairly asked. Was there ever any doctor so self-forgetful and so utterly Christian as William... more...

THE VANISHING MAN The school of St. Margaret's Hospital was fortunate in its lecturer on Medical Jurisprudence, or Forensic Medicine, as it is sometimes described. At some schools the lecturer on this subject is appointed apparently for the reason that he lacks the qualifications to lecture on any other. But with us it was very different: John Thorndyke was not only an enthusiast, a man of profound learning and great reputation, but he was an... more...

BEHIND THE TIMES. My first interview with Dr. James Winter was under dramatic circumstances. It occurred at two in the morning in the bedroom of an old country house. I kicked him twice on the white waistcoat and knocked off his gold spectacles, while he with the aid of a female accomplice stifled my angry cries in a flannel petticoat and thrust me into a warm bath. I am told that one of my parents, who happened to be present, remarked in a... more...

I THE MAN WITH THE NAILED SHOES There are, I suppose, few places even on the East Coast of England more lonely and remote than the village of Little Sundersley and the country that surrounds it. Far from any railway, and some miles distant from any considerable town, it remains an outpost of civilization, in which primitive manners and customs and old-world tradition linger on into an age that has elsewhere forgotten them. In the summer, it... more...


CHAPTER I AN INTELLIGENT PRESCRIPTION The man in the silk-lined, London-made overcoat, holding his hat firmly on his head lest the January wind send its expensive perfection into the gutter, paused to ask his way of the man with no overcoat, his hands shoved into his ragged pockets, his shapeless headgear crowded down over his eyes, red and bleary with the piercing wind. "Burns?" repeated the second man to the question of the first. "Doc... more...

CHAPTER I. IN WHICH HE VOWS A VOW "There comes the Green Imp." "How can you tell?" "Don't you hear? Red's coming in on five cylinders for all he can get out of 'em. Anybody else would stop and fix up. He's in too much of a hurry—as usual." The Green Imp tore past the porch where Burns's neighbours waved arms of greeting which he failed to see, for he did not turn his head. The car went round the curve of the driveway at perilous speed,... more...

WHOLLY GIVEN OVER TO SENTIMENT The Green Imp, long, low and powerful, carrying besides its two passengers a motor trunk, a number of bulky parcels, and a full share of mud, drew to one side of the road. The fifth April shower of the afternoon was on, although it was barely three o'clock. Redfield Pepper Burns, physician and surgeon, descended from the car, a brawny figure in an enveloping gray motoring coat. He wore no hat upon his heavy crop... more...

It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer. A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity—but that would be asking too much of fate! Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it. Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted? John laughs at me, of course, but... more...

In a Fog. “Ugh! what a night! And I used to grumble about Hogley Marsh! Why, it’s like living in a drain!” Ramillies Street, W.C., was certainly not attractive at twelve o’clock on that December night, for it had been snowing in the early part of the evening; that snow was suffering from a fall of blacks: and as evil communications corrupt good manners, the evil communication of the London soot was corrupting the good... more...