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CHAPTER I THE CHRISTMAS TREE Two old ladies sat in the corner of the drawing-room. The younger—a colonial cousin of the elder—was listening eagerly to gossip which dealt with English society in general, and Rickwell society in particular. They presumably assisted in the entertainment of the children already gathered tumultuously round the Christmas tree, provided by Mr. Morley; but Mrs. Parry's budget of scandal was too interesting... more...

I. "A LADY to see you, sir." I looked up and was at once impressed by the grace and beauty of the person thus introduced to me. "Is there anything I can do to serve you?" I asked, rising. She cast me a child-like look full of trust and candor as she seated herself in the chair I pointed out to her. "I believe so, I hope so," she earnestly assured me. "I—I am in great trouble. I have just lost my husband—but it is not that. It is... more...

PART I "We ought never to do wrong when people are looking." I The first scene is in the country, in Virginia; the time, 1880. There has been a wedding, between a handsome young man of slender means and a rich young girl—a case of love at first sight and a precipitate marriage; a marriage bitterly opposed by the girl's widowed father. Jacob Fuller, the bridegroom, is twenty-six years old, is of an old but unconsidered family which... more...

CHAPTER I THE PROPOSITION With the hum of New York above, below, and all about him, stirring his pulses and prodding his mental activities, Jerold Garrison, expert criminologist, stood at the window of his recently opened office, looking out upon the roofs and streets of the city with a new sense of pride and power in his being. New York at last! He was here—unknown and alone, it was true—but charged with an energy that he... more...

RECONSTRUCTION The two men stood upon the top of a bank bordering the rough road which led to the sea. They were listening to the lark, which had risen fluttering from their feet a moment or so ago, and was circling now above their heads. Mannering, with a quiet smile, pointed upwards. "There, my friend!" he exclaimed. "You can listen now to arguments more eloquent than any which I could ever frame. That little creature is singing the true,... more...


The Mystery of theCircular Chamber One day in late September I received the following letter from my lawyer:— "My Dear Bell,— "I shall esteem it a favour if you can make it convenient to call upon me at ten o'clock to-morrow morning on a matter of extreme privacy." At the appointed hour I was shown into Mr. Edgcombe's private room. I had known him for years—we were, in fact, old friends—and I was startled now by... more...

CHAPTER I "THE BLACK-ROBED PHANTOM 'DEATH'" "Father Adrian!" "I am here!" "I saw the doctor talking with you aside! How long have I to live? He told you the truth! Repeat his words to me!" The tall, gaunt young priest drew nearer to the bedside, and shook his head with a slow, pitying gesture. "The time was short—short indeed. Yet, why should you fear? Your confession has been made! I myself have pronounced your absolution; the holy... more...

SUDDEN DEATH She sought in vain! The young woman, who was finishing her toilette, lost patience. With a look of annoyance she half turned round, crying, "Well, Captain, it is easy to see that you are not accustomed to women's ways!" This pretty girl's lover, a man about forty, with an energetic countenance, and a broad forehead adorned with sparse locks, was smoking a Turkish cigarette, taking his ease on a divan at the far end of the room.... more...

CHAPTER I "Maraton has come! Maraton! Maraton is here!" Across Soho, threading his way with devilish ingenuity through mazes of narrow streets, scattering with his hooter little groups of gibbering, swarthy foreigners, Aaron Thurnbrein, bent double over his ancient bicycle, sped on his way towards the Commercial Road and eastwards. With narrow cheeks smeared with dust, yellow teeth showing behind his parted lips, through which the muttered... more...

A STRANGE VISIT I turned the corner abruptly and found myself in a long, dreary street; looking in the semi-fog and drizzle more desolate than those dismal old-world streets of Bath I had passed through already in my aimless wandering; I turned sharply and came almost face to face with her. She was standing on the upper step, and the door stood open; the house itself looked neglected and with the general appearance of having been shut up for... more...