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Mystery

From Lint’s Library

The Gerrard Street Mystery And Other Weird Tales

by John Charles Dent

5 minute read

John Charles Dent, the author of the following remarkable stories, was born in Kendal, Westmorland, England, in 1841. His parents emigrated to Canada shortly after that event, bringing with them, of course, the youth who was afterwards to become the Canadian author and historian. Mr. Dent received his primary education in Canadian schools, and afterwards studied law, becoming in due course a member of the Upper Canada Bar. He only practised for a few years. He found the profession profitable enough but uncongenial—as it could not well help being, in an obscure Canadian, village, twenty years ago—and very probably he was already cherishing ambitious dreams of literary labors, which he was eager to begin in the world's literary centre, London. He accordingly relinquished his practice as soon as he felt himself in a position to do so, and went to England. He had not miscalculated his powers, as too many...

The Mystery Of Lincoln's Inn

by Robert Machray

8 minute read

It was at half-past ten in the forenoon of a Saturday in July that Mr. Cooper Silwood, precise in attire, composed in appearance, and punctual as usual to the minute, walked into his room on the first floor of 176 New Square, Lincoln's Inn, where were the offices of Eversleigh, Silwood and Eversleigh, the well-known and long-established firm of solicitors of which he was a partner. He was met, as was customary, on his entrance by the head-clerk, John Williamson, who had already opened and sorted out methodically the letters received over-night. An admirable specimen of his class, Williamson generally wore an air of great imperturbability, but this morning his face had a troubled expression. "Anything special, Mr. Williamson?" asked Silwood quietly, putting away his hat and gloves. "There are two or three important matters to attend to, sir," replied the man quickly. "The most important is a letter from...

Auriol; Or, The Elixir Of Life

by William Harrison Ainsworth

11 minute read

Late one night, in the spring of 1830, two men issued from a low, obscurely situated public-house, near Millbank, and shaped their course apparently in the direction of Vauxhall Bridge. Avoiding the footpath near the river, they moved stealthily along the farther side of the road, where the open ground offered them an easy means of flight, in case such a course should be found expedient. So far as it could be discerned by the glimpses of the moon, which occasionally shone forth from a rack of heavy clouds, the appearance of these personages was not much in their favour. Haggard features, stamped deeply with the characters of crime and debauchery; fierce, restless eyes; beards of several days' growth; wild, unkempt heads of hair, formed their chief personal characteristics; while sordid and ragged clothes, shoes without soles, and old hats without crowns, constituted the sum of their apparel. One of...

Five Thousand Dollars Reward

by A. Frank Pinkerton

8 minute read

"Will you give me a glass of water, please?" A ragged, bearded tramp stood before the door of a cottage near the outskirts of a country village, and propounded this question to a pretty girl who stood in the door. "In a moment." The girl disappeared, soon returning with a pitcher. She went to the pump near, and soon had the pitcher running over with sparkling water. "I will bring a cup." "Needn't mind." The tramp lifted the pitcher and quaffed the water as though he enjoyed it. His eyes were not pleasant as he turned them keenly on the pretty face of the girl. "Folks at home?" "No." "All alone, eh?" "Yes; but Ransom will be around soon—my brother." The eyes of the tramp glittered. He seemed to delight in reading the fresh young face before him. "Nobody at home, eh?" he grunted. "Mebbe I'd better go in and...

The Talleyrand Maxim

by J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher

13 minute read

Linford Pratt, senior clerk to Eldrick & Pascoe, solicitors, of Barford, a young man who earnestly desired to get on in life, by hook or by crook, with no objection whatever to crookedness, so long as it could be performed in safety and secrecy, had once during one of his periodical visits to the town Reference Library, lighted on a maxim of that other unscrupulous person, Prince Talleyrand, which had pleased him greatly. "With time and patience," said Talleyrand, "the mulberry leaf is turned into satin." This seemed to Linford Pratt one of the finest and soundest pieces of wisdom which he had ever known put into words. A mulberry leaf is a very insignificant thing, but a piece of satin is a highly marketable commodity, with money in it. Henceforth, he regarded himself as a mulberry leaf which his own wit and skill must transform into satin: at the...

Mademoiselle Of Monte Carlo

by William Le Queux

25 minute read

“Yes! I’m not mistaken at all! It’s the same woman! ” whispered the tall, good-looking young Englishman in a well-cut navy suit as he stood with his friend, a man some ten years older than himself, at one of the roulette tables at Monte Carlo, the first on the right on entering the room—that one known to habitual gamblers as “The Suicide’s Table.” “Are you quite certain?” asked his friend. “Positive. I should know her again anywhere.” “She’s very handsome. And look, too, by Jove!—how she is winning!” “Yes. But let’s get away. She might recognize me,” exclaimed the younger man anxiously. “Ah! If I could only induce her to disclose what she knows about my poor father’s mysterious end then we might clear up the mystery.” “I’m afraid, if all we hear is true about her, Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo will never do that,” was the other’s reply as...

The Hand In The Dark

by Arthur J. (Arthur John) Rees

12 minute read

Seen in the sad glamour of an English twilight, the old moat-house, emerging from the thin mists which veiled the green flats in which it stood, conveyed the impression of a habitation falling into senility, tired with centuries of existence. Houses grow old like the race of men; the process is not less inevitable, though slower; in both, decay is hastened by events as well as by the passage of Time. The moat-house was not so old as English country-houses go, but it had aged quickly because of its past. There was a weird and bloody history attached to the place: an historical record of murders and stabbings and quarrels dating back to Saxon days, when a castle had stood on the spot, and every inch of the flat land had been drenched in the blood of serfs fighting under a Saxon tyrant against a Norman tyrant for the sacred...

The Shrieking Pit

by Arthur J. (Arthur John) Rees

5 minute read

NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY STREET & SMITH CORPORATION COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY JOHN LANE COMPANY Blakeney , A. J. R. Norfolk ....

The Crime Club

by W. (William) Holt-White

9 minute read

Hearing the sound of lightly-falling footsteps behind him, Captain Melun ceased his investigations of Sir Paul Westerham's kit-bag and cautiously turned his head. As he did so, the captain experienced a painful sensation. He felt a little cold ring of steel pressed against his right temple, and from past experience, both objective and subjective, he knew that a Colt cartridge was held, so to speak, in leash within five inches of his head. It was very still on board the Gigantic . The liner rose and fell easily on the long, oily Atlantic swell of the Bay of Biscay. Moreover, there was upon the entire vessel that peace which comes between the post-prandial exercises, such as deck quoits, of Atlantic passengers and the comparative bustle which arrives with tea-time. In short, the hour was half-past three o'clock. Captain Melun for several infinitely long seconds was offered an opportunity of enjoying...

The Ivory Snuff Box

by Frederic Arnold Kummer

9 minute read

The last thing that sounded in Richard Duvall's ears as he left the office of Monsieur Lefevre, Prefect of Police of Paris, were the latter's words, spoken in a voice of mingled confidence and alarm, "The fortunes of a nation may depend upon your faithfulness. Go, and God be with you." He entered the automobile which was drawn up alongside the curb, and accompanied by Vernet, one of the Prefect's assistants, was soon threading the torrent of traffic which pours through the Rue de Rivoli . The thoughts which lay uppermost in the detective's mind were of Grace, his wife; Grace Ellicott, who had become Grace Duvall but little more than an hour before. By this time he had expected to be on his way to Cherbourg, en route to New York, with Grace by his side. They had looked forward so happily to their honeymoon, on shipboard, and now—he...

The Tickencote Treasure

by William Le Queux

12 minute read

If you are fond of a mystery I believe you will ponder over this curious narrative just as I have pondered. Certain persons, having heard rumours of the strange adventures that once happened to me, have asked me to write them down in detail, so that they may be printed and given to the world in their proper sequence. Therefore, in obedience, and in order to set at rest for ever certain wild and unfounded reports which crept into the papers at the time, I do so without fear or favour, seeking to conceal no single thing, but merely to relate what I actually saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. I read somewhere the other day the sweeping statement, written probably by one of our superior young gentlemen just down from Oxford, that Romance is dead. This allegation, however, I make so bold as to...

In Friendship's Guise

by William Murray Graydon

13 minute read

The day began well. The breakfast rolls were crisper than usual, the butter was sweeter, and never had Diane's slender white hands poured out more delicious coffee. Jack Clare was in the highest spirits as he embraced his wife and sallied forth into the Boulevard St. Germain, with a flat, square parcel wrapped in brown paper under his arm. From the window of the entresol Diane waved a coquettish farewell. "Remember, in an hour," she called down to him. "I shall be ready by then, Jack, and waiting. We will lunch at Bignon's—" "And drive in the Bois, and wind up with a jolly evening," he interrupted, throwing a kiss. "I will hasten back, dear one. Be sure that you put on your prettiest frock, and the jacket with the ermine trimming." It was a clear and frosty January morning, in the year 1892, and the streets of Paris were...

The Crime Of The French Café And Other Stories

by Nicholas (House name) Carter

8 minute read

There is a well-known French restaurant in the "Tenderloin" district which provides its patrons with small but elegantly appointed private dining-rooms. The restaurant occupies a corner house; and, though its reputation is not strictly first-class in some respects, its cook is an artist, and its wine cellar as good as the best. It has two entrances, and the one on the side street is not well lighted at night. At half-past seven o'clock one evening Nick Carter was standing about fifty yards from this side door. The detective had shadowed a man to a house on the side street, and was waiting for him to come out. The case was a robbery of no great importance, but Nick had taken it to oblige a personal friend, who wished to have the business managed quietly. This affair would not be worth mentioning, except that it led Nick to one of the...

Simon

by J. Storer (Joseph Storer) Clouston

7 minute read

The train had come a long journey and the afternoon was wearing on. The passenger in the last third class compartment but one, looking out of the window sombrely and intently, saw nothing now but desolate brown hills and a winding lonely river, very northern looking under the autumnal sky. He was alone in the carriage, and if any one had happened to study his movements during the interminable journey, they would have concluded that for some reason he seemed to have a singularly strong inclination for solitude. In fact this was at least the third compartment he had occupied, for whenever a fellow traveller entered, he unostentatiously descended, and in a moment had slipped, also unostentatiously, into an empty carriage. Finally he had selected one at the extreme end of the train, a judicious choice which had ensured privacy for the last couple of hours. When the train at...

The Agony Column

by Earl Derr Biggers

18 minute read

Two years ago, in July that historic summer was almost unbearably hot. It seems, looking back, as though the big baking city in those days was meant to serve as an anteroom of torture—an inadequate bit of preparation for the hell that was soon to break in the guise of the Great War. About the soda-water bar in the drug store near the Hotel Cecil many American tourists found solace in the sirups and creams of home. Through the open windows of the Piccadilly tea shops you might catch glimpses of the English consuming quarts of hot tea in order to become cool. It is a paradox they swear by. About nine o’clock on the morning of Friday, July twenty-fourth, in that memorable year nineteen hundred and fourteen, Geoffrey West left his apartments in Adelphi Terrace and set out for breakfast at the Carlton. He had found the breakfast room...

The Diamond Ship

by Max Pemberton

14 minute read

THE PREFACE OF TIMOTHY McSHANUS, JOURNALIST. It would have been at the Fancy Fair and Fête at Kensington Town Hall that my friend, Dr. Fabos, first met Miss Fordibras. Very well do I recollect that he paid the price of it for the honourable company of the Goldsmith Club. “McShanus,” said he, “if there’s anyone knows his way to a good supper, ’tis yourself and no other. Lead forth to the masquerade, and I follow. Spare no expense, McShanus. Your friends are my friends. I would have this a memorable night—the last I may be in London for many a year.” There were seven of us who took him at his word and got into the cab together. You must know that he had paid for a little dinner at the Goldsmith Club already, and never a man who did not justice to his handsome hospitality. The night was clear,...

The Circular Staircase

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

19 minute read

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 lifted, the awnings put up and the furniture covered with brown linen; for as many summers I had said good-by to my friends, and, after watching their perspiring hegira, had settled down to a delicious quiet in town, where the mail comes three times a day, and the water supply does not depend on a tank on the roof. And then—the madness seized me. When I look back over the months I spent at Sunnyside, I wonder that I...

Lonesome Town

by E. S. (Ethel Smith) Dorrance

24 minute read

The trail spilled into a pool of shadows at the bottom of the gorge. As if doubtful of following it, the lone rider in chaps and a flannel shirt drew up for a “breathing.” This was gratefully advantaged by his mount. Evidently they had come at speed, whatever the distance, for the reins were lathered and foam flecked the bit corners. The man removed his white sombrero and mopped his brow with a purple bandanna. The fingers with which he combed back his moist thatch nicely matched the hair in color—sunburn brown. His head bulged slightly at the back, but was balanced on a neck and shoulders splendidly proportioned. His rather plain face was not covered with stubble or mustache—cheek bones high, jaw sloping in at an angle, nose straight, lips thin by contrast with their width. While he rests in his saddle, every pore of him exuding healthfully to...

The Dark House: A Knot Unravelled

by George Manville Fenn

15 minute read

“Don’t drink our sherry, Charles?” Mr Preenham, the butler, stood by the table in the gloomy servants’ hall, as if he had received a shock. “No, sir; I took ’em up the beer at first, and they shook their heads and asked for wine, and when I took ’em the sherry they shook their heads again, and the one who speaks English said they want key-aunty.” “Well, all I have got to say,” exclaimed the portly cook, “is, that if I had known what was going to take place, I wouldn’t have stopped an hour after the old man died. It’s wicked! And something awful will happen, as sure as my name’s Thompson.” “Don’t say that, Mrs Thompson,” said the mild-looking butler. “It is very dreadful, though.” “Dreadful isn’t the word. Are we ancient Egyptians? I declare, ever since them Hightalians have been in the house, going about like three...

The Green God

by Frederic Arnold Kummer

18 minute read

The dull October afternoon was rapidly drawing to a close as I passed through the village of Pinhoe, and set my steps rather wearily toward Exeter. I had conceived the idea, some time before, of walking from London to Torquay, partly because I felt the need of the exercise and fresh air, and partly because I wanted to do some sketching in the southwest counties. Perhaps had I realized, when I started out, what manner of adventure would befall me in the neighborhood of the town of Exeter, I should have given that place a wide berth. As matters now stood, my chief concern at the moment was to decide whether or not I could reach there before the impending storm broke. For a time I had thought of spending the night at the inn at Pinhoe, but, after a careful examination of the wind-swept sky and the masses of...