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Alias the Lone Wolf   By: (1879-1933)

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First Page:

[Illustration: "And who would ever believe anybody else guilty who knew your guest was Michael Lanyard, alias 'The Lone Wolf'?"]

ALIAS

THE LONE WOLF

BY

LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE

[Illustration: FRUCTUS QUAM FOLIA ]

1921

TO

ROBERT AITKEN SWAN

WHOSE FRIENDSHIP I HAVE TRIED

IN MANY OTHER WAYS, THIS

YARN WITH DIFFIDENCE IS

DEDICATED

NOTE: This is the fourth of the Lone Wolf stories. Its predecessors were, in chronological sequence, "The Lone Wolf," "The False Faces," "Red Masquerade."

Each story, however, is entirely self contained and independent of the others.

If it matters....

LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE

Westport 9 September, 1921.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I WALKING PAPERS

II ONE WALKS

III MEETING BY MOONLIGHT

IV EVE

V PHINUIT & CO

VI VISITATION

VII TURN ABOUT

VIII IN RE AMOR ET AL

IX BLIND MAN'S BUFF

X BUT AS A MUSTARD SEED

XI AU REVOIR

XII TRAVELS WITH AN ASSASSIN

XIII ATHENAIS

XIV DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND

XV ADIEU

XVI THE HOUSE OF LILITH

XVII CHEZ LIANE

XVIII BROTHER AND SISTER

XIX SIX BOTTLES OF CHAMPAGNE

XX THE SYBARITES

XXI SOUNDINGS

XXII OUT OF SOUNDINGS

XXIII THE CIGARETTE

XXIV HISTORIC REPETITION

XXV THE MALCONTENT

XXVI THE BINNACLE

XXVII ÇA VA BIEN!

XXVIII FINALE

ALIAS

THE LONE WOLF

I

WALKING PAPERS

Through the suave, warm radiance of that afternoon of Spring in England a gentleman of modest and commonly amiable deportment bore a rueful countenance down Piccadilly and into Halfmoon street, where presently he introduced it to one whom he found awaiting him in his lodgings, much at ease in his easiest chair, making free with his whiskey and tobacco, and reading a slender brown volume selected from his shelves.

This dégagé person was patently an Englishman, though there were traces of Oriental ancestry in his cast. The other, he of the doleful habit, was as unmistakably of Gallic pattern, though he dressed and carried himself in a thoroughly Anglo Saxon fashion, and even seemed a trace intrigued when greeted by a name distinctively French.

For the Englishman, rousing from his appropriated ease, dropped his book to the floor beside the chair, uprose and extended a cordial hand, exclaiming: "H'are ye, Monsieur Duchemin?"

To this the other responded, after a slight pause, obscurely enough: "Oh! ancient history, eh? Well, for the matter of that: How are you, Mister Wertheimer?"

Their hands fell apart, and Monsieur Duchemin proceeded to do away his hat and stick and chamois gloves; while his friend, straddling in front of a cold grate and extending his hands to an imaginary blaze, covered with a mild complaint the curiosity excited by a brief study of that face of melancholy.

"Pretty way you've got of making your friends wait on your pleasure. Here I've wasted upwards of two hours of His Majesty's time..."

"How was I to know you'd have the cheek to force your way in here in my absence and help yourself to my few poor consolations?" Duchemin retorted, helping himself to them in turn. "But then one never does know what fresh indignity Fate has in store..."

"After you with that whiskey, by your leave. I say: I'd give something to know where you ignorant furriners come by this precious pre War stuff." But without waiting to be denied this information, Mr. Wertheimer continued: "Going on the evidence of your looks and temper, you've been down to Tilbury Docks this afternoon to see Karslake and Sonia off."

"A few such flashes of intelligence applied professionally, my friend, should carry you far."

"And the experience has left you feeling a bit down, what?"

"I imagine even you do not esteem parting with those whom one loves an exhilarating pastime."

"But when it's so obviously for their own good..."

"Oh, I know!" Duchemin agreed without enthusiasm. "If anything should happen to Karslake now, it would break Sonia's heart, but..."

"And after the part he played in that Vassilyevski show his lease of life wouldn't be apt to be prolonged by staying on in England."

"I agree; but still !" sighed Duchemin, throwing himself heavily into a chair... Continue reading book >>




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