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Arsene Lupin   By: (1864-1941)

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First Page:

ARSENE LUPIN

BY

EDGAR JEPSON AND MAURICE LEBLANC

Frontispiece by H. Richard Boehm

CONTENTS

I. THE MILLIONAIRE'S DAUGHTER II. THE COMING OF THE CHAROLAIS III. LUPIN'S WAY IV. THE DUKE INTERVENES V. A LETTER FROM LUPIN VI. AGAIN THE CHAROLAIS VII. THE THEFT OF THE MOTOR CARS VIII. THE DUKE ARRIVES IX. M. FORMERY OPENS THE INQUIRY X. GUERCHARD ASSISTS XI. THE FAMILY ARRIVES XII. THE THEFT OF THE PENDANT XIII. LUPIN WIRES XIV. GUERCHARD PICKS UP THE TRUE SCENT XV. THE EXAMINATION OF SONIA XVI. VICTOIRE'S SLIP XVII. SONIA'S ESCAPE XVIII. THE DUKE STAYS XIX. THE DUKE GOES XX. LUPIN COMES HOME XXI. THE CUTTING OF THE TELEPHONE WIRES XII. THE BARGAIN XXIII. THE END OF THE DUEL

ARSENE LUPIN

CHAPTER I

THE MILLIONAIRE'S DAUGHTER

The rays of the September sun flooded the great halls of the old chateau of the Dukes of Charmerace, lighting up with their mellow glow the spoils of so many ages and many lands, jumbled together with the execrable taste which so often afflicts those whose only standard of value is money. The golden light warmed the panelled walls and old furniture to a dull lustre, and gave back to the fading gilt of the First Empire chairs and couches something of its old brightness. It illumined the long line of pictures on the walls, pictures of dead and gone Charmeraces, the stern or debonair faces of the men, soldiers, statesmen, dandies, the gentle or imperious faces of beautiful women. It flashed back from armour of brightly polished steel, and drew dull gleams from armour of bronze. The hues of rare porcelain, of the rich inlays of Oriental or Renaissance cabinets, mingled with the hues of the pictures, the tapestry, the Persian rugs about the polished floor to fill the hall with a rich glow of colour.

But of all the beautiful and precious things which the sun rays warmed to a clearer beauty, the face of the girl who sat writing at a table in front of the long windows, which opened on to the centuries old turf of the broad terrace, was the most beautiful and the most precious.

It was a delicate, almost frail, beauty. Her skin was clear with the transparent lustre of old porcelain, and her pale cheeks were only tinted with the pink of the faintest roses. Her straight nose was delicately cut, her rounded chin admirably moulded. A lover of beauty would have been at a loss whether more to admire her clear, germander eyes, so melting and so adorable, or the sensitive mouth, with its rather full lips, inviting all the kisses. But assuredly he would have been grieved by the perpetual air of sadness which rested on the beautiful face the wistful melancholy of the Slav, deepened by something of personal misfortune and suffering.

Her face was framed by a mass of soft fair hair, shot with strands of gold where the sunlight fell on it; and little curls, rebellious to the comb, strayed over her white forehead, tiny feathers of gold.

She was addressing envelopes, and a long list of names lay on her left hand. When she had addressed an envelope, she slipped into it a wedding card. On each was printed:

"M. Gournay Martin has the honour to inform you of the marriage of his daughter Germaine to the Duke of Charmerace."

She wrote steadily on, adding envelope after envelope to the pile ready for the post, which rose in front of her. But now and again, when the flushed and laughing girls who were playing lawn tennis on the terrace, raised their voices higher than usual as they called the score, and distracted her attention from her work, her gaze strayed through the open window and lingered on them wistfully; and as her eyes came back to her task she sighed with so faint a wistfulness that she hardly knew she sighed. Then a voice from the terrace cried, "Sonia! Sonia!"

"Yes. Mlle. Germaine?" answered the writing girl... Continue reading book >>




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