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The Bittermeads Mystery   By: (1872-1956)

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First Page:

THE BITTERMEADS MYSTERY

By E. R. Punshon

CONTENTS

I THE LONE PASSENGER

II THE FIGHT IN THE WOODS

III A COINCIDENCE

IV A WOMAN WEEPS

V A WOMAN AND A MAN

VI A DISCOVERY

VII QUESTION AND ANSWER

VIII CAPTIVITY CAPTURE

IX THE ATTIC OF MYSTERY

X THE NEW GARDENER

XI THE PROBLEM

XII AN AVOWAL

XIII INVISIBLE WRITING

XIV LOVE MAKING AT NIGHT

XV THE SOUND OF A SHOT

XVI IN THE WOOD

XVII A DECLARATION

XVIII ROBERT DUNN'S ENEMY

XIX THE VISIT TO WRESTE ABBEY

XX ELLA'S WARNING

XXI DOUBTS AND FEARS

XXII PLOTS AND PLANS

XXIII COUNTER PLANS

XXIV AN APHORISM

XXV THE UNEXPECTED

XXVI A RACE AGAINST TIME

XXVII FLIGHT AND PURSUIT

XXVIII BACK AT BITTERMEADS

XXIX THE ATTIC

XXX SOME EXPLANATIONS

XXXI CONCLUSION

CHAPTER I. THE LONE PASSENGER

That evening the down train from London deposited at the little country station of Ramsdon but a single passenger, a man of middle height, shabbily dressed, with broad shoulders and long arms and a most unusual breadth and depth of chest.

Of his face one could see little, for it was covered by a thick growth of dark curly hair, beard, moustache and whiskers, all overgrown and ill tended, and as he came with a somewhat slow and ungainly walk along the platform, the lad stationed at the gate to collect tickets grinned amusedly and called to one of the porters near:

"Look at this, Bill; here's the monkey man escaped and come back along of us."

It was a reference to a travelling circus that had lately visited the place and exhibited a young chimpanzee advertised as "the monkey man," and Bill guffawed appreciatively.

The stranger was quite close and heard plainly, for indeed the youth at the gate had made no special attempt to speak softly.

The boy was still laughing as he held out his hand for the ticket, and the stranger gave it to him with one hand and at the same time shot out a long arm, caught the boy a well grown lad of sixteen by the middle and, with as little apparent effort as though lifting a baby, swung him into the air to the top of the gate post, where he left him clinging with arms and legs six feet from the ground.

"Hi, what are you a doing of?" shouted the porter, running up, as the amazed and frightened youth, clinging to his gate post, emitted a dismal howl.

"Teaching a cheeky boy manners," retorted the stranger with an angry look and in a very gruff and harsh voice. "Do you want to go on top of the other post to make a pair?"

The porter drew back hurriedly.

"You be off," he ordered as he retreated. "We don't want none of your sort about here."

"I certainly have no intention of staying," retorted the other as gruffly as before. "But I think you'll remember Bobbie Dunn next time I come this way."

"Let me down; please let me down," wailed the boy, clinging desperately to the gate post on whose top he had been so unceremoniously deposited, and Dunn laughed and walked away, leaving the porter to rescue his youthful colleague and to cuff his ears soundly as soon as he had done so, by way of a relief to his feelings.

"That will learn you to be a bit civil to folk, I hope," said the porter severely. "But that there chap must have an amazing strong arm," he added thoughtfully. "Lifting you up there all the same as you was a bunch of radishes."

For some distance after leaving the station, Dunn walked on slowly.

He seemed to know the way well or else to be careless of the direction he took, for he walked along deep in thought with his eyes fixed on the ground and not looking in the least where he was going.

Abruptly, a small child appeared out of the darkness and spoke to him, and he started violently and in a very nervous manner... Continue reading book >>




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