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A Crime of the Under-seas   By: (1867-1905)

A Crime of the Under-seas by Guy Newell Boothby

First Page:

A CRIME OF THE UNDER SEAS

By GUY BOOTHBY

Author of "A Bid for Fortune" "Doctor Nikola" "The Beautiful White Devil" "Pharos, the Egyptian" etc. etc.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY STANLEY L. WOOD

LONDON

WARD LOCK & CO LIMITED 1905

[Illustration: "Dropped him again with a cry that echoed in my helmet."]

CONTENTS

A CRIME OF THE UNDER SEAS

THE PHANTOM STOCKMAN

THE TREASURE OF SACRAMENTO NICK

INTO THE OUTER DARKNESS

THE STORY OF TOMMY DODD AND "THE ROOSTER"

QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM

CUPID AND PSYCHE

MISPLACED AFFECTIONS

IN GREAT WATERS

MR. ARISTOCRAT

THIS MAN AND THIS WOMAN

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"DROPPED HIM AGAIN WITH A CRY THAT ECHOED IN MY HELMET."

"I SPRANG TO MY FEET ON HEARING THIS. 'NOT THE FIRST!' I CRIED."

"A NATIVE FRUIT HAWKER CAME ROUND THE CORNER."

"THEN, JUST AS HER NOSE GROUNDED, MY EYES CAUGHT SIGHT OF A BIG CREEPER COVERED MASS."

"ONE MOONLIGHT NIGHT ... SOMEBODY STEPPED UP BESIDE HIM."

A Crime of the Under Seas

CHAPTER I

There is an old saying that "one half of the world does not know how the other half lives," but how true this is very few of us really understand. In the East, indeed, it amounts almost to the marvellous. There are men engaged in trades there, some of them highly lucrative, of which the world in general has never heard, and which the ordinary stay at home Englishman would in all probability refuse to believe, even if the most trustworthy evidence were placed before him. For instance, on the evening from which I date the story I am now about to tell you, three of us were seated chatting together in the verandah of the Grand Oriental Hotel at Colombo. We were all old friends, and we had each of us arrived but recently in Ceylon. McDougall, the big red haired Scotchman, who was sitting on my right, had put in an appearance from Tuticorin by a British India boat only that morning, and was due to leave again for Burmah the following night. As far as I could gather he earned his living mainly by smuggling dutiable articles into other countries, where the penalty, if one is caught, is a fine of at least one thousand pounds, or the chance of receiving upwards of five years' imprisonment. The man in the big chair next to him was Callingway, a Londoner, who had hailed the day before from South America, travelling in a P. and O. steamer from Australia. He was tracking an absconding Argentine Bank Manager, and, as it afterwards transpired, was, when we came in contact with him, on the point of getting possession of the money with which the other had left the country. Needless to say he was not a Government servant, nor were the Banking Company in question aware of his endeavours. Lastly there was myself, Christopher Collon, aged thirty six, whose walk in life was even stranger, if such a thing were possible, than those of the two men I have just described. One thing at any rate is certain, and that is that if I had been called upon to give an accurate description of myself and my profession at that time, I should have found it extremely difficult to do so. Had I been the possessor of a smart London office, a private secretary, and half a dozen corresponding clerks, I should probably have called myself a private detective on a large scale, or, as they put it in the advertisement columns of our daily papers, a Private Enquiry Agent. Yet that description would scarcely have suited me; I was that and something more. At any rate it was a pretty hard life, and by the same token a fairly hazardous one. This will be the better understood when I say that one day I might receive a commission by cablegram from some London firm, who, we will suppose, had advanced goods to an Indian Rajah, and were unable to obtain payment for them. It was my business to make my way to his headquarters as soon as possible, and to get the money out of him by the best means in my power, eating nothing but what was cooked for me by my own servant meanwhile... Continue reading book >>




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