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The Crooked House   By:

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Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive/American Libraries. See http://www.archive.org/details/crookedhouse00flemiala

THE CROOKED HOUSE

by

BRANDON FLEMING

New York Edward J. Clode

Copyright, 1921, by Edward J. Clode Printed in the United States of America

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I A STRANGE RIDDLE 9

II THE CROOKED HOUSE 19

III THE ENDLESS GARDEN 33

IV DESTRUCTION 45

V COPPLESTONE 53

VI THE TRAIL OF CORPSES 65

VII TRANTER 71

VIII MRS. ASTLEY ROLFE 80

IX THE DANSEUSE 83

X MR. GLUCKSTEIN 85

XI THE CLERGYMAN 87

XII MR. BOLSOVER 89

XIII THE TRINITY OF DEATH 92

XIV WITHOUT TRACE 105

XV A BUILDER OF MEN 117

XVI A TRIPLE ALLIANCE 133

XVII MR. GLUCKSTEIN IN CONFIDENCE 142

XVIII THE WIT OF THE PINK LADY 151

XIX DETAINED ON SUSPICION 159

XX THE BIRTH OF THE KILLER 176

XXI A HASTY FLIGHT 187

XXII TRANTER ATTACKS THE CROOKED HOUSE 195

XXIII A DUEL 203

XXIV THE SECRET OF THE HOUSE 220

XXV TRUER COLORS 233

XXVI PROVIDING FOR THE WORST 241

XXVII THE DISAPPEARANCE OF TRANTER 250

XXVIII IN PURSUIT 259

XXIX ETHICS OF KILLING 262

XXX MONSIEUR DUPONT'S TASK 273

XXXI WHAT THEY HEARD 279

XXXII THE BEAUTY KILLER 288

XXXIII LAST TRUTHS 291

XXXIV CONCLUSION 312

THE CROOKED HOUSE

CHAPTER I

A STRANGE RIDDLE

"Monsieur Tranter! A moment!"

The Right Honorable John Tranter swung round, latch key in hand. Behind him, an enormous figure emerged, with surprisingly agile and noiseless steps, from the shadow of the adjoining house a figure almost grotesque and monstrous in the dim light of the street lamp. The very hugeness of the apparition was so disconcerting that John Tranter drew back with a startled exclamation.

"Good Lord! Monsieur Dupont? You in London?"

Monsieur Dupont described circles with his country's largest silk hat.

"I in London! An event, my friend, in the history of your city!"

He laughed softly, and replaced the hat on his head. They shook hands warmly.

"This is a delightful surprise," Tranter said, turning back to the door. "Come in."

"It is late," Monsieur Dupont apologized "but I entreat a moment. It is three hours only since I arrived, and I have passed one of them on your doorstep."

"An hour?" Tranter exclaimed. "But surely "

Monsieur Dupont squeezed himself into the narrow hall with difficulty.

"I possess the gift of patience," he claimed modestly. "In London it is of great value."

In the small library he looked about him with surprise. The plain, almost scanty furniture of Tranter's house evidently did not accord with his expectations of the residence of an English Privy Councillor. Monsieur Dupont sat down on a well worn leather couch, and stared, somewhat blankly, at the rows of dull, monotonous bindings in the simple mahogany bookcases.

He placed the drink Tranter mixed for him on a small table by his side, accepted a cigar, and puffed at it serenely. And in that position, Monsieur Victorien Dupont presented a pleasing picture of elephantine geniality... Continue reading book >>




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