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The Destroying Angel   By: (1879-1933)

The Destroying Angel by Louis Joseph Vance

First Page:

THE DESTROYING ANGEL

by

LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE

Author of "The Brass Bowl," "The Bronze Bell," "The Bandbox," "Cynthia of the Minute," Etc.

With Four Illustrations by Arthur I. Keller

A. L. Burt Company Publishers New York

Copyright, 1912, By Louis Joseph Vance.

All rights reserved, including those of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian.

Published, October, 1912.

TO

ROBERT HOBART DAVIS

[Illustration: Whitaker's jaw dropped and his eyes widened with wonder and pity]

CONTENTS

I. DOOM

II. THE LAST STRAW

III. "MRS. MORTEN"

IV. MRS. WHITAKER

V. WILFUL MISSING

VI. CURTAIN

VII. THE LATE EXTRA

VIII. A HISTORY

IX. ENTR'ACTE

X. THE WINDOW

XI. THE SPY

XII. THE MOUSE TRAP

XIII. OFFSHORE

XIV. DÉBÂCLE

XV. DISCLOSURES

XVI. THE BEACON

XVII. DISCOVERY

XVIII. BLIGHT

XIX. CAPITULATION

XX. TEMPERAMENTAL

XXI. BLACK OUT

ILLUSTRATIONS

Whitaker's jaw dropped and his eyes widened with wonder and pity

Her eyes fastened dilating, upon his. The scene faltered perceptibly

Whitaker felt land beneath his feet

"I do not love you. You are mad to think it"

THE DESTROYING ANGEL

I

DOOM

"Then I'm to understand there's no hope for me?"

"I'm afraid not...." Greyerson said reluctantly, sympathy in his eyes.

"None whatever." The verdict was thus brusquely emphasized by Hartt, one of the two consulting specialists.

Having spoken, he glanced at his watch, then at the face of his colleague, Bushnell, who contented himself with a tolerant waggle of his head, apparently meant to imply that the subject of their deliberations really must be reasonable: anybody who wilfully insists on footing the measures of life with a defective constitution for a partner has no logical excuse for being reluctant to pay the Piper.

Whitaker looked quickly from one to the other of his three judges, acutely sensitive to the dread significance to be detected in the expression of each. He found only one kind and pitiful: no more than might have been expected of Greyerson, who was his friend. Of the others, Hartt had assumed a stony glare to mask the nervousness so plainly betrayed by his staccato accents; it hurt him to inflict pain, and he was horribly afraid lest the patient break down and "make a scene." Bushnell, on the other hand, was imperturbable by nature: a man to whom all men were simply "cases"; he sat stroking his long chin and hoping that Whitaker would have the decency soon to go and leave them free to talk shop his pet dissipation.

Failing to extract the least glimmering of hope from the attitude of any one of them, Whitaker drew a long breath, unconsciously bracing himself in his chair.

"It's funny," he said with his nervous smile "hard to realize, I mean. You see, I feel so fit "

"Between attacks," Hartt interjected quickly.

"Yes," Whitaker had to admit, dashed.

"Attacks," said Bushnell, heavily, "recurrent at intervals constantly more brief, each a trifle more severe than its predecessor."

He shut his thin lips tight, as one who has consciously pronounced the last word.

Greyerson sighed.

"But I don't understand," argued the prisoner at the bar, plaintively bewildered. "Why, I rowed with the Crew three years hand running not a sign of anything wrong with me!"

"If you had then had proper professional advice, you would have spared yourself such strains. But it's too late now; the mischief can't be undone."

Evidently Bushnell considered the last word his prerogative. Whitaker turned from him impatiently.

"What about an operation?" he demanded of Greyerson.

The latter looked away, making only a slight negative motion with his head.

"The knife?" observed Hartt. "That would merely hasten matters... Continue reading book >>




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