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The Golden Scorpion   By: (1883-1959)

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E text prepared by Lisa Miller

THE GOLDEN SCORPION

by

SAX ROHMER

1920

Part I

THE COWLED MAN

I The Shadow of a Cowl II The Pilbroch of the M'Gregors III The Scorpion's Tail IV Mademoiselle Dorian V The Sealed Envelope VI The Assistant Commissioner VII Contents of the Sealed Envelope VIII The Assistant Commissioner's Theory IX The Chinese Coin X "Close Your Shutters at Night" XI The Blue Ray

Part II

STATEMENT OF M. GASTON MAX

I. THE DANCER OF MONTMARTRE

I Zara el Khala II Concerning the Grand Duke III A Strange Question IV The Fight in the Cafe

II. "LE BALAFRE"

I I Become Charles Malet II Baiting the Trap III Disappearance of Charles Malet IV I Meet an Old Acquaintance V Conclusion of Statement

Part III

AT THE HOUSE OF AH FANG FU

I The Brain Thieves II The Red Circle III Miska's Story IV Miska's Story (concluded) V The Heart of Chunda Lal VI The Man with the Scar VII In the Opium Den VIII The Green Eyed Joss

Part IV

THE LAIR OF THE SCORPION

I The Sublime Order II The Living Death III The Fifth Secret of Rache Churan IV The Guile of the East V What Happened to Stuart VI "Jey Bhowani!" VII The Way of the Scorpion

Part I

THE COWLED MAN

CHAPTER I

THE SHADOW OF A COWL

Keppel Stuart, M.D., F. R. S., awoke with a start and discovered himself to be bathed in cold perspiration. The moonlight shone in at his window, but did not touch the bed, therefore his awakening could not be due to this cause. He lay for some time listening for any unfamiliar noise which might account for the sudden disturbance of his usually sound slumbers. In the house below nothing stirred. His windows were widely open and he could detect that vague drumming which is characteristic of midnight London; sometimes, too, the clashing of buffers upon some siding of the Brighton railway where shunting was in progress and occasional siren notes from the Thames. Otherwise nothing.

He glanced at the luminous disk of his watch. The hour was half past two. Dawn was not far off. The night seemed to have become almost intolerably hot, and to this heat Stuart felt disposed to ascribe both his awakening and also a feeling of uncomfortable tension of which he now became aware. He continued to listen, and, listening and hearing nothing, recognized with anger that he was frightened. A sense of some presence oppressed him. Someone or something evil was near him perhaps in the room, veiled by the shadows. This uncanny sensation grew more and more marked.

Stuart sat up in bed, slowly and cautiously, looking all about him. He remembered to have awakened once thus in India and to have found a great cobra coiled at his feet. His inspection revealed the presence of nothing unfamiliar, and he stepped out on to the floor.

A faint clicking sound reached his ears. He stood quite still. The clicking was repeated.

"There is someone downstairs in my study!" muttered Stuart.

He became aware that the fear which held him was such that unless he acted and acted swiftly he should become incapable of action, but he remembered that whereas the moonlight poured into the bedroom, the staircase would be in complete darkness. He walked barefooted across to the dressing table and took up an electric torch which lay there. He had not used it for some time, and he pressed the button to learn if the torch was charged. A beam of white light shone out across the room, and at the same instant came another sound.

If it came from below or above, from the adjoining room or from

Outside in the road, Stuart knew not. But following hard upon the mysterious disturbance which had aroused him it seemed to pour ice into his veins, it added the complementary touch to his panic. For it was a kind of low wail a ghostly minor wail in falling cadences unlike any sound he had heard. It was so excessively horrible that it produced a curious effect.

Discovering from the dancing of the torch ray that his hand was trembling, Stuart concluded that he had awakened from a nightmare and that this fiendish wailing was no more than an unusually delayed aftermath of the imaginary horrors which had bathed him in cold perspiration... Continue reading book >>




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