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The Golden Slipper : and other problems for Violet Strange   By: (1846-1935)

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THE GOLDEN SLIPPER

And Other Problems for Violet Strange

By Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

CONTENTS

I THE GOLDEN SLIPPER

II THE SECOND BULLET

III THE INTANGIBLE CLEW

IV THE GROTTO SPECTRE

V THE DREAMING LADY

VI THE HOUSE OF CLOCKS

VII THE DOCTOR, HIS WIFE, AND THE CLOCK

VIII MISSING: PAGE THIRTEEN

IX VIOLET'S OWN

THE GOLDEN SLIPPER AND OTHER PROBLEMS FOR VIOLET STRANGE

PROBLEM I THE GOLDEN SLIPPER

"She's here! I thought she would be. She's one of the three young ladies you see in the right hand box near the proscenium."

The gentleman thus addressed a man of middle age and a member of the most exclusive clubs turned his opera glass toward the spot designated, and in some astonishment retorted:

"She? Why those are the Misses Pratt and "

"Miss Violet Strange; no other."

"And do you mean to say "

"I do "

"That yon silly little chit, whose father I know, whose fortune I know, who is seen everywhere, and who is called one of the season's belles is an agent of yours; a a "

"No names here, please. You want a mystery solved. It is not a matter for the police that is, as yet, and so you come to me, and when I ask for the facts, I find that women and only women are involved, and that these women are not only young but one and all of the highest society. Is it a man's work to go to the bottom of a combination like this? No. Sex against sex, and, if possible, youth against youth. Happily, I know such a person a girl of gifts and extraordinarily well placed for the purpose. Why she uses her talents in this direction why, with means enough to play the part natural to her as a successful debutante, she consents to occupy herself with social and other mysteries, you must ask her, not me. Enough that I promise you her aid if you want it. That is, if you can interest her. She will not work otherwise."

Mr. Driscoll again raised his opera glass.

"But it's a comedy face," he commented. "It's hard to associate intellectuality with such quaintness of expression. Are you sure of her discretion?"

"Whom is she with?"

"Abner Pratt, his wife, and daughters."

"Is he a man to entrust his affairs unadvisedly?"

"Abner Pratt! Do you mean to say that she is anything more to him than his daughters' guest?"

"Judge. You see how merry they are. They were in deep trouble yesterday. You are witness to a celebration."

"And she?"

"Don't you observe how they are loading her with attentions? She's too young to rouse such interest in a family of notably unsympathetic temperament for any other reason than that of gratitude."

"It's hard to believe. But if what you hint is true, secure me an opportunity at once of talking to this youthful marvel. My affair is serious. The dinner I have mentioned comes off in three days and "

"I know. I recognize your need; but I think you had better enter Mr. Pratt's box without my intervention. Miss Strange's value to us will be impaired the moment her connection with us is discovered."

"Ah, there's Ruthven! He will take me to Mr. Pratt's box," remarked Driscoll as the curtain fell on the second act. "Any suggestions before I go?"

"Yes, and an important one. When you make your bow, touch your left shoulder with your right hand. It is a signal. She may respond to it; but if she does not, do not be discouraged. One of her idiosyncrasies is a theoretical dislike of her work. But once she gets interested, nothing will hold her back. That's all, except this. In no event give away her secret. That's part of the compact, you remember."

Driscoll nodded and left his seat for Ruthven's box. When the curtain rose for the third time he could be seen sitting with the Misses Pratt and their vivacious young friend. A widower and still on the right side of fifty, his presence there did not pass unnoted, and curiosity was rife among certain onlookers as to which of the twin belles was responsible for this change in his well known habits. Unfortunately, no opportunity was given him for showing... Continue reading book >>




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