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The Hunt Ball Mystery   By:

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THE HUNT BALL MYSTERY

BY SIR WILLIAM MAGNAY, Bt.

Author of "A Prince of Lovers," "The Mystery of the Unicorn," etc., etc.

1918

Contents

Chap

I THE INTRUDER

II THE STAINED FLOWERS

III THE STREAK ON THE CUFF

IV THE MISSING GUEST

V THE LOCKED ROOM

VI THE MYSTERY OF CLEMENT HENSHAW

VII THE INCREDULITY OF GERVASE HENSHAW

VIII KELSON'S PERPLEXITY

IX THE CLOAK OF NIGHT

X AN ALARMING DISCOVERY

XI GIFFORD'S COMMISSION

XII HAD HENSHAW A CLUE?

XIII WHAT GIFFORD SAW IN THE WOOD

XIV GIFFORD'S PERPLEXITY

XV ANOTHER DISCOVERY

XVI AN EXPLANATION

XVII WHAT A GIRL SAW

XVIII THE LOST BROOCH

XIX IN THE CHURCHYARD

XX AN INVOLUNTARY EAVESDROPPER

XXI GIFFORD CONTINUES HIS STORY

XXII HOW GIFFORD ESCAPED

XXIII EDITH MORRISTON'S STORY

XXIV HOW THE STORY ENDED

XXV DEFIANCE

XXVI ISSUE JOINED

XXVII GIFFORD'S REWARD

CHAPTER I

THE INTRUDER

"I'm afraid it must have gone on in the van, sir."

"Gone on!" Hugh Gifford exclaimed angrily. "But you had no business to send the train on till all the luggage was put out."

"The guard told me that all the luggage for Branchester was out," the porter protested deprecatingly. "You see, sir, the train was nearly twenty minutes late, and in his hurry to get off he must have overlooked your suit case."

"The very thing I wanted most," the owner returned. "I say, Kelson," he went on, addressing a tall, soldierly man who strolled up, "a nice thing has happened; the train has gone off with my evening clothes."

Kelson whistled. "Are you sure?"

"Quite." Gifford appealed to the porter, who regretfully confirmed the statement.

"That's awkward to night," Kelson commented with a short laugh of annoyance. "Look here, we'd better interview the station master, and have your case wired for to the next stop. I am sorry, old fellow, I kept you talking instead of letting you look after your rattle traps, but I was so glad to see you again after all this long time."

"Thanks, my dear Harry, you've nothing to blame yourself about. It was my own fault being so casual. The nuisance is that if I don't get the suit case back in time I shan't be able to go with you to night."

"No," his friend responded; "that would be a blow. And it's going to be a ripping dance. Dick Morriston, who hunts the hounds, is doing the thing top hole. Now let's see what the worthy and obliging Prior can do for us."

The station master was prepared to do everything in his power, but that did not extend to altering the times of the trains or shortening the mileage they had to travel. He wired for the suit case to be put out at Medford, the next stop, some forty miles on, and sent back by the next up train. "But that," he explained, "is a slow one and is not due here till 9.47. However, I'll send it on directly it arrives, and you should get it by ten o'clock or a few minutes after. You are staying at the Lion ?"

"Yes."

"Not more than ten or twelve minutes' drive. I'll do my best and there shall be no delay."

The two men thanked him and walked out to the station yard, where a porter waited with the rest of Gifford's luggage.

"There is a gentleman here going to the Lion " he said with a rather embarrassed air; "I told him your fly was engaged, sir; but he said perhaps you would let him share it with you."

Kelson looked black. "I like the way some people have of taking things for granted. Cheek, I call it. He had better wait or walk."

"The gentleman said he was in a hurry, sir," the porter observed apologetically.

"No reason why he should squash us up in the fly," Kelson returned. "I'll have a word with the gentleman. Where is he?"

"I think he is in the fly, sir."

"The devil he is! We'll have him out, Hugh. Infernally cool." And he strode off towards the waiting fly.

"Better see what sort of chap he is before you go for him, Harry," Gifford said deprecatingly as he followed... Continue reading book >>




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