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The Man Who Knew   By: (1875-1932)

Book cover

First Page:

THE MAN WHO KNEW

BY

EDGAR WALLACE

AUTHOR OF "THE CLUE OF THE TWISTED CANDLE," "KATE PLUS 10," ETC.

WITH A FRONTISPIECE BY WILLIAM A. KIRKPATRICK

[Illustration: Publisher's logo]

BOSTON SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1918 BY SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY (INCORPORATED)

[Illustration: "The girl had risen to her feet and was shrinking back to the wall." See page 333. ]

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I THE MAN IN THE LABORATORY 9 II THE GIRL WHO CRIED 27 III FOUR IMPORTANT CHARACTERS 40 IV THE ACCOUNTANT AT THE BANK 59 V JOHN MINUTE'S LEGACY 73 VI THE MAN WHO KNEW 99 VII INTRODUCING MR. REX HOLLAND 109 VIII SERGEANT SMITH CALLS 135 IX FRANK MERRILL AT THE ALTAR 155 X A MURDER 175 XI THE CASE AGAINST FRANK MERRILL 201 XII THE TRIAL OF FRANK MERRILL 220 XIII THE MAN WHO CAME TO MONTREUX 243 XIV THE MAN WHO LOOKED LIKE FRANK 261 XV A LETTER IN THE GRATE 279 XVI THE COMING OF SERGEANT SMITH 289 XVII THE MAN CALLED "MERRILL" 317

THE MAN WHO KNEW

CHAPTER I

THE MAN IN THE LABORATORY

The room was a small one, and had been chosen for its remoteness from the dwelling rooms. It had formed the billiard room, which the former owner of Weald Lodge had added to his premises, and John Minute, who had neither the time nor the patience for billiards, had readily handed over this damp annex to his scientific secretary.

Along one side ran a plain deal bench which was crowded with glass stills and test tubes. In the middle was as plain a table, with half a dozen books, a microscope under a glass shade, a little wooden case which was opened to display an array of delicate scientific instruments, a Bunsen burner, which was burning bluely under a small glass bowl half filled with a dark and turgid concoction of some kind.

The face of the man sitting at the table watching this unsavory stew was hidden behind a mica and rubber mask, for the fumes which were being given off by the fluid were neither pleasant nor healthy. Save for a shaded light upon the table and the blue glow of the Bunsen lamp, the room was in darkness. Now and again the student would take a glass rod, dip it for an instant into the boiling liquid, and, lifting it, would allow the liquid drop by drop to fall from the rod on to a strip of litmus paper. What he saw was evidently satisfactory, and presently he turned out the Bunsen lamp, walked to the window and opened it, and switched on an electric fan to aid the process of ventilation.

He removed his mask, revealing the face of a good looking young man, rather pale, with a slight dark mustache and heavy, black, wavy hair. He closed the window, filled his pipe from the well worn pouch which he took from his pocket, and began to write in a notebook, stopping now and again to consult some authority from the books before him.

In half an hour he had finished this work, had blotted and closed his book, and, pushing back his chair, gave himself up to reverie. They were not pleasant thoughts to judge by his face. He pulled from his inside pocket a leather case and opened it. From this he took a photograph. It was the picture of a girl of sixteen. It was a pretty face, a little sad, but attractive in its very weakness. He looked at it for a long time, shaking his head as at an unpleasant thought.

There came a gentle tap at the door, and quickly he replaced the photograph in his case, folded it, and returned it to his pocket as he rose to unlock the door.

John Minute, who entered, sniffed suspiciously.

"What beastly smells you have in here, Jasper!" he growled. "Why on earth don't they invent chemicals that are more agreeable to the nose?"

Jasper Cole laughed quietly.

"I'm afraid, sir, that nature has ordered it otherwise," he said.

"Have you finished?" asked his employer... Continue reading book >>




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