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Okewood of the Secret Service   By: (1883-1946)

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First Page:

OKEWOOD OF THE SECRET SERVICE

by

Valentine Williams

(pseud. Douglas Valentine)

CONTENTS

I. THE DEPUTY TURN II. CAPTAIN STRANGWISE ENTERTAINS A GUEST III. MR. MACKWAYTE MEETS AN OLD FRIEND IV. MAJOR OKEWOOD ENCOUNTERS A NEW TYPE V. THE MURDER AT SEVEN KINGS VI. "NAME O'BARNEY" VII. NUR EL DIN VIII. THE WHITE PAPER PACKAGE IX. METAMORPHOSIS X. D. O. R. A. IS BAFFLED XI. CREDENTIALS XII. AT THE MILL HOUSE XIII. WHAT SHAKESPEARE'S COMEDIES REVEALED XIV. BARBARA TAKES A HAND XV. MR. BELLWARD IS CALLED TO THE TELEPHONE XVI. THE STAR OF POLAND XVII. MR. BELLWARD ARRANGES A BRIDGE EVENING XVIII. THE GATHERING OF THE SPIES XIX. THE UNINVITED GUEST XX. THE ODD MAN XXI. THE BLACK VELVET TOQUE XXII. WHAT THE CELLAR REVEALED XXIII. MRS. MALPLAQUET GOES DOWN TO THE CELLAR XXIV. THE TWO DESERTERS XXV. TO MRS. MALPLAQUET'S XXVI. THE MAN IN THE SUMMER HOUSE XXVII. THE RED LACQUER ROOM XXVIII. AN OFFER FROM STRANGWISE XXIX. DOT AND DASH XXX. HOHENLINDEN TRENCH XXXI. THE 100,000 POUND KIT

CHAPTER I. THE DEPUTY TURN

Mr. Arthur Mackwayte slipped noiselessly into the dining room and took his place at the table. He always moved quietly, a look of gentle deprecation on his face as much as to say: "Really, you know, I can't help being here: if you will just overlook me this time, by and by you won't notice I'm there at all!" That was how he went through life, a shy, retiring little man, quiet as a mouse, gentle as a dove, modesty personified.

That is, at least, how Mr. Arthur Mackwayte struck his friends in private life. Once a week, however, he fairly screamed at the public from the advertisement columns of "The Referee": "Mackwayte, in his Celebrated Kerbstone Sketches. Wit! Pathos! Tragedy!!! The Epitome of London Life. Universally Acclaimed as the Greatest Portrayer of London Characters since the late Chas. Dickens. In Tremendous Demand for Public Dinners. The Popular Favorite. A Few Dates still Vacant. 23, Laleham Villas, Seven Kings. 'Phone" and so on.

But only professionally did Mr. Mackwayte thus blow his own trumpet, and then in print alone. For the rest, he had nothing great about him but his heart. A long and bitter struggle for existence had left no hardness in his smooth shaven flexible face, only wrinkles. His eyes were gray and keen and honest, his mouth as tender as a woman's.

His daughter, Barbara, was already at table pouring out the tea high tea is still an institution in music hall circles. Mr. Mackwayte always gazed on this tall, handsome daughter of his with amazement as the great miracle of his life. He looked at her now fondly and thought how.... how distinguished, yes, that was the word, she looked in the trim blue serge suit in which she went daily to her work at the War Office.

"Rations a bit slender to night, daddy," she said, handing him his cup of tea, "only sardines and bread and butter and cheese. Our meatless day, eh?"

"It'll do very well for me, Barbara, my dear," he answered in his gentle voice, "there have been times when your old dad was glad enough to get a cup of tea and a bite of bread and butter for his supper. And there's many a one worse off than we are today!"

"Any luck at the agent's, daddy?"

Mr. Mackwayte shook his head.

"These revues are fair killing the trade, my dear, and that's a fact. They don't want art to day, only rag time and legs and all that. Our people are being cruelly hit by it and that's a fact. Why, who do you think I ran into at Harris' this morning? Why, Barney who used to work with the great Charles, you know, my dear. For years he drew his ten pound a week regular. Yet there he was, looking for a job the same as the rest of us. Poor fellow, he was down on his luck!"

Barbara looked up quickly.

"Daddy, you lent him money...."

Mr. Mackwayte looked extremely uncomfortable.

"Only a trifle, my dear, just a few shillings... Continue reading book >>




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