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The Opal Serpent   By: (1859-1932)

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First Page:

The Opal Serpent

By

Fergus Hume

AUTHOR OF

"THE MYSTERY OF A HANSOM CAB," "THE RAINBOW FEATHER," "A COIN OF EDWARD VII.," "THE PAGAN'S CUP," "THE SECRET PASSAGE," "THE RED WINDOW," "THE MANDARIN'S FAN," ETC.

G. W. DILLINGHAM COMPANY PUBLISHERS NEW YORK

COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY G. W. DILLINGHAM COMPANY.

Issued July, 1905.

[Illustration: "LOOK! LOOK!" CRIED SYLVIA, GASPING "THE MOUTH!"]

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. DON QUIXOTE IN LONDON 7

II. DEBORAH JUNK, DUENNA 19

III. DULCINEA OF GWYNNE STREET 32

IV. THE UNFORESEEN 44

V. TROUBLE 56

VI. A NOISE IN THE NIGHT 68

VII. A TERRIBLE NIGHT 80

VIII. THE VERDICT OF THE JURY 91

IX. CASTLES IN THE AIR 103

X. A BOLT FROM THE BLUE 115

XI. A CUCKOO IN THE NEST 126

XII. THE NEW LIFE 137

XIII. THE DETECTIVE'S VIEWS 148

XIV. MR. HAY'S LITTLE DINNER 161

XV. A NEW CLUE 172

XVI. SYLVIA'S THEORY 185

XVII. HURD'S INFORMATION 196

XVIII. AT CHRISTCHURCH, HANTS 208

XIX. CAPTAIN JESSOP 219

XX. PART OF THE TRUTH 228

XXI. MISS QIAN'S PARTY 241

XXII. FURTHER EVIDENCE 254

XXIII. WHAT PASH SAID 266

XXIV. MRS. KRILL AT BAY 278

XXV. A CRUEL WOMAN 291

XXVI. A FINAL EXPLANATION 306

CHAPTER I

DON QUIXOTE IN LONDON

Simon Beecot was a country gentleman with a small income, a small estate and a mind considerably smaller than either. He dwelt at Wargrove in Essex and spent his idle hours of which he possessed a daily and nightly twenty four in snarling at his faded wife and in snapping between whiles at his son. Mrs. Beecot, having been bullied into old age long before her time, accepted sour looks and hard words as necessary to God's providence, but Paul, a fiery youth, resented useless nagging. He owned more brain power than his progenitor, and to this favoring of Nature paterfamilias naturally objected. Paul also desired fame, which was likewise a crime in the fire side tyrant's eyes.

As there were no other children Paul was heir to the Beecot acres, therefore their present proprietor suggested that his son should wait with idle hands for the falling in of the heritage. In plain words, Mr. Beecot, coming of a long line of middle class loafers, wished his son to be a loafer also. Again, when Mrs. Beecot retired to a tearful rest, her bully found Paul a useful person on whom to expend his spleen. Should this whipping boy leave, Mr. Beecot would have to forego this enjoyment, as servants object to being sworn at without cause. For years Mr. Beecot indulged in bouts of bad temper, till Paul, finding twenty five too dignified an age to tolerate abuse, announced his intention of storming London as a scribbler... Continue reading book >>




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