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Room Number 3 and Other Detective Stories   By: (1846-1935)

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ROOM NUMBER 3

AND OTHER DETECTIVE STORIES

By ANNA KATHARINE GREENE

AUTHOR OF

"The Mystery of The Hasty Arrow," "The Golden Slipper," "That Affair Next Door," etc.

A. L. BURT COMPANY

Publishers New York

Published by arrangement with Dodd, Mead & Company

COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY ANNA KATHARINE GREEN

COPYRIGHT, 1909, 1910, BY THE CROWELL PUBLISHING CO.

COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY ABBOTT & BRIGGS INC.

COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY DODD, MEAD & COMPANY As "Masterpieces of Mystery"

CONTENTS

PAGE

I ROOM NUMBER 3 3

II MIDNIGHT IN BEAUCHAMP ROW 85

III THE RUBY AND THE CALDRON 107

IV THE LITTLE STEEL COILS 149

V THE STAIRCASE AT HEART'S DELIGHT 181

VI THE AMETHYST BOX 209

VII THE GREY LADY 311

VIII THE THIEF 339

IX THE HOUSE IN THE MIST 369

ROOM NUMBER 3

I

"What door is that? You've opened all the others; why do you pass that one by?"

"Oh, that! That's only Number 3. A mere closet, gentlemen," responded the landlord in a pleasant voice. "To be sure, we sometimes use it as a sleeping room when we are hard pushed. Jake, the clerk you saw below, used it last night. But it's not on our regular list. Do you want a peep at it?"

"Most assuredly. As you know, it's our duty to see every room in this house, whether it is on your regular list or not."

"All right. I haven't the key of this one with me. But yes, I have. There, gentlemen!" he cried, unlocking the door and holding it open for them to look inside. "You see it no more answers the young lady's description than the others do. And I haven't another to show you. You have seen all those in front, and this is the last one in the rear. You'll have to believe our story. The old lady never put foot in this tavern."

The two men he addressed peered into the shadowy recesses before them, and one of them, a tall and uncommonly good looking young man of stalwart build and unusually earnest manner, stepped softly inside. He was a gentleman farmer living near, recently appointed deputy sheriff on account of a recent outbreak of horse stealing in the neighbourhood.

"I observe," he remarked, after a hurried glance about him, "that the paper on these walls is not at all like that she describes. She was very particular about the paper; said that it was of a muddy pink colour and had big scrolls on it which seemed to move and crawl about in whirls as you looked at it. This paper is blue and striped. Otherwise "

"Let's go below," suggested his companion, who, from the deference with which his most casual word was received, was evidently a man of some authority. "It's cold here, and there are several new questions I should like to put to the young lady. Mr. Quimby," this to the landlord, "I've no doubt you are right, but we'll give this poor girl another chance. I believe in giving every one the utmost chance possible."

"My reputation is in your hands, Coroner Golden," was the quiet reply. Then, as they both turned, "my reputation against the word of an obviously demented girl."

The words made their own echo. As the third man moved to follow the other two into the hall, he seemed to catch this echo, for he involuntarily cast another look behind him as if expectant of some contradiction reaching him from the bare and melancholy walls he was leaving. But no such contradiction came. Instead, he appeared to read confirmation there of the landlord's plain and unembittered statement. The dull blue paper with its old fashioned and uninteresting stripes seemed to have disfigured the walls for years. It was not only grimy with age, but showed here and there huge discoloured spots, especially around the stovepipe hole high up on the left hand side. Certainly he was a dreamer to doubt such plain evidences as these... Continue reading book >>




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