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The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley   By: (1863-1928)

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First Page:

THE STRANGE CASE OF MORTIMER FENLEY

BY LOUIS TRACY

AUTHOR OF

THE WINGS OF THE MORNING, NUMBER SEVENTEEN, ETC.

GROSSET & DUNLAP PUBLISHERS NEW YORK

Made in the United States of America

COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY EDWARD J. CLODE

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE WATER NYMPHS 1

II. "WHO HATH DONE THIS THING?" 19

III. THE HOUNDS 39

IV. BREAKING COVER 59

V. A FAMILY GATHERING 79

VI. WHEREIN FURNEAUX SEEKS INSPIRATION 101

VII. SOME SIDE ISSUES 123

VIII. COINCIDENCES 145

IX. WHEREIN AN ARTIST BECOMES A MAN OF ACTION 166

X. FURNEAUX STATES SOME FACTS 189

XI. SOME PRELIMINARY SKIRMISHING 211

XII. WHEREIN SCOTLAND YARD IS DINED AND WINED 229

XIII. CLOSE QUARTERS 246

XIV. THE SPREADING OF THE NET 266

XV. SOME STAGE EFFECTS 286

XVI. THE CLOSE OF A TRAGEDY 305

XVII. THE SETTLEMENT 324

THE STRANGE CASE OF MORTIMER FENLEY

CHAPTER I

THE WATER NYMPHS

Does an evil deed cast a shadow in advance? Does premeditated crime spread a baleful aura which affects certain highly strung temperaments just as the sensation of a wave of cold air rising from the spine to the head may be a forewarning of epilepsy or hysteria? John Trenholme had cause to think so one bright June morning in 1912, and he has never ceased to believe it, though the events which made him an outstanding figure in the "Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley," as the murder of a prominent man in the City of London came to be known, have long since been swept into oblivion by nearly five years of war. Even the sun became a prime agent of the occult that morning. It found a chink in a blind and threw a bar of vivid light across the face of a young man lying asleep in the front bedroom of the "White Horse Inn" at Roxton. It crept onward from a firm, well molded chin to lips now tight set, though not lacking signs that they would open readily in a smile and perhaps reveal two rows of strong, white, even teeth. Indeed, when that strip of sunshine touched and warmed them, the smile came; so the sleeper was dreaming, and pleasantly.

But the earth stays not for men, no matter what their dreams. In a few minutes the radiant line reached the sleeper's eyes, and he awoke. Naturally, he stared straight at the disturber of his slumbers; and being a mere man, who emulated not the ways of eagles, was routed at the first glance.

More than that, he was thoroughly aroused, and sprang out of bed with a celerity that would have given many another young man a headache during the remainder of the day.

But John Trenholme, artist by profession, was somewhat of a light hearted vagabond by instinct; if the artist was ready to be annoyed because of an imaginary loss of precious daylight, the vagabond laughed cheerily when he blinked at a clock and learned that the hour still lacked some minutes of half past five in the morning.

"By gad," he grinned, pulling up the blind, "I was scared stiff. I thought the blessed alarm had missed fire, and that I had been lying here like a hog during the best part of the finest day England has seen this year."

Evidently he was still young enough to deal in superlatives, for there had been other fine days that Summer; moreover, in likening himself to a pig, he was ridiculously unfair to six feet of athletic symmetry in which it would be difficult to detect any marked resemblance to the animal whose name is a synonym for laziness... Continue reading book >>




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