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The Winning Clue   By: (1881-1936)

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First Page:

THE WINNING CLUE

by

JAMES HAY, Jr.

Author of The Man Who Forgot, Etc.

Grosset & Dunlap Publishers New York Copyright, 1919 By Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc.

TO GRAHAM B. NICHOL AS A LITTLE TOKEN OF MY ADMIRATION AND AFFECTION

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. Strangled

II. "Something Big in It"

III. The Ruby Ring

IV. Two Trails

V. The Husband's Story

VI. Morley Is in a Hurry

VII. Miss Fulton Is Hysterical

VIII. The Breath of Scandal

IX. Women's Nerves

X. Eyes of Accusation

XI. The $1,000 Check

XII. The Man with the Gold Tooth

XIII. Lucy Thomas Talks

XIV. The Pawn Broker Takes the Trail

XV. Braceway Sees a Light

XVI. A Message from Miss Fulton

XVII. Miss Fulton's Revelation

XVIII. What's Braceway's Game?

XIX. At the Anderson National Bank

XX. The Discovery of the Jewels

XXI. Bristow Solves a Problem

XXII. A Confession

XXIII. On the Rack

XXIV. Miss Fulton Writes a Letter

XXV. A Mystifying Telegram

XXVI. Wanted: Vengeance

XXVII. The Revelation

XXVIII. Confession Voluntary

XXIX. The Last Card

THE WINNING CLUE

CHAPTER I

STRANGLED

When a woman's voice, pitched to the high note of utter terror, rang out on the late morning quiet of Manniston Road, Lawrence Bristow looked up from his newspaper quickly but vaguely, as if he doubted his own ears. He was reading an account of a murder committed in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and the shrieks he had just heard fitted in so well with the paragraph then before his eyes that his imagination might have been playing him tricks. He was allowed, however, little time for speculation or doubt.

"Murder! Help!" cried the woman in a staccato sharpness that carried the length of many blocks.

Bristow sprang to his feet and started down the short flight of stairs leading from his porch to the street. Before he had taken three steps, he saw the frightened girl standing on the porch of No. 5, two doors to his left. Although he was lame, he displayed surprising agility. His left leg, two inches shorter than the right and supported by a steel brace from foot to thigh, did not prevent his being the first to reach the young woman's side.

Late as it was, half past ten, she was not fully dressed. She wore a kimono of light, sheer material which, clutched spasmodically about her, revealed the slightness and grace of her figure. Her fair hair hung down her back in a long, thick braid.

Neighbours across the street and further up Manniston Road were out on their porches now or starting toward No. 5. All of them were women.

The girl she was barely past twenty, he thought stopped screaming, and, her hands pressed to her throat and cheeks, stared wildly from him toward the front door, which was standing open. He entered the living room of the one story bungalow. A foot within the doorway, he stood stock still. On the sofa against the opposite wall he saw another woman. He knew at first glance that she was dead.

The body was in a curious position. Apparently, before death had come, the victim had been sitting on the sofa, and, in dying, her body had crumpled over from the waist toward the right, so that now the lower part of her occupied the attitude of sitting while the upper half reclined as if in the posture of natural sleep. One thing which, perhaps, added to the gruesomeness of the sight was that she had on evening dress, a gown of pale blue satin embellished in unerring taste with real old Irish lace.

Although the face had been beautiful under its crown of luxuriant black hair, it now was distorted. While the eyes were closed, the mouth was open, very wide an ugly, repulsive gape.

He was aware that the woman in the kimono was just behind him he could feel her hot breath against the back of his neck and that behind her pressed the neighbours, their number augmented by the arrival of two men... Continue reading book >>




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