Who is this mysterious millionaire Oswald De Gex he has been asked to meet with?
Is Doctor Moroni an honest physician or a diabolical monster? And what about the fair Gabrielle - but then, is there more than one Gabrielle? Le Queux, the Master of Mystery once again weaves an intricate plot which takes Hugh Gabriel to locations throughout Europe as he tries to unravel a scheme that he does not understand, nor why he is involved. MP3 Download Download mp3 files for each chapter of this book in one zip file Wikipedia - William Le Queux. Reader is Excellent. Reviewer: disappointed listener - June 14, Subject: Don't waste your time The stars in my rating go to the reader in acknowledgement of his effort to record this the result is unfortunately not that great either.
The book would be OK if a decent writer took the story and told it. As it happened, the language is just awful. Very poor vocabulary and style. That they were hard, undeniable facts, presenting a problem both startling and sensational, the reader will quickly learn from this straightforward narrative — an open confession of what actually occurred. I almost hesitate to set down the true facts, so utterly amazing are they.
Indeed, as I sit in the silence of this old brown room in a low-built and timbered Surrey farmhouse, with pen and paper before me, I feel that it is only by a miracle that I have been spared to narrate one of the most complex and ingenious plots which the human mind, with malice aforethought, ever conceived.
I ought, I suppose, in opening to tell you something concerning myself. Hugh Garfield is my name; my age twenty-nine, and I am the son of the late Reverend Francis Garfield, rector of Aldingbourne and minor canon of Chichester.
I went to France and afterwards to Italy, and on being demobilized returned to my work as an electrical engineer in the employ of Messrs. Francis and Goldsmith, the well-known firm whose palatial offices are in Great George Street, Westminster, quite close to the Institute of Electrical Engineers. Though I had obtained my Degree in Science I was at the time employed a good deal upon clerical work. Five years of war had, of course, been something of a set-back to my career, but in our reputable firm our places had been kept open for us — for those who returned, and we were, alas!
Perhaps it was that having done my duty and obtained my captaincy and a Military Cross, the loyal, old-fashioned firm regarded me with considerable favour. At any rate, it set its face against anything German, even in the post-war days when the enemy sent its Ambassador to the Court of St. James, and we weakheartedly reopened trade with the diabolical Huns and allowed them to dump in their cheap and nasty goods just as though no war had happened. Francis and Goldsmith was a private firm, and the principals were both fine, patriotic Britons.
Before I describe the amazing adventures which befell me I suppose I ought to tell you the exact circumstances. I had an excellent business appointment, with a salary which was quite adequate for my modest needs as a bachelor. Further, my Aunt Emily had died and left me quite a comfortable little fortune in addition. I shared a small flat in Rivermead Mansions, just over Hammersmith Bridge, with another bachelor, a young solicitor — a dark-haired, clean-shaven, alert fellow named Henry Hambledon, who had created quite a good practice, with only small fees of course, at the Hammersmith Police Court and its vicinity.
I first met Hambledon at the front — years ago it seems in these days when events march on so rapidly. For nearly a year we were brother-officers, until I was sent to Italy. Harry was one of the best of good fellows.https://zyfalapo.cf
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The small front room commanded a view over the river with works, wharves, and high factory chimneys on the Middlesex shore. To the left, across the long suspension bridge, was Chiswick and Kew, while to the right lay Putney and Chelsea. Before the house flowed the great broad muddy river where once each year the University eights flashed past, while ever and anon, year in, year out, noisy tugs towed strings of black barges up and down the stream. Used as we both had been to years of roughing it, the spot had taken our fancy, and we got on famously together. Since his demobilization Harry had fallen deeply in love with an extremely pretty girl named Norah Peyton, who lived in a house overlooking the Terrace Gardens at Richmond, and whose father was partner in a firm of well-known importers in Mincing Lane.
A few moments later a fellow-passenger appeared, a well-dressed, middle-aged man, who asked me in French if the train went to London, and on my replying in the affirmative, he thanked me profusely and joined me. Knowing French fairly well we soon commenced to chat in that language. He struck me as a man of considerable refinement and education.
I shall leave London for Paris to-morrow.
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I have been backwards and forwards to the Croydon Aerodrome quite half a dozen times of late. And thus we chatted until dinner was announced, and we went together along the corridor to the restaurant-car, where we sat opposite each other. I had had enough of slow railway journeys in France and elsewhere. But on that evening I confess I was greatly taken with my fellow-traveller.
He had all the alertness and exquisite politeness of the Parisian, and he compelled me to have a Benedictine at his expense. Then, as a quid pro quo , he took one of my cigarettes. Later, when we had concluded the usual and never-altering meal provided by the Great Northern Railway Company — I often wonder who are the culinary artists who devise those menus which face us on all English trains — we returned to our compartment to stretch ourselves in our corners and to smoke.
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Grantham we had passed and we were approaching Peterborough, the old fen town with the ancient cathedral. In French my friend the banker kept up a continuous chatter, even though I was tired and drowsy.
He had told me much concerning himself, and I, in turn, told him of my profession and where I lived. I did not tell him very much, for I am one of those persons who prefer to keep themselves to themselves. I seldom give strangers any information. After a time, indeed, I tired of him. But are not you in London very badly served in that respect? We, in Paris, have taxis at any hour. When your stations close I find always a great difficulty in getting a conveyance. By the way!
The Stretton Street Affair
Could you not dine with me to-morrow night? Two minutes later the train drew up slowly, and wishing my fellow-traveller bon soir , I expressed a hope that one day, ere long, we might meet again. I had not given him my card, as our acquaintance was only upon chance, and — well, after all, he was only a passing foreigner. Half an hour after I had stepped from the train, I was back again in my cosy little flat in Rivermead Mansions, after a very strenuous day.
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On the hall table lay a letter from my solicitors. I tore it open eagerly and read that they regretted to inform me that certain investments I had made a year before, with the money which my aunt had left me, had not realized my expectations. In other words, I had lost the whole of my money! My heart stood still.
The blow staggered me. Yet, after all, I had been a fool — a fact which my solicitors had hinted at the time. Harry had gone out to a dance, and had left a scribbled note on the table saying that he had his latchkey and would not be back until two or so. As sure as rain comes in winter, so does the smug and sedate female who keeps house for the unfortunate unattached male place the onus of housekeeping bills upon him and reap the desserts of life for herself.
On that particular evening I felt very tired, for in the five days of my absence many business matters had accumulated, and I had had much to attend to. Harry, who ate hurriedly — even gobbling his food — told me that he was taking Norah to the theatre, hence, after dinner, I was left alone.
The evening was cold and bright, with twinkling stars which on air-raid nights in London would have caused much perturbation among average householders and their families. Thus, as you, my reader, will realize, I went out in the manner of a million other men in London on that particular night of Wednesday, the seventh of November. And yet all unconsciously I plunged into a vortex of mystery and uncertainty such as, perhaps, no other living man has ever experienced.