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The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation von Fletcher, J. S. (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 31.05.2018
  • Verlag: Aeterna Classics
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The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation

'Queer ' he repeated as he marched up and down. 'Perhaps he's not --' The quiet opening of a door close by made him lift his eyes from the carpet. In the dim light he saw a man looking out upon him -- a man of an unusually thick crop of hair and with a huge beard. He stared at Allerdyke half angrily, half sulkily; then he closed his door as quietly as he had opened it. And Allerdyke, turning back to his cousin's room, mechanically laid his hand on the knob and screwed it round. The door was open. Allerdyke drew a sharp breath as he crossed the threshold. He had stayed in that hotel often, and he knew where the switch of the electric light should be. He lifted a hand, found the switch, and turned the light on. And as it flooded the room, he pulled himself up to a tense rigidity. There, sitting fully dressed in an easy chair, against which his head was thrown back, was his cousin -- unmistakably dead. 'Queer ' he repeated as he marched up and down. 'Perhaps he's not --' The quiet opening of a door close by made him lift his eyes from the carpet. In the dim light he saw a man looking out upon him -- a man of an unusually thick crop of hair and with a huge beard. He stared at Allerdyke half angrily, half sulkily; then he closed his door as quietly as he had opened it. And Allerdyke, turning back to his cousin's room, mechanically laid his hand on the knob and screwed it round. The door was open. Allerdyke drew a sharp breath as he crossed the threshold. He had stayed in that hotel often, and he knew where the switch of the electric light should be. He lifted a hand, found the switch, and turned the light on. And as it flooded the room, he pulled himself up to a tense rigidity. There, sitting fully dressed in an easy chair, against which his head was thrown back, was his cousin -- unmistakably dead.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 252
    Erscheinungsdatum: 31.05.2018
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783963769962
    Verlag: Aeterna Classics
    Größe: 593 kBytes
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The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation

CHAPTER I

THE MIDNIGHT RIDE

About eleven o'clock on the night of Monday, May 12, 1914, Marshall Allerdyke, a bachelor of forty, a man of great mental and physical activity, well known in Bradford as a highly successful manufacturer of dress goods, alighted at the Central Station in that city from an express which had just arrived from Manchester, where he had spent the day on business. He had scarcely set foot on the platform when he was confronted by his chauffeur, a young man in a neat dark-green livery, who took his master's travelling rug in one hand, while with the other he held out an envelope.

"The housekeeper said I was to give you that as soon as you got in, sir," he announced. "There's a telegram in it that came at four o'clock this afternoon-she couldn't send it on, because she didn't know exactly where it would find you in Manchester."

Allerdyke took the envelope, tore it open, drew out the telegram, and stepped beneath the nearest lamp. He muttered the wording of the message-

" On board SS. Perisco

"63 miles N.N.E. Spurn Point , 2.15 p.m., May 12_th_.

"Expect to reach Hull this evening, and shall stop Station Hotel there for night on way to London. Will you come on at once and meet me? Want to see you on most important business-
"JAMES."

Allerdyke re-read this message, quietly and methodically folded it up, slipped it into his pocket, and with a swift glance at the station clock turned to his chauffeur.

"Gaffney," he said, "how long would it take us to run across to Hull?"

The chauffeur showed no surprise at this question; he had served
Allerdyke for three years, and was well accustomed to his ways.

"Hull?" he replied. "Let's see, sir-that 'ud be by way of Leeds, Selby, and Howden. About sixty miles in a straight line, but there's a good bit of in-and-out work after you get past Selby, sir. I should say about four hours."

"Plenty of petrol in the car?" asked Allerdyke, turning down the platform. "There is? What time did you have your supper?"

"Ten o'clock, sir," answered Gaffney, with promptitude.

"Bring the car round to the hotel door in the station yard," commanded Allerdyke. "You'll find a couple of Thermos flasks in the locker-bring them into the hotel lounge bar."

The chauffeur went off down the platform. Allerdyke turned up the covered way to the Great Northern Hotel. When the chauffeur joined him there a few minutes later he was giving orders for a supply of freshly-cut beef sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs; the Thermos flasks he handed over to be filled with hot coffee.

"Better get something to eat now, Gaffney," he said. "Get some sandwiches, or some bread and cheese, or something-it's a longish spin."

He himself, waiting while the chauffeur ate and drank, and the provisions were made ready, took a whisky and soda to a chair by the fire, and once more pulled out and read the telegram. And as he read he wondered why his cousin, its sender, wished so particularly to see him at once. James Allerdyke, a man somewhat younger than himself, like himself a bachelor of ample means and of a similar temperament, had of late years concerned himself greatly with various business speculations in Northern Europe, and especially in Russia. He had just been over to St. Petersburg in order to look after certain of his affairs in and near that city, and he was returning home by way of Stockholm and Christiania, in each of which towns he had other ventures to inspect. But Marshall Allerdyke was quite sure that his cousin did not wish to see him about any of these matters-anything connected with them would have kept until they met in the ordinary way, which would have happened within a day or two. No, if James had taken the trouble to send him a message by wireless from the North Sea, it meant that James was really anxious to see him at the first

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