Madame and Her Twelve Virgins - E. Phillips Oppenheim - ebook

Madame and Her Twelve Virgins ebook

E. Phillips Oppenheim

0,0

Opis

The two men hesitated upon the tee, gazing down the glade towards the distant-green. Their caddies were still pointing in excitement to a motionless object stretched upon the smooth turf close to the flag. „Look there! „ „It’s a man! „ „He is dead! „ The players paused to consider the situation. They were oddly contrasted combatants–one, Mr. Edgar Franks, elderly, large and florid, with a mass of flaxen hair only slightly streaked with grey, a transatlantic millionaire, and owner of the finest villa in the neighbourhood of Antibes the other tall and slim, a mere lad, whose name was Armand Toyes, and who motored down occasionally from his home somewhere in the hills behind Cagnes.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
czytnikach Kindle™
(dla wybranych pakietów)
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 268

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS



Contents

I. THE TRIMMING OF MR. EDGAR FRANKS

II. THE TERRIBLE ORDEAL OF SIR JOHN FARDELL

III. THE FIRST EMBRACE

IV. MR. HOPP'S ASTUTE DEAL

V. A GAMBLE IN FRANKS OILS

VI. THE BLACK VIRGIN

VII. RAPASTO'S LAST SERVICE

VIII. A COWARD BY QUITTANCE

IX. MADAME'S MOSAIC LAW

X. THE LAST OF THE VIRGINS

FOREWORD

“MADAME,” one of the most brilliant personalities in French society before the War, runs a circle of dashing young adventurers, who commit all sorts of crimes, the members sharing the proceeds. The Virgins consist of Public School men and ‘Varsity men who are virgins in crime until they bind themselves to “Madame.” To ensure loyalty, each man gives her a written confession of his first crime. The gang flourishes for quite a time, and then comes the War and it is disbanded. Years pass, during which its members have attained responsible positions. From the seclusion of her villa on the French Riviera “Madame” sends out the call to bring them all back to earn their quittances, or, in other words, to win back the confessions they handed to her. To do this they have to commit a final crime, but by now these men are eminently respectable, princes of industry, barristers, artists, and so on, and you can imagine that they object most strongly to re-entering the paths of crime. How they arc made to do so in order to earn their quittances is told in these stories.

I. THE TRIMMING OF MR. EDGAR FRANKS

THE two men hesitated upon the tee, gazing down the glade towards the distant-green. Their caddies were still pointing in excitement to a motionless object stretched upon the smooth turf close to the flag.

“Look there!”

“It’s a man!”

“He is dead!”

The players paused to consider the situation. They were oddly contrasted combatants–one, Mr. Edgar Franks, elderly, large and florid, with a mass of flaxen hair only slightly streaked with grey, a transatlantic millionaire, and owner of the finest villa in the neighbourhood of Antibes the other tall and slim, a mere lad, whose name was Armand Toyes, and who motored down occasionally from his home somewhere in the hills behind Cagnes.

“I guess he’s lying just about where I want to pitch,” the former remarked in a tone of annoyance. “That is if it’s a man at all.”

“Whether it’s a man or a bundle of rags,” his companion observed, “I am afraid we shall have to walk the hole or send the caddies on. We might try a shout.”

Both men lifted their voices, and the warning cry of the modern golfer rang through the sunlit stillness of the April morning. There was not the slightest movement from the object upon the green.

“We shall have to go and investigate,” the American grumbled.

The two men skirted a little clump of marsh grasses, amongst which were clusters of yellow irises, and made their way down the fairway towards the green. Both, in their way, were of incurious disposition, yet they quickened their pace a little as they neared their destination.

“It’s a man right enough,” the younger golfer declared.

“A tramp,” his companion pronounced, “and asleep. No dead man would lie like that. Hallo there!”

The sleeper started, raised himself on his elbow and struggled to his feet. He was dressed in the rags of a French tramp or labourer out of work, but his attitude, in the circumstances, was unusual. He turned a dark, scowling face upon the intruders as though in resentment at their interference with his slumbers.

“Queer place to choose for a bed, my man,” Mr. Edgar Franks remonstrated. “Do you know that this is a golf course, and private property?”

“I did not know, and what does it matter?” was the none too civil reply. “I lost my way and I was overcome by sleep. In what direction does Cagnes lie?”

They pointed out the small town on its picturesque eminence. The man looked at them both for a moment with obvious distaste, turned away without another word, and started off.

“Well, I’m blessed!” Mr. Edgar Franks exclaimed.

“Surly devil!” his young companion laughed. “A tramp, without a doubt, but fancy his not asking for anything.”

They watched him cross the links in a direct line towards the town which they had indicated. He walked as though his feet were sore, but he had none of the habitual slouch of the mendicant.

“Queer that he answered us in French,” Edgar Franks remarked. “He looked English to me. His intonation was English too.”

They strolled to the next tee and dismissed the affair from their minds.

The tramp crossed the links, found his way out on to the road, and entered a small café on the outskirts of the place. A woman, from behind the counter, watched his approach doubtfully.

“What does Monsieur desire?” she inquired with somewhat forced politeness.

“A wash,” he replied shortly. “Afterwards some coffee.”

He understood her look, and, from a pocket in his tattered coat, drew out several franc notes. She moved to the end of the counter and opened a door.

“Out there is a basin,” she directed. “There is also water. One may wash there and afterwards the coffee shall be served.”

The man made his toilet and returned. He chose a chair out in the sunlight. His clothes remained the clothes of a scarecrow and the frown had not left his face. Nevertheless, he was a person of no ordinary type. He was apparently still young, his features had strength, his mouth was straight and resolute. His hands were hard and tanned, but shapely.

“Monsieur has come far?” the woman asked, as she served his coffee.

“Far enough,” he answered. “Can you direct me,” he went on, after a moment’s pause, “to the Villa Sabatin?”

“The Villa Sabatin?” the woman repeated. “But yes. It is up the valley on the left. One takes the little train there, and gets out at St. Oisette.”

“It is far?” he demanded.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.