Silinski. Master Criminal - Edgar Wallace - ebook

Silinski. Master Criminal ebook

Edgar Wallace

0,0

Opis

Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace (1875-1932) was a prolific British crime writer, journalist and playwright, who wrote 175 novels, 24 plays, and countless articles in newspapers and journals. Over 160 films have been made of his novels, more than any other author. In the 1920s, one of Wallace’s publishers claimed that a quarter of all books read in England were written by him. Silinski is one of Edgar Wallace’s more over-the-top master fiends. He could teach Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley something about stock manipulation. Silinski and a group of gangster financiers make havoc with the markets, cause devastating financial turmoil. The action becomes ever more outrageous from there.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

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

Liczba stron: 297

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

Androidzie
iOS



Contents

I. ECLIPSE

II. SILINSKI HAS A PLAN

III. SOME DISAPPEARANCES

IV. INTRODUCING T.B. SMITH

V. THE ANTICIPATORS

VI. AT BRONTE’S BANK

VII. SILINSKI EXPLAINS

VIII. MURDER

IX. HYATT

X. SIR GEORGE DINES

XI. THE DANCING GIRL

XII. “MARY BROWN”

XIII. DEPORTATION

XIV. WHEN THE MARKET ROSE

XV. IN THE “JOURNAL” OFFICE

XVI. SILINSKI IS INTERVIEWED

XVII. THE MAN FROM THE EIFFEL TOWER

XVIII. THE AFFAIR OF THE “CASTILIA”

XIX. THE BOOK

XX. AT THE ADMIRALTY

XXI. SILINSKI STRIKES

XXII. THE CONVICT FROM CEUTRA

XXIII. THE HOUSE ON THE HILL

XXIV. THE NINE BEARS

XXV. T.B. SMITH REPORTS

XXVI. THE LADY WHO LOST £200

XXVII. IN THE RECORD OFFICE

XXVIII. THE LOST WARSHIP

XXIX. SILINSKI UNDERSTANDS

XXX. WHAT THE SAILOR SAID

XXXI. THE “MARIA BRAGANZA”

XXXII. A MATTER OF INSURANCE

XXXIII. THE “MAD WARSHIP”

XXXIV. IN TANGIER

XXXV. SILINSKI LEAVES HURRIEDLY

XXXVI. AT “LOLO”

XXXVII. THE LAST OF THE NINE

I. ECLIPSE

MEN who think in millions, usually pay in installments, but this was not the case with Silinski, who had a mind for small things, and between whiles, when mighty financial schemes were not occupying the screen, had time to work out his landlady’s bill and detect the altogether fallacious addition of–

3 pesetas 25 centimos 4 “ 50 “ as 8 pesetas 75 centimos

He might, indeed, have hailed from Andalusia as did the Señora with her thrifty additions and her buxom red and white and black beauty, for he counted his pennies carefully and never received a duoro without testing it with his teeth.

He was a tall man with a stoop, and dressed invariably in black, which is the colour of Spain. Seeing him, on windy days, when bleak, icy air-streams poured down from the circling Sierras, and made life in Madrid insupportable, you might have marked him down as a Spaniard. His black felt hat and his velvet-lined cappa with its high collar would show him to be such from a distance, whilst nearer at hand, his long, melancholy face, with a thin nose that drooped over a trim black moustache slightly upturned, would confirm the distant impression. He spoke Spanish fluently, and affected a blazing diamond ring–such as a well-to-do Spaniard would delight in.

Silinski was, in fact, a Pole, and had been for many years a patriot, finding the calling lucrative.

Of all the bad men of whose history I have knowledge, or whose acquaintance I have made, none more than Silinski looked the part.

He was the transpontine villain to the life, and is the only instance I can recall of such a creature. He was in appearance so clever, so cunning, so snake-like, suave, and well-mannered, that men, and not a few women, trusted him from sheer perversity, reasoning, no doubt, that no man who looked so utterly untrustworthy could be anything but good at bottom. Reflecting on the bad men I have known, I enter into the spirit of the reasoning. Jan Muller was benevolent of face, with a kindly eye that twinkled behind gold-rimmed spectacles–yet Muller’s record is known, and for the five murders that were brought home to him, a score were undiscovered. Bawker had the face of a clown, a weak, good-natured clown, with his loose lip and the puckered eyes of a lover of good living–Bawker was a cold-hearted murderer. Agma Cymon–I doubt if that was his real name–was a cold severe, just man, infinitely precise and methodical; a mean man who would fight over a penny, and who invariably had his clothing patched, and his shoes re-soled, yet Cymon’s defalcations amounted to £127,000, and the bulk of the money went to the upkeep of an establishment over which the beautiful Madame Carron-Setter presided.

Silinski looked what he was, yet people did not shake their heads over him. Either they received him in their homes, and some, more intimately acquainted, joked with him on his Mephistophelian ensemble.

Silinski came to Burgos, from Madrid, by an excursion train that travelled all night, yet he was the trimmest and most alert of the crowd which thronged the Callo do Vitoria, a crowd made up of peasants, tourists, and soldiers.

He made slow progress, for the crowd grew thicker in the vicinity of the Casa del Cordon, where the loyal country-folk waited patiently for a glimpse of their King.

Silinski stood for a little while looking up at the expressionless windows of the Casa, innocent of curtain, but strangely clean. He speculated on the value of life–of royal life.

“If I were to kill the King,” he mused, “Europe would dissolve into one big shudder. If, being dead, I came forward offering to restore him to life for fifty million francs the money would be instantly forthcoming on the proof of my ability. Yet were I to go now to the King’s minister saying–‘It is easy for me to kill the King, but if you will give me the money you would spend on his obsequies. I will stay my hand,’ I should be kicked out, arrested, and possibly confined as a lunatic.”

He nodded his head slowly, and as he turned away he took a little notebook from his pocket, and inscribed–“The greatest of miracles is self- restraint.” Then he rolled a cigarette and walked slowly back to the Cafe Suiso in the Espollon.

A clean-shaven priest, with a thin, intellectual face, was stirring his coffee at one of the tables, and since this was the least occupied Silinski made for it. He raised his hat to the priest and sat down.

“I apologize for intruding myself, father,” he said, “but the other tables–”

The priest smiled and raised a protesting hand.

“The table is at your disposition, my son,” he said.

He was about the same age as Silinski, but he spoke with the assurance of years. Silinski noted that the priest’s voice was modulated, his accent refined, his presence that of a gentleman.

“A Jesuit,” thought Silinski, and regarded him with politely veiled curiosity. Jesuits had a fascination for him. They were clever, and they were good; but principally they were a mysterious force that rode triumphant over the prejudice of the world and the hatred in the Church.

“If I were not an adventurer,” he said aloud, and with that air of simplicity which ever proved to be his most valuable asset, “I should be a Jesuit.”

The priest smiled again, looking at Silinski with calm interest.

“My son,” he said, “if I were not a Jesuit priest, I should be suspicious of your well-simulated frankness.”

Here would have come a deadlock to a man of lesser parts than Silinski, but he was a very adaptable man. None the less, he was surprised into a laugh which showed his white teeth.

“In Spain,” he said, “no gambit to conversation is known. I might have spoken of the weather, of the crowd, of the King–I chose to voice my faults.”

The priest shook his head, still smiling.

“It is of no importance,” he said quietly, “you are a Pole, of course?”

Silinski stared at him blankly. These Jesuits–strange stories had been told about them. A body with a secret organization, spread over the world–it had been said that they were hand-in-hand with the police.

“I knew you were a Pole; I lived for some time in Poland. Besides, you are only Spanish to your feet,” the Jesuit looked down at Silinski’s boots, “they are not Spanish; they are too short and too heavy.”

Silinski laughed again. After all, this was a confirmation of his views of Jesuits.

“You, my father,” he accused in his turn, “are a teacher; a professor at the college in Madrid; a professor of languages,” he stopped and looked up to the awning that spread above him, seeking inspiration. “A professor of Greek,” he said slowly.

“Arabic,” corrected the other, “but that deduction isn’t clever, because the Jesuits at Madrid are all engaged in scholastic work.”

“But I knew you came from Madrid,” smiled Silinski.

“Because we both came by the same train,” said the calm priest, “and for the same purpose.”

Silinski’s eyes narrowed.

“For what purpose, father?” he asked.

“To witness the eclipse,” said the priest.

A few minutes later, Silinski watched the black-robed figure with the broad-rimmed hat disappearing in the crowd with a little feeling of irritation.

He had not come to Burgos to witness the eclipse of the sun, but because he knew that the phenomenon would attract to the ancient stronghold of the Cid many notabilities. Notabilities were usually rich men, and these Silinski was anxious to meet. A Spanish gentleman, who could speak fluently French, English, German, and Italian, might, if he played his cards well, secure introductions at such a time as this, which ordinarily would be out of his reach. The guarded circles of Paris and London, through which the unknown could not hope to penetrate, would be assailable here.

A stately Spanish grandee (which was Silinski’s role) might call on my lord in Berkeley Square, and receive no happier welcome than the suspicious scrutiny of an under footman. His ability to speak English would not serve him in a city where 6,000,000 of people spoke it indifferently well.

Silinski had come to Burgos as another man might go to a horse fair, in the hope of picking up a bargain; only, in the case of the Pole, it was a human bargain he desired, a profitable investment which he could secure for a hundred pesetas–for that was the exact amount of capital he at the moment controlled.

So with Silinski in Burgos, with crowds hurrying to the hill above the cathedral to witness the eclipse, and with no other actor in this strange drama upon the stage, the story of the Nine Bears begins.

Silinski scrawled a platitude in his notebook–had it been an epigram I would have recorded it–drank the remainder of his cafe au lait, signed to the waiter and paid him the exact amount due. Leaving the outraged servant speechless, he stepped into the stream and was swept up the hill to where a number of English people were gathered, with one eye upon their watches and another upon the livid shadow that lay upon the western sky.

Silinski found a place on the slope of the hill tolerably clear of sightseers, and spread a handkerchief carefully on the bare baked earth and sat down. He had invested a penny in a strip of smoked glass, and through this he peered critically at the sun. The hour of contact was at hand, and he could see the thin rim of the obstruction cover the edge of the glaring ball.

He had all the clever man’s respect for the astuteness of the scientist, and as he waited he wondered by what method astronomers were able to so accurately fortell to the minute, to the second, nay to the thousandth part of a second, the time of eclipse. Perhaps–

“Say, this place will do, it’s not so crowded.”

Silinski looked up at the newcomers.

One was short and stout and breathed stertor-ously, having recently climbed the hill, the other, the speaker, was tall, well-groomed and unmistakably an American, with his rimless glasses and his square-toed boots.

“Phew!” wheezed the fat man. “Don’t know which was worse, the climb or the crowd.” He tapped his inside pocket apprehensively. “Hate crowds,” he grumbled, “lose things.”

“Have you lost anything?” asked the other. The fat man shook his head, but felt his pocket again. Silinski saw this out of the corner of his eye–inside breast pocket on the left, he noted.

“Baggin,” said the fat man suddenly, “I’ve a feelin’ that we oughtn’t to have come here.”

“You make me tired,” said the American wearily.

“We oughtn’t to be seen together,” persisted the other; “all sorts of people are here, eh? Fellers I know slightly, chaps in the City, eh? They’ll smell a rat.”

He was querulous and worrying, and had a trick of asking for corroboration where none was likely to be offered.

“You’re a fool,” said the other.

There was a long pause, and Silinski knew that the American was making dumb show signals of warning. They were nodding at him, he felt sure, so he raised his hat and asked politely:

“At what hour is the eclipse?”

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.

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.

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.

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.