The Corner House - Fred M. White - ebook

The Corner House ebook

Fred M White

0,0

Opis

This is a mysterious story about The Corner House, where there are many secrets and various rumors about it. Some time ago, The Corner House was the center of what could be an exciting tragedy. Some of the neighbors could hear about the night cry, how to stamp their feet, about a beautiful woman with poison in her hand. No one ever revealed her secret, no one crossed her threshold. However, there is always someone brave who will do it.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

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

Liczba stron: 356

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

Androidzie
iOS



Contents

I. The House Next Door

II. Hetty

III. The Face At The Window

IV. Weaving The Net

V. In The Morning-Room

VI. A Visitor

VII. At The Corner House

VIII. Paul Prout

IX. The Missing Notes

X. A Policy Of Silence

XI. The Notes Are Traced

XII. Prout Is Puzzled

XIII. Second Sight

XIV. “Crowner’s Quest”

XV. Lawrence Prophesies Again

XVI. Mr. Charlton Speaks

XVII. The Gamblers

XVIII. Lawrence Is Mysterious

XIX. Stolen!

XX. Uneasy Lies The Head…

XXI. Peril

XXII. For Love And Duty

XXIII. Ten Minutes Past Twelve

XXIV. Treasure Trove

XXV. A Check

XXVI. The Black Motor

XXVII. A Glass Of Wine

XXVIII. Baffled!

XXIX. A Knock At The Door

XXX. Prout Gets A Clue

XXXI. An Urgent Call

XXXII. Touch And Go

XXXIII. The Way Blocked

XXXIV. A Clever Move

XXXV. A Powerful Ally

XXXVI. A Faint Clue

XXXVII. The Talk Of The Town

XXXVIII. Maitrank Strikes

XXXIX. Lawrence Shows His Hand

XL. Another Coil

XLI. Prout Is Indiscreet

XLII. Fear!

XLIII. A Slice Of Luck

XLIV. At Last

XLV. A Chase

XLVI. Hetty Learns Something

XLVII. Flown

XLVIII. Hetty Speaks Out

XLIX. In The Dead Of The Night

L. Threatened Ruin

LI. The Wolf Is Unchained

LII. The Cage Is Opened

LIII. Face To Face

LIV. A Stab In The Dark

LV. The Corner House Again

LVI. Now Then!

LVII. A Way Out

LVIII. Nearing The End

LIX. Light In The Corner House

LX. Narrowed Down

LXI. Logic

LXII. Confession

LXIII. A Final Verdict

I. THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR

A brilliant light streamed from the open doorway of No. 1 Lytton-avenue, making a lane of flame across the pavement, touching pinched gaunt faces that formed a striking contrast to the dazzling scene within. Outside it was cold and wet and sodden, inside was warmth, the glitter of electrics on palms and statuary and flowers, a sliding kaleidoscope of beautiful dresses. A touch of this grateful warmth came soft and perfumed down the steps, a drawn Lazarus huddled in his rags and shivered.

“What’s all this mean?” he growled to an equally indigent neighbour. There was a clatter and clash of harness as carriage after carriage drove up. “This ain’t quite Park-lane, guv’nor.”

“Anyway, it’s the fashion,” the other growled hoarsely. “I ought to know, because I used to be one of them before the accursed drink–but that is another story. Ever heard of the Countess Lalage?”

“Oh, that’s it. Lovely woman with a romantic history. Rich as thingamy, been proposed to by all the dukes what ain’t married already. Read it in one of the evening papers.”

Poverty and want were jostling with well-dressed content on the pavement. It was one of the strangest and most painful contrasts that can be seen in the richest city in the world. And the contrast was heightened by the meanness of the Corner House.

Black, dark, deserted, grimy shuttered windows–a suggestion of creeping mystery about it. Time ago the corner house was the centre of what might have been a thrilling tragedy. Some of the older neighbours could tell of a cry in the night, of the tramping of feet, of a beautiful woman with the poison still in her hand, of the stern black husband who said never a word, though the shadow of the scaffold lay heavily upon him.

Since then the corner house looked down with blank shuttered eyes on the street. None had ever penetrated its mystery, nobody had crossed its threshold from that day to this. The stern dark man had disappeared; he had locked up his house and gone, leaving not so much as a caretaker behind.

Strange that this dark, forbidding house should stand cheek by jowl with all that was modern and frivolous and fashionable. Even in the garden behind Lytton-avenue the corner house frowned with sightless eyes out of its side windows, eerie and creeping in the daytime.

But the heedless throng of fashionables reeked nothing of this. The Countess Lalage was their latest craze. Who she was or where she came from nobody knew nor cared. She was young and wonderfully beautiful in a dashing Southern way, her equipages were an amazement to the park; she must have been immensely rich, or she would never have entertained as she did. There must have been a Count Lalage at one time, for generally a pretty little girl rode with the Countess, and this child was her daughter. The Countess spoke casually of large South American concessions and silver mines, so that Oxford-street and Regent-street bowed down and worshipped her.

She had purchased No. 1 Lytton Avenue, just as it stood from an American millionaire who had suddenly tired of society. Paragraphs in the cheap society papers stated with awe that the sale had been settled in five minutes, so that on the spot this wonderful Countess Lalage had signed a cheque for more than two hundred thousand pounds.

She stood now at the head of the marble staircase, a screen of palms behind her, receiving her guests. If she were an adventuress, as some of the critics hinted, she carried it off wonderfully well. If so, she was one of the finest actresses in the world. A black silk dress perfectly plain showed off her dark flashing beauty to perfection. She wore a diamond spray and tiara; a deep red rose at her breast looked like a splash of blood. Truly, a magnificent woman!

She had an easy word and a graceful speech for every one. An old diplomatist, watching her earnestly, went away muttering that she must be to the manner born. Her smile was so real and caressing, but it deepened now, and the red lips quivered slightly as a bright-eyed, square-headed young man came up the steps and bowed over her hand.

“So you came, after all, Dr. Bruce?” she said playfully. She pressed his hand gently; her eyes were soft and luminous on his face. Any man whose affections had not been pledged elsewhere would have felt his pulses leaping. “Why?”

“Need you ask?” Gordon Bruce said gallantly. “You are my patroness, you know. Your word is final in everything. And since you declared at a fashionable gathering that Dr. Gordon Bruce was the man for nerve troubles, I have found it necessary to hire a second horse.”

The dark eyes grew more caressing. A more vain man would have been flattered. To be the husband of Countess Lalage meant much; to be master of all this wealth and splendour meant more. But the quiet elation in Bruce’s tones was not for the Countess, if she only knew it.

The flowing tide of satin and silks and lace sweeping up the staircase swept young Gordon Bruce along. He passed through the glittering rooms faint with the perfume of roses. There was a dim corridor full of flowers and shaded lights. Gordon Bruce looked anxiously about him. A glad light came into his eyes.

II. HETTY

The figure of a girl rose out of a bower of palms and ferns and stood before Gordon Bruce with a shy welcome in her violet eyes. Just for a moment Bruce found himself contrasting this fresh English beauty with the Lalage Southern loveliness to the detriment of the latter. There was a purity and sweetness, a wonderful tenderness of expression about Hetty Lawrence that had always appealed to Bruce.

He had known Countess Lalage’s governess for years. He admired her independence of character, too, though on the whole he would have preferred her taking the home that her uncle Gilbert Lawrence, the great novelist, was ever urging upon her. But she would have a home of her own soon.

“Gordon, I am so glad you have come,” she whispered. “I have stolen away for half-an-hour as Mamie is better. If she wants me I have told the nurse–”

“She can’t want you half so badly as I do,” Gordon laughed as he bent down and kissed the shy lips. “And that queer little creature will have to learn to do without you altogether before long. Four new patients to-day, Hetty. And I have taken the house in Green-street.”

“Can we really afford it?” Hetty asked anxiously.

Bruce kissed her again. He loved that little pathetic, anxious look of hers. He spoke confidently of the time when Harley-street should be theirs. There was a strength, and reliance about her lover that always comforted Hetty.

“I shall be glad,” she whispered, after a thoughtful pause, “glad to get away from here.”

“That’s flattering to me. But I thought you liked the Countess.”

Hetty glanced fearfully around her. Nobody was near–only the palms–and the scented roses could hear her confidences.

“I have tried,” she confessed, “and I have failed. She fascinates and yet repels me. There is some strange mystery about her. Gordon, I feel sure that there is the shadow of some great crime on her house. It sounds weak–hysterical, perhaps–but I can’t get it out of my mind.”

“But, darling, the Countess has been a good friend to me.”

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.

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.