The Man Who Fell Through the Earth - Carolyn Wells - ebook

The Man Who Fell Through the Earth ebook

Carolyn Wells

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The Man Who Fell Through the Earth” is a traditional mystery novel by American author Carolyn Wells, set in 1920-s in New York. A lawyer is leaving his office on the top floor of an office building. He sees the shadows of two men fighting through the clouded glass of an office door followed by a shot from the office across the hall. He goes to investigate. He finds no sign of either victim or assailant despite the fact that no one could have passed him in the hallway without being seen. From there the story twists and turns whose the villains, what’s the story behind the murder and who is the mystery man – The Man Who Fell Through the Earth? These are the mysteries that the detective Pennington Wise must solve in... The Man Who Fell Through the Earth!

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Liczba stron: 319

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Contents

CHAPTER I. Moving Shadow-Shapes

CHAPTER II. Jenny’s Version

CHAPTER III. The Elevator

CHAPTER IV. The Black Squall

CHAPTER V. Olive Raynor

CHAPTER VI. Clews

CHAPTER VII. Hudson’s Errand

CHAPTER VIII. The Man Who Fell Through the Earth

CHAPTER IX. The Man in Boston

CHAPTER X. Penny Wise and Zizi

CHAPTER XI. Case Rivers

CHAPTER XII. The Link

CHAPTER XIII. Olive’s Adventure

CHAPTER XIV. Where is Manning?

CHAPTER XV. Wise’s Pipe Dream

CHAPTER XVI. The Snowflake

CHAPTER XVII. Zizi’s Hunch

CHAPTER XVIII. Clear as Crystal

CHAPTER I. Moving Shadow-Shapes

One of the occasions when I experienced “that grand and glorious feeling” was when my law business had achieved proportions that justified my removal from my old office to new and more commodious quarters. I selected a somewhat pretentious building on Madison Avenue between Thirtieth and Fortieth Streets, and it was a red-letter day for me when I moved into my pleasant rooms on its top floor.

The Puritan Trust Company occupied all of the ground floor and there were also some of the private offices of that institution on the top floor, as well as a few offices to be let.

My rooms were well located and delightfully light, and I furnished them with care, selecting chairs and desks of a dignified type, and rugs of appropriately quiet coloring. I also selected my stenographer with care, and Norah MacCormack was a red-haired piece of perfection. If she had a weakness, it was for reading detective stories, but I condoned that, for in my hammocky moods I, too, dipped into the tangled-web school of fiction.

And, without undue conceit, I felt that I could give most specimens of the genus Sherlock cards and spades and beat them at their own game of deduction. I practiced it on Norah sometimes. She would bring me a veil or glove of some friend of hers, and I would try to deduce the friend’s traits of character. My successes and failures were about fifty-fifty, but Norah thought I improved with practice, and, anyway, it exercised my intelligence.

I had failed to pass examination for the army, because of a defect, negligible, it seemed to me, in my eyesight. I was deeply disappointed, but as the law of compensation is usually in force, I unexpectedly proved to be of some use to my Government after all.

Across the hall from me was the private office of Amos Gately, the President of the Puritan Trust Company, and a man of city-wide reputation. I didn’t know the great financier personally, but everyone knew of him, and his name was a synonym for all that is sound, honorable, and philanthropic in the money mart. He was of that frequently seen type, with the silver gray hair that so becomingly accompanies deep-set dark eyes.

And yet, I had never seen Mr. Gately himself. My knowledge of him was gained from his frequent portraiture in the papers or in an occasional magazine. And I had gathered, in a vague way, that he was a connoisseur of the fine arts, and that his offices, as well as his home, were palatial in their appointments.

I may as well admit, therefore, that going in and out of my own rooms I often looked toward his door, in hopes that I might get a glimpse, at least, of the treasures within. But so far I had not done so.

To be sure, I had only occupied my own suite about a week and then again Mr. Gately was not always in his private offices during business hours. Doubtless, much of the time he was down in the banking rooms.

There was a yellow-haired stenographer, who wore her hair in ear-muffs, and who was, I should say, addicted to the vanity-case. This young person, Norah had informed me, was Jenny Boyd.

And that sums up the whole of my intimate knowledge of Amos Gately–until the day of the black snow squall!

I daresay my prehistoric ancestors were sun-worshipers. At any rate, I am perfectly happy when the sun shines, and utterly miserable on a gloomy day. Of course, after sunset, I don’t care, but days when artificial light must be used, I get fidgety and am positively unable to concentrate on any important line of thought.

And so, when Norah snapped on her green-shaded desk light in mid-afternoon, I impulsively jumped up to go home. I could stand electrically lighted rooms better in my diggings than in the work-compelling atmosphere of my office.

“Finish that bit of work,” I told my competent assistant, “and then go home yourself. I’m going now.”

“But it’s only three o’clock, Mr. Brice,” and Norah’s gray eyes looked up from the clicking keys.

“I know it, but a snow storm is brewing,–and Lord knows there’s snow enough in town now!”

“There is so! I’m thinking they won’t get the black mountains out of the side streets before Fourth of July,–and the poor White Wings working themselves to death!”

“Statistics haven’t yet proved that cause of death prevalent among snow-shovelers,” I returned, “but I’m pretty sure there’s more chance for it coming to them!”

I hate snow. For the ocular defect that kept me out of the army is corrected by not altogether unbecoming glasses, but when these are moistened or misted by falling snow, I am greatly incommoded. So I determined to reach home, if possible, before the squall which was so indubitably imminent.

I snugged into my overcoat, and jammed my hat well down on my head, for the wind was already blowing a gale.

“Get away soon, Norah,” I said, as I opened the door into the hall, “and if it proves a blizzard you needn’t show up tomorrow.”

“Oh, I’ll be here, Mr. Brice,” she returned, in her cheery way, and resumed her clicking.

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