The Man Who Was Nobody - Edgar Wallace - ebook

The Man Who Was Nobody ebook

Edgar Wallace

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Opis

A slick young man buys a jewel with a cheque that bounces. Then two men are searching for James Tynewood, a young tearaway: one is a police inspector, while the other is his solicitor. But Tynewood has mysteriously disappeared... „The Man Who Was Nobody” is an enjoyable lightweight murder mystery thriller that manages to preserve at least some of the characteristic Edgar Wallace atmosphere. During the 1920’s and 30’s, it was said that one of every four books read in England was written by Wallace, who ultimately produced 173 books and 17 plays. Highly recommended for people who like to treat a mystery story as a solvable riddle!

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Liczba stron: 241

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Contents

I. AT ALMA’S FLAT

II. THE MAN FROM PRETORIA

III. THE SURPRISING DEBTS

IV. WHAT HAPPENED AT TYNEWOOD CHASE

V. THE MYSTERY

VI. IN SOUTH AFRICA

VII. SOLOMON’S PLAN

VIII. THE ORDER TO MARRY

IX. MRS STEDMAN’S TROUBLE

X. MARJORIE SENDS HER WIRE

XI. MARJORIE TELLS THE NEWS

XII. THE MAN WHO WAS NOBODY

XIII. HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS

XIV. THE INTRUDER

XV. MRS STEDMAN HEARS THE NEWS

XVI. “A MARRIAGE HAS BEEN ARRANGED”

XVII. LADY TYNEWOOD MAKES A CALL

XVIII. THE MEETING

XIX. A MARRIAGE WAS ARRANGED

XX. IN THE LANE

XXI. THE WEDDING

XXII. LADY TYNEWOOD HAS AN IDEA

XXIII. THE HONEYMOON

XXIV. THE NIGHT OF THE WEDDING

XXV. LADY TYNEWOOD PURSUES HER ENQUIRIES

XXVI. THE RETURN FROM BRIGHTSEA

XXVII. THE STORY OF SIR JAMES TYNEWOOD

XXVIII. THE PHOTOGRAPH

XXIX. A MIDNIGHT VISITOR

XXX. A CUP OF TEA

XXXI. THE DENOUNCEMENT

XXXII. TO SILENCE PRETORIA SMITH

XXXIII. SIR JAMES TYNEWOOD SPEAKS

XXXIV. THE END

I. AT ALMA’S FLAT

“WELL, you’ve got him! What do you think of him?”

Augustus Javot’s thin lips were twisted in a cynical smile as he surveyed the scene. The small drawing-room was in confusion, the furniture had been pushed against the wall in order to give the dancers a little more room. One electric wall bracket had been twisted out of shape by a drunken hand, and a great bowl of white lilac had been smashed and now lay upon the floor in a confusion of broken china and wilted blooms. At one end of the room a mechanical piano tinkled metallically and half a dozen couples swayed through the motion of a two-step with unsteady feet amidst a babble of raucous laughter and half-hysterical giggles.

The handsome girl who stood by Javot’s side let her eyes wander about the apartment till they rested upon a flushed youth who was at that moment endeavouring to stand on his hands against the wall, encouraged thereto by the ear-piercing cat-calls of one who was scarcely less sober than the amateur acrobat. Alma Trebizond raised her eyebrows never so slightly and turned to meet Javot’s gaze.

“Beggars can’t be choosers,” she said complacently “He isn’t very impressive, but he is a baronet of the United Kingdom and has a rent-roll of forty thousand a year.”

“And the Tynewood diamond collar,” murmured Javot. “It will be a new thing to see you with a hundred thousand pounds of diamonds round your pretty neck, my dear.”

The girl fetched a long sigh, the sigh of one who has dared much and has succeeded beyond her wildest hopes.

“It has turned out better than I expected,” she said, and then: “I have sent an announcement to the papers.”

Javot looked at her sharply. He was a thin, hard-faced man, slightly bald, and there was a hawk-like look in his cold eyes as he surveyed her unsmilingly “You’ve sent to the papers?” he said slowly “I think you’re a bit of a fool, Alma!”

“Why?” she asked defiantly “I’ve nothing to be ashamed of–I’m as good as he is! Besides, it’s not unusual for an actress of my ability to marry into the peerage.”

“It’s not exactly the peerage,” corrected Javot, “but that’s beside the point. He’s particularly asked you to keep the marriage secret.”

“Why should I?” she demanded.

A little smile twinkled in his eyes.

“There are many reasons,” he said significantly “and I could give you one if it were necessary. You’re not going to send the announcement to the papers, Alma.”

“I’ve already done it,” she replied sullenly.

He made a little impatient noise.

“You’re starting badly” he said. “Sir James Tynewood was not drunk when he asked you to keep the marriage a secret for twelve months. He was particularly sober, Alma, and he had a reason, you may be sure.”

With an impatient shrug she turned from him and walked across to the balancing youth who was now on his feet holding in a shaky hand a champagne glass which his companion was endeavouring to fill, with disastrous results to Alma’s drawing-room carpet.

“I want you, Jimmie,” she said, and linked her arm in the young man’s.

He turned a flushed smiling face towards her.

“Wait a minute, darling,” he said thickly, “I’m just going to have another glass with dear old Mark.”

“You’re coming along with me for a moment,” she insisted, and with a chuckle he dropped the glass to the floor, shivering it into a hundred pieces.

“I’m married now eh?” he chuckled. “Got to obey the wife!”

She led him back to where Javot stood.

“Jimmie,” she said suddenly, “I’ve sent the announcement of our wedding to the papers.”

He stared at her in drunken amazement and a frown gathered on his forehead.

“Say that again,” he repeated.

“I’ve sent the announcement that Alma Trebizond, the eminent actress, has married Sir James Tynewood, of Tynewood Chase,” she said coolly “I’m not going to have any secrecy about this business, Jimmie. You’re not ashamed of me?”

He had drawn his arm from hers and stood, the frown still upon his face, his hand rumpling his hair in an effort of thought.

“I told you not to,” he said with sudden violence. “Damn it, didn’t I tell you not to, Alma?” And then suddenly his mood changed, and flinging back his head he roared with laughter.

“Well, that’s the best thing I’ve heard,” he gasped, wiping the tears of merriment from his eyes. “Come and have a drink, Javot.”

But Augustus Javot shook his head. “No, thank you, Sir James,” he replied. “If you will take my advice–”

“Pshaw!” scorned the other. “I take nobody’s advice in these days. I’ve taken Alma and that’s all that matters, isn’t it, darling?”

Javot watched him as he went across the room and shook his head. “I wonder what his relations are going to say?” he asked softly.

The girl turned on him. “Does it matter what his relations say?” she demanded. “Besides, he has no relations except a younger brother who’s in America, and he’s only a half-brother, anyway What makes you so gloomy tonight, Javot?” she said irritably “You’re getting on my nerves.”

Javot said nothing, but perched on the head of the sofa he watched the girl as she joined her husband and permitted himself to wonder what would be the end of the adventure.

The merriment was at its height when a diversion came. Alma’s flat was in a fashionable block overlooking the park and the appearance of a servant in the doorway meant nothing more to Javot than that one of the tenants of the flats beneath had sent up complaints about the noise. It was the usual interruption to the gatherings which met in Alma’s flat. This time, however, the servant’s message was important, for Alma signalled the company to silence, and the voice of Sir James was heard inquiring: “For me?”

“Yes, sir,” said the servant. “She wants to see you.”

“Who is it?” asked Alma.

“A young woman, my lady,” said the servant, who was training herself to address Alma in this unfamiliar style.

Alma laughed. “Another of your conquests, Jimmie?” she said, and James Tynewood grinned sheepishly for vanity was not the least of his vices.

“Bring her in,” he said loudly; but the servant hesitated.

“Bring her in,” roared Tynewood, and the woman disappeared.

Presently she came back, followed by a girl, and at the sight of her Javot’s eyes lightened.

“That’s a pretty girl,” he thought, and pretty indeed she was. She looked round from one to the other of the company and she was obviously far from comfortable in those surroundings.

“Sir James Tynewood?” she asked in a soft voice.

“I’m Sir James Tynewood.”

“I have a letter for you.”

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