The Mark of Cain - Carolyn Wells - ebook

The Mark of Cain ebook

Carolyn Wells

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In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, renowned mystery writer Carolyn Wells strays from the enclaves of the well-to-do that usually serve as the settings for her novels and introduces elements of gritty street life. When the body of Rowland Trowbridge, a successful businessman, is found in a remote corner of Van Cortlandt Park, it initially appeared to be a robbery gone wrong. The dead man’s last words were „Cain killed me”, which leads investigators to the victim’s nephew Kane Landon. But was „Cain” a Biblical reference? Or did it mean something else entirely? With circumstantial evidence against him, Landon turns to expert detective Fleming Stone and his assistant Fibsy McGuire, young man who hails from an Irish immigrant family, to unravel the meaning of... „The Mark of Cain”.

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Liczba stron: 355

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Contents

CHAPTER I. THROUGH THE GREEN CORD

CHAPTER II. WHO COULD HAVE DONE IT?

CHAPTER III. PINCKNEY, THE REPORTER

CHAPTER IV. THE INQUEST BEGINS

CHAPTER V. THE SWEDE

CHAPTER VI. OUT OF THE WEST

CHAPTER VII. STEPHANOTIS

CHAPTER VIII. THE MILK BOTTLE

CHAPTER IX. A CLAUSE IN THE WILL

CHAPTER X. STRYKER’S HANDKERCHIEF

CHAPTER XI. DUANE THE DETECTIVE

CHAPTER XII. A NEW THEORY

CHAPTER XIII. FIBSY FIBS

CHAPTER XIV. TWO SUITORS

CHAPTER XV. THE TRAP THAT WAS SET

CHAPTER XVI. A PROMISE

CHAPTER XVII. MADAME ISIS

CHAPTER XVIII. ALL FOR LOVE

CHAPTER XIX. TWO AT LUNCHEON

CHAPTER XX. FLEMING STONE

CHAPTER XXI. STONE’S QUESTIONS

CHAPTER XXII. JUDGE HOYT’S PLAN

CHAPTER XXIII. IN KITO’S CARE

CHAPTER XXIV. ESCAPE

CHAPTER XXV. THE WHOLE TRUTH

CHAPTER I. THROUGH THE GREEN CORD

Judge Hoyt’s strong, keen face took on a kindlier aspect and his curt “Hello!” was followed by gentler tones, as he heard the voice of the girl he loved, over the telephone.

“What is it, Avice?” he said, for her speech showed anxiety.

“Uncle Rowly,–he hasn’t come home yet.”

“He hasn’t? Well, I hope he’ll turn up soon. I want to see him. I was coming up this evening.”

“Come now,” said Avice; “come now, and dine here. I am so anxious about uncle.”

“Why, Avice, don’t worry. He is all right, of course.”

“No he isn’t. I feel a presentiment something has happened to him. He never was so late as this before, unless we knew where he was. Do come right up, won’t you, Judge?”

“Certainly I will; I’m very glad to. But I’m sure your fears are groundless. What about Mrs. Black? Is she alarmed?”

“No, Eleanor laughs at me.”

“Then I think you needn’t disturb yourself. Surely she–”

“Yes, I know what you’re going to say, but she isn’t a bit fonder of Uncle Rowly than I am. Good-by.”

Avice hung up the receiver with a little snap. She was willing that Mrs. Black should marry her uncle, but she did hate to be relegated to second place in the household. Already the handsome widow was asserting her supremacy, and while Avice acknowledged the justice of it, it hurt her pride a little.

“I’ve asked Judge Hoyt to dinner,” she said, as she returned to her post at the window.

Mrs. Black glanced up from the evening paper she was reading and murmured an indistinct acquiescence.

It was late June, yet the city home of the Trowbridges was still occupied by the family. As Avice often said, the big town house was cooler than most summer resorts, with their small rooms and lack of shade. Here, the linen-swathed furniture, the white-draped chandeliers and pictures, the rugless floors, all contributed to an effect of coolness and comfort.

Avice, herself, in her pretty white gown, fluttered from one window to another, looking out for her uncle.

“Mrs. Black, why do you suppose Uncle Rowly doesn’t come? He said he would be home early, and it’s after six o’clock now!”

“I don’t know Avice, I’m sure. Do be quiet! You fluster around so, you make me nervous.”

“I’m nervous myself, Eleanor. I’m afraid something has happened to uncle. Do you suppose he has had a stroke, or anything?”

“Nonsense, child, of course, not. He has been detained at the office for something.”

“No he hasn’t; I telephoned there and the office is closed.”

“Then he has gone somewhere else.”

“But he said he would be home by five.”

“Well, he isn’t. Now, don’t worry; that can do no good.”

But Avice did worry. She continued to flit about, dividing her attention between the clock and the window.

The girl had been an orphan from childhood, and Rowland Trowbridge had been almost as a father to her. Avice loved him and watched over him as a daughter; at least, that had been the case until lately. A few weeks since, Mr. Trowbridge had succumbed to the rather florid charms of Mrs. Black, his housekeeper, and told Avice he would marry her in a month.

Though greatly surprised and not greatly pleased, Avice had accepted the situation and treated the housekeeper with the same pleasant courtesy she had always shown her. The two “got along” as the phrase is, though their natures were not in many ways congenial.

Avice remained at the window till she saw at last Leslie Hoyt’s tall form approaching. She ran to open the door herself.

“Oh, Judge Hoyt,” she cried, “Uncle hasn’t come yet! There must be something wrong! What can we do?”

“I don’t know, Avice, dear. Tell me all about it.”

“There’s nothing to tell, only that uncle said he would be home at five, and it’s almost seven and he isn’t here! Such a thing never happened before.”

“Good evening, Judge Hoyt,” said Mrs. Black’s cool, measured voice as they entered the drawing-room. “I think our Avice is unnecessarily alarmed. I’m sure Mr. Trowbridge can take care of himself.”

“That is doubtless true,” and for the first time a note of anxiety crept into Hoyt’s tone; “but as Avice says, it is most unusual.”

Mrs. Black smiled indifferently and returned to her paper.

Leslie Hoyt was so frequent a visitor at the house, that he was never treated formally. He seated himself in an easy chair, and took a cigarette case from his pocket, while Avice continued her nervous journeys between the clock and the window.

“We won’t wait dinner after seven,” said Mrs. Black, in a voice that might mean either command or suggestion, as her hearers preferred.

“You may have it served now, if you like,” returned Avice, “but I shan’t go to the table until uncle comes.”

Now, it had been nearly two hours before this that a telephone call had been received at police headquarters.

“Is dees polizia stazione?” Inspector Collins had heard, as he held the receiver to his ear.

Through the green cord the broken voice spoke in a halting way, as if uncertain how to word the message.

“Yes; who is speaking?” Collins replied.

“Meester Rowlan’ Trowbridga,–he is dead-a.”

“I can’t hear you! What’s all that racket where you are?”

“My bambini–my childaren. They have-a da whoopa-cough.”

“It’s more than children making all that noise! Who are you?”

“Not matter. I say, Meester Trowbridga–he dead-a.”

“Rowland Trowbridge dead! Where–who are you?”

“You find-a heem. Bringa da bod’ home.”

“Where is he?”

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