The Occult Detector - J.U. Giesy, Junius B Smith - ebook

The Occult Detector ebook

J.U. Giesy, Junius B. Smith



Abdul Omar was a psychologist, mystic and astrologer who worked as a private detective. He believed that astrology would help predict the exact actions of a person. Based on the time of birth, he can accurately predict what and when a person will do. He was devoted to protecting women and their honor. He fell in love with and married Lotis, a former assassin of the Black Brotherhood who was sent to kill him.

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THE clock in the tower of the Record struck two. Although I didn’t know it then, the clock of my destiny struck at the same time.

Hard on the throb of the chime Smithson stuck his head out of the door of his den, and swept his eyes over the local-room. He found nobody but me. Every one else was absent. As for me, I was having a smoke after a light lunch, and waiting for something to do.

“Nobody here but you, eh?” said Smithson. “Well, c’m’ere.”

Smithson was city editor of the Record. Therefore, I cast aside my cigarette and complied with his request.

He bobbed back into his room, withdrawing his head from the door very much like a turtle drawing into its shell. I followed him and stood waiting his next remark. When it came I didn’t know just what to make of it after all.

Said Smithson: “Know anything about Semi Dual?”

You couldn’t bluff with Smithson. I shook my head and told him the truth. “Nothing,” I said shortly. “Is it a newspaper or a race-horse, or what?”

Smithson grunted and rummaged among the papers on his desk for a moment, found some sort of memorandum and finally deigned to reply. “It’s a man,” said he.

“Funny name,” I remarked, for lack of anything else to say.

“From all accounts he’s a funny man,” Smithson came back. “Now see here. Some two months ago this fellow came here and takes quarters in the Urania. I understand he has a full floor up there. He lives there, and beyond that I can’t find out anything about the chap.

“Nobody seems to know what he does for a living, or if he does anything at all. Yet it seems from the reports of the elevator operators that quite a few folks call to see him every day. Well, that’s about all. Shove some copy-paper into your pocket and go up and get an interview. There may be a story in the thing. Maybe we can make a Sunday feature out of it if it’s any good.”

“From his name he might be an Oriental fakir,” I remarked. “Dual is suggestive at least.”

“How?” said Smithson.

“Why, Dual–Do All.”

“Maybe he does,” said Smithson, not even grinning. “Find one.”

He began to rummage among his papers again, and I went out and down to the street.

It was a hot day, and I felt no particular interest in my assignment. “Semi Dual,” I muttered as I turned toward the Urania, a couple of blocks away, and I confess I managed to put no small contempt into my speaking of the words.

Thoroughly convinced that Smithson had started me out on the trail of some successful charlatan, who would reap a lot of free advertising from my story, I trudged grudgingly toward my task.

The Urania was the last word in modern office buildings, and had been open for something like six months. Twenty stories it reared its walls above the pavements, not to speak of the tower which surmounted the immense pile.

The first thing of interest that struck me as I walked toward it was that this particular individual I was going to see should be allowed to dwell as well as office there. I had understood that there was an iron-clad rule against anything of the sort.

I began to wonder if the Semi chap might not prove of some interest after all. Surely he must be possessed of some unusual influence to gain such a concession from the owners, as he evidently had.

I passed into the magnificent foyer of the Urania, and stopped for a moment to gaze at its chief adornment, a magnificent portrait-bust of Urania Marsden, deceased wife of the principal owner, who had given her name to the great building which he had reared. And then I started for a cage which would take me up to Dual’s floor.

It occurred to me that I might as well find out any little thing about my prospective interviewee which I could pick up, and with that in mind I turned to the cage-starter and inquired the location of the man I sought.

“Semi Dual?” repeated the starter, as he clicked a cage away. “Dat’s de ginny who lives on de roof.”

I guess I showed my surprise, for the starter grinned.

“Dat’s right,” he continued. “He’s got a three-year cinch on de whole tower an’ de roof. He owns all of dis shack from de roof up.”

“How do I get there?” I inquired.

“Take de cage to de twentieth, an’ den walk,” said my informant, and waved me to a car which had just come down.

I entered and leaned against the grill at the back of the car. More and more my errand began to assume the unusual... I had never interviewed a man who lived on a roof. I began to think that I might enjoy this experience after all.

The car I was in was express, and made only four stops on the way up, so that I was still lost in a somewhat puzzled expectation when we stopped at the top floor, and the operator in response to my interrogation, waved his hand to a flight of stairs. I walked over, and stopped to examine these more closely before going up. They were a most surprising pair of stairs.

In most large structures like the Urania, the steps leading to the roof are for the use of occasional employees only, and are apt to consist of mere concrete or steel, or both, but there was an exception here. These steps were faced with marble, inlaid on their treads with beautiful tile arabesques, and railed in carved and twisted bronze.

They looked more like the grand staircase of an entrance-hall than a flight of steps leading to a roof. In front of them stretched the skin of an immense lioness, perfectly mounted and preserved, and each massive newel was surmounted by a life-size figure in bronze, holding an opalescent globe of glass, evidently a light.

All my former grouch over my assignment vanished, and I placed my foot on the first step of the stairs with much the same feeling of pleasant anticipation which must assail any one who finds the unexpected among the commonplace, and realizes that there is a promise of more to come. So with growing interest I mounted the stairs, and paused at the top with arrested stride.

I had stepped into a garden such as I had never seen or dreamed of before.

Straight before me ran a broad approach to the door of the tower, flanked on each side by shallow beds of flowers, set out in broad boxes of earth, and interspersed with small trees and shrubs. Other narrower passages led off in different directions, toward the high parapets of the buildings which were covered with climbing vines.

I smelled the breath of roses, and half forgot for the time that I was twenty stories above the busy streets. I seemed rather to be in a semitropical garden than on any roof of any building in the world. I stood for a moment and started to go on, only to pause again, before an immense inlaid plate in the floor. It was apparently of metal, inlaid with variously colored glass, set in the form of letters, which I stopped to read:

Pause and consider, oh, stranger. For he who cometh against me with evil intent, shall live to rue it, until the uttermost part of his debt shall have been paid; yet he who cometh in peace, and with a pure heart, shall surely find that which he shall seek.

I read and looked about me, almost as one dazed. The thought flashed across me that I was in the abode of some crazy fanatic. Pleasant anticipation gave place to a feeling almost of foreboding. Then I laughed, and set my hat more firmly upon my head. After all, I was in the twentieth century and it was broad daylight.

The sentence inlaid in the plate might be rather creepy, but going back empty-handed to Smithson would be far worse. I knew what I’d get from Smithson. I resolved to explore the mystery of Mr. Semi Dual.

Wherefore, I stepped out across the plate, planting my feet upon its prismatic surface, and at once a low, sweet chime, as of distant church-bells, broke on the afternoon silence of the roof. Rather hastily, I got across, and went on up the passage to meet a very conventional gentleman’s man, who had opened the door of the tower and stood awaiting my approach.

This party silently conducted me into what was palpably a reception-room, took my card, and disappeared through an inner door, returning shortly with a silver tray upon which was a long glass of purest crystal, containing a liquid in which floated some tinkling bits of ice. This he deposited upon a small table which he wheeled to my side. “The day is hot, sir,” he suggested. “ You will find this very refreshing, I think.” He withdrew with a bow.

When I came to think of it I was both thirsty and hot. The glass on the tray looked very inviting. I stretched out my hand and lifted it, smiling at this most unusual manner of receiving a representative of the press.

I touched my lips to the iced fluid, and experienced a heretofore unknown delight. To my palate, it seemed that the very essence of all the flavors of the fruits of all known varieties was slowly passing over my heated tongue. I didn’t even try to imagine what the stuff was, but took first one swallow after another until the drink was half done. Then I set the glass down, and sighed, and looked about the room.

There was nothing unusual there, unless its very simplicity might have been so called. It was just a plain reception-room, such as one might have found in the suite of many a professional man.

The rug on the floor was a monotone, of a hue between orange and brown, but of a quality which I had seldom seen. My feet sank into its pile as into a soft, shallow drift of snow. The chairs and tables while plain in every line, were of fine woods; the few engravings on the walls were undoubtedly genuine.

Severe simplicity was the key-note on the whole, but a simplicity combined with the nth degree of fineness in the materials used in bringing the effect about.

I drained the rest of my drink, and set the glass down. On the instant, as though my act had been a signal, the silent servant reentered the room. “If you have quite finished,” said he, “Mr. Dual will see you now.” He opened a door and stood aside for me to enter.


I ENTERED that room with a preformed wrong conception.

Just what I expected to see, or what sort of individual I expected to meet, I hardly knew. Now, in looking back, I fancy I half anticipated a sort of semi-Oriental setting at least. The man’s name had been largely responsible for that.

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