The Reporter - Edgar Wallace - ebook

The Reporter ebook

Edgar Wallace

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In 1919-1920 Edgar Wallace wrote a series of ten short stories featuring the investigative reporter York Symon for publication in the British monthly „The Novel Magazine”. In 1928 the series was reprinted in „Pearson’s Weekly”. In the following year Edgar Wallace collected nine of the stories in a book entitled „The Reporter”. „The Reporter” is a detective story about a police reporter named „Wise” Symon and his tricks of the trade. A collection presents 9 short stories that include „The Writings of Maconochie Hoe”, „The Crime of Gai Joi”, „The Safe Deposit at the Social Club”, and the two connected stories „The Case of Crook Beresford” and „The Last Throw of Crook Beresford”. The stories are fast-paced and well written but definitely a product of their time and place!

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Liczba stron: 218

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Contents

1. The Reporter

2. The Writings Of Maconochie Hoe

3. The Murder Of Bennett Sandman

4. The Crime Of Gai Joi

5. The Lethbridge Abduction

6. The Safe Deposit At The Social Club

7. The Case Of Crook Beresford

8. The Crime Expert

9. The Last Throw Of Crook Beresford

10. Bonus Story: The Caretaker in Charge

I. THE REPORTER

YORK SYMON was the perfect police reporter. If he had a fault it was one which he shared in common with others who were brought into intimate association with law-breakers–namely, a certain sneaking sympathy with the criminal classes. And his acquaintance was a fairly large one.

He knew forgers, bank robbers, burglars, petty larcenists of all kinds. He knew, and was known, to every detective in town, from the chief in his padded chair to the cold-footed “watchers,” and he had spent week-ends with the public executioner.

From “York Symon” to “Y. Symon” and from “Y. Symon” to “Wise Symon” was a natural process of transition, and it was as Wise Symon he was known in journalistic, legal and criminal circles. He was responsible for every scoop that the Telephone-Herald had published in the past five years. He had tracked down the Brinder Gang; he had exposed the Dope Syndicate; he was instrumental in restoring to Mrs. Leverson-Bowle her diamonds–and that without a scandal–for the lady could hardly have explained the circumstances in which she lost them. But, mainly, Wise Symon was wise in the way of high-class tricksters, the top- notch Con. gangs and those swindlers who haunt the great hotels of our big cities.

He could smell a fake a mile away, knew the habits and customs of every rogue that ever turned the hair of a hotel detective from russet brown to dirty grey, and it was only natural that the happiest hunting ground was the Hotel Ferdinand, because to the Hotel Ferdinand, with its gorgeous suites, its perfect service and its somewhat liberal-minded proprietor, came the best and the worst.

There was a lady named English Nell. Her real name was Eleanor Meredith Jusun; but she earned the sobriquet in the southern states of America. It would be difficult to define her speciality, and one may generalize her attainments by describing her as an all-round swindler.

“No,” said the hotel clerk as he turned the register–Wise Symon lounging his tall figure across the counter in such a way as to suggest that he had had a collapse– “there’s no one here, Y, who answers to the description. What’s she been doing?”

“Oh, just being naughty,” said Wise Symon vaguely. “She’s the Lady Angela Follingham, the beautiful daughter of the Karl of Follingham.”

“That’s no offence in a democratic country,” said the clerk.

“Not if you don’t borrow money on your name,” yawned Wise Symon. “But if that doesn’t impress you, let me tell you that she’s Miss Sophonia Griggs, Secretary and Treasurer to the Young Women’s Outing League.”

“That seems pretty good to me,” said the clerk. “I never did think young ladies got enough outings, anyway.”

“The mirror’s over there,” said Wise Symon; “have a good look at yourself.”

“Well, there’s nobody here. There isn’t much of a story in her, anyway.”

“Leave the literature to experts,” said Mr. Symon, uncurling himself from the counter. “I’ll be looking in again later.”

A lady came through the glass doors of the vestibule, a page carrying her one small valise. She was well but quietly dressed, and to Wise Symon’s eyes was agitated. She was undoubtedly pretty, in a pale, black-and-white kind of way, and she was young. She came to the counter.

“You had my wire?” she said; “Miss Mary Smith.”

“Oh, yes, Miss Smith,” said the clerk, taking out a key; “384, second floor I hope the room will suit you.”

He swung the book round and she wrote her name hurriedly. Wise Symon noticed that she cast furtive glances towards the door. He strolled over to where the bored page was waiting with the valise and observed that a letter or a number of letters had been painted out and he became interested.

By a well-manoeuvred accident he knocked the valise flatways, so that the stamped inscription lay under the light. It was a new valise, and he chuckled–for the figuring was a coronet, beneath which were the letters “S.-M.”

He came back to the counter as the clerk was searching for letters and stood, his elbow on its polished surface, till the lady, the page and the bag had disappeared into the elevator.

“Did you see that?” he asked.

“See what?”

Wise Symon pointed to a small handkerchief which the lady had evidently left behind her on the counter.

“I’ll tell you something,” said Symon. “I admit it’s waste of time telling you anything, because you know it all; but I’m telling you something now that, to a man of your limited intelligence, should put me in the Holmes and Watson class.”

“What is it?” asked the clerk curiously.

“That handkerchief,” said Wise Symon, “is embroidered in the corner with the letters S.-M.”,

“How do you know?” asked the startled clerk.

“Examine,” said the wise one. The clerk unrolled the little handkerchief, and sure enough on one of the corners was embroidered a miniature coronet and the letters S.-M. “You know my methods, Watson,” said Mr. Symon magnificently; “shall I tell you something. The lady is the Duchess, the Countess, the Viscountess, or the Marchioness de S.-M. She’s travelling incognito. She doesn’t want anyone to know that she’s here in this little town, that’s why her initials are covered over so that a blind man can read them; that’s why she leaves, by a most annoying accident, her handkerchief underneath your myopic gaze.”

“But I don’t get you,” said the clerk. “If she’s travelling incognito, why should she give herself away?”

“I wonder,” said Wise Symon. “I wonder what she was looking for and who she was expecting,” he said, as much to himself as to his audience.

“She would hardly worry about the police. Will you let me take this handkerchief up to her?”

The clerk hesitated.

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.