The Social Gangster - Arthur B. Reeve - ebook

The Social Gangster ebook

Arthur B. Reeve

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The fifth volume in the chronicles of Craig Kennedy, scientific detective, takes up the familiar and successful formula for a new round of adventures. Craig Kennedy continues to amaze with his usual sorts of crimes – jewel theft, missing persons, wrongly accused suspects, fixed horse races, arson, murder, and blackmail – but he uses scientific procedures to analyze the evidence, sometimes involving fantastical devices. „The Social Gangster” is the story focused on a mysterious robbery, which gives a glimpse of a greater threat hanging over social life of big city youngsters. But no one seems to be concerned enough with it, until it is too late. It is up to Kennedy and his science to resolve the case and reduce the impact falling on the society.

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Liczba stron: 429

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Contents

CHAPTER I. THE SOCIAL GANGSTER

CHAPTER II. THE CABARET ROUGE

CHAPTER III. THE FOX HUNT

CHAPTER IV. THE TANGO THIEF

CHAPTER V. THE "THE DANSANT"

CHAPTER VI. THE SERUM DIAGNOSIS

CHAPTER VII. THE DIAMOND QUEEN

CHAPTER VIII. THE ANESTHETIC VAPORIZER

CHAPTER IX. THE TWILIGHT SLEEP

CHAPTER X. THE SIXTH SENSE

CHAPTER XI. THE INFERNAL MACHINES

CHAPTER XII. THE SUBMARINE BELL

CHAPTER XIII. THE SUPER-TOXIN

CHAPTER XIV. THE SECRET AGENTS

CHAPTER XV. THE GERM OF ANTHRAX

CHAPTER XVI. THE SLEEPMAKER

CHAPTER XVII. THE INTER-URBAN HANDICAP

CHAPTER XVIII. THE TOXIN OF FATIGUE

CHAPTER XIX. THE X-RAY DETECTIVE

CHAPTER XX. THE MECHANICAL CONNOISSEUR

CHAPTER XXI. THE RADIOGRAPH WITNESS

CHAPTER XXII. THE ABSOLUTE ZERO

CHAPTER XXIII. THE VACUUM BOTTLE

CHAPTER XXIV. THE SOLAR PLEXUS

CHAPTER XXV. THE DEMON ENGINE

CHAPTER XXVI. THE ELECTROLYSIS CLEW

CHAPTER XXVII. THE PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE

CHAPTER XXVIII. THE CANCER HOUSE

CHAPTER XXIX. THE QUACK DOCTORS

CHAPTER XXX. THE FILTERABLE VIRUS

CHAPTER XXXI. THE VOODOO MYSTERY

CHAPTER XXXII. THE FLUORISCINE TEST

CHAPTER XXXIII. THE RESPIRATION CALORIMETER

CHAPTER XXXIV. THE EVIL EYE

CHAPTER XXXV. THE BURIED TREASURE

CHAPTER XXXVI. THE WEED OF MADNESS

CHAPTER I

THE SOCIAL GANGSTER

“I’m so worried over Gloria, Professor Kennedy, that I hardly know what I’m doing.”

Mrs. Bradford Brackett was one of those stunning women of baffling age of whom there seem to be so many nowadays. One would scarcely have believed that she could be old enough to have a daughter who would worry her very much.

Her voice trembled and almost broke as she proceeded with her story, and, looking closer, I saw that, at least now, her face showed marks of anxiety that told on her more than would have been the case some years before.

At the mention of the name of Gloria Brackett, I saw that Craig was extremely interested, though he did not betray it to Mrs. Brackett. Already, with my nose for news I had scented a much bigger story than any that had been printed. For the Bracketts had lately been more or less in the news of the day.

Choking back a little suppressed sob in her throat, Mrs. Brackett took from a delicate gold mesh bag and laid on the desk before Kennedy a small clipping from the “Lost and Found” advertisements in the Star. It read:

“REWARD of $10,000 and absolutely no questions asked for the return of a diamond necklace of seventy-one stones which disappeared from a house at Willys Hills, Long Island, last Saturday or Sunday.

“La Rue & Co., Jewelers, “–– Fifth Avenue.”

I recognized the advertisement as one that had occasioned a great deal of comment on the Star, due to its peculiar nature. It had been a great mystery, perhaps much more so than if the advertisement had been worded and signed in the usual way.

I knew also that the advertisement had created a great furore of excitement and gossip at the fashionable North Shore Hunt Club of which Bradford Brackett was Master of Fox Hounds.

“At first,” explained Mrs. Brackett nervously, “La Rue & Co. were able to keep the secret. They even refused to let the police take up the case. But as public interest in the advertisement increased at last the secret leaked out–at least that part of it which connected our name with the loss. That, however, seemed only to whet curiosity. It left everybody wondering what was back of it all. That’s what we’ve been trying to avoid–that sort of publicity.”

She paused a moment, but Kennedy said nothing, evidently thinking that the best safety valve for her overwrought feelings would be to let her tell her story in her own way.

“Why, you know,” she resumed rapidly, to hide her agitation, “the most ridiculous things have been said. Some people have even said that we lost nothing at all, that it was all a clever attempt at notoriety, to get our names in the papers. Some have said it was a plan to collect the burglary insurance. But we are wealthy. They didn’t stop to think how inconceivable that was. We have nothing to lose, even if the necklace is never heard of again.”

For the moment her indignation had got the better of her worry. Most opinions, I recalled, had been finally that the disappearance was mixed up with some family affairs. At any rate, here was to be the real story at last. I dissembled my interest. Mrs. Brackett’s indignation was quickly succeeded by the more poignant feelings that had brought her to Kennedy.

“You see,” she continued, now almost sobbing, “it is really all, I fear, my own fault. I didn’t realize that Gloria was growing so fast and so far out of my life. I’ve let her be brought up by governesses and servants. I’ve sent her to the best schools I could find. I thought it was all right. But now, too late, I realize that it is all wrong. I haven’t kept close enough to her.”

She was rattling on in this disjointed manner, getting more and more excited, but still Kennedy made no effort to lead the conversation.

“I didn’t think Gloria was more than a child. But–why, Mr. Kennedy, she’s been going, I find, to these afternoon dances in the city and out at a place not far from Willys Hills.”

“What sort of places?” prompted Kennedy.

“The Cabaret Rouge,” answered Mrs. Brackett, flashing at us a look of defiance that really masked fear of public opinion.

I knew of the place. It had an extremely unsavory reputation. In fact there were two places of the same name, one in the city and the other out on Long Island.

Mrs. Brackett must have seen Kennedy and me exchange a look askance at the name.

“Oh, it’s not a question of morals, alone,” she hastened. “After all, sometimes common sense and foolishness are fair equivalents for right and wrong.”

Kennedy looked up quickly, genuinely surprised at this bit of worldly wisdom.

“When women do stupid, dangerous things, trouble follows,” she persisted, adding, “if not at once, a bit later. This is a case of it.”

One could not help feeling sorry for the woman and what she had to face.

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