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- The Beetle - 1/73 -


THE BEETLE: A MYSTERY

BY

RICHARD MARSH

WITH FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN WILLIAMSON

CONTENTS

BOOK I

The House with the Open Window

CHAPTER I, OUTSIDE

CHAPTER II, INSIDE

CHAPTER III, THE MAN IN THE BED

CHAPTER IV, A LONELY VIGIL

CHAPTER V, AN INSTRUCTION TO COMMIT BURGLARY

CHAPTER VI, A SINGULAR FELONY

CHAPTER VII, THE GREAT PAUL LESSINGHAM

CHAPTER VIII, THE MAN IN THE STREET

CHAPTER IX, THE CONTENTS OF THE PACKET

BOOK II

The Haunted Man

CHAPTER X, REJECTED

CHAPTER XI, A MIDNIGHT EPISODE

CHAPTER XII, A MORNING VISITOR

CHAPTER XIII, THE PICTURE

CHAPTER XIV, THE DUCHESS' BALL

CHAPTER XV, MR. LESSINGHAM SPEAKS

CHAPTER XVI, ATHERTON'S MAGIC VAPOUR

CHAPTER XVII, MAGIC?--OR MIRACLE?

CHAPTER XVIII, THE APOTHEOSIS OF THE BEETLE

CHAPTER XIX, THE LADY RAGES

CHAPTER XX, A HEAVY FATHER

CHAPTER XXI, THE TERROR IN THE NIGHT

CHAPTER XXII, THE HAUNTED MAN

BOOK III

The Terror By Night and the Terror by Day

CHAPTER XXIII, THE WAY HE TOLD HER

CHAPTER XXIV, A WOMAN'S VIEW

CHAPTER XXV, THE MAN IN THE STREET

CHAPTER XXVI, A FATHER'S NO

CHAPTER XXVII, THE TERROR BY NIGHT

CHAPTER XXVIII, THE STRANGE STORY OF THE MAN IN THE STREET

CHAPTER XXIX, THE HOUSE ON THE ROAD FROM THE WORKHOUSE

CHAPTER XXX, THE SINGULAR BEHAVIOUR OF MR. HOLT

CHAPTER XXXI, THE TERROR BY DAY

BOOK IV

In Pursuit

CHAPTER XXXII, A NEW CLIENT

CHAPTER XXXIII, WHAT CAME OF LOOKING THROUGH A LATTICE

CHAPTER XXXIV, AFTER TWENTY YEARS

CHAPTER XXXV, A BRINGER OF TIDINGS

CHAPTER XXXVI, WHAT THE TIDINGS WERE

CHAPTER XXXVII, WHAT WAS HIDDEN UNDER THE FLOOR

CHAPTER XXXVIII, THE REST OF THE FIND

CHAPTER XXXIX, MISS LOUISA COLEMAN

CHAPTER XL, WHAT MISS COLEMAN SAW THROUGH THE WINDOW

CHAPTER XLI, THE CONSTABLE,--HIS CLUE,--AND THE CAB

CHAPTER XLII, THE QUARRY DOUBLES

CHAPTER XLIII, THE MURDER AT MRS 'ENDERSON'S

CHAPTER XLIV, THE MAN WHO WAS MURDERED

CHAPTER XLV, ALL THAT MRS. 'ENDERSON KNEW

CHAPTER XLVI, THE SUDDEN STOPPING

CHAPTER XLVII, THE CONTENTS OF THE THIRD-CLASS CARRIAGE

CHAPTER XLVIII, THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER

BOOK I

The House with the Open Window

The Surprising Narration of Robert Holt

CHAPTER I

OUTSIDE

'No room!--Full up!'

He banged the door in my face.

That was the final blow.

To have tramped about all day looking for work; to have begged even for a job which would give me money enough to buy a little food; and to have tramped and to have begged in vain,--that was bad. But, sick at heart, depressed in mind and in body, exhausted by hunger and fatigue, to have been compelled to pocket any little pride I might have left, and solicit, as the penniless, homeless tramp which indeed I was, a night's lodging in the casual ward,-- and to solicit it in vain!--that was worse. Much worse. About as bad as bad could be.

I stared, stupidly, at the door which had just been banged in my face. I could scarcely believe that the thing was possible. I had hardly expected to figure as a tramp; but, supposing it conceivable that I could become a tramp, that I should be refused admission to that abode of all ignominy, the tramp's ward, was to have attained a depth of misery of which never even in nightmares I had dreamed.

As I stood wondering what I should do, a man slouched towards me out of the shadow of the wall.

'Won't 'e let yer in?'

'He says it's full.'

'Says it's full, does 'e? That's the lay at Fulham,--they always says it's full. They wants to keep the number down.'

I looked at the man askance. His head hung forward; his hands were in his trouser pockets; his clothes were rags; his tone was husky.

'Do you mean that they say it's full when it isn't,--that they won't let me in although there's room?'


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