The Man Who Knew

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Transcriber’s Note:

The Frontispiece is not included as no scan was available.

THE
MAN WHO KNEW

 

By

EDGAR WALLACE

Author of “The Clue of the Twisted Candle,”
“Kate Plus 10,” Etc.

 

WITH A FRONTISPIECE BY

WILLIAM A. KIRKPATRICK

 

Publisher's logo

 

 

BOSTON
SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY
PUBLISHERS


 

Copyright, 1918
By Small, Maynard & Company
(INCORPORATED)

 


[Illustration: “The girl had risen to her feet and was shrinking back to the wall.” See page 333.]


CONTENTS

  • CHAPTER
  •       I.  The Man in the Laboratory
  •      II.  The Girl Who Cried
  •     III.  Four Important Characters
  •      IV.  The Accountant at the Bank
  •       V.  John Minute’s Legacy
  •      VI.  The Man Who Knew
  •     VII.  Introducing Mr. Rex Holland
  •    VIII.  Sergeant Smith Calls
  •      IX.  Frank Merrill at the Altar
  •       X.  A Murder
  •      XI.  The Case Against Frank Merrill
  •     XII.  The Trial of Frank Merrill
  •    XIII.  The Man Who Came To Montreux
  •     XIV.  The Man Who Looked Like Frank
  •      XV.  A Letter in the Grate
  •     XVI.  The Coming of Sergeant Smith
  •    XVII.  The Man Called “Merrill”

THE MAN WHO KNEW

 

CHAPTER I

THE MAN IN THE LABORATORY

The room was a small one, and had been chosen for its remoteness from the dwelling rooms. It had formed the billiard room, which the former owner of Weald Lodge had added to his premises, and John Minute, who had neither the time nor the patience for billiards, had readily handed over this damp annex to his scientific secretary.

Along one side ran a plain deal bench which was crowded with glass stills and test tubes. In the middle was as plain a table, with half a dozen books, a microscope under a glass shade, a little wooden case which was opened to display an array of delicate scientific instruments, a Bunsen burner, which was burning bluely under a small glass bowl half filled with a dark and turgid concoction of some kind.

The face of the man sitting at the table watching this unsavory stew was hidden behind a mica and rubber mask, for the fumes which were being given off by the fluid were neither pleasant nor healthy. Save for a shaded light upon the table and the blue glow of the Bunsen lamp, the room was in darkness. Now and again the student would take a glass rod, dip it for an instant into the boiling liquid, and, lifting it, would allow the liquid drop by drop to fall from the rod on to a strip of litmus paper. What he saw was evidently satisfactory, and presently he turned out the Bunsen lamp, walked to the window and opened it, and switched on an electric fan to aid the process of ventilation.

He removed his mask, revealing the face of a good-looking young man, rather pale, with a slight dark mustache and heavy, black, wavy hair. He closed the window, filled his pipe from the well-worn pouch which he took from his pocket, and began to write in a notebook, stopping now and again to consult some authority from the books before him.

In half an hour he had finished this work, had blotted and closed his book, and, pushing back his chair, gave himself up to reverie. They were not pleasant thoughts to judge by his face. He pulled from his inside pocket a leather case and opened it. From this he took a photograph. It was the picture of a girl of sixteen. It was a pretty face, a little sad, but attractive in its very weakness. He looked at it for a long time, shaking his head as at an unpleasant thought.

There came a gentle tap at the door, and quickly he replaced the photograph in his case, folded it, and returned it to his pocket as he rose to unlock the door.

John Minute, who entered, sniffed suspiciously.

“What beastly smells you have in here, Jasper!” he growled. “Why on earth don’t they invent chemicals that are more agreeable to the nose?”

Jasper Cole laughed quietly.

“I’m afraid, sir, that nature has ordered it otherwise,” he said.

“Have you finished?” asked his employer.

He looked at the still warm bowl of fluid suspiciously.

“It is all right, sir,” said Jasper. “It is only noxious when it is boiling. That is why I keep the door locked.”

“What is it?” asked John Minute, scowling down at the unoffending liquor.

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