The Devil's Paw
Julian raised himself slightly from his recumbent position at the sound of the opening of
the door. He watched Fenn with dull, incurious eyes as the latter crossed the uncarpeted
floor of the bare wooden shed, threw off his overcoat, and advanced towards the side of
"Sit up a little," the newcomer directed.
Julian shook his head.
"No strength," he muttered. "If I had, I should wring your damned neck!"
Fenn looked down at him for a moment in silence.
"You take this thing very hardly, Mr. Orden," he said. "I think that you had better give up
this obstinacy. Your friends are getting anxious about you. For many reasons it would be
better for you to reappear."
"There will be a little anxiety on the part of your friends about you," Julian retorted
grimly, "if ever I do get out of this accursed place."
"You bear malice, I fear, Mr. Orden."
Julian made no reply. His eyes were fixed upon the door. He turned away with a shudder.
Bright had entered. In his hand he was carrying two gas masks. He came over to the side
of the couch, and, looking down at Julian, lifted his hand, and felt his pulse. Then, with
an abrupt movement, he handed one of the masks to Fenn.
"Look out for yourself," he advised. "I am going to give him an antidote."
Bright stepped back and adjusted his own gas mask, while Fenn followed suit. Then the
former drew from his pocket what seemed to be a small tube with perforated holes at the
top. He leaned over Julian and pressed it. A little cloud of faint mist rushed through the
holes; a queer, aromatic perfume, growing stronger every moment, seemed to creep into
the farthest corners of the room. In less than ten seconds Julian opened his eyes. In half a
minute he was sitting up. His eyes were bright once more, there was colour in his cheeks.
Bright spoke to him warningly.
"Mr. Orden," he enjoined, "sit where you are. Remember I have the other tube in my left
"You infernal scoundrel!" Julian exclaimed.