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The Dream Doctor

7. The Green Curse
The American Medici disappeared into his main library, where Miss White was making a
minute examination to determine what damage had been done in the realm over which
she presided.
"Apparently every book with a green binding has been mutilated in some way," resumed
Dr. Lith, "but that was only the beginning. Others have suffered, too, and some are even
gone. It is impossible that any visitor could have done it. Only a few personal friends of
Mr. Spencer are ever admitted here, and they are never alone. No, it is weird,
Just then Spencer returned with Miss White. She was an extremely attractive girl, slight
of figure, but with an air about her that all the imported gowns in New York could not
have conferred. They were engaged in animated conversation, so much in contrast with
the bored air with which Spencer had listened to Dr. Lith that even I noticed that the
connoisseur was completely obliterated in the man, whose love of beauty was by no
means confined to the inanimate. I wondered if it was merely his interest in her story that
impelled Spencer. The more I watched the girl the more I was convinced that she knew
that she was interesting to the millionaire.
"For example," Dr. Lith was saying, "the famous collection of emeralds which has
disappeared has always been what you Americans call 'hoodooed.' They hare always
brought ill luck, and, like many things of the sort to which superstition attaches, they
have been 'banked,' so to speak, by their successive owners in museums."
"Are they salable; that is, could any one dispose of the emeralds or the other curios with
reasonable safety and at a good price?"
"Oh, yes, yes," hastened Dr. Lith, "not as collections, but separately. The emeralds alone
cost fifty thousand dollars. I believe Mr. Spencer bought them for Mrs. Spencer some
years before she died. She did not care to wear them, however, and had them placed
I thought I noticed a shade of annoyance cross the face of the magnate. "Never mind
that," he interrupted. "Let me introduce Miss White. I think you will find her story one of
the most uncanny you have ever heard."
He had placed a chair for her and, still addressing us but looking at her, went on: "It
seems that the morning the vandalism was first discovered she and Dr. Lith at once began
a thorough search of the building to ascertain the extent of the depredations. The search
lasted all day, and well into the night. I believe it was midnight before you finished?"
"It was almost twelve," began the girl, in a musical voice that was too Parisian to
harmonize with her plain Anglo-Saxon name, "when Dr. Lith was down here in his office