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The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu


My heart gave a great leap—and seemed to stand still.
It was Nayland Smith!
"Smith," I cried. "Smith, old man, by God, I'm glad to see you!"
He wrung my hand hard, looking at me with his searching eyes;
but there was little enough of gladness in his face. He was
altogether grayer than when last I had seen him—grayer and
sterner.
"Where is Eltham?" I asked.
Smith started back as though I had struck him.
"Eltham!" he whispered—"Eltham! is Eltham here?"
"I left him ten minutes ago on the common—"
Smith dashed his right fist into the palm of his left hand and his
eyes gleamed almost wildly.
"My God, Petrie!" he said, "am I fated always to come too late?"
My dreadful fears in that instant were confirmed. I seemed to
feel my legs totter beneath me.
"Smith, you don't mean—"
"I do, Petrie!" His voice sounded very far away. "Fu-Manchu is
here; and Eltham, God help him... is his first victim!"
CHAPTER II. ELTHAM VANISHES
Smith went racing down the stairs like a man possessed. Heavy
with such a foreboding of calamity as I had not known for two
years, I followed him—along the hall and out into the road. The
very peace and beauty of the night in some way increased my
mental agitation. The sky was lighted almost tropically with such a
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