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The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu


"So am I—utterly puzzled. Fu-Manchu's gallery of monstrosities
clearly has become reinforced; for even if we identified the type,
we should not be in sight of our explanation."
"You mean," I began...
"Fully four feet from the window, Petrie, and that window but a
few inches open! Look"—he bent forward, resting his chest against
the table, and stretched out his hand toward me. "You have a rule
there; just measure."
Setting down the ash-tray, I opened out the rule and measured
the distance from the further edge of the table to the tips of Smith's
fingers.
"Twenty-eight inches—and I have a long reach!" snapped
Smith, withdrawing his arm and striking a match to relight his
pipe. "There's one thing, Petrie, often proposed before, which now
we must do without delay. The ivy must be stripped from the walls
at the back. It's a pity, but we can not afford to sacrifice our lives to
our sense of the aesthetic. What do you make of the sound like the
cracking of a whip?"
"I make nothing of it, Smith," I replied, wearily. "It might have
been a thick branch of ivy breaking beneath the weight of a
climber."
"Did it sound like it?"
"I must confess that the explanation does not convince me, but I
have no better one."
Smith, permitting his pipe to go out, sat staring straight before
him, and tugging at the lobe of his left ear.
"The old bewilderment is seizing me," I continued. "At first,
when I realized that Dr. Fu-Manchu was back in England, when I
realized that an elaborate murder-machine was set up somewhere
in London, it seemed unreal, fantastical. Then I met—Karamaneh!
She, whom we thought to be his victim, showed herself again to be
his slave. Now, with Weymouth and Scotland Yard at work, the
old secret evil is established again in our midst, unaccountably—
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