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The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu


wrath, I could find no contempt in my heart for her feeble
hypocrisy; with all the old wonder I watched that exquisite profile,
and Karamaneh's very deceitfulness was a salve—for had she not
cared she would not have attempted it!
Suddenly she stood up, taking the keys in her hands, and
approached me.
"Not by word, nor by look," she said, quietly, "have you asked
for my friendship, but because I cannot bear you to think of me as
you do, I will prove that I am not the hypocrite and the liar you
think me. You will not trust me, but I will trust you."
I looked up into her eyes, and knew a pagan joy when they
faltered before my searching gaze. She threw herself upon her
knees beside me, and the faint exquisite perfume inseparable from
my memories of her, became perceptible, and seemed as of old to
intoxicate me. The lock clicked... and I was free.
Karamaneh rose swiftly to her feet as I stood upright and
outstretched my cramped arms. For one delirious moment her
bewitching face was close to mine, and the dictates of madness
almost ruled; but I clenched my teeth and turned sharply aside. I
could not trust myself to speak.
With Fu-Manchu's marmoset again gamboling before us, she
walked through the curtained doorway into the room beyond. It
was in darkness, but I could see the slave-girl in front of me, a slim
silhouette, as she walked to a screened window, and, opening the
screen in the manner of a folding door, also threw up the window.
"Look!" she whispered.
I crept forward and stood beside her. I found myself looking
down into Museum Street from a first-floor window! Belated
traffic still passed along New Oxford Street on the left, but not a
solitary figure was visible to the right, as far as I could see, and
that was nearly to the railings of the Museum. Immediately
opposite, in one of the flats which I had noticed earlier in the
evening, another window was opened. I turned, and in the reflected
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