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The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu


Who have sinned and have died, but are living again.
O'er the waters they tread, with their lanterns of
dread,
And they peer in the pools — in the pools of the dead...
A light was dancing out upon the moor, a witchlight that came
and went unaccountably, up and down, in and out, now clearly
visible, now masked in the darkness!
"Lock the door!" snapped my companion—"if there's a key."
I crept across the room and fumbled for a moment; then:
"There is no key," I reported.
"Then wedge the chair under the knob and let no one enter until
I return!" he said, amazingly.
With that he opened the window to its fullest extent, threw his
leg over the sill, and went creeping along a wide concrete ledge, in
which ran a leaded gutter, in the direction of the tower on the right!
Not pausing to follow his instructions respecting the chair, I
craned out of the window, watching his progress, and wondering
with what sudden madness he was bitten. Indeed, I could not credit
my senses, could not believe that I heard and saw aright. Yet there
out in the darkness on the moor moved the will-o'-the-wisp, and
ten yards along the gutter crept my friend, like a great gaunt cat.
Unknown to me he must have prospected the route by daylight, for
now I saw his design. The ledge terminated only where it met the
ancient wall of the tower, and it was possible for an agile climber
to step from it to the edge of the unglazed window some four feet
below, and to scramble from that point to the stone fence and
thence on to the path by which we had come from Saul.
This difficult operation Nayland Smith successfully performed,
and, to my unbounded amazement, went racing into the darkness
toward the dancing light, headlong, like a madman! The night
swallowed him up, and between my wonder and my fear my hands
trembled so violently that I could scarce support myself where I
rested, with my full weight upon the sill.
I seemed now to be moving through the fevered phases of a
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