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The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu


I was peering down at Fu-Manchu's servant, the hideous yellow
man who lay dead in a bower of elm leaves.
"He has some kind of leather bag beside him," I began—
"Exactly!" rapped Smith. "In that he carried his dangerous
instrument of death; from that he released it!"
"Released what?"
"What your fascinating friend came to recapture this morning."
"Don't taunt me, Smith!" I said bitterly. "Is it some species of
bird?"
"You saw the marks on Forsyth's body, and I told you of those
which I had traced upon the ground here. They were caused by
claws, Petrie!"
"Claws! I thought so! But what claws?"
"The claws of a poisonous thing. I recaptured the one used last
night, killed it—against my will—and buried it on the mound. I
was afraid to throw it in the pond, lest some juvenile fisherman
should pull it out and sustain a scratch. I don't know how long the
claws would remain venomous."
"You are treating me like a child, Smith," I said slowly. "No
doubt I am hopelessly obtuse, but perhaps you will tell me what
this Chinaman carried in a leather bag and released upon Forsyth.
It was something which you recaptured, apparently with the aid of
a plate of cold turbot and a jug of milk! It was something, also,
which Karamaneh had been sent to recapture with the aid—"
I stopped.
"Go on," said Nayland Smith, turning the ray to the left, "what
did she have in the basket?"
"Valerian," I replied mechanically.
The ray rested upon the lithe creature that I had shot down.
It was a black cat!
"A cat will go through fire and water for valerian," said Smith;
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