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!"
"What your fascinating friend came to recapture this morning."
"Don't taunt me, Smith!" I said bitterly. "Is it some species of
"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! 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—"
"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;