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The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu


idea of what I proposed to do, I had thrown myself into the search,
filled with such dreadful apprehensions as I hope never again to
experience.
I did not know the exact situation of the place to which Smith
was gone, for owing to the urgent case which I have mentioned, I
had been absent at the time of his departure; nor could Scotland
Yard enlighten me upon this point. Weymouth was in charge of the
case—under Smith's direction—and since the inspector had left the
Yard, early that morning, he had disappeared as completely as
Smith, no report having been received from him.
As my driver turned into the black mouth of a narrow, ill-lighted
street, and the glare and clamor of the greater thoroughfare died
behind me, I sank into the corner of the cab burdened with such a
sense of desolation as mercifully comes but rarely.
We were heading now for that strange settlement off the West
India Dock Road, which, bounded by Limehouse Causeway and
Pennyfields, and narrowly confined within four streets, composes
an unique Chinatown, a miniature of that at Liverpool, and of the
greater one in San Francisco. Inspired with an idea which promised
hopefully, I raised the speaking tube.
"Take me first to the River Police Station," I directed; "along
Ratcliffe Highway."
The man turned and nodded comprehendingly, as I could see
through the wet pane.
Presently we swerved to the right and into an even narrower
street. This inclined in an easterly direction, and proved to
communicate with a wide thoroughfare along which passed
brilliantly lighted electric trams. I had lost all sense of direction,
and when, swinging to the left and to the right again, I looked
through the window and perceived that we were before the door of
the Police Station, I was dully surprised.
In quite mechanical fashion I entered the depot. Inspector
Ryman, our associate in one of the darkest episodes of the
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