The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu HTML version
Fu-Manchu, finding his experiment to be proceeding favorably,
lifted his eyes to me again.
"You are interested in my poor Cynocephalyte?" he said; and his
eyes were filmed like the eyes of one afflicted with cataract. "He
was a devoted servant, Dr. Petrie, but the lower influences in his
genealogy, sometimes conquered. Then he got out of hand; and at
last he was so ungrateful toward those who had educated him, that,
in one of those paroxysms of his, he attacked and killed a most
faithful Burman, one of my oldest followers."
Fu-Manchu returned to his experiment.
Not the slightest emotion had he exhibited thus far, but had
chatted with me as any other scientist might chat with a friend who
casually visits his laboratory. The horror of the thing was playing
havoc with my own composure, however. There I lay, fettered, in
the same room with this man whose existence was a menace to the
entire white race, whilst placidly he pursued an experiment
designed, if his own words were believable, to cut me off from my
kind—to wreak some change, psychological or physiological I
knew not; to place me, it might be, upon a level with such brute-
things as that which now hung, half floating, in the glass jar!
Something I knew of the history of that ghastly specimen, that
thing neither man nor ape; for within my own knowledge had it not
attempted the life of Nayland Smith, and was it not I who, with an
ax, had maimed it in the instant of one of its last slayings?
Of these things Dr. Fu-Manchu was well aware, so that his
placid speech was doubly, trebly horrible to my ears. I sought,
furtively, to move my arms, only to realize that, as I had
anticipated, the handcuffs were chained to a ring in the wall behind
me. The establishments of Dr. Fu-Manchu were always well
provided with such contrivances as these.
I uttered a short, harsh laugh. Fu-Manchu stood up slowly from
the table, and, placing the test-tube in a rack, stood the latter
carefully upon a shelf at his side.