The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu HTML version
stuffing tobacco into an old pipe with fierce energy, "I have often
wondered, Petrie—I have never left off wondering—"
"That accursed Chinaman! Since the cellar place beneath the site
of the burnt-out cottage in Dulwich Village—I have wondered
more than ever."
He lighted his pipe and walked to the hearth to throw the match
in the grate.
"You see," he continued, peering across at me in his oddly
nervous way, "one never knows, does one? If I thought that Dr. Fu-
Manchu lived; if I seriously suspected that that stupendous
intellect, that wonderful genius, Petrie, er—" he hesitated
characteristically—"survived, I should feel it my duty—"
"Well?" I said, leaning my elbows on the table and smiling
"If that Satanic genius were not indeed destroyed, then the peace
of the world, may be threatened anew at any moment!"
He was becoming excited, shooting out his jaw in the truculent
manner I knew, and snapping his fingers to emphasize his words; a
man composed of the oddest complexities that ever dwelt beneath
a clerical frock.
"He may have got back to China, Doctor!" he cried, and his eyes
had the fighting glint in them. "Could you rest in peace if you
thought that he lived? Should you not fear for your life every time
that a night-call took you out alone? Why, man alive, it is only two
years since he was here among us, since we were searching every
shadow for those awful green eyes! What became of his band of
assassins—his stranglers, his dacoits, his damnable poisons and
insects and what-not—the army of creatures—"
He paused, taking a drink.
"You—" he hesitated diffidently—"searched in Egypt with
Nayland Smith, did you not?"