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|The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu||Sax Rohmer|
Dr. Fu-Manchu Strikes
|Page 6 of 7||
Exerting a gigantic effort to regain control of himself, Burke nodded, watching my friend with a childlike eagerness. During the ensuing conversation, I examined Slattin for marks of violence; and of what I found, more anon.
"In the first place," said Smith, "you say that you warned him. When did you warn him and of what?"
"I warned him, sir, that it would come to this--"
"That what would come to this?"'
"His dealings with the Chinaman!"
"He had dealings with Chinamen?"
"He accidentally met a Chinaman at an East End gaming-house, a man he had known in Frisco--a man called Singapore Charlie--"
"What! Singapore Charlie!"
"Yes, sir, the same man that had a dope-shop, two years ago, down Ratcliffe way--"
"There was a fire--"
"But Singapore Charlie escaped, sir."
"And he is one of the gang?"
"He is one of what we used to call in New York, the Seven Group."
Smith began to tug at the lobe of his left ear, reflectively, as I saw out of the corner of my eye.
"The Seven Group!" he mused. "That is significant. I always suspected that Dr. Fu-Manchu and the notorious Seven Group were one and the same. Go on, Burke."
"Well, sir," the man continued, more calmly, "the lieutenant--"
"The lieutenant!" began Smith; then: "Oh! of course; Slattin used to be a police lieutenant!"
"Well, sir, he--Mr. Slattin--had a sort of hold on this Singapore Charlie, and two years ago, when he first met him, he thought that with his aid he was going to pull off the biggest thing of his life--"
"Forestall me, in fact?"
"Yes, sir; but you got in first, with the big raid and spoiled it."
Smith nodded grimly, glancing at the Scotland Yard man, who returned his nod with equal grimness.
"A couple of months ago," resumed Burke, "he met Charlie again down East, and the Chinaman introduced him to a girl--some sort of an Egyptian girl."
"Go on!" snapped Smith--"I know her."
"He saw her a good many times--and she came here once or twice. She made out that she and Singapore Charlie were prepared to give away the boss of the Yellow gang--"
"For a price, of course?"
"I suppose so," said Burke; "but I don't know. I only know that I warned him."
"H'm!" muttered Smith. "And now, what took place to-night?"
"He had an appointment here with the girl," began Burke
"I know all that," interrupted Smith. "I merely want to know, what took place after the telephone call?"
"Well, he told me to wait up, and I was dozing in the next room to the study--the dining-room--when the 'phone bell aroused me. I heard the lieutenant--Mr. Slattin, coming out, and I ran out too, but only in time to see him taking his hat from the rack--"
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