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The Haunted Bookshop Christopher Morley

Mr. Chapman Waves His Wand

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"I think they counted on disposing of me sooner or later," said Aubrey. "They framed up that telephone call to get Mr. Mifflin out of town. The point in having Metzger come to the bookshop to get the suitcase was to clear Weintraub's skirts if possible. Apparently it was just a bag of old books. The bombed book, I guess, was perfectly harmless until any one tried to open it."

"You both got back just in the nick of time," said Titania admiringly. "You see I was all alone most of the afternoon. Weintraub left the suitcase about two o'clock. Metzger came for it about six. I refused to let him have it. He was very persistent, and I had to threaten to set Bock at him. It was all I could do to hold the dear old dog in, he was so keen to go for Metzger. The chef went away, and I suppose he went up to see Weintraub about it. I hid the suitcase in my room. Mr. Mifflin had forbidden me to touch it, but I thought that the safest thing to do. Then Mrs. Mifflin came in. We let Bock into the yard for a run, and were getting supper. I heard the bell ring, and went into the shop. There were the two Germans, pulling down the shades. I asked what they meant by it, and they grabbed me and told me to shut up. Then Metzger pointed a pistol at me while the other one tied up Mrs. Mifflin."

"The damned scoundrels!" cried Aubrey. "They got what was coming to them."

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"Well, my friends," said Mr. Chapman, "Let's thank heaven that it ended no worse. Mr. Gilbert, I haven't told you yet how I feel about the whole affair. That'll come later. I'd like to propose the health of Mr. Aubrey Gilbert, who is certainly the hero of this film!"

They drank the toast with cheers, and Aubrey blushed becomingly.

"Oh, I forgot something!" cried Titania. "When I went shopping this afternoon I stopped in at Brentano's, and was lucky enough to find just what I wanted. It's for Mr. Gilbert, as a souvenir of the Haunted Bookshop."

She ran to the sideboard and brought back a parcel.

Aubrey opened it with delighted agitation. It was a copy of Carlyle's Cromwell. He tried to stammer his thanks, but what he saw-- or thought he saw--in Titania's sparkling face--unmanned him.

"The same edition!" said Roger. "Now let's see what those mystic page numbers are! Gilbert, have you got your memorandum?"

Aubrey took out his notebook. "Here we are," he said. "This is what Weintraub wrote in the back of the cover."

153 (3) 1,2,

Roger glanced at the notation.

"That ought to be easy," he said. "You see in this edition three volumes are bound in one. Let's look at page 153 in the third volume, the first and second lines."

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The Haunted Bookshop
Christopher Morley

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