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|The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu||Sax Rohmer|
|Page 2 of 4||
"What are we to do, sir?" one of them asked.
"Leave Dr. Petrie and myself alone with the prisoner, until I call you."
The three withdrew. I divined now what was coming.
"Can you restore Weymouth's sanity?" rapped Smith abruptly. "I cannot save you from the hangman, nor"--his fists clenched convulsively--"would I if I could; but--"
Fu-Manchu fixed his brilliant eyes upon him.
"Say no more, Mr. Smith," he interrupted; "you misunderstand me. I do not quarrel with that, but what I have done from conviction and what I have done of necessity are separated--are seas apart. The brave Inspector Weymouth I wounded with a poisoned needle, in self-defense; but I regret his condition as greatly as you do. I respect such a man. There is an antidote to the poison of the needle."
"Name it," said Smith.
Fu-Manchu smiled again.
"Useless," he replied. "I alone can prepare it. My secrets shall die with me. I will make a sane man of Inspector Weymouth, but no one else shall be in the house but he and I."
"It will be surrounded by police," interrupted Smith grimly.
"As you please," said Fu-Manchu. "Make your arrangements. In that ebony case upon the table are the instruments for the cure. Arrange for me to visit him where and when you will--"
"I distrust you utterly. It is some trick," jerked Smith.
Dr. Fu-Manchu rose slowly and drew himself up to his great height. His manacled hands could not rob him of the uncanny dignity which was his. He raised them above his head with a tragic gesture and fixed his piercing gaze upon Nayland Smith.
"The God of Cathay hear me," he said, with a deep, guttural note in his voice--"I swear--"
The most awful visitor who ever threatened the peace of England, the end of the visit of Fu-Manchu was characteristic--terrible--inexplicable.
Strange to relate, I did not doubt that this weird being had conceived some kind of admiration or respect for the man to whom he had wrought so terrible an injury. He was capable of such sentiments, for he entertained some similar one in regard to myself.
A cottage farther down the village street than Weymouth's was vacant, and in the early dawn of that morning became the scene of outre happenings. Poor Weymouth, still in a comatose condition, we removed there (Smith having secured the key from the astonished agent). I suppose so strange a specialist never visited a patient before--certainly not under such conditions.
For into the cottage, which had been entirely surrounded by a ring of police, Dr. Fu-Manchu was admitted from the closed car in which, his work of healing complete, he was to be borne to prison--to death!
Law and justice were suspended by my royally empowered friend that the enemy of the white race might heal one of those who had hunted him down!
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