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The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu Sax Rohmer

Chapter XX

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"Another victory for China, Mr. Nayland Smith!"

I turned as though I had been stung. Smith turned also. My eyes passed from face to face of the group about us. None was familiar. No one apparently had moved away.

But the voice was the voice of DOCTOR FU-MANCHU.

As I write of it, now, I can appreciate the difference between that happening, as it appealed to us, and as it must appeal to you who merely read of it. It is beyond my powers to convey the sense of the uncanny which the episode created. Yet, even as I think of it, I feel again, though in lesser degree, the chill which seemed to creep through my veins that day.

From my brief history of the wonderful and evil man who once walked, by the way unsuspected, in the midst of the people of England-- near whom you, personally, may at some time unwittingly, have been-- I am aware that much must be omitted. I have no space for lengthy examinations of the many points but ill illuminated with which it is dotted. This incident at the docks is but one such point.

Another is the singular vision which appeared to me whilst I lay in the cellar of the house near Windsor. It has since struck me that it possessed peculiarities akin to those of a hashish hallucination. Can it be that we were drugged on that occasion with Indian hemp? Cannabis indica is a treacherous narcotic, as every medical man knows full well; but Fu-Manchu's knowledge of the drug was far in advance of our slow science. West's experience proved so much.

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I may have neglected opportunities--later, you shall judge if I did so-- opportunities to glean for the West some of the strange knowledge of the secret East. Perhaps, at a future time, I may rectify my errors. Perhaps that wisdom--the wisdom stored up by Fu-Manchu--is lost forever. There is, however, at least a bare possibility of its survival, in part; and I do not wholly despair of one day publishing a scientific sequel to this record of our dealings with the Chinese doctor.

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The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu
Sax Rohmer

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