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The Quest of the Sacred Slipper Sax Rohmer

The Ring Of The Prophet

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Here is no doubt," said Mr. Rawson, that great personal danger attaches to any contact with this relic. It is the first time I have been concerned with anything of the kind."

Mr. Bristol, of Scotland Yard, standing stiffly military by the window, looked across at the gray-haired solicitor. We were all silent for a few moments.

"My late client's wishes," continued Mr. Rawson, "are explicit. His last instructions, evidently written but a short time prior to his death, advise me that the holy slipper of the Prophet is contained in the locked safe at his house in Dulwich. He was clearly of opinion that you, Mr. Cavanagh, would incur risk - great risk - from your possession of the key. Since attempts have been made upon you, murderous attempts, the late Professor Deeping, my unfortunate client, evidently was not in error."

"Mysterious outrages," said Bristol, "have marked the progress of the stolen slipper from Mecca almost to London."

"I understand," interrupted the solicitor, "that a fanatic known as Hassan of Aleppo seeks to restore the relic to its former restingplace."

"That is so."

"Exactly; and it accounts for the Professor's wish that the safe should not be touched by any one but a Believer - and for his instructions that its removal to the Antiquarian Museum and the placing of the slipper within that institution be undertaken by a Moslem or Moslems."

Bristol frowned.

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"Any one who has touched the receptacle containing the thing," he said, "has either been mutilated or murdered. I want to apprehend the authors of those outrages, but I fail to see why the slipper should be put on exhibition. Other crimes are sure to follow."

"I can only pursue my instructions," said Mr. Rawson dryly. "They are, that the work be done in such a manner as to expose all concerned to a minimum of risk from these mysterious people; that if possible a Moslem be employed for the purpose; and that Mr. Cavanagh, here, shall always hold the key or keys to the case in the museum containing the slipper. Will you undertake to look for some - Eastern workmen, Mr. Bristol? In the course of your inquiries you may possibly come across such a person.

"I can try," replied Bristol. "Meanwhile, I take it, the safe must remain at Dulwich?"

"Certainly. It should be guarded."

"We are guarding it and shall guard it," Bristol assured him. "I only hope we catch someone trying to get at it!"

Shortly afterward Bristol and I left the office, and, his duties taking him to Scotland Yard, I returned to my chambers to survey the position in which I now found myself. Indeed, it was a strange one enough, showing how great things have small beginnings; for, as a result of a steamer acquaintance I found myself involved in a dark business worthy of the Middle Ages. That Professor Deeping should have stolen one of the holy slippers of Mohammed was no affair of mine, and that an awful being known as Hassan of Aleppo should have pursued it did not properly enter into my concerns; yet now, with a group of Eastern fanatics at large in England, I was become, in a sense, the custodian of the relic. Moreover, I perceived that I had been chosen that I might safeguard myself. What I knew of the matter might imperil me, but whilst I held the key to the reliquary, and held it fast, I might hope to remain immune though I must expect to be subjected to attempts. It would be my affair to come to terms.

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The Quest of the Sacred Slipper
Sax Rohmer

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