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The Staircase at the Heart's Delight

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Published: 1894
Language: English
Wordcount: 7,712 / 28 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 56.1
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,459
Added to site: 2008.06.05 21135

ting considerable courage was required. But I did not hesitate. The time had come for me to show my mettle. In the few communications I was enabled to hold with my superiors I told them of my progress and arranged with them my plan of work. As we all agreed that I was about to encounter no common villainy, these plans naturally partook of finesse, as you will see if you will follow my narrative to the end.

"Early in the evening of a cool November night I sallied forth into the streets, dressed in the habiliments and wearing the guise of the wealthy old gentleman whose secret guest I had been for the last few days. As he was old and portly, and I young and spare, this disguise had cost me no little thought and labor. But assisted as I was by the darkness, I had but little fear of betraying myself to any chance spy who might be upon the watch, especially as Mr. L---- had a peculiar walk, which, in my short stay with him, I had learned to imitate perfectly. In the lapel of my overcoat I had tied a tag of

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1894) Mystery / Detective / Short story
Plot bullets

  • Wealthy men are drowning. Too many men are drowning and it begins to look suspicious.

  • A detective takes on the task of solving the riddle.

  • He learns of a suspicious money lender from a young man.

  • Could it be murder for hire? If so, how is it done?

  • What is the Heart's Desire? A tavern, of that name, on the waterfront with a heart shaped door.

  • The staircase? Just that, a staircase in that establishment, or is it?


In this story the 'I', Mr. Gryce of the New York policeforce, tells about the mystery of the 3 rich men who all drowned in mysterious circumstances. Gryce feels that there is something fishy about these death, but at first he has no clues at all. Then one day a young men walks into the policestation with a very important clue, and Gryce is given the job to follow this up. The rest of the story is about what Gryce finds out, I don't want to spoil the story so the only other thing I say in this review is that during his investigations he almost gets killed himself.

This story can easily be read in half an hour, it is wellwritten and has a nice pace, the reason I give only 3 stars is that I found it all a bit improbable, but it's a good story for when you have some time to kill (waiting at the doctor's or the like).



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