tol. That's what cost him his life, sir. He's had no peace, day or night, since he got it...."
We were inside the room again now, Smith bearing the coffer in his arms, and still the man ran on:
"He's never slept for more than an hour at a time, that I know of, for weeks past. Since the day we came here he hasn't spoken to another living soul, and he's lain there on the floor at night with his head on that brass box, and sat watching over it all day."
"'Beeton!' he'd cry out, perhaps in the middle of the night--'Beeton-- do you hear that damned woman!' But although I'd begun to think I could hear something, I believe it was the constant strain working on my nerves and nothing else at all.
"Then he was always listening out for some one he called 'the man with the limp.' Five and six times a night he'd have me up to listen with him. 'There he goes, Beeton!' he'd whisper, crouching with his ear pressed flat to the door. 'Do you hear him dragging himself along?'
"God knows how I'
Sax Rohmer was the pen name of Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward (1883 - 1959), a prolific English author best known for his Fu Manchu series.
The Hand of Fu Manchu is the third book in the series and was also published under the title, The Si-Fan Mysteries. Readers interested in the series should start with The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu also available on Manybooks.net)
This novella reads more correctly like a related collection of short stories about the adventures of Commissioner Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie in stopping Dr. Fu Manchu from becoming the ruler of the civilized world.
I do love the series for its sheer pulp, much better than any Doc Savage tale (though not as good as The Spider series), but Dr. Petrie's many failings gets old after awhile and one wonders why Smith puts up with him.
Nonetheless, the series is an interesting trip into an England that never existed outside of cheap paperbacks, but is still a wonderful literary visit.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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