The Red Herring

The Red Herring


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The Red Herring by William Hope Hodgson





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The Red Herring


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Book Excerpt

"We shall get you, one of these days, Captain Gault," the head of the searchers told me. "We've gone through you pretty carefully; but I'm not satisfied. We've had information that I could swear was sound; but where you've hidden the stuff I'll confess stumps me."

"Don't be so infernally ready to give the dog the bad name, and then add insult to injury by trying to hang him," I said. "You know you've never caught me yet trying to shove stuff through."

The head searcher laughed.

"Don't rub it in, Captain," he said. "That's just it! Take the last little flutter of yours, with the pigeons, and the way you made money both ways, both on the hens and on the diamonds; and all the rest of your devil's tricks. You've got the nerve! You ought to be able to retire by now."

"I'm afraid I'm neither so fortunate nor so clever as you seem to think, Mr. Anderson," I told him. "You had no right to kill my hens, and I made your man apologize for his abominable suggestion about the pigeons!"

"You did so, Cap'n," he said. "But we'll get you yet. And I'll eat my hat if you get a thing through the gates this time, even if we've missed finding it now. We're bound to get you at last. Good morning, Captain."

"Good morning, Mr. Anderson," I said. And he went ashore.

There you have the position. I've got six thousand dollars' worth of pearls in a remarkable little hidin

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A ship's captain is trying to smuggle 6,000 pounds of pearls ashore, but it seems the customs officers know his every move. But they don't know that he knows that they know.
The captain is a crafty blackguard and the customs officials are venal and treacherous. They were made for each other.