The Man with the Clubfoot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 201 pages of information about The Man with the Clubfoot.

Clubfoot, after casting a cursory glance round the room, strode its length towards the bar where Haase stood, a crowd of plain-clothes men and policemen at his heels.  Then quite suddenly the light went out, plunging the place into darkness.  Instantly the room was in confusion; women screamed; a voice, which I recognized as Clubfoot’s, bawled stentorianly for lights ... the moment had come to act.

I grabbed a hat and coat from the hall, got into them somehow, and darted to the door.  In the dim light shining down the stairs from a street lamp outside, I saw a man at the door.  Apparently he was guarding it.

“Back!” he cried, as I stepped up to him.

I flashed in his eyes the silver star I held in my hand.

“The Chief wants lanterns!” I said low in his ear.

He grabbed my hand holding the badge and lowered it to the light.

“All right, comrade,” he replied.  “Drechsler has a lantern, I think!  You’ll find him outside!”

I rushed up the stairs right into a group of three policemen.

“The Chief wants Drechsler at once with the lantern,” I shouted, and showed my star.  The three dispersed in different directions calling for Drechsler.

I walked quickly away.

CHAPTER XV

THE WAITER AT THE CAFE REGINA

I calculated that I had at least two hours, at most three, in which to get clear of Berlin.  However swiftly Clubfoot might act, it would take him certainly an hour and a half, I reckoned, from the discovery of my flight from Haase’s to warn the police at the railway stations to detain me.  If I could lay a false trail I might at the worst prolong this period of grace; at the best I might mislead him altogether as to my ultimate destination, which was, of course, Duesseldorf.  The unknown quantity in my reckonings was the time it would take Clubfoot to send out a warning all over Germany to detain Julius Zimmermann, waiter and deserter, wherever and whenever apprehended.

At the first turning I came to after leaving Haase’s, tram-lines ran across the street.  A tram was waiting, bound in a southerly direction, where the centre of the city lay.  I jumped on to the front platform beside the woman driver.  It is fairly dark in front and the conductor cannot see your face as you pay your fare through a trap in the door leading to the interior of the tram.  I left the tram at Unter den Linden and walked down some side streets until I came across a quiet-looking cafe.  There I got a railway guide and set about reviewing my plans.

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The Man with the Clubfoot from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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