The Voice in the Fog eBook

Harold MacGrath
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 108 pages of information about The Voice in the Fog.

“He’s the most guileless young man I ever saw.”

“He really and truly is,” assented Kitty.

“I like him because he isn’t afraid to climb up five flights of tenement stairs, or to shake hands with the tenants themselves.  I was afraid at first.”

“Afraid of what?”

“That you might have made a mistake in selecting him so casually for our secretary.”

“Perhaps I have,” murmured Kitty, under her breath.

Alone in her bedroom the smile left Kitty’s face.  A brooding frown wrinkled the smooth forehead.  It was there when Celeste came in; it remained there after Celeste departed; and it vanished only under the soft, dispelling fingers of sleep.

There was a frown on Thomas’ forehead, too; bitten deep.  He tried to read, he tried to smoke, he tried to sleep; futilely.  In the middle of the banquet, as it were, like a certain Assyrian king in Babylon, Thomas saw the Chaldaic characters on the wall:  wherever he looked, written in fire—­Thou fool!

CHAPTER XIII

Two mornings later the newspapers announced the important facts that Miss Kitty Killigrew had gone to Bar Harbor for the week, and that the famous uncut emeralds of the Maharajah of Something-or-other-apur had been stolen; nothing co-relative in the departure of Kitty and the green stones, coincidence only.

The Indian prince was known the world over as gem-mad.  He had thousands in unset gems which he neither sold, wore, nor gave away.  His various hosts and hostesses lived in mortal terror during a sojourn of his; for he carried his jewels with him always; and often, whenever the fancy seized him, he would go abruptly to his room, spread a square of cobalt-blue velvet on the floor, squat in his native fashion beside it, and empty his bags of diamonds and rubies and pearls and sapphires and emeralds and turquoises.  To him they were beautiful toys.  Whenever he was angry, they soothed him; whenever he was happy, they rounded out this happiness; they were his variant moods.

He played a magnificent game.  Round the diamonds he would make a circle of the palest turquoises.  Upon this pyramid of brilliants he would place some great ruby, sapphire, or emerald.  Then his servants were commanded to raise and lower the window-curtains alternately.  These shifting contra-lights put a strange life into the gems; they not only scintillated, they breathed.  Or, perhaps the pyramid would be of emeralds; and he would peer into their cool green depths as he might have peered into the sea.

He kept these treasures in an ornamented iron-chest, old, battered, of simple mechanism.  It had been his father’s and his father’s father’s; it had been in the family since the days of the Peacock Throne, and most of the jewels besides.  Night and day the chest was guarded.  It lay upon an ancient Ispahan rug, in the center of the bedroom, which no hotel servant was permitted to enter.  His five servants saw to it that all his wants were properly attended to, that no indignity to his high caste might be offered:  as having his food prepared by pariah hands in the hotel kitchens, foul hands to make his bed.  He was thoroughly religious; the gods of his fathers were his in all their ramifications; he wore the Brahmin thread about his neck.

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Project Gutenberg
The Voice in the Fog from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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