The Man Who Knew Too Much eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 178 pages of information about The Man Who Knew Too Much.

“What do you mean?” asked March, in an altered accent.  “What have you done about it?”

Horne Fisher continued to gaze steadily at the eddying stream.  At last he said, “The police have proved it was a motor accident.”

“But you know it was not.”

“I told you that I know too much,” replied Fisher, with his eye on the river.  “I know that, and I know a great many other things.  I know the atmosphere and the way the whole thing works.  I know this fellow has succeeded in making himself something incurably commonplace and comic.  I know you can’t get up a persecution of old Toole or Little Tich.  If I were to tell Hoggs or Halkett that old Jink was an assassin, they would almost die of laughter before my eyes.  Oh, I don’t say their laughter’s quite innocent, though it’s genuine in its way.  They want old Jink, and they couldn’t do without him.  I don’t say I’m quite innocent.  I like Hoggs; I don’t want him to be down and out; and he’d be done for if Jink can’t pay for his coronet.  They were devilish near the line at the last election.  But the only real objection to it is that it’s impossible.  Nobody would believe it; it’s not in the picture.  The crooked weathercock would always turn it into a joke.”

“Don’t you think this is infamous?” asked March, quietly.

“I think a good many things,” replied the other.  “If you people ever happen to blow the whole tangle of society to hell with dynamite, I don’t know that the human race will be much the worse.  But don’t be too hard on me merely because I know what society is.  That’s why I moon away my time over things like stinking fish.”

There was a pause as he settled himself down again by the stream; and then he added: 

“I told you before I had to throw back the big fish.”

II.  THE VANISHING PRINCE

This tale begins among a tangle of tales round a name that is at once recent and legendary.  The name is that of Michael O’Neill, popularly called Prince Michael, partly because he claimed descent from ancient Fenian princes, and partly because he was credited with a plan to make himself prince president of Ireland, as the last Napoleon did of France.  He was undoubtedly a gentleman of honorable pedigree and of many accomplishments, but two of his accomplishments emerged from all the rest.  He had a talent for appearing when he was not wanted and a talent for disappearing when he was wanted, especially when he was wanted by the police.  It may be added that his disappearances were more dangerous than his appearances.  In the latter he seldom went beyond the sensational—­pasting up seditious placards, tearing down official placards, making flamboyant speeches, or unfurling forbidden flags.  But in order to effect the former he would sometimes fight for his freedom with startling energy, from which men were sometimes lucky to escape with a broken head instead of a broken neck.  His most

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The Man Who Knew Too Much from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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