The Hand Of Fu-Manchu eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 241 pages of information about The Hand Of Fu-Manchu.

I have said that my every faculty was keen, and have spoken of my confidence in my own alertness.  My condition, as a matter of fact, must have been otherwise, and this belief in my powers merely symptomatic of the fever which consumed me; for, as I was to learn, I had failed to take the first elementary precaution necessary in such case.  I, who tracked another, had not counted upon being tracked myself! ...

A bag or sack, reeking of some sickly perfume, was dropped silently, accurately, over my head from behind; it was drawn closely about my throat.  One muffled shriek, strangely compound of fear and execration, I uttered.  I was stifling, choking ...  I staggered—­and fell....



My next impression was of a splitting headache, which, as memory remounted its throne, brought up a train of recollections.  I found myself to be seated upon a heavy wooden bench set flat against a wall, which was covered with a kind of straw matting.  My hands were firmly tied behind me.  In the first agony of that reawakening I became aware of two things.

I was in an operating-room, for the most conspicuous item of its furniture was an operating-table!  Shaded lamps were suspended above it; and instruments, antiseptics, dressings, etc., were arranged upon a glass-topped table beside it.  Secondly, I had a companion.

Seated upon a similar bench on the other side of the room, was a heavily built man, his dark hair splashed with gray, as were his short, neatly trimmed beard and mustache.  He, too, was pinioned; and he stared across the table with a glare in which a sort of stupefied wonderment predominated, but which was not free from terror.

It was Sir Baldwin Frazer!

“Sir Baldwin!” I muttered, moistening my parched lips with my tongue—­ “Sir Baldwin!—­how——­”

“It is Dr. Petrie, is it not?” he said, his voice husky with emotion.  “Dr. Petrie!—­my dear sir, in mercy tell me—­what does this mean?  I have been kidnaped—­drugged; made the victim of an inconceivable outrage at the very door of my own house....”

I stood up unsteadily.

“Sir Baldwin,” I interrupted, “you ask me what it means.  It means that we are in the hands of Dr. Fu-Manchu!”

Sir Baldwin stared at me wildly; his face was white and drawn with anxiety.

“Dr. Fu-Manchu!” he said; “but my dear sir, this name conveys nothing to me—­nothing!” His manner momentarily was growing more distrait.  “Since my captivity began I have been given the use of a singular suite of rooms in this place, and received, I must confess, every possible attention.  I have been waited upon by the she-devil who lured me here, but not one word other than a species of coarse badinage has she spoken to me.  At times I have been tempted to believe that the fate which frequently befalls the specialist had befallen me?  You understand?”

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The Hand Of Fu-Manchu from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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