Tales of Chinatown eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about Tales of Chinatown.

Someone slept in a bed facing the window by which he had entered, and upon a table at the side of the sleeper lay a purse, a bunch of keys, an electric torch, and a Service revolver.  Gliding to the table Rene took the keys and the electric torch, unlocked the door of the room, and crept down a thickly carpeted stair to a room below.  The door of this also he opened with one of the keys in the bunch, and by the light of the torch found his way through a quantity of antique furniture and piled up curiosities to a safe set in the farther wall.

He seemed, in his dream, to be familiar with the lock combination, and, selecting the correct key from the bunch, he soon had the safe open.  The shelves within were laden principally with antique jewellery, statuettes, medals, scarabs; and a number of little leather-covered boxes were there also.  One of these he abstracted, relocked the safe, and stepped out of the room, locking the door behind him.  Up the stairs he mounted to the bedroom wherein he had left the sleeper.  Having entered, he locked the door from within, placed the keys and the torch upon the table, and crept out again upon the dizzy ledge.

Poised there, high above the thoroughfare below, a great nausea attacked him.  Glancing to the right, in the direction of the window through which he had come, he perceived Madame de Medici leaning out and beckoning to him.  Her arm gleamed whitely in the faint light.  A new courage came to him.  He succeeded, crouched there upon the narrow ledge, in relowering the window, and leaving it in the state in which he had found it, he stood up and essayed that sickly stride to the adjoining ledge.  He accomplished it, knelt, and crept back into the room from which he had started. . . .

The head of an ivory image of Buddha loomed up out of the utter darkness, growing and growing until it seemed like a great mountain.  He could not believe that there was so much ivory in the world, and he felt it with his fingers, wonderingly.  As he did so it began to shrink, and shrink, and shrink, and shrink, until it was no larger than a seated human figure.  Then beneath his trembling hands it became animate; it moved, extended ivory arms, and wrapped them about his neck.  Its lips became carmine—­ perfumed; they bent to him. . . and he was looking into the bewitching face of Madame de Medici!

He awoke, gasping for air and bathed in cold perspiration.  The dawn was just breaking over London and stealing grayly from object to object in his bedroom.

V

THE IVORY GOD

The great car, with its fittings of gold and ivory, drew up at the door of Colonel Deacon’s house.  The interior was ablaze with tiger lilies, and out from their midst stepped the fairest of them all—­Madame de Medici, and swept queenly up the steps upon the arm of the cavalierly soldier.

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Project Gutenberg
Tales of Chinatown from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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