Behind That Curtain (Charlie Chan 3) by Earl Derr Biggers
By Earl Derr Biggers
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Eventually all India was enlisted in the game. Jungle and bazaar, walled city and teak forest, were fine-combed for her. Through all the subterranean channels of that no-white-man's land of native life the search was carried by the famous secret service. " The girl ceased reading, and looked at Sir Frederic, wide-eyed. There followed a moment of tense silence. Bill Rankin broke the spell. "Some little game of hide-and-seek," he said. "Can you wonder," asked Sir Frederic, "that for fifteen years the disappearance of Eve Durand, like Hilary Galt's slippers, has haunted me?
I know I can rely on your discretion, my boy. I told only a small part of the story of Eve Durand at luncheon, but even that must not reach print just yet. Not here---not now--" "Great Scott. Do you mean--" "I mean I am near the end of a long trail. Eve Durand was not murdered in India. She ran away. I know why she ran away. I even suspect the peculiar method of her going. " cried Kirk eagerly. " The journey was continued in silence, and presently they drew up before the office of the Globe. In the city editor's cubby-hole, Bill Rankin was talking exultantly to his chief.
A wicked town---its sins are the sins of opium and hemp and jealousy and intrigue, of battle, murder and sudden death, of gambling and strange intoxications, the lust of revenge. Who can explain the deviltry that gets into men's blood in certain latitudes? I walked the Street of the Story Tellers and wondered in vain over the story of Eve Durand. " inquired Barry Kirk. " Sir Frederic dropped a small lump of sugar into his coffee. "Fifteen years since that little picnic party rode back to Peshawar, back to the compound of the lonely garrison, leading behind them the riderless pony of Eve Durand.