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James Ronald

They Can't Hang Me

Rich and Cowan 1938
Artist - Bip Pares

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AT sixty, Lucius Marplay was plump and rosy, white-haired and benign, in excellent health and young for his years, In spite of his long confinement in a mental home. He had passed the long years of his confinement pleasantly in learning card tricks and planning ingenious methods of murder. One of his boyhood friends, who had become a famous brain specialist, comes to the mental home in the hope of being able to arrange his release, but Marplay says to him, with a charming smile: "Confidentially, I'm not crackers at all. I could make you believe that, but it would be a dirty trick to play on you, for what a fool you'd look if you pronounced me sane and I wenf straight off and committed four murders. One of these days I shall escape and kill these four men, and then not being right in the head will come in very handy. If I'm a certified lunatic they can't hang me! " True to his word, Marplay escapes; and not one reader in a thousand will find the secret of the series of fantastic crimes that follow until the closing chapters of Tkey Can't Hang Me! bring an explanation simple and surprising yet entirely convincing.

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