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Valentine Williams

The Spider's Touch

Hodder & Stoughton 1936
Jacket artwork by Thompson

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PAGE ONE

OUT of the greyness of the New York winter afternoon she came into the saloon. Schulte's, on Third Avenue, was not used to visitors like this. Slim and well-groomed and alluring, she was quite young—not more than twenty-three or twenty-four, Major Hartigan judged—and beautifully dressed. Her hat, tall of crown and rakish like a Napoleonic hussar's, was modish, and a very faint breath of perfume clung to her furs, all glistening with a fine powdering of snow. Sinking into a chair, she said to Hartigan, " Where's Robert Dallas ? " " Now, Patricia," the grey-haired man who accompanied her broke in, " you promised if I'd let you come . . ." " Be quiet, Willie ! " she bade and spoke to Hartigan again. " This Englishman's a friend of yours, isn't he ? Where's he to be reached ? " The brusqueness of her tone seemed to nettle the major. " Supposing he is," was the blunt retort, " what do you want with him ? " " My brother," she answered in the same hurried tone she had used before, " he's vanished. In Germany. Your friend Dallas has got to find him."

Valentine Williams     Thompson

Classic Crime Fiction

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