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A Bid for Fortune or Dr Nikola's Vendetta von Boothby, Guy Newell (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 29.06.2015
  • Verlag: Booklassic
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A Bid for Fortune or Dr Nikola's Vendetta

This is the first in Boothby's series of Dr. Nikola novels. It opens with the manager of a fine London restaurant preparing for a dinner reserved in an odd letter originating from Brazil 3 months prior, for 4 persons in a private room, where 3 guests will arrive showing cards with a red dot.One will be from China, one from South Africa, one from England, plus the host, Dr Nikola, who is of unknown nationality but is later revealed to travel the world widely.The letter specifies certain preparations, such as no electric lighting but rather candles with red shades, a small jug of fresh milk, and a porcelain saucer. After the 3 guests arrive, Dr Nikola makes his appearance.He is a somewhat tall slim man, 'irreproachably dressed, with a neatness that bordered on the puritanical.' After they dine and the servants leave the room, Dr Nicola opens a strange basket and removes a mysterious black cat, for whom the milk had of course been requested. Dr Nikola explains why he called them together -- to execute his plans of revenge against a very wealthy someone who did him great harm.He offers each of them a large sum of money if they perform as he asks:'I demand from you your whole and entire labour. While you are serving me you are mine body and soul. I know you are trustworthy. I have had good proof that you are--pardon the expression--unscrupulous, and I flatter myself you are silent. What is more, I shall tell you nothing beyond what is necessary for the carrying out of my scheme, so that you could not betray me if you would. Now for my plans!'

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 176
    Erscheinungsdatum: 29.06.2015
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9789635266814
    Verlag: Booklassic
    Größe: 520 kBytes
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A Bid for Fortune or Dr Nikola's Vendetta

PROLOGUE--DR NIKOLA

THE manager of the new Imperial Restaurant on the Thames Embankment went into his luxurious private office and shut the door. Having done so, he first scratched his chin reflectively, and then took a letter from the drawer in which it had reposed for more than two months and perused it carefully. Though he was not aware of it, this was the thirtieth time he had read it since breakfast that morning. And yet he was not a whit nearer understanding it than he had been at the beginning. He turned it over and scrutinised the back, where not a sign of writing was to be seen; he held it up to the window, as if he might hope to discover something from the watermark; but there was evidently nothing in either of these places of a nature calculated to set his troubled mind at rest. Then, though he had a clock upon his mantelpiece in good working order, he took a magnificent repeater watch from his waistcoat pocket and glanced at the dial; the hands stood at half-past seven. He immediately threw the letter on the table, and as he did so his anxiety found relief in words.

"It's really the most extraordinary affair I ever had to do with," he remarked to the placid face of the clock above mentioned. "And as I've been in the business just three-and-thirty years at eleven a.m. next Monday morning, I ought to know something about it. I only hope I've done right, that's all."

As he spoke, the chief bookkeeper, who had the treble advantage of being tall, pretty, and just eight-and-twenty years of age, entered the room. She noticed the open letter and the look upon her chief's face, and her curiosity was proportionately excited.

"You seem worried, Mr McPherson," she said tenderly, as she put down the papers she had brought in for his signature.

"You have just hit it, Miss O'Sullivan," he answered, pushing them farther on to the table. "I am worried about many things, but particularly about this letter."

He handed the epistle to her, and she, being desirous of impressing him with her business capabilities, read it with ostentatious care. But it was noticeable that when she reached the signature she too turned back to the beginning, and then deliberately read it over again. The manager rose, crossed to the mantelpiece, and rang for the head waiter. Having relieved his feelings in this way, he seated himself again at his writing-table, put on his glasses, and stared at his companion, while waiting for her to speak.

"It's very funny," she said at length, seeing that she was expected to say something. "Very funny indeed!"

"It's the most extraordinary communication I have ever received," he replied with conviction. "You see it is written from Cuyaba, Brazil. The date is three months ago to a day. Now I have taken the trouble to find out where and what Cuyaba is."

He made this confession with an air of conscious pride, and having done so, laid himself back in his chair, stuck his thumbs into the arm-holes of his waistcoat, and looked at his fair subordinate for approval.

Nor was he destined to be disappointed. He was a bachelor in possession of a snug income, and she, besides being a pretty woman, was a lady with a keen eye to the main chance.

"And where is Cuyaba?" she asked humbly.

"Cuyaba," he replied, rolling his tongue with considerable relish round his unconscious mispronunciation of the name, "is a town almost on the western or Bolivian border of Brazil. It is of moderate size, is situated on the banks of the river Cuyaba, and is considerably connected with the famous Brazilian Diamond Fields."

"And does the writer of this letter live there?"

"I cannot say. He writes from there-that is enough for us."

"And he orders dinner for four-here, in a private room overlooking the river, three months ahead-punctually at eight o'clock, gives you a list of the things he wants, and even arranges the decora

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