Frederick Merrick White (1859-?) wrote a number of novels and short stories under the name Fred M. White, including the six 'Doom of London' science-fiction stories, in which various catastrophes beset London. These include The Four Days' Night (1903), in which London is beset by a massive killer smog; The Dust of Death (1903), in which diphtheria infects the city, spreading from refuse tips and sewers; and The Four White Days (1903), in which a sudden and deep winter paralyses the city under snow and ice. These six stories all first appeared in Pearson's Magazine, and were illustrated by Warwick Globe.
The two men in the back room behind the little Italian pastrycook's shop in Stanton-street were making history. As yet they did not know it; they were to find it out later on. The elder of the two, the man with the grey moustache ferociously cooked and the cook's cap on the back of his head, was known locally as Manuel Serano, and his younger companion as Luigi Serrai; but as a matter of fact the leader was Stuart Hallett, of the Secret Service, and the other Paul Rosslyn, his chief assistant. It was what they called early closing day so that they were free to discuss the knotty problem which had been worrying them for the past month.
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