|08-20-2008, 10:39 AM||#1|
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Wallace, Edgar: Flat 2. v1, 20 Aug 2008
1927 murder mystery by Edgar Wallace.
A shot rang out sharply, and Captain Hurley Brown did not need the direction of the sound to guide him to Robert Weldrake's door. He had tried to intercept the white-faced boy, who had brushed him aside and entered his room, slamming the door and locking it.
Hurley Brown had seen that expression on a man's face before, and that man, too—just such another promising young officer as Robert Weldrake—had worn it on his return from the last of several interviews with Emil Louba. A shot had followed on that occasion also. Lingering outside, uneasy, smoking cigarette after cigarette, unable to seek his own quarters with the memory of that stricken-face before him, he was debating whether to insist on the boy opening his door to him when the shot stabbed the silence and sent him tearing up the half-dozen shallow stairs to the locked door.
There was no answer to his knock, and he scarcely waited for any, Putting his shoulder to the door, he had already forced it inwards, straining at the lock, when McElvie, Weldrake's batman, and two officers joined them; and their combined efforts burst the lock, sending them staggering a few paces into the room.
There was little need to raise him. They saw at a glance that Robert Weldrake was dead. The room was still full of an acrid smell, his stiffening fingers clutched at his service revolver.
'That damned Louba!' muttered Brown, the first to break the silence, and more than one of his companions spat out vicious curses.
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