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The Fourth Degree

By Austin, Frederick Britten

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Book Id: WPLBN0000183469
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.6 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: The Fourth Degree  
Author: Austin, Frederick Britten
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Classic Literature Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Ebook Library


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Austin, F. B. (n.d.). The Fourth Degree. Retrieved from

SEBRIGHT of Scotland Yard sat in our office. He had dropped in, as he often did, unofficially, for a friendly yarn. Unpleasant business round at the Foreign Office this morning, Q.Q., he remarked, as he helped himself to one of the excellent cigarettes which the Chief, though a rigid nonsmoker himself, kept hospitably for his visitors. I suppose you've heard? Q.Q. raised his eyebrows. No, he said. What's the trouble? Arbuthnot shot himself. Arbuthnot! Shot himself? The Chief's voice was at once startled and incredulous. Yep. Sebright nodded casually, and then savored again the aroma of the cigarette between his fingers. First-rate brand, these of yours, Quayne. Where do you get 'em? Mr. Quayne ignored this cold-bloodedly irrelevant question He leaned forward across his desk, in a curious sudden alertness of expression that in any other man I should have called excitement. But Q.Q. was never excited Merely that ice-cold brain of his, at the appropriate stimulus, could function with lightning rapidity, leap from analysis to synthesis, from clue to hypothesis, from a seeming normality to the perception of a hidden crime with a swift accuracy that left me, despite his painstaking training, always bewildered. In this case, he had some reason for interest beyond the ordinary. Old Mr. Arbuthnot of the Foreign Office had sat in this room only yesterday.

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