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Sabre and Foil Fighting

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Gronow of the Guards

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The Original Bulldog Drummond: 3

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The Original Bulldog Drummond: 3
Leonaur Original
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Author(s): ‘Sapper’ (H. C. McNeile)
Date Published: 2010/02
Page Count: 404
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-029-7
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-030-3

A third satisfying helping of Sapper's original Bulldog Drummond—two more exciting novels and a bonus short story

These are the original adventures of Sapper's Bulldog Drummond collected together in a special Leonaur five volume collection—each special book containing two full length Bulldog Drummond novels plus one short story featuring the eponymous hero. Their author, Sapper—H. C. McNeile—was a British Army officer in the Royal Engineers during the Great War and took the popular name of his corps as his unforgettable nom-de-plume. His main character, the hard fighting, hard playing but clean living English gentleman, Hugh Drummond, is a wealthy and decorated ex-officer for whom life after the First World War is proving mightily dull. To remedy this intolerable state of affairs he and his trusted band of henchmen, 'The Black Gang,’ embark on a career of detection and high adventure (occasionally crossing the line of the law) satisfyingly filled with villainous 'foreign' foes, deadly 'bad-but-beautiful’ women and, of course, a bevy of beautiful 'good' women to be rescued from death and fates worse than! Drummond is a man's-man of the likes of Richard Hannay and Doc Savage, a hero that could be set against the likes of a Fu Manchu and a proto James Bond who is guaranteed to throw himself into colourful 'between the wars' two fisted action at every opportunity—to the delight of readers who enjoy adventure from a more innocent age.
This third volume contains the full length novels The Female of the Species and Temple Tower and the short tale ‘The Oriental Mind.’
These fabulous volumes are available in softcover and hardcover with dust jacket. 

We crept on till we came to the crumbling stonework. It was grass-grown and afforded treacherous walking, rendered all the harder by the darkness. Twice did I dislodge a stone with my foot, and I was just beginning to wonder what good Hugh hoped to do when I heard him give a gasp of surprise. I peered ahead: he was bending over something on the ground.
“Peter,” he muttered, “look at this.”<br>
This was the dog—stone dead. It was an enormous brute, and its body was arched, and its great fangs gleamed white in a last death snarl. And in the air there hung the smell of burnt almonds.<br>
“Prussic acid,” he said. “I wondered what had silenced it so suddenly.”<br>
And then he straightened up, and his hand went to his revolver pocket.<br>
“The dog is dead,” he muttered grimly, “but the man who did it—isn’t. Keep your eyes skinned.”<br>
Instinctively, we closed up; there was something terrifying about that gloomy, silent house and the rank undergrowth, even without the additional knowledge that we were not the only watchers. The whole place smelt of decay, and I was on the point of suggesting to Hugh that we should go, when there came from the house the sound of bolts being drawn. Someone was coming out.<br>
The door opened, and in the dim light from the hall we saw for a moment the outlines of Granger and the servant. Then it clanged to again, and we heard the bolt shoot home.
“Nero; where are you, you brute?”<br>
Gaspard’s voice came through the darkness: evidently he had been shut out of the house to find out what had happened to the dog. He went plunging into the undergrowth, calling and whistling, whilst we still stood there undecided what to do.<br>
“Nero. Nero.”<br>
His voice was coming closer, and Hugh signed to us to move back under cover. And then quite suddenly there came a shrill scream of terror, followed by a horrible choking noise. The calls for Nero ceased abruptly: and after a moment or two the choking noise ceased too. The same thought was in all our minds: what was happening in the darkness close by? What had caused that sudden scream of mortal fear?<br>
Like a shadow Hugh glided away in the direction of the sound, and we followed. Every now and then he paused and peered ahead, but in the gloom of the undergrowth it was impossible to see anything. And it so happened that it was my lot to make the discovery. I was the last of the four, and quite by chance I was staring at a bush to my left. And it seemed to me that something moved.<br>
I went nearer, and only by the greatest self-control did I check a cry myself. A great black object was lying on the ground, and as I approached it suddenly rose. It seemed to unwrap itself, and I felt instinctively that it was staring at me. Then, with a sort of snarling hiss, it vanished, and I saw what it had left behind.<br>
“Hugh,” I said shakily, and in a second he was with me.<br>
“Good God!” he muttered, and pulled out a tiny electric torch. Gaspard was lying there, his face red and swollen, and a glance showed that he was dead. He had been throttled: the marks on his throat were plain to see.<br>
“It was the black figure,” I said. “It was lying on top of him, and when it heard me, it got up and vanished.”<br>
“It strikes me we are dealing with a homicidal maniac,” he remarked, and his voice was hard. “And with that brand one shoots on sight. Let’s see if we can’t get a sight. Back to the ladder, and move.”<br>
He led the way, and we followed as quickly as we could. But to keep up with Hugh in the dark was an impossibility, and he was soon far ahead of us. At last the wall loomed up in front, and it was as we reached it that the sharp crack of a revolver brought us all up standing. It came from the direction of the road, and a sick feeling of fear got hold of me. Which of them had fired?<br>
“Hugh,” I called out, regardless of who might hear. “Where are you?”
“All right, Peter,” came his welcome voice, and to my amazement I realised that he was the same side as we were.<br>
‘‘That shot!” I said. “Who fired it?”<br>
“I can’t see through a brick wall,” he answered, “so I don’t know. But with luck we may find out soon. He was over the wall when I got here, and the ladder is the other side. Up you go, Scott, and pass it back.”<br>
Once again we repeated the performance of crossing, but this time Hugh was off like a flash the instant he reached the ground. And it was just as we were wondering whether to follow him or not that the final shock of the evening occurred. A voice with a slight American twang came out of the darkness from close by.<br>
“May I ask what you guys think you are doing?” it said. “Or would it be indiscreet?”
“Who are you?” I cried. “And where are you?”<br>
“Who I am doesn’t matter at the moment,” went on the voice. “Nor where I am. But I have a gun in my hand, which I shall have no hesitation in using, if necessary.”<br>
“A game at which two can play.”<br>
Hugh’s voice, doubly welcome this time, showed that he had returned.<br>
“By the sound you are both new ones to me,” said the unknown quietly. “I am thinking we’d better have a little light on the scene, or else someone will be making a bloomer.”
“Then I will supply it,” snapped Hugh.<br>
He switched on his torch, and focussed it on the stranger. He was standing about five yards away, a thin, hatchet-faced man of about fifty. In his hand was a revolver, but it was banging loosely by his side, and he made no move to raise it. For a while he stood there in silence: then he smiled faintly and spoke.<br>
“I trust the inspection is satisfactory,” he remarked. “But in case you want anything more, do you recognise that?”<br>
He opened his coat, displaying the badge of the New York police.<br>
“I do,” said Hugh. “Was it you who fired that shot?”<br>
“It was not,” answered the other. “And if you will deflect your torch a little lower you will see why, though you will have to come nearer.”<br>
He was still holding his coat open, and as we got close to him we could see a bullet hole clean through it on a level with his waist. <br>
“Touch and go, gentlemen,” he remarked. “And now, if you have satisfied yourselves that I am not the villain of the piece, I would strongly suggest that you put out that torch. There are people abroad tonight who are attracted to torches, and next time it may not be my coat.”