Three complete books in the third Chesterton volume for detective, crime and mystery enthusiasts
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was one of the most influential English writers of the twentieth century. He put his mind and pen to a broad spectrum of subjects including theology, poetry, biography, journalism and philosophy. Great writers have no influence over those parts of their work which posterity decides is most significant or will be best remembered, in Chesterton's case—in the minds of many—he will forever be remembered as the creator of the little Roman Catholic priest-detective, Father Brown. The vitality of that character has endured, evergreen, never losing its charm. Chesterton, was a lover of detective and mystery fiction and his own contribution to the genre extends far beyond the Father Brown stories. Leonaur has collected Chesterton's fabulous, intriguing and entertaining mysteries—in order of original book publication—into six substantial volumes to enable his many aficionados to own and read them in either softcover or hardback with dust jacket for collectors. This collection is the ideal way to possess these essential books of crime, mystery and detection and no enthusiast's library will be complete without them.
Volume three introduces another Chesterton detective, Horne Fisher is the man who 'knows too much. . . and all the wrong things'. Fisher and his trusty companion Harold March take on the world of crime among societies most eminent members in eight classic mysteries. 'The Trees of Pride' is followed by Tales of the Long Bow'.
A moment or two after he had spoken they heard a voice hailing them out of the shadow of the clubhouse, and were astonished to perceive Travers hurrying toward them, calling out as he came: <br>
“I shall want your help, you fellows,” he cried. “There’s something pretty bad out on the links.”<br>
They found themselves plunging through the club smoking room and the library beyond, in complete darkness, mental as well as material. But Horne Fisher, in spite of his affectation of indifference, was a person of a curious and almost transcendental sensibility to atmospheres, and he already felt the presence of something more than an accident. He collided with a piece of furniture in the library, and almost shuddered with the shock, for the thing moved as he could never have fancied a piece of furniture moving. It seemed to move like a living thing, yielding and yet striking back. The next moment Grayne had turned on the lights, and he saw he had only stumbled against one of the revolving bookstands that had swung round and struck him; but his involuntary recoil had revealed to him his own subconscious sense of something mysterious and monstrous. There were several of these revolving bookcases standing here and there about the library; on one of them stood the two cups of coffee, and on another a large open book. It was Budge’s book on Egyptian hieroglyphics, with coloured plates of strange birds and gods, and even as he rushed past, he was conscious of something odd about the fact that this, and not any work of military science, should be open in that place at that moment. He was even conscious of the gap in the well-lined bookshelf from which it had been taken, and it seemed almost to gape at him in an ugly fashion, like a gap in the teeth of some sinister face.<br>
A run brought them in a few minutes to the other side of the ground in front of the bottomless well, and a few yards from it, in a moonlight almost as broad as daylight, they saw what they had come to see.<br>
The great Lord Hastings lay prone on his face, in a posture in which there was a touch of something strange and stiff, with one elbow erect above his body, the arm being doubled, and his big, bony hand clutching the rank and ragged grass. A few feet away was Boyle, almost as motionless, but supported on his hands and knees, and staring at the body. It might have been no more than shock and accident; but there was something ungainly and unnatural about the quadrupedal posture and the gaping face. It was as if his reason had fled from him. Behind, there was nothing but the clear blue southern sky, and the beginning of the desert, except for the two great broken stones in front of the well. And it was in such a light and atmosphere that men could fancy they traced in them enormous and evil faces, looking down.<br>
Horne Fisher stooped and touched the strong hand that was still clutching the grass, and it was as cold as a stone. He knelt by the body and was busy for a moment applying other tests; then he rose again, and said, with a sort of confident despair:<br>
“Lord Hastings is dead.”<br>
There was a stony silence, and then Travers remarked, gruffly: “This is your department, Grayne; I will leave you to question Captain Boyle. I can make no sense of what he says.”<br>
Boyle had pulled himself together and risen to his feet, but his face still wore an awful expression, making it like a new mask or the face of another man.<br>
“I was looking at the well,” he said, “and when I turned he had fallen down.”<br>
Grayne’s face was very dark. “As you say, this is my affair,” he said. “I must first ask you to help me carry him to the library and let me examine things thoroughly.”<br>
When they had deposited the body in the library, Grayne turned to Fisher and said, in a voice that had recovered its fullness and confidence, “I am going to lock myself in and make a thorough examination first. I look to you to keep in touch with the others and make a preliminary examination of Boyle. I will talk to him later. And just telephone to headquarters for a policeman, and let him come here at once and stand by till I want him.”