Forthcoming titles

(Book titles are subject to change)

The War with Turkey in 2 vols

Richard Harding Davis in Cuba

The Liverpool Rifles

Australians on the Western Front

Marshal Blucher

The Coldstream Guards during the Napoleonic Wars

The Gaspipe Officer

The Bengal Artillery


Woman of the Revolution

Third Leonaur Book of Ghost and Horror Stories

Sir Howard Douglas

Supernatural James Platt

Battle of Jutland

Congreves Rockets

Hew Dalrymple

Marshal Ney's Military Studies

The Orphan Brigade 

and many others

Chesterton’s Mysteries: 6

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Chesterton’s Mysteries: 6
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Author(s): G. K. Chesterton
Date Published: 2009/09
Page Count: 456
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-84677-811-7
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-84677-812-4

The final volume of the special Leonaur six volume Chesterton mystery collection

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.

In this final volume of Chesterton's collected mysteries readers will enjoy the last of the Father Brown collections—'The Scandal of Father Brown', with nine more great Father Brown cases including 'The Vampire of the Village'. The seven stories of 'The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond' are followed by six bonus tales: 'The Donnington Affair', 'The Man who Shot the Fox', 'The Five of Swords', 'The Tower of Treason', 'The White Pillars of Murder' and 'The Garden of Smoke'. Simply essential!

‘Yes,’ said Lady Sand calmly. ‘He left a confession of suicide; so I fear there is no doubt about it.’ And she passed on up the slope alone, with all the inviolable isolation of the family ghost. <br>
The spectacles of Father Brown were turned in mute inquiry to the eyeglasses of Mr Henry Sand. And the latter gentleman, after an instant’s hesitation, spoke again in his rather blind and plunging fashion: ‘Yes, you see, it seems pretty clear now what he did. He was always a great swimmer and used to come down in his dressing-gown every morning for a dip in the river. Well, he came down as usual, and left his dressing-gown on the bank; it’s lying there still. But he also left a message saying he was going for his last swim and then death, or something like that.’<br>
‘Where did he leave the message?’ asked Father Brown.<br>
‘He scrawled it on that tree there, overhanging the water, I suppose the last thing he took hold of; just below where the dressing-gown’s lying. Come and see for yourself.’<br>
Father Brown ran down the last short slope to the shore and peered under the hanging tree, whose plumes were almost dipping in the stream. Sure enough, he saw on the smooth bark the words scratched conspicuously and unmistakably: ‘One more swim and then drowning. Good-bye. Hubert Sand.’ Father Brown’s gaze travelled slowly up the bank till it rested on a gorgeous rag of raiment, all red and yellow with gilded tassels. It was the dressing-gown and the priest picked it up and began to turn it over. Almost as he did so he was conscious that a figure had flashed across his field of vision; a tall dark figure that slipped from one clump of trees to another, as if following the trail of the vanishing lady. He had little doubt that it was the companion from whom she had lately parted. He had still less doubt that it was the dead man’s secretary, Mr Rupert Rae.<br>
‘Of course, it might be a final afterthought to leave the message,’ said Father Brown, without looking up, his eye riveted on the red and gold garment. ‘We’ve all heard of love-messages written on trees; and I suppose there might be death-messages written on trees too.’<br>
‘Well, he wouldn’t have anything in the pockets of his dressing-gown, I suppose,’ said young Sand. ‘And a man might naturally scratch his message on a tree if he had no pens, ink or paper.’<br>
‘Sounds like French exercises,’ said the priest dismally. ‘But I wasn’t thinking of that.’ Then, after a silence, he said in a rather altered voice:<br>
‘To tell the truth, I was thinking whether a man might not naturally scratch his message on a tree, even if he had stacks of pens, and quarts of ink, and reams of paper.’<br>
Henry was looking at him with a rather startled air, his eyeglasses crooked on his pug-nose. ‘And what do you mean by that?’ he asked sharply.<br>
‘Well,’ said Father Brown slowly, ‘I don’t exactly mean that postmen will carry letters in the form of logs, or that you will ever drop a line to a friend by putting a postage stamp on a pine tree. It would have to be a particular sort of position—in fact, it would have to be a particular sort of person, who really preferred this sort of arboreal correspondence. But, given the position and the person, I repeat what I said. He would still write on a tree, as the song says, if all the world were paper and all the sea were ink; if that river flowed with everlasting ink or all these woods were a forest of quills and fountain-pens.’<br>
It was evident that Sand felt something creepy about the priest’s fanciful imagery; whether because he found it incomprehensible or because he was beginning to comprehend.<br>
‘You see,’ said Father Brown, turning the dressing-gown over slowly as he spoke, ‘a man isn’t expected to write his very best handwriting when he chips it on a tree. And if the man were not the man, if I make myself clear—Hullo!’<br>
He was looking down at the red dressing-gown, and it seemed for the moment as if some of the red had come off on his finger; but both the faces turned towards it were already a shade paler.<br>
‘Blood!’ said Father Brown; and for the instant there was a deadly stillness save for the melodious noises of the river.<br>
Henry Sand cleared his throat and nose with noises that were by no means melodious. Then he said rather hoarsely: ‘Whose blood?’<br>
‘Oh, mine,’ said Father Brown; but he did not smile.<br>
A moment after he said: ‘There was a pin in this thing and I pricked myself. But I don’t think you quite appreciate the point—the point of the pin, I do’; and he sucked his finger like a child.<br>
‘You see,’ he said after another silence, ‘the gown was folded up and pinned together; nobody could have unfolded it—at least without scratching himself. In plain words, Hubert Sand never wore this dressing-gown. Any more than Hubert Sand ever wrote on that tree. Or drowned himself in that river.’