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The Yellow Streak by Valentine Williams

THE YELLOW STREAK

BY VALENTINE WILLIAMS

CONTENTS

I. THE MASTER OF HARKINGS II. AT TWILIGHT III. A DISCOVERY IV. BETWEEN THE DESK AND THE WINDOW V. IN WHICH BUDE LOOKS AT ROBIN GREVE VI. THE LETTER VII. VOICES IN THE LIBRARY VIII. ROBIN GOES TO MARY IX. MR. MANDERTON X. A SMOKING CHIMNEY XI. "... SPEED THE PARTING GUEST!" XII. MR. MANDERTON is NONPLUSSED XIII. JEEKES XIV. A SHEET OF BLUE PAPER XV. SHADOWS XVI. THE INTRUDER XVII. A FRESH CLUE XVIII. THE SILENT SHOT XIX. MR. MANDERTON LAYS HIS CARDS ON THE TABLE XX. THE CODE KING XXI. A WORD WITH MR. JEEKES XXII. THE MAN WITH THE YELLOW FACE XXIII. TWO'S COMPANY XXIV. THE METAMORPHOSIS OF MR. SCHULZ XXV. THE READING OF THE RIDDLE XXVI. THE FIGURE IN THE DOORWAY XXVII. AN INTERRUPTION FROM BEYOND XXVIII. THE DEATH OF HARTLEY PARRISH

THE YELLOW STREAK

CHAPTER I

THE MASTER OF HARKINGS

Of all the luxuries of which Hartley Parrish's sudden rise to wealth gave him possession, Bude, his butler, was the acquisition in which he took the greatest delight and pride. Bude was a large and comfortable-looking person, triple-chinned like an archdeacon, bald-headed except for a respectable and saving edging of dark down, clean-shaven, benign of countenance, with a bold nose which to the psychologist bespoke both ambition and inborn cleverness. He had a thin, tight mouth which in itself alone was a symbol of discreet reticence, the hall-mark of the trusted family retainer.

Bude had spent his life in the service of the English aristocracy. The Earl of Tipperary, Major-General Lord Bannister, the Dowager Marchioness of Wiltshire, and Sir Herbert Marcobrunner, Bart., had in turn watched his gradual progress from pantry-boy to butler. Bude was a man whose maxim had been the French saying, "_Je prends mon bien ou je le trouve_."

In his thirty years' service he had always sought to discover and draw from those sources of knowledge which were at his disposal. From MacTavish, who had supervised Lord Tipperary's world-famous gardens, he had learnt a great deal about flowers, so that the arrangement of the floral decorations was always one of the features at Hartley Parrish's _soigne_ dinner-parties. From Brun, the unsurpassed _chef_, whom Lord Bannister had picked up when serving with the Guards in Egypt, he had gathered sufficient knowledge of the higher branches of the cuisine to enable Hartley Parrish to leave the arrangement of the menu in his butler's hands.

Bude would have been the first to admit that, socially speaking, his present situation was not the equal of the positions he had held. There was none of the staid dignity about his present employer which was inborn in men like Lord Tipperary or Lord Bannister, and which Sir Herbert Marcobrunner, with the easy assimilative faculty of his race, had very successfully acquired. Below middle height, thick-set and powerfully built, with a big head, narrow eyes, and a massive chin, Hartley Parrish, in his absorbed concentration on his business, had no time for the acquisition or practice of the Eton manner.


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