The Voice in the Fog (Chapter 9, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 9

When the constellation, which was not included among the accepted
theories of Copernicus, passed away, Haggerty sat up and rubbed the
swelling over his ear, tenderly yet grimly. Next, he felt about the
floor for his pocket-lamp. A strange spicy dust drifted into his nose
and throat, making him sneeze and cough. A mummy had reposed in the
overturned cartonnage and the brittle bindings had crumbled into
powder. He soon found the lamp, and sent its point of vivid white
light here and there about the large room.

Pursuit of his assailant was out of the question. Haggerty was not
only hard of head but shrewd. So he set about the accomplishment of
the second best course, that of minute and particular investigation.
Some one had entered this deserted house: for what? This, Haggerty
must find out. He was fairly confident that the intruder did not know
who had challenged him; on the other hand, there might be lying around
some clue to the stranger's identity.

Was there light in the house, fluid in the wires? If so he would be
saved the annoyance of exploring the house by the rather futile aid of
the pocket-lamp, which stood in need of a fresh battery. He searched
for the light-button and pressed it, hopefully. The room, with all its
brilliantly decorated antiquities, older than Rome, older than Greece,
blinded Haggerty for a space.

"Ain't that like these book chaps?" Haggerty murmured. "T' go away
without turning off th' meter!"

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