She was smiling her prettiest when the door behind him slowly opened and a masked man stood on the threshold. Then her eyes caught the standing figure vaguely, and fear sprang into them as she looked up.
It was the fear in her eyes which warned Wentworth and caused him to dart one hopeless glance at his opera hat upon the bureau across the room. The distance was too great for him to cover if his danger was imminent. With the cane in his hand he sprang to his feet and whirled, animal-like, to face the door.
The masked man threw out his hand, and a silken cord shot over Wentworth's head and circled his neck.
Wentworth saw the flying loop but could only draw in his chin in an endeavor to protect the front of his throat. There was a strong jerk upon the cord as the noose went snug. He fell to his knees, lunging out with the light cane in his hand as everything began to go black before his eyes.
The cane seemed a futile thing in such an encounter. The sinister strangler, fully as tall and powerful a man as Wentworth, seized the cane roughly in his free hand.
Wentworth, upon his knees and seeing very little, pulled back weakly upon the cane. He pulled weakly, but out from the wooden sheathing slid a slender, gleaming rapier. Again he lunged, desperately, almost blindly. The sharp pointed rapier met the thigh of his antagonist and pierced it, just missing the bone.
Format: Electronic PDF File
First Published: 1933
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