In R.T.M. Scott's second and last Spider novel, Richard Wentworth must fight to save the life on an innocent man convicted of murder and awaiting execution. However, a sinister plot unfolds where the Spider must save New York from a criminal genuis using blackmail and murder to control the leaders of the city.
The Vermilion Seal
Dusk was falling and the lights were turned on in Grogan's Restaurant. It was a small, gloomy place, with a dozen round tables and two curtained booths where special customers could eat and talk unseen. At the rear were two still smaller rooms, the kitchen and beside it a tiny cubicle of an office which contained Grogan's battered desk and an old-fashioned iron safe.
It was rumored that things happened in Grogan's Restaurant, things which were best kept hidden from the honest light of day. It was said that narcotics could be bought there, and it was whispered that young girls had entered the place and never again been seen by their friends. The West Side police of Manhattan had visited the place many times. But Grogan made no objection to such visits, and the police found nothing. Yet the rumors and the whispers persisted.
Burly Dan Grogan stood now near the rickety cash register, his yellowed teeth clamped tenaciously about an unlighted cigar. He had only three customers. Two men, hard-eyed and low-voiced, were smoking and drinking in one of the booths. At the back of the restaurant, near the door of the room which contained Grogan's safe and desk, was a man with plastered hair and high-waisted trousers who was consuming his third cup of coffee.
Everything seemed peaceful enough, but Grogan's fat face was a little tense as he watched the third customer with the plastered hair. It would seem that the man must be of the underworld. But Grogan did not know him, and Grogan thought that he knew all the underworld characters of Manhattan.
The bulky proprietor was curious and uneasy. Things often happened in his small restaurant when he became uneasy. And when things did happen they usually happened so fast that he liked to be prepared. The stranger might be an imported gunman, waiting to rub out one of his best customers in some criminal feud. Dan strolled over to the stranger.
Format: Electronic PDF File
First Published: 1933
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More from R.T.M. Scott
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- The Spider Strikes