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The Blonde Lady
Being a Record of the Duel of Wits between Arsène Lupin and the English Detective

written by "Leblanc, Maurice, 1864-1941"
... direction, and of the German books in particular. Have you any experience of this sort of work?" "Yes, sir, a long experience," replied Stickmann, in a strong Teutonic accent. In these conditions, the matter was soon settled; and M. Destange set to work with his new secretary without further delay. Holmlock Shears had carried the citadel. In order to escape Lupin's observation and to obtain an entrance into the house which Lucien Destange occupied with his daughter Clotilde, the illustrious detective had been obliged to take a leap in the dark, to resort to untold stratagems, to win the favour and confidence of a host of people under endless different names, in short, to lead forty-eight hours of the most complex life. The particulars which he had gathered were these: M. Destange, who was in failing health and anxious for rest, had retired from business and was living among the architectural books which it had been his hobby to collect. He[Pg 155] had no interest left in life beyond the handling and examining of those old dusty volumes. As for his daughter Clotilde, she was looked upon as eccentric. She spent her days, like her father, in the house, but in another part of it, and never went out. "This is all," thought Shears, as he wrote down the titles of the books in his catalogue, to M. Destange's dictation, "this is all more or less indefinite; but it is a good step forward. I am bound to discover the solution of one at least of these exciting problems: is M. Destange an accomplice of Arsène Lupin's? Does he see him now? Are there any papers relating to the building of the three houses? Will these papers supply me with the address of other properties, similarly faked, which Lupin may have reserved for his own use and that of his gang?" M. Destange an accomplice of Arsène Lupin's! This venerable man, an officer of the Legion of Honour, working hand in hand with a burglar! The presumption was hardly te...

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