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The Sins of Séverac Bablon
written by "Rohmer, Sax, 1883-1959"
...ice was vaguely familiar to him. "You are the second richest man in the United States," he continued, "and the first in parsimony. I shall mulct you in one hundred thousand pounds!" "You'll never get it!" rasped Oppner. "No? Well let us weigh the possibilities, one against the other. There have been protests, from rival journals, against the Gleaner's acceptance of foreign money for British national purposes. This I had anticipated, but such donations have had the effect of stimulating the British public. If the cheques already received, and your own, which you are about to draw, are not directly devoted to the purpose for which they are intended, I can guarantee that you shall not be humiliated by their return!" "Ah!" sighed Oppner. "The Gleaner newspaper has made all arrangements with an important English firm to construct several air vessels. The materials and the workmanship will be British throughout, and the vessels will be placed at the disposal of the authorities. The source of the Gleaner's fund thus becomes immaterial. But, in recognition of the subscribers, the vessels will be named 'Oppner I.,' 'Oppner II.,' 'Hague I.,' etc." "Yep?" "At some future time we may understand one another better, Mr. Oppner. For the present I shall make no overtures. I have no desire unduly to mystify you, however. The men whom Mr. Martin of Pinkerton's, found surrounding this house were not the men from Sullivan's Agency, but friends of my own. Sullivans were informed at the last moment that the raid had been abandoned. The car, again, which you observed, is my own. I caused it to be driven to and fro between here and Richmond Bridge for your especial amusement, altering the number on each occasion. Finally, any outcry you may care to raise will pass unnoticed, as The Cedars has been leased for the purpose of a private establishment for the care of mental cases." "You're holding me to ransom?" "In a sense. But you would not ...

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