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Tracked by a Tattoo: A Mystery

108 pages
Library of Alexandria
On the twenty-first of June, in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four Mr. Fanks, of New Scotland Yard, detective, was walking down the Strand, between the hours of seven and eight in the evening, in the character of Octavius Rixton, of the West End, idler. It may be as well to repeat here, what is no doubt already known--that this individual led a dual existence. He earned his money as a detective, and spent it as a man about town. East of Trafalgar Square he was called Fanks; westward he was known by his real name of Rixton. But few people, were aware that the idler and the worker were one and the same. Nevertheless of necessity four or five persons possessed this knowledge, and of these one was Crate, a brother officer of Fanks, who had worked with him in many cases, and who had a profound respect for his capabilities. Fanks had obtained this ascendancy over Crate's mind by his skilful unravelling of the Chinese Jar mystery. This especial evening Rixton had cast off the name, clothes, and personality of Fanks; and in "propriâ personâ," he was about to treat himself to a melodrama at the Adelphi Theatre. As he was passing through the vestibule, at a quarter to eight, a man came forward and touched him on the arm. To the surprise of Rixton he recognised Crate. "You mentioned that you were coming here this evening, Mr. Rixton," said this latter, who had been instructed to so address his chief on particular occasions. "And I have been waiting for the last half hour to see you."