The Haunted Author by Marcus Clarke

The Haunted Author

byMarcus Clarke

Kobo ebook | July 5, 2013

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'What can I do for you, sir?' I asked blandly, astonished. He was a tall broad-shouldered man in a rough pea-jacket, and scowled portentously.

'Put me into an honest livelihood,' he answered. It was such a strange request that I could only stare. 'Don't you understand?' he said, seating himself with rough vehemence, 'I want to become a reputable member of society. I want some honest employment.'

'But, my good sir, why do you come to me? Your motive is most excellent, but an honest employment is the last thing at my disposal.'

'That be blowed!' said he, 'you could give me a fortune if you liked, you know you could. But I don't want that. No, I'm fly to that game! You'll have some blessed elder brother, that nobody knowed of, coming back from New Zealand and succeeding to the ancestral mansion; or you'll get me pitched out of my gilded chariot at the church door, and marry my wife, that ought to be, to somebody else. I know you. I only want a modest competence, nobody interferes with that.'

'Your language is even more mysterious than your appearance, my friend,' I said.

'Pshaw!' said he (I never heard a man outside a book said 'pshaw'--never), 'don't you know me?'

I looked at him steadily, and it seemed that I ought to know him, that hat, that pea-jacket, that knotted scarf around his muscular throat, those fierce eyes--all were familiar to me...

'You don't happen to have any marks about you?' I asked, while a cold sweat broke out upon my brow.

He laughed--that bitter laugh which I had described so often.

'I have a peculiar mole on the back of my neck, the tip of my left ear is shot away, my right side still bears the mark of Pompey's claws when he defended his young mistress Alice in the lonely swamp. I have lost the little finger of my right hand, and have three pear-shaped wens, besides the usual allowance of strawberry marks.'

There was no mistaking him. It was my Villain! I knew his bloodthirsty nature, and dreaded the tremendous struggle which experience told me was to follow.

Title:The Haunted AuthorFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 5, 2013Publisher:WDS PublishingLanguage:English

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