The Man in Lower Ten (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
Mary Roberts Rinehart
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The Man in Lower Ten (serialized in magazines in 1906) was published as a novel in 1910, and immediately rose to number four on the best-seller list. Combining murder, mystery, and romance, Rinehart’s celebrated novel is sure to keep readers in delightful suspense.
In order to pick up legal papers in another city, a young lawyer, Lawrence Blakely, must travel from Pittsburgh to Baltimore on what he expects to be an uneventful train ride. However the trip quickly becomes anything but boring; Blakely’s papers are stolen, and his car bunk “lower ten” is occupied by a dead body. But that’s not all Blakely finds himself in the middle of. He also grapples with a deadly train wreck, a ghostly haunting, and a sexy yet possibly dangerous love interest.
something. Besides the dirk, there were the stains that you, saw. Why, I have the murdered man’s pocketbook in this valise at my feet. What does that look like?” I colored when I saw the ghost of a smile hovering around the corners of her mouth. “That is,” I finished, “if you care to believe that I am innocent.” The sustaining chain of her small gold bag gave way just then. She did not notice it. I picked it up and slid the trinket into my pocket for safekeeping, where I promptly forgot it.
Harrington’s pocketbook?” “But why did he go off without the money?” I persisted. “And where does the bronze-haired girl come in?” “Search me,” McKnight retorted flippantly. “Inflammation of the imagination on your part.” “Then there is the piece of telegram. It said lower ten, car seven. It’s extremely likely that she had it. That telegram was about me, Richey.” “I’m getting a headache,” he said, putting out his cigarette against the sole of his shoe. “All I’m certain of just now is that if
just one of the little coincidences that hang people now and then. And as for last night—if she’s the kind of a girl you say she is, and you think she had anything to do with that, you—you’re addled, that’s all. You can depend on it, the lady of the empty house last week is the lady of last night. And yet your train acquaintance was in Altoona at that time.” Just before we got off the car, I reverted to the subject again. It was never far back in my mind. “About the—young lady of the train,
nothing fell on me. “I—we want to apologize for rousing you so—er—unexpectedly this morning,” I went on. “The fact is, we wanted to talk to you, and you—you were hard to waken. We are travelers, lost in your mountains, and we crave a breakfast and an audience.” She came to the door then. I could feel that she was investigating the top of my head from above. “Is Mr. Sullivan with you?” she asked. It was the first word from her, and she was not sure of her voice. “No. We are alone. If you will
relief, leaving the young man far behind. I avoid reporters on principle, having learned long ago that I am an easy mark for a clever interviewer. It was perhaps nine o’clock when I left the station. Our way was along the boulevard which hugged the side of one of the city’s great hills. Far below, to the left, lay the railroad tracks and the seventy times seven looming stacks of the mills. The white mist of the river, the grays and blacks of the smoke blended into a half-revealing haze, dotted