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Death to the Inquisitive! A story of sinful love

Death to the Inquisitive!
A story of sinful love
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Title: Death to the Inquisitive! A story of sinful love
Release Date: 2018-12-01
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 18
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Transcriber's Note:
Obvious typographic errors have been corrected.


cover

THE SCARLET HOUSE OF SIN

THE SCARLET HOUSE OF SIN.


[Pg 1]

Death to the Inquisitive!

A STORY OF SINFUL LOVE.

BY

LURANA W. SHELDON,

"Nay, do not ask—
In pity from the task forbear:
Smile on—nor venture to unmask
Man's heart, and view the Hell that's there."

NEW YORK
W. D. ROWLAND, PUBLISHER
23 Chambers Street
1892


[Pg 2]

Copyright, 1892
BY
W. D. ROWLAND.


[Pg 3]

CONTENTS


CHAP. PAGE.
I.   THE WHITECHAPEL MYSTERY 5
II.   A SUICIDAL ATTEMPT 12
III.   RESCUED BY THIEVES 20
IV.   THE SHAME-BORN CHILD 26
V.   MAURICE SINCLAIR 33
VI.   A PAINFUL REMINISCENCE 40
VII.   THE BREATH OF PASSION 47
VIII.   A MIDNIGHT CRIME 54
IX.   MAURICE SINCLAIR ESCAPES WITH HIS VICTIM 61
X.   THE SCARLET HOUSE OF SIN 65
XI.   JULIA WEBBER LAYS PLANS FOR REVENGE 73
XII.   A SINFUL LOVE 77
XIII.   THE CONTRACT BROKEN 85
XIV.   IN CENTRAL PARK 93
XV.   DEATH 98
XVI.   A DEER HUNT IN NEWFOUNDLAND 104
XVII.   BY THE ASHES OF A GUILTY HOUSE 112
XVIII.   STELLA IS RESTORED TO HER LOVER 120
XIX.   SAFE IN THE ARMS OF LOVE 126
XX.   DR. SEWARD'S EXPERIMENT 133
XXI.   A PERFECT UNION 140
[Pg 4]XXII.   "QUEEN LIZ" 145
XXIII.   ELIZABETH FINDS FRIENDS 149
XXIV.   STELLA CONFIDES IN HER HUSBAND 153
XXV.   THE CAPTAIN'S STORY 159
XXVI.   SORROW AND REJOICING 163
XXVII.   THE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE 168
XXVIII.   TOO LATE 176
XXIX.   THE HOME IN NEW YORK 181
XXX.   SAM LEE DISCOVERS A FARO GAME 188
XXXI.   CLEVERLY CAUGHT 194
XXXII.   FACE TO FACE 200
XXXIII.   "I HAVE NO NAME" 205
XXXIV.   THE LADY VAN TYNE WILL FIGHT FOR HER HONOR 211
XXXV.   STELLA AND ELIZABETH 218
XXXVI.   A LAST ESCAPE 226
XXXVII.   FIVE YEARS AFTER 229

>MISS LURANA W. SHELDON

MISS LURANA W. SHELDON.


[Pg 5]

DEATH TO THE INQUISITIVE.

A STORY OF SINFUL LOVE.


CHAPTER I. THE WHITECHAPEL MYSTERY.

Hark! It is a woman's cry
Echoing thro' the unhallowed place:—
Forward, to her rescue, fly—
See the suffering in her face.

A piercing shriek echoed throughout the entire length and breadth of thegloomy passage, hushed as it was in the brief hour of repose thatusually intervened between the vice-rampant hour of midnight and theever reluctant dawn.

It seemed as if the very light shrank from penetrating the loathsomewindings of that wretched quarter of London, and as to pure air, itsimply refused to enter such illy ventilated nooks and[Pg 6] crevices, whilethe poisoned vapors that filled the narrow precincts were always tryingto escape and failing through their own over-weight of reeking odors.

The scream of the dying woman was carried indistinctly to the ears ofthe sleeping inmates simply because the air was too heavy with viletobacco and whiskey, stale beer fumes, and the exhalations of festeringgarbage heaps to transmit anything in other than a confused andindistinct manner.

Nevertheless there was something so extraordinarily frightful in theshriek that it did succeed in reaching the ears of nearly every habitueof the place, who, shrieking in their turn aroused the others, and oneby one frowzeled heads and wrinkled faces issued from broken windows andrapidly, with shuffling footsteps, men and women crawled frominnumerable dark passages and darker doorways, and with suspiciousglances at each other, sneaked in and out through the slime and rubbish,in a half curious, half frightened search for a glimpse of that horribletragedy.

I say sneaked about, and I use the word[Pg 7] advisedly as the lawyers say,inasmuch as these degraded members of the human family,—thesede-humanized fag ends of the genius Homo, did not walk, run, or performany other specified motion in their perambulations.

On the contrary, they hugged the walls and the gutters; they weredistrustful of the laws of gravitation and equilibrium, preferring tolean more or less heavily on walls and other supports, with bodies bentand faces averted, while the rapidity with which they appeared anddisappeared was best appreciated by the Police who were supposed toguard this particular section of Whitechapel, but who religiouslyconfined their guardianship to the outer walls, while the denizens ofthe multitudinous alleys or passages were free to perpetrate theirmurders, ply their nefarious trades and revel and rot in the stench oftheir own degradations.

One by one these creatures crawled from their hiding places.

Men were seen clutching the rags of their scanty clothing while theirbleared eyes scanned every inch of the broken pavements.

Women, with odd garments thrown carelessly[Pg 8] about their shoulders,joined in the search, and for a brief time no word was spoken.

Finally an old creature, dirtier if possible than the rest, bent inform, and with one long brown fang extending down over her shrunkenchin, hobbled from a gloomy doorway and in a strident, nasal tone gaveher opinion to these searchers of iniquity.

"Hit's Queen Liz thet's done fer, HI knowed 'er yell; You'll find 'ersomewheres down by the Chinaman's shanty. HI spects 'e's knifed 'er."

"Good enough for 'er, the stuck hup 'uzzy," exclaimed one of thewretched beings that followed closely at the woman's heels.

"To think of 'er livin' 'ere for two years hand not speakin' to no onebut that greasy yaller-skin. HI knowed 'e'd get sick of 'er 'fore long."

"S'pose you think hit's your turn next," snapped up another bedraggledfemale, whereupon a vicious battle ensued between the two while the menand women halted in their search to watch, what to them was the veryessence of life,—a fight.

But the old crone who had first spoken crawled[Pg 9] on until she reached theChinaman's quarters, and there sure enough, a Mongolian, swarthy andgreasy, his beady eyes blazing with excitement, was bending over andtrying with poor success to withdraw a villainous looking weapon, halfknife, half dagger, from the breast of an apparently dying woman.

The victim was a familiar figure in the Alley, and her clean, handsomeface with its "hands-off" expression had long since won her the name of"Queen Liz."

While her failure to mingle with the other women or receive the beastlyattentions of the men had made her an object of hatred to all concerned,still she had won their respect by her evident ability to defend herselfat all times and in all circumstances, while the love she plainly boreher beautiful babe, a child of about two years, was a never ceasingsource of wonderment and ridicule to these hardened mortals.

It was true that Queen Liz spent much time in the quarters of thisparticular Mongolian while there were many more eligible parties of herown nationality in the passage, but Queen Liz was [Pg 10]evidently above herstation, and as the Mongolian in question was possessed of more worldlygoods than were his neighbors, it was reasonably supposed that shesought the comforts and luxuries of Chinese fans and Oolong inpreference to the other shanties with their ever prevalent aroma ofstale beer.

Nevertheless Queen Liz was not wholly overwhelmed by the wealth of SamHop Lee, because it was rumored that at certain intervals a gentlemanfrom the outside world; a member of actual London society was seen goingin and out of the narrow passage, Liz always accompanying him on theseexits and entrances, for protection, it was generally supposed.

The sight of the stranger in their own lawful precincts brought always amixture of sentiments to the thieves and sharpers who infested thesegloomy byways.

Here was an excellent opportunity for operations in their own particularline of business, but here also was a woman armed with the usual weaponsof the alley, ready and anxious to meet in mortal combat any and allthat should dare lay hands upon herself or guest.

[Pg 11]

Thus Queen Liz was let pretty severely alone by all, and her life pastand present was a mystery too obscure to be in any danger of beingsolved by the beer muddled brains of her neighbors.

But now Queen Liz was lying in the slime and mud of the alley with thedeadly knife sticking firmly in her side, and as this uncanny assemblageof human scavengers drew nearer, Sam Lee gave one more vigorous pull atthe weapon, and withdrawing it, turned its blade to the light of aflickering tallow dip, and instantly, in the eyes of each and every onepresent, he was acquitted of the horrible deed.

The knife was of a make unknown in the alley and only to be found in thepossession of a man to whom money is no object and who could well affordto follow his own fancies in the design

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