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refused? Leopold knew that the minds of men were wont to

source:Follow the wavesedit:lawtime:2023-12-06 02:19:40

Then an extraordinary thing happened. The whole cupboard noiselessly swung outwards while Desmond, falling forward, caught his forehead a resounding bang against the edge of the recess in which it moved. He picked himself up in a very savage frame of mind--a severe blow on the head is not the ideal cure for hypochondria--but the flow of objurgatives froze on his lips. For he found himself looking into Mr. Bellward's library.

refused? Leopold knew that the minds of men were wont to

He stepped into the room to see how the cupboard looked from the other side. He found that a whole section of bookshelves had swung back with the cupboard, in other words that the cupboard in the toolshed and the section of bookshelves were apparently all of one piece.

refused? Leopold knew that the minds of men were wont to

He carefully examined the walls on either side of the recess in the library to see how the mechanism worked. The bookshelves were open, made of mahogany, the sides elaborately carved with leaves and flowers. Desmond ran his hand down the perpendicular section immediately on the right of the recess. About halfway down--to be exact, it was in line with the fifth shelf from the floor--his fingers encountered a little knob which gave under pressure--the heart of a flower which released the section of bookshelves. Going back to the shed, Desmond examined the place against which his hand had rested as he sought to force the lock of the cupboard. As he expected, he found a similar catch let into the surface of the oak, but so cunningly inlaid that it could scarce be detected with the naked eye.

refused? Leopold knew that the minds of men were wont to

Before proceeding further with his investigations, Desmond softly turned the lock of the library door. He also shot forward a bolt he found on the inside of the door of the shed. He did not want to be interrupted by the housekeeper or the odd man.

Then he went back to the library and pulled the cupboard to behind him. It moved quite easily into place. He wanted to have a look at the bookshelves; for he was curious to know whether the cupboard was actually all of one piece with the section of bookshelves as it seemed to be. He was prepared to find that the books were merely library dummies, but no! He tried half a dozen shelves at random, and every book he pulled out was real.

Desmond was not easily baled, and he determined to scrutinize every shelf, of this particular section in turn. With the aid of one of those step-ladders folding into a chair which you sometimes see in libraries, he examined the topmost shelves but without result. He took down in turn Macaulay 's History of England, a handsome edition of the works of Swift, and a set of Moliere without getting any nearer the end of his quest.

The fourth shelf from the top was devoted to a library edition of Shakespeare, large books bound in red morocco. Desmond, who, by this time was getting cramp in the arms from stretching upwards and had made his hands black with dust, pulled out a couple of volumes at hazard from the set and found them real books like the rest.

"Oh, damn!" he exclaimed, and had half a mind to abandon the search and have a go with hammer and chisel at the cupboard in the shed. By this time it was almost dusk in the library, and Desmond, before abandoning the search, struck a match to have a final rapid glance over the shelves. The light showed him a curious flatness about the backs of the last six volumes of Shakespeare. He dropped the match and laid hold of a volume of the Comedies. It resisted. He tugged. Still it would not come. Exerting all his strength, he pulled, the gilt-lettered backs of the last six volumes came away in his hands in one piece and he crashed off the ladder to the ground.

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