The man who had disturbed my Sunday morning sleep—I found when I reached the Glenton—was a slim, white-faced person of about twenty-five, with big brown eyes that were red-rimmed just now from either sleeplessness or crying, or both. His long brown hair was rumpled when he opened the door to admit me; and he wore a mauve dressing-robe spotted with big jade parrots over wine-colored silk pajamas.
The room into which he led me resembled an auctioneer’s establishment just before the sale—or maybe one of these alley tea-rooms. Fat blue vases, crooked red vases, lanky yellow vases, vases of various shapes and colors; marble statuettes, ebony statuettes, statuettes of any material; lanterns, lamps and candlesticks; draperies, hangings and rugs of all sorts; odds and ends of furniture that were all somehow queerly designed; peculiar pictures hung here and there in unexpected places. A hard room to feel comfortable in.
“My fiancée,” he began immediately in a high-pitched voice that was within a notch of hysteria, “has disappeared! Something has happened to her! Foul play of some horrible sort! I want you to find her—to save her from this terrible thing that...”
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About the Author
One of the masters of crime fiction and a former operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) first introduced his iconic private eye, Sam Spade, in 1930 in his famous novel The Maltese Falcon. He followed that novel with The Thin Man in 1932 which introduced the incomparable and charming sleuths Nick and Nora Charles. He was also the author of Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, and The Glass Key, as well the Collected Case Files of the Continental Op, most of which were published in Black Mask magazine.
Date of Birth:May 27, 1894
Date of Death:January 10, 1961
Place of Birth:St. Mary, Maryland
Place of Death:New York
Education:Baltimore Polytechnic Institute