A novel by Fergus Hume, author of "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab". 
Sequel to Madame Midas. 


A WET Sunday—dreary, dismal, and infinitely sloppy. Even the bells ringing the people into evening service seemed to feel the depressing influence of the weather, and their brazen voices sounded hoarse and grumbling, as if they rang under protest. Cold, too !—not a brisk sharp frost —for here in Melbourne frost and snow are unknown ; but a persevering, insinuating, gnawing cold, just disagreeable enough to make one shiver and shake with anxiety to get home to a bright fire and dry clothes. Overhead a leaden-coloured sky, with great masses of black clouds, from out whose sombre bosoms poured the steady rain, splashing noisily on the shining roofs, and swelling the gutters in the streets to miniature torrents. 


Fergus Hume

Fergus Hume (1859-1932) Ferguson Wright Hume was born in England. At the age of three his father emigrated with his family to New Zealand. He attended high school in Dunedin and studied law at the University of Otago. Shortly after graduation he left for Melbourne where he obtained a post as a barrister's clerk. After failed attempts to become a playwright, he decided to write a novel instead. Not knowing what to write: "I enquired of a leading Melbourne bookseller what style of book he sold most of He replied that the detective stories of Gaboriau had a large sale; and as, at this time, I had never even heard of this author, I bought all his works - eleven or thereabouts - and read them carefully. The style of these stories attracted me, and I determined to write a book of the same class; containing a mystery, a murder, and a description of low life in Melbourne." The result was The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, which became a great success after he self-published. After the success of his first novel, Hume returned to England. He resided in London for few years and then he moved to the Essex countryside where he lived in Thundersley for thirty years. 

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