The Duchess of Wiltshires Diamonds

Guy Newell Booth
Title: The Duchess of Wiltshire's Diamonds Author: Guy Boothby * A
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Title: The Duchess of Wiltshire's Diamonds Author: Guy Boothby

To the reflective mind the rapidity with which the inhabitants of the
world's greatest city seize upon a new name or idea and familiarise
themselves with it, can scarcely prove otherwise than astonishing. As
an illustration of my meaning let me take the case of Klimo--the now
famous private detective, who has won for himself the right to be
considered as great as Lecocq, or even the late lamented Sherlock

Up to a certain morning London had never even heard his name, nor
had it the remotest notion as to who or what he might be. It was as
sublimely ignorant and careless on the subject as the inhabitants of
Kamtchaika or Peru. Within twenty-four hours, however, the whole
aspect of the case was changed. The man, woman, or child who had not
seen his posters, or heard his name, was counted an ignoramus
unworthy of intercourse with human beings.
Princes became familiar with it as their trains tore them to Windsor to
luncheon with the Queen; the nobility noticed and commented upon it
as they drove about the town: merchants, and business men generally,
read it as they made their ways by omnibus 01--Underground, to their
various shops and counting-houses; street boys called each other by it
as a nickname; Music Hall Artistes introduced it into their patter, while
it was even rumoured that the Stock Exchange itself had paused in the
full flood tide of business to manufacture a riddle on the subject.
That Klimo made his profession pay him well was certain, first from
the fact that his advertisements must have cost a good round sum, and,
second, because he had taken a mansion in Belverton Street, Park Lane,
next door to Porchester House, where, to the dismay of that aristocratic
neighbourhood, he advertised that he was prepared to receive and be
consulted by his clients. The invitation was responded to with alacrity,
and from that day forward, between the hours of twelve and two, the
pavement upon the north side of the street was lined with carriages,
every one containing some person desirous of testing the great man's
I must here explain that I have narrated all this in order to show the
state of affairs existing in Belverton Street and Park Lane when Simon
Carne arrived, or was supposed to arrive in England. If my memory
serves me correctly, it was on Wednesday, the 3rd of May, that the Earl
of Amberley drove to Victoria to meet and welcome the man whose
acquaintance he had made in India under such peculiar circumstances,
and under the spell of whose fascination he and his family had fallen so
Reaching the station, his lordship descended from his carriage, and

made his way to the platform set apart for the reception of the
Continental express. He walked with a jaunty air, and seemed to be on
the best of terms with himself and the world in general. How little he
suspected the existence of the noose into which he was so innocently
running his head!
As if out of compliment to his arrival, the train put in an appearance
within a few moments of his reaching the platform. He immediately
placed himself in such a position that he could make sure of seeing the
man he wanted, and waited patiently until he should come in sight.
Carne, however, was not among the first batch, indeed, the majority of
passengers had passed before his lordship caught sight of him.
One thing was very certain, however great the crush might have been, it
would have been difficult to mistake Carne's figure. The man's
infirmity and the peculiar beauty of his face rendered him easily
recognisable. Possibly, after his long sojourn in India, he found the
morning cold, for he wore a long
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