Pheats of Phrasing — Edgar Wallace’s “The Green Rust”

Your hum­ble blogger/author (or “blogth­or”) will be mak­ing reg­u­lar post­ings of ran­dom pas­sage excerpts from var­i­ous tomes in his far-too-large library. Today, in Pheats of Phras­ing: Edgar Wallace’s The Green Rust (1919).

She wait­ed until he was out of hear­ing, then she went back noise­less­ly to the sit­ting-room. She pushed open the door of the ser­vice lift and test­ed the ropes. There were two, one which sup­port­ed the lift and one by which it was hauled up, and she gath­ered that these with the lift itself formed an end­less chain.

Grip­ping both ropes firm­ly she crept into the con­fined space of the cup­board and let her­self down hand over hand. She had about twelve feet to descend before she reached the kitchen entrance of the ele­va­tor. She squeezed through the nar­row open­ing and found her­self in a stone-flagged kitchen. It was emp­ty. A small fire glowed in the grate. Her own tray with all the crock­ery unwashed was on the dress­er, and there were the rem­nants of a meal at one end of the plain table. She tip­toed across the kitchen to the door. It was bolt­ed top and bot­tom and locked. For­tu­nate­ly the key was in the lock, and in two min­utes she was out­side in a small court­yard beneath the lev­el of the ground.

One end of the court­yard led past anoth­er win­dow, and that she could not risk. To her right was a flight of stone steps, and that was obvi­ous­ly the safer way. She found her­self in a lit­tle park which for­tu­nate­ly for her was plen­ti­ful­ly sprin­kled with clumps of rhodo­den­drons, and she crept from bush to bush, tak­ing care to keep out of sight of the house. She had the telegram and the mon­ey in her hand, and her first object was to get this out­side. It took her twen­ty min­utes to reach the wall. It was too high to scale and there was no sign of a lad­der. The only way out was the lit­tle brown door she had seen from her bed­room win­dow, and cau­tious­ly she made her way back, flit­ting from bush to bush until she came to the place where a clear view of the door and the build­ing to its left could be obtained.