The Blue Cross by John Escott

The Blue Cross by John Escott

The passenger who got off the boat looked like an ordinary man. He did not stand out among the others. It was difficult to guess that he had a gun in his pocket. It was even more difficult to assume that he was one of the smartest people in Europe. Valentine was one of the most famous detectives on the planet. He was also a French policeman. This man arrived in London to arrest an elusive villain. The police officers from three countries chased Flambeau, but no one could catch him. The culprit was smart and confident. He could change either appearance or clothes. The only thing that Flambeau could not change was his tall stature. This was Valentine’s main lead. And he was sure only of the fact that the criminal did not sail with him on the boat. But he could be hiding in any other place and Valentine intended to find him at any cost.

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The Blue Cross by John Escott

The man who got off the boat at Harwich had a short black beard. There was nothing to show that he had a gun in his coat pocket, and nothing to show that he was one of the cleverest men in Europe. He was Valentin, the chief of the Paris police, and the most famous detective in the world. He was coming from Brussels to London to make the most important arrest of the century. Flambeau was in England, and the police of three countries were trying to catch this famous thief.

The Blue Cross by John Escott

In London there was a big meeting of priests from all over the world, and Valentin was guessing that Flambeau would use this meeting for some criminal plan or other. Flambeau was strong and clever, and he enjoyed a joke.

Once, he ran down the Rue de Rivoli with a policeman under one arm.

But how was Valentin to find Flambeau? There was one thing to help him. Flambeau could put on other clothes, or change the way he looked, but he was a very tall man and could not hide it. Because of this, Valentin was sure that Flambeau was not on the boat.

He was also sure that Flambeau did not get on the train going from Harwich to London. Only six other people got on during the journey. One short railwayman, three short farmers, one very short woman, and a very short priest going up to London from an Essex village.

When Valentin saw this last person, he almost laughed. The little priest had a round, simple face. He had several parcels which he found difficult to keep together, and a large umbrella which often fell to the floor. Many priests would be coming to London that day, Valentin thought. Coming from their quiet little towns and villages. This one was explaining to everyone that he must be careful because he was carrying something made of real silver ‘with blue stones’ in one of the parcels.

He got off the train at Stratford in east London with all his parcels, and came back for his umbrella. When he did, Valentin warned him not to tell everyone about his silver ‘with blue stones’…

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