There are many things people are ready to do when they need money. A modest journalist is forced to apply to the head of Marriner’s Waxworks and ask to let him spend a night in this museum. There is a Murderers’ Room. Many waxworks of the most terrific maniacs in the world are gathered there. It is terrifying to spend some time along in this room. A brave man, who agrees to spend a night in the museum, will get a fee. The journalist is going to do this. He also promises the head to write the article about Marriner’s Waxworks into the famous newspaper. It will be a good advertising for attracting the visitors. The deal is easy. Now the journalist has to stay at night in the museum. The most terrible thing is the waxwork of one French maniac. He hypnotized his victims before to wrest their throats. The maniac is said to have died, but his body isn’t found yet.Download Ebook Download AudioBook
The Waxwork by Alfred Burrage
It was closing time at Marriner’s Waxworks. The last few visitors came out in twos and threes through the big glass doors. But Mr Marriner, the boss, sat in his office, talking to a caller, Raymond Hewson. Hewson was a thin man, carefully but poorly dressed. He spoke well but seemed to be losing his fight to do well in the world.
Marriner began to speak, in answer to a question from his visitor.
‘Please don’t think that what you’re asking for is anything new,’ he said. ‘A lot of people ask to stay the night in our Murderers’ Room. We always say no, because it does nothing for us. But you are a writer. Now that’s quite different. We like people to read about us. It helps to bring in more visitors – and more money.’
‘That’s just what I thought,’ said Hewson. ‘I knew that you wanted my help.’
Marriner laughed. ‘Oh I know what you’re going to say next. Somebody told me that Madame Tussaud’s gives people one hundred pounds to stay the night in their Murderers’ Room. But you mustn’t think that we’re as rich as they are. Tell me, what newspaper do you work for, Mr Hewson?’
‘Oh I work for any newspaper that takes what I write,’ said Hewson carefully. ‘I know that I can easily sell this story. The Morning Times takes anything to do with murderers. Just think: “A Night with Marriner’s Murderers”. Every newspaper is going to want that!’
Marriner thought for a minute. ‘Very well, Mr Hewson, let’s say this. If your story comes out in The Morning Times, there’s five pounds waiting for you here the next day. But please understand it’s not easy, what you want to do. I know all about our waxworks, you see. I walk past them hundreds of times every day. But spend a night down there with all those figures? No thank you!’
‘Why not?’ asked Hewson.
‘It’s difficult to say. I don’t like the idea, that’s all. You’re not going to have an easy night, you know.’
Hewson knew that only too well. But he smiled, not wanting to show his feelings. He remembered his wife and family. He must work hard because of them. They had not got much money left, this month. He must not lose this lucky opening. That newspaper was going to pay him well for this story. And then there was the five pounds from Marriner too. Perhaps if he wrote a good story, the newspaper had more work to give him. But he must do this story well first…