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Under the Andes by Rex Stout
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UNDER THE ANDES
by Rex Stout




Chapter I.

THE SWEETHEART OF A KING.


The scene was not exactly new to me. Moved by the spirit of
adventure, or by an access of ennui which overtakes me at times,
I had several times visited the gaudy establishment of Mercer, on
the fashionable side of Fifth Avenue in the Fifties. In either
case I had found disappointment; where the stake is a matter of
indifference there can be no excitement; and besides, I had been
always in luck.

But on this occasion I had a real purpose before me, though not
an important one, and I surrendered my hat and coat to the
servant at the door with a feeling of satisfaction.

At the entrance to the main room I met Bob Garforth, leaving.
There was a scowl on his face and his hand trembled as he held it
forth to take mine.

"Harry is inside. What a rotten hole," said he, and passed on. I
smiled at his remark--it was being whispered about that Garforth
had lost a quarter of a million at Mercer's within the month--