Read CHAPTER - THE LAST of The Book of All-Power , free online book, by Edgar Wallace, on ReadCentral.com.

“All my life,” said Cherry Bim, fondling his Derby hat affectionately, “I have been what is called by night-court reporters a human parricide.”

He occupied a corner seat in the first-class compartment which had been placed at the disposal of the party.  To the Peace Commissioners in their saloon the fugitives had no existence.  Officially they were not on the train, and the hot meal which came back to them from the Commissioner’s own kitchenette was officially sent to “extra train-men,” and was entered as such on the books of the chef.

The girl smiled.  There was cause for happiness, for these dreary flats which were passing the window were the flats of Poland.

“I have often thought, Mr. Bim, that you were a human angel!”

Cherry beamed.

“Why, that’s what I was named after,” he said.  “Ain’t you heard of the Cherry Bims?  My sister Sarah was named the same way ­you’ve heard of Sarah Bims?”

“Seraphims,” laughed Malcolm; “true, it’s near enough.  But why this dissertation on your moral character, Cherry?”

“I’m only remarking,” said Cherry, “I wouldn’t like you gu ­fellers to go away thinkin’ that high-class female society hadn’t brought about a change in what I would describe, for want of a better word, as my outlook.”

“All our outlooks have been shaken up,” said the girl, laying her hand on Cherry’s arm.

“I am a Grand Duchess of Russia and you are ­you are ­”

“Yes, I’m that,” said Cherry, helping her out.  “I’m one of nature’s extractors.  But I’m through.  I hate the idea of workin’ and maybe I won’t have to, because I’ve got enough of the ­well, any way, I’ve got enough.”

Malcolm slapped him on the knee.

“You’ve brought more from Russia than we have, Cherry,” he said.

“But not the greatest prize.”  It was the silent Malinkoff who spoke.  “Highness, is there no way of recovering your father’s fortune?”

She shook her head.

“It is gone,” she said quietly, “and if Russia were pacified to-morrow I should be poor ­you know that, Malcolm!”

He nodded.

“I have not even,” she smiled, “poor Israel Kensky’s wonderful book.”

“I was a careless fool,” growled Malcolm, “when we struck the road I was so intent upon getting to the auto that I did not realize the book had dropped out.  We hadn’t a second to lose,” he explained for the third time to Cherry.  “The soldiers were searching in the yard when Malinkoff found the breach in the wall.  I hated leaving you ­”

“Aw!” said the disgusted Cherry.  “Ain’t we settled that?  Didn’t I hear you tellin’ Percy ­and say, is it true that the young lady is ­is broke?”

“‘Broke’ is exactly the word,” she said cheerfully.  “I am going to be a nice Scottish wife and live within my husband’s means ­why, Cherry?”

He had a book in his hand ­the “Book of All-Power.”

“Where ?”

“Found it on the road,” he said.  “I broke the lock an’ tore out a couple of leaves to light a flare.  I wanted to flag the train ­but I’ve got ’em ­the leaves, I mean.”

“You found it?”

She reached out her hand for the volume, but he did not give it to her.

“I can’t read Russian,” he said.  “What does this say?” and he pointed to the inscription on the cover, and she read, translating as she went on: 

“THE BOOK OF ALL-POWER

“Herein is the magic of power and the words and symbols which
unlock the sealed hearts of men and turn their proud wills to
water.”

Cherry was silent.

“That’s a lie,” he said quietly, “for it didn’t turn my will to water ­take it, miss!”

She took it from his hand, wondering, and turned the broken cover.  She could not believe her eyes ... and turned the leaves quickly.  Every page was a Bank of England note worth a thousand pounds.

“That was how Kensky kept his money evidently,” said Malinkoff.  “In such troublesome times as the Jews passed through, he must have thought it safest to convert his property into English money, and when he had reached the limit of his hoard he bound the notes into a book.”

The girl turned her bewildered face to Cherry.

“Did you know that this was money?” she asked.

“Sure,” he said; “didn’t I start in to burn it?”