A Novel Suicide Club can be found in






A Novel Suicide Club.

BY WALTER BROWNE.

THE following extraordinary advertisement appeared in a London paper one day last summer. It was in an obscure comer and hardly likely to attract wide-spread notice, yet its weird invitation to suicide did not escape the eagle eye of my chief at Scotland Yard, at which famous establishment I was then employed:

WHO WILL DIE WITH ME TO-NIGHT?

I am tired of a solitary life and can bear it no longer. I have neither family nor friends, and I seek others similarly situated who will join me in a plan to end our lives together in comfort. Meet me in the South Kensington Museum at six o'clock, and wear a badge of crape upon your arms. I will wear a similar badge.

X. Y. Z.

I was ordered to investigate and, if possible, to prevent the formation of such a Suicide Club as seemed to he projected, the methods of which were to he so sweeping and so sudden.

Although armed with a warrant for the arrest of "John Doe, others implicated, etc.," I was especially warned not to make any arrests until I was fully satisfied as to which of those who wore the badge of death, if more than one should appear, was the author of the advertisement and the founder of the new Suicide Club. I was further instructed not to act until I was sure that the crucial time had arrived and that the strange body of cranks were about to execute their compact to die together.

It was with mingled feelings of amusement and awe that I examined my revolver before starting out on my strange adventure. I was totally unaware of the number of desperate mortals I might be called upon to encounter, but when I reflected upon the folly of attempting to make them desist from their deadly purpose at the point of my pistol, the absurdity of the situation made me smile. There was a suggestion of ghastly humor in the idea of covering a man with a revolver and bidding him, in the name of the law, desist from committing the crime of self-slaughter.

South Kensington Museum is by no means a well-defined trysting place, and as I wandered through its many spacious galleries I feared lest I should fail altogether to encounter the bloodthirsty X. Y. Z., who had not only determined that lie...

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