The colossus of crime leaned over to the little rustic priest with a sort of sudden interest.
'You have heard of it?' he asked. 'Where have you heard of it?'
'Well, I mustn't tell you his name, of course,' said the little man simply. 'He was a penitent, you know. He had lived prosperously for about twenty years entirely on duplicate brown-paper parcels. And so, you see, when I began to suspect you, I thought of this poor chap's way of doing it at once.'
'Began to suspect me?' repeated the outlaw with increased intensity. 'Did you really have the gumption to suspect me just because I brought you up to this bare part of the heath?'
'No, no,' said Brown with an air of apology. 'You see, I suspected you when we first met. It's that little bulge up the sleeve where you people have the spiked bracelet.'
'How in Tartarus,' cried Flambeau, 'did you ever hear of the spiked bracelet?'
'Oh, one's little flock, you know!' said Father Brown, arching his eyebrows rather blankly.
One of detective fiction's most idiosyncratic and best-loved characters, G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown is both a diminutive, genial clergyman and a master sleuth. In these two stories involving the ingenious, unobtrusive priest, a murdered man denounces his killer with his dying breaths, and a brilliant French inspector follows a trail of gentil carnage across London.
This book includes The Strange Crime of John Boulnois and The Blue Cross.
G.K. Chesteron was born in 1874, and educated at St Paul's School, where, despite his efforts to achieve honourable oblivion at the bottom of his class, he was singled out as a boy with distinct literary promise. Probably his most famous stories are those of 'Father Brown', but he wrote much about every conceivable subject under or beyond the sun. The best accounts of his life are to be found in his own Autobiography, published soon after his death in 1936, and in Miss Maisie Ward's Life of him. Many of his books have been published by Penguin.