Assassin of Shadows by Lawrence Goldstone
English | 2019 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 1.4 Mb
Assassin of Shadows : Just after 4 p.m. on September 6, 1901, twenty-eight year old anarchist Leon Czolgosz pumped two shots into the chest and abdomen of President William McKinley. Czolgosz had been on a receiving line waiting to shake the president’s hand, his revolver concealed in an oversized bandage covering his right hand and wrist. McKinley had two Secret Service agents by his side, but neither made a move to stop the assailant. After he was apprehended, Czolgosz said simply, “I done my duty.”
Both law enforcement and the press insisted that Czolgosz was merely the tip of a vast and murderous conspiracy, likely instigated by the “high priestess of anarchy,” Emma Goldman. To untangle its threads and bring the remaining conspirators to justice, the president’s most senior advisors choose two other Secret Service agents, Walter George and Harry Swayne. What they uncover will not only absolve the anarchists, but also expose a plot that will threaten the foundations of American democracy, and likely cost them their lives
“Walter laid Andrei down softly, as if he were a swaddled infant. With the Ukrainian dealt with, Walter pulled the pistol from his belt, took one deep breath, then kicked open the door to the front room. Janos and Imre were facing the front door, girded to repel a frontal attack. At the sound of the door flying open, they spun, but before they got halfway round, Walter’s Colts had established who was who in the room.
Walter waggled the Colts and the shotguns were laid gently on the floor. Walter nodded to Janos—or was it Imre—to unlock the front door.
The door swung open to reveal a thick-chested, bull-necked man in a skimmer, a long mustache laying walrus-like down to his jaw. His gun was drawn, another Colt, and he was backed by at least twelve other men. All wore badges: gold five-pointed stars with USA debossed in the center. The man in the skimmer, Harry Swayne by name, surveyed the scene—one man crumpled in a heap, two with hands raised—then replaced his weapon in a shoulder holster. Harry put his hands on his hips, pursed his lips, and nodded with only slightly exaggerated admiration.
“Nice work. Got the dough?”
Walter nodded to the sack that lay at the entrance to the back room.
“Fifty thousand, I’d say. Maybe more,” Walter replied, seemingly unimpressed by the amount.
Harry Swayne sniffed. “And not a cent of it genuine.”
Soon afterward, the back door of the Black Maria was closed and locked, Andrei Vytvytsky deposited on the floor in the back, the two Hungarians sitting on either side. By that time, Janos and Imre had become aware that their supposed comrade-in-arms had intended to abandon them to the law and, the last Harry and Walter saw of them, they were taking turns depositing kicks on Andrei’s head and chest.”