Eugenie La Verde had been found dead in her room and the murderer had not left a single clue, however slight, by which he could be traced. Her face was distorted and swollen almost beyond recognition, and in spots was highly discolored, where the blood had coagulated beneath the skin. Her mouth was open, and her eyes were wide and staring, even yet filled with an expression of the horror through which she had passed just before her death.
For one instant only, Nick neglected his usual caution. Nick received a blow on the back of his head which sent him stunned and helpless to the floor, face down. When consciousness returned to him, a faint smell of burning wood reached his nostrils. The flat had been set on fire and he was locked in a closet!!!