Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blogging Sax Rohmer’s The Yellow Claw – Part Two

Sax Rohmer’s The Yellow Claw was originally serialized in five installments in Lippincott’s from February through June 1915. The serial was subsequently published in book form later that same year by Methuen Press in the UK and McBride & Nast in the US. The novel chooses to divide the story into four sections. This week, we examine the second part.

Rohmer shifts gears unexpectedly by focusing Part Two of the novel on Soames, the Leroux butler who skipped out when Inspector Dunbar arrived at his employer’s home to investigate a murder. We learn Luke Soames fled because of his chequered past (he was dismissed by his previous employer for theft) that led him to falling prey to the sinister Mr. Gianapolis who arranged for Soames’ employment in the Leroux household. Soames is aware that Mr. Gianapolis works for a mysterious Mr. King who has some secret connection to Mrs. Leroux, but for awhile Soames is content to question little and perform the few curious extra duties that Gianapolis requests of him.


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