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The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad

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The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

CHAPTER I



Mr Verloc, going out in the morning, left his shop nominally in
charge of his brother-in-law.  It could be done, because there was
very little business at any time, and practically none at all
before the evening.  Mr Verloc cared but little about his
ostensible business.  And, moreover, his wife was in charge of his
brother-in-law.

The shop was small, and so was the house.  It was one of those
grimy brick houses which existed in large quantities before the era
of reconstruction dawned upon London.  The shop was a square box of
a place, with the front glazed in small panes.  In the daytime the
door remained closed; in the evening it stood discreetly but
suspiciously ajar.

The window contained photographs of more or less undressed dancing
girls; nondescript packages in wrappers like patent medicines;
closed yellow paper envelopes, very flimsy, and marked two-and-six
in heavy black figures; a few numbers of ancient French comic
publications hung across a string as if to dry; a dingy blue china
bowl, a casket of black wood, bottles of marking ink, and rubber
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