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By Stanislaw Lem

A former astronaut became inner most detective is dispatched to Naples to find the trend in a mysterious sequence of deaths and disappearances happening at a beach spa. A Helen and Kurt Wolff e-book

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This was now empty, and the fireplace was full of charred sheets of paper. Folios of parchment not damaged by the fire had been cut into little strips with a pair of barber's scissors, and frames for mounting woodcuts had been completely demolished. None of the hotel property had been damaged except for a curtain cord that had been ripped out and made into a noose, indicating he had tried to hang himself but failed when the cord wasn't strong enough to support his weight. A stool placed next to the window provided still further evidence.

They found him unconscious in the smoke-filled room. An empty bottle of sleeping pills suggested he had taken an overdose, so he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. As he had been scheduled to go to Rome at the end of June to attend an auction, Mittelhorn had brought along a trunk containing rare and old prints. This was now empty, and the fireplace was full of charred sheets of paper. Folios of parchment not damaged by the fire had been cut into little strips with a pair of barber's scissors, and frames for mounting woodcuts had been completely demolished.

He kept to his room the whole day, skipped lunch, and ordered dinner through room service. When the waiter appeared at the door, he found the room empty and heard Swift talking to him through a crack in the bathroom door. The same scene was repeated the following day—as if he couldn't stand the sight of the waiter. He kept up these antics until one day another man checked into the hotel, a man named Harold Kahn, an old friend and former business partner of Swift's who happened to be en route to the States after a long stay in Japan.

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