The Man Who Knew Too Much, Gilbert Keith Chesterton
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The Man Who Knew Too Much

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This contains the first 8 of the 12 stories in the published book The Man Who Knew Too Much and Other Stories. In these 8 detective thrillers, the main protagonist is Horne Fisher. (The omitted four are individual stories with separate heroes/detectives.)
Due to close relationships with the leading political figures in the land, Fisher knows too much about the private politics behind the public politics of the day. This knowledge is a burden to him because he is able to uncover the injustices and corruptions of the murders in each story, but in most cases the real killer gets away with the killing because to bring him openly to justice would create a greater chaos: starting a war, reinciting Irish rebellions, or removing public faith in the government.
A film of the same title was made in 1934 and remade in 1956, both directed by Alfred Hitchcock, but the films had nothing at all in common (except the title) with these short stories. Hitchcock decided to use the title simply because he had the rights for some of the stories.
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"That's what's the matter with me. That's what's the matter with all of us, and the whole show; we know too much. Too much about one another; too much about ourselves. That's why I'm really interested, just now, about one thing that I don't know."
But it was not this discovery that had riveted Fisher's eye, but something even more solid.
"It's getting jolly cold," his lordship continued. "My sister hopes we shall have some skating as well as dancing."

"If the crusaders come in full armor," said the other, "you must be careful not to drown your ancestors."

"Oh, there's no fear of that," answered Bulmer; "this precious lake of ours is not two feet deep anywhere." And with one of his flourishing gestures he stuck his stick into the water to demonstrate its shallowness. They could see the short end bent in the water, so that he seemed for a moment to lean his large weight on a breaking staff.

"The worst you can expect is to see an abbot sit down rather suddenly," he added, turning away. "Well, au revoir; I'll let you know about it later."
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