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|The Mysterious Affair at Styles||Agatha Christie|
XI. The Case For The Prosecution
|Page 5 of 11||
"The Belgian detective who was employed on the case asked me to search for it."
"Where did you eventually discover it?"
"On the top of--of--a wardrobe."
"On top of the prisoner's wardrobe?"
"I--I believe so."
"Did you not find it yourself?"
"Then you must know where you found it?"
"Yes, it was on the prisoner's wardrobe."
"That is better."
An assistant from Parkson's, Theatrical Costumiers, testified that on June 29th, they had supplied a black beard to Mr. L. Cavendish, as requested. It was ordered by letter, and a postal order was enclosed. No, they had not kept the letter. All transactions were entered in their books. They had sent the beard, as directed, to "L. Cavendish, Esq., Styles Court."
Sir Ernest Heavywether rose ponderously.
"Where was the letter written from?"
"From Styles Court."
"The same address to which you sent the parcel?"
"And the letter came from there?"
Like a beast of prey, Heavywether fell upon him:
"How do you know?"
"I--I don't understand."
"How do you know that letter came from Styles? Did you notice the postmark?"
"Ah, you did *NOT notice the postmark! And yet you affirm so confidently that it came from Styles. It might, in fact, have been any postmark?"
"In fact, the letter, though written on stamped notepaper, might have been posted from anywhere? From Wales, for instance?"
The witness admitted that such might be the case, and Sir Ernest signified that he was satisfied.
Elizabeth Wells, second housemaid at Styles, stated that after she had gone to bed she remembered that she had bolted the front door, instead of leaving it on the latch as Mr. Inglethorp had requested. She had accordingly gone downstairs again to rectify her error. Hearing a slight noise in the West wing, she had peeped along the passage, and had seen Mr. John Cavendish knocking at Mrs. Inglethorp's door.
Sir Ernest Heavywether made short work of her, and under his unmerciful bullying she contradicted herself hopelessly, and Sir Ernest sat down again with a satisfied smile on his face.
With the evidence of Annie, as to the candle grease on the floor, and as to seeing the prisoner take the coffee into the boudoir, the proceedings were adjourned until the following day.
As we went home, Mary Cavendish spoke bitterly against the prosecuting counsel.
"That hateful man! What a net he has drawn around my poor John! How he twisted every little fact until he made it seem what it wasn't!"
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