Read Books Online, for Free
|The Mysterious Affair at Styles||Agatha Christie|
VI. The Inquest
|Page 4 of 8||
"That would have been the table by the bed?" commented the Coroner.
"I opened my door," continued Mary, "and listened. In a few minutes a bell rang violently. Dorcas came running down and woke my husband, and we all went to my mother-in-law's room, but it was locked----"
The Coroner interrupted her.
"I really do not think we need trouble you further on that point. We know all that can be known of the subsequent happenings. But I should be obliged if you would tell us all you overheard of the quarrel the day before."
There was a faint insolence in her voice. She raised her hand and adjusted the ruffle of lace at her neck, turning her head a little as she did so. And quite spontaneously the thought flashed across my mind: "She is gaining time!"
"Yes. I understand," continued the Coroner deliberately, "that you were sitting reading on the bench just outside the long window of the boudoir. That is so, is it not?"
This was news to me and glancing sideways at Poirot, I fancied that it was news to him as well.
There was the faintest pause, the mere hesitation of a moment, before she answered:
"Yes, that is so."
"And the boudoir window was open, was it not?"
Surely her face grew a little paler as she answered:
"Then you cannot have failed to hear the voices inside, especially as they were raised in anger. In fact, they would be more audible where you were than in the hall."
"Will you repeat to us what you overheard of the quarrel?"
"I really do not remember hearing anything."
"Do you mean to say you did not hear voices?"
"Oh, yes, I heard the voices, but I did not hear what they said." A faint spot of colour came into her cheek. "I am not in the habit of listening to private conversations."
The Coroner persisted.
"And you remember nothing at all? *NOTHING, Mrs. Cavendish? Not one stray word or phrase to make you realize that it *WAS a private conversation?"
She paused, and seemed to reflect, still outwardly as calm as ever.
"Yes; I remember. Mrs. Inglethorp said something--I do not remember exactly what--about causing scandal between husband and wife."
"Ah!" the Coroner leant back satisfied. "That corresponds with what Dorcas heard. But excuse me, Mrs. Cavendish, although you realized it was a private conversation, you did not move away? You remained where you were?"
I caught the momentary gleam of her tawny eyes as she raised them. I felt certain that at that moment she would willingly have torn the little lawyer, with his insinuations, into pieces, but she replied quietly enough:
"No. I was very comfortable where I was. I fixed my mind on my book."
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004