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The Woman in the Alcove Anna Katharine Green

XIII The Missing Recommendation

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"Is the steward's disposition a bad one." I asked, "that this display of feeling should impress you so much?"

"I don't know what to say about that yet. Opinions differ on this point. His friends speak of him as the mildest kind of a man who, without native executive skill, could not manage the great household he has in charge. His enemies, and we have unearthed a few, say, on the contrary, that they have never had any confidence in his quiet ways; that these were not in keeping with the fact or his having been a California miner in the early fifties.

"You can see I am putting you very nearly where we are ourselves. Nor do I see why I should not add that this passion of the seemingly subdued but really hot-headed steward for a woman, who never showed him anything but what he might call an insulting indifference, struck us as a clue to be worked up, especially after we received this answer to a telegram we sent late last night to the nurse who is caring for Mr. Fairbrother in New Mexico."

He handed me a small yellow slip and I read:

"The steward left Mr. Fairbrother at El Moro. He has not heard from him since.


"For Abner Fairbrother."

"At El Moro?" I cried. "Why, that was long enough ago"

"For him to have reached New York before the murder. Exactly so, if he took advantage of every close connection."

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The Woman in the Alcove
Anna Katharine Green

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