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فصل 07

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CHAPTER SEVEN

Shortly after, they were sitting opposite each other, cups of tea on the table. Mrs Brodie had recomposed herself. Angus introduced himself: “I’m Angus.”

“Eleanor Brodie. Did you know my husband?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Well, that’s no great loss.” She sounded bitter. “He’s gone and now I have to clear up his mess. It appears the successful gallery owner wasn’t so canny after all. Seems he wasn’t just cheating on me…”

Angus raised his eyebrows slightly but didn’t say anything. Mrs Brodie didn’t appear to notice. “I thought Geoffrey had saved, but it turns out he owes thousands of pounds. And to whom? Some thug! God! I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

The muscles in her jaw tightened as she said this. She glanced at him quickly before continuing. “I don’t why I’m telling you this. I don’t even know you.” She stiffened a moment, her gaze once more directed at him: “You’re not from the press, are you? You look familiar.”

Angus blushed, “No, I’m not a journalist, Mrs Brodie. But I’ve written a book, maybe…”

She interrupted him, “Of course, you’re the crime writer. What exactly are you doing here? What do you want?” Her tone was accusatory.

Angus squirmed in his seat, feeling deeply ashamed. The words came tumbling out as he tried to explain.

“I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to pry. I heard about what happened and I’m trying to write a new story and it seemed like a good idea, you know, and I saw the dog run away and then stumbled across her and brought her back, and then I saw her, and… I’m sorry.”

“It was you who found Jessie?” Angus nodded. They sat in silence while Eleanor Brodie thought about this piece of information.

At last, she spoke, “You’re going to use my husband’s death in a story?”

“No, not exactly, I’m not sure.” Angus took a deep breath, “I’m not explaining myself very well, I’m sorry. I’m… I’m here because I’m nosy, I really am sorry, it was very thoughtless of me. The story is just a vague idea at the moment, I don’t know how it’ll turn out, what it’ll be about.”

Mrs Brodie didn’t answer and Angus wondered how he could make the situation better. “Is there anything else I can do for you?” he asked, as Mrs Brodie stood up to clear the table.

She placed the mugs in the sink and turned to face him, hands tightly gripping the edge of the sink. She looked exhausted.

“You seem to be good with dogs… you could take Jessie for a while. I can’t look after her at the moment. You can come round to the house to collect some food and things for her.”

All Angus could do was agree.

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