فصل 24

مجموعه: کارآگاه مارپل / کتاب: یک جیب پر از گندم سیاه / فصل 24

فصل 24

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CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR

Miss Marple was talking to Jennifer Fortescue while she knitted. ‘I had such a nice nurse looking after me when I once broke my wrist. She went on from me to nurse Mrs Sparrow’s son, a very nice young naval officer and they married and had two dear little children. That was the beginning of your romance, was it not? I mean, you came here to nurse Mr Percival Fortescue, did you not? One should not listen to servants’ gossip, of course, but I’m afraid an old lady like myself is always interested to hear about the people in the house. There was another nurse at first, was there not, and she got sent away - something like that? They said she was careless, I believe.’

‘I don’t think she was careless,’ said Jennifer. ‘I believe her father was extremely ill, and so I came to replace her.’

‘I see,’ said Miss Marple. ‘And you fell in love with Percival and that was that. Yes, very nice indeed, very nice.’

‘I’m not so sure about that,’ said Jennifer Fortescue. ‘I often wish…’ her voice was very quiet, ‘I was back in the hospital again. Life’s so boring, you know. Oh, it’s what I deserve! I should not have done it.’

‘Should not have done what, my dear?’

‘I should not have married Percival. Oh, well,’ she sighed. ‘Don’t let’s talk of it any more.’

And Miss Marple began to talk about the new skirts that were being worn in Paris.

Miss Marple knocked at the door of the study and Inspector Neele told her to come in.

‘We didn’t really finish our talk just now,’ she said, ‘and I wasn’t quite ready then to make any accusation unless I was absolutely sure about it. And I am sure, now.’

‘You’re sure about what, Miss Marple?’

‘Well, certainly about who killed Mr Fortescue. The marmalade shows how, as well as who, and though she was not clever, she was intelligent enough to do it. The beginning is Gladys. And what with the nylon stockings and the telephone calls and one thing and another, it was perfectly clear as to who put the Taxine into Mr Fortescue’s marmalade.’

‘You have a theory?’ asked Inspector Neele.

‘It isn’t a theory,’ said Miss Marple. ‘I know.’

Inspector Neele looked surprised.

‘It was Gladys, of course,’ said Miss Marple.

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