- زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
‘So, you think we should ask the police in London to help us with this?’ The Chief Constable looked at Inspector Bacon. ‘You think we should speak to Scotland Yard?’
‘The woman wasn’t from the local area, sir,’ Bacon said. ‘We believe - because of her underwear - that she might have been foreign. But of course I’m not saying anything about that until after the inquest tomorrow. Other members of the Crackenthorpe family will be here for it and there’s a chance one of them might be able to identify her.’
‘There is no reason, is there, to believe the Crackenthorpe family are connected with the crime in any way?’ the Chief Constable asked.
‘Not apart from the fact that the body was found on their land,’ said Inspector Bacon. ‘What I can’t understand is this nonsense about the train.’
‘Ah, yes. You’ve been to see this old lady, this - er -‘
‘Miss Marple, sir. Yes, she’s certain about what her friend saw. I’m sure she’s just imagining it, but she did ask this young woman to look for a body - which she did.’
‘And found one,’ said the Chief Constable. ‘Miss Jane Marple - the name seems familiar somehow… Anyway, I’ll speak to Scotland Yard. I think you are right about it not being a local case.’
The inquest was a formal affair. No one came forward to identify the dead woman. Lucy was asked to give evidence of finding the body and medical evidence was given about the cause of death - she had been strangled.
It was a cold, windy day when the Crackenthorpe family came out of the hall. There were five of them, Emma, Cedric, Harold, Alfred, and Bryan Eastley, the husband of the dead daughter, Edith. There was also Mr Wimborne, the family’s London lawyer. They all stood for a moment on the pavement. A small crowd had gathered there; the story of the ‘Body in the Sarcophagus’ had been fully reported in both the London and the local Press.
Voices were heard saying, ‘That’s them…’
Emma said sharply, ‘Let’s get away.’ She got into the big hired car with Lucy. Mr Wimborne, Cedric and Harold followed.
Bryan Eastley said, ‘I’ll take Alfred in my car.’
The Daimler was about to leave when Emma cried, ‘Oh, stop! There are the boys!’
Alexander and James had been left behind at Rutherford Hall, but now they suddenly appeared. ‘We came on our bicycles,’ said Stoddart-West. ‘The policeman was very kind and let us in at the back of the hall.’
‘But it was rather disappointing,’ said Alexander. ‘All over so soon.’
‘We can’t stay here talking,’ said Harold angrily. ‘There’s all those men with cameras.’ He gave a sign to the driver, who drove away down the road.
‘All over so soon!’ said Cedric. ‘That’s what they think, the young innocents! It’s just beginning.’
‘It’s most unfortunate,’ Harold said. ‘By the way Miss - er - Eyelesbarrow, why were you looking in that sarcophagus?’
They all looked at Lucy. She had wondered when one of the family would ask her this and had already prepared her answer. ‘I don’t know… I did feel that the whole place needed to be cleaned. And there was,’ she paused, ‘a very unpleasant smell…’
Mr Wimborne said, ‘Yes, yes, of course… but this unfortunate young woman was nothing to do with any of us.’
‘Ah, but you can’t be so sure of that, can you?’ said Cedric. Lucy looked at him with interest. She had already noticed that the three brothers were very different. Cedric was a big man with untidy dark hair and a cheerful manner. He was still wearing the clothes in which he had arrived from the airport; old grey trousers, and an old brown jacket. He looked bohemian and proud of it.
His brother Harold was the opposite; the perfect picture of a City gentleman. He was tall, with smooth, dark hair, and was dressed in a suit and a pale grey tie. He said, ‘Really, Cedric, that seems a most unnecessary remark.’
‘Why? She was in our barn, so what did she come there for?’ Mr Wimborne coughed. ‘Possibly some - er - romantic meeting. I have heard that all the locals knew that the key was kept outside on a nail.’
Emma said, ‘Yes, it was for the Women’s Institute people.’
Mr Wimborne coughed again. ‘It seems probable that the barn was used in the winter by local lovers. There was a disagreement and some young man lost control of himself. Then he saw the sarcophagus and he realized that it would make an excellent hiding place.’
‘If I was a girl coming to meet my young man, I wouldn’t like being taken to a freezing cold barn,’ Cedric replied. ‘I’d want a nice warm cinema, wouldn’t you, Miss Eyelesbarrow?’
‘Do we really need to discuss all this?’ Harold said.
But as he asked the question, the car stopped outside the front door of Rutherford Hall.
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