فصل 03 - 02

مجموعه: کارآگاه مارپل / کتاب: انگشت محرک / فصل 7

فصل 03 - 02

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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II

Two days later, on Saturday afternoon, we went to a card party at the Symmingtons’. There were two tables. The players were the Symmingtons, ourselves, Miss Griffith, Mr Pye, Miss Barton and a Colonel Appleton who lived in a nearby village.

When we arrived, Elsie Holland, the children’s governess, was searching for some extra notebooks in the desk. She floated across the floor with them in the same way as when I had first seen her, but the magic was gone. I now noticed how large her teeth were, and the way she opened her mouth very wide when she laughed. Which she did a lot.

‘Are these notebooks all right, Mrs Symmington? Oh, they are a bit yellow round the edges. Anyway, I’m taking the boys to Long Barrow so there won’t be any noise.’

We sat down and began to play a game of bridge. Everyone was very friendly and the afternoon passed quickly and enjoyably. We then had tea in the dining-room. Suddenly, two excited little boys ran in. Mrs Symmington smiled with pride as she introduced her sons to us.

Then, just as we were finishing our tea, I heard a sound and turned my head to see Megan standing between the open French windows.

‘Oh,’ said her mother, sounding surprised. ‘Here’s Megan. I’m sorry but I forgot about your tea, dear. Miss Holland and the boys took theirs out with them.’

‘That’s all right. I’ll go to the kitchen.’ Megan moved silently across the room.

Mrs Symmington said with a little laugh, ‘Poor Megan. Girls are so awkward when they’ve just left school.’

Joanna looked up. ‘But Megan’s twenty, isn’t she?’

‘Oh, yes, yes. She is. But she’s very young for her age. Which is so nice. I expect all mothers want their children to remain babies.’

‘I can’t think why,’ said Joanna. ‘It would be a bit difficult to have a child who had a six year old brain in a grown-up body.’

‘Oh, you mustn’t take things so seriously,’ said Mrs Symmington.

As we drove home, Joanna said, ‘I feel very sorry for Megan. Her mother doesn’t like her.’

‘Oh, Joanna, it’s not as bad as that.’

‘Yes, it is. Megan does not fit into the Symmington family. It’s complete without her. And that’s a very unhappy feeling for a sensitive girl to have - and she is sensitive.’

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I think she is.’

Joanna suddenly laughed. ‘Bad luck for you about the governess.’

‘I don’t know what you mean.’

‘Nonsense. And I agree with you. It is a waste. She is so beautiful, until she opens her mouth, to talk or laugh! But I’m glad you noticed her. It is a sign that you are coming alive again. I was quite worried about you at the hospital. You never even looked at that very pretty nurse you had.’

I smiled. ‘But what about you?’

‘Me?’

‘Yes. You’ll need someone to give you some excitement down here. So what about Owen Griffith? He’s the only unmarried man in the place.’

Joanna drove in silence through the gate and round to the garage. Then she said, ‘I don’t understand why any man would cross the street to avoid me. It’s rude, apart from anything else.’

I got carefully out of the car, then stood leaning on my sticks. ‘I’ll tell you this. Owen Griffith is not one of those weak, artistic young men you’ve always liked. So be careful. He could be dangerous.’

‘Oh, do you think so?’ Joanna said with obvious pleasure at the thought. ‘But how dare he cross the street when he saw me coming?’

‘We have come down here,’ I said, ‘for peace and quiet, and I am determined that we will get it.’

But peace and quiet were the last things we were to have.

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