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Death by Drowning: A Miss Marple Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.Sir Henry Clithering is staying with his friends the Bantrys. Over breakfast he learns that a girl has drowned herself. Miss Marple comes to him and says, ‘She did not drown herself – she was murdered … And I know who murdered her’. She then gives him a piece of paper with the murderer’s name to investigate. Will she be right? Death by Drowning A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright (#ulink_22beb788-1cde-5393-9da4-001bdcd07ffd) Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) Copyright © 2008 Agatha Christie Ltd. Cover design © HarperCollinsPublishers 2013 All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book onscreen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books. Ebook Edition © OCTOBER 2013 ISBN 9780007526734 Version: 2017-04-11 HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication. Contents Cover (#ub4b2d4ff-d544-54eb-a6e7-c59d928ba2be) Title Page (#u0bd83122-9d67-5b48-a82b-541867fdc388) Copyright Death by Drowning (#u74c587f9-4c69-51f6-80aa-1bf0c35ecc40) Related Products (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) Death by Drowning (#ulink_5c62f8ac-a562-5f37-a279-7a7cbfb6c5bd) ‘Death by Drowning’ was first published in Nash’s Pall Mall, November 1931. Sir Henry Clithering, Ex-Commissioner of Scotland Yard, was staying with his friends the Bantrys at their place near the little village of St Mary Mead. On Saturday morning, coming down to breakfast at the pleasant guestly hour of ten-fifteen, he almost collided with his hostess, Mrs Bantry, in the doorway of the breakfast room. She was rushing from the room, evidently in a condition of some excitement and distress. Colonel Bantry was sitting at the table, his face rather redder than usual. ‘’Morning, Clithering,’ he said. ‘Nice day. Help yourself.’ Sir Henry obeyed. As he took his seat, a plate of kidneys and bacon in front of him, his host went on: ‘Dolly’s a bit upset this morning.’ ‘Yes – er – I rather thought so,’ said Sir Henry mildly. He wondered a little. His hostess was of a placid disposition, little given to moods or excitement. As far as Sir Henry knew, she felt keenly on one subject only – gardening. ‘Yes,’ said Colonel Bantry. ‘Bit of news we got this morning upset her. Girl in the village – Emmott’s daughter – Emmott who keeps the Blue Boar.’ ‘Oh, yes, of course.’ ‘Ye-es,’ said Colonel Bantry ruminatively. ‘Pretty girl. Got herself into trouble. Usual story. I’ve been arguing with Dolly about that. Foolish of me. Women never see sense. Dolly was all up in arms for the girl – you know what women are – men are brutes – all the rest of it, etcetera. But it’s not so simple as all that – not in these days. Girls know what they’re about. Fellow who seduces a girl’s not necessarily a villain. Fifty-fifty as often as not. I rather liked young Sandford myself. A young ass rather than a Don Juan, I should have said.’ ‘It is this man Sandford who got the girl into trouble?’ ‘So it seems. Of course I don’t know anything personally,’ said the Colonel cautiously. ‘It’s all gossip and chat. You know what this place is! As I say, I know nothing. And I’m not like Dolly – leaping to conclusions, flinging accusations all over the place. Damn it all, one ought to be careful in what one says. You know – inquest and all that.’ ‘Inquest?’ Colonel Bantry stared. ‘Yes. Didn’t I tell you? Girl drowned herself. That’s what all the pother’s about.’ ‘That’s a nasty business,’ said Sir Henry. ‘Of course it is. Don’t like to think of it myself. Poor pretty little devil. Her father’s a hard man by all accounts. I suppose she just felt she couldn’t face the music.’ He paused. ‘That’s what’s upset Dolly so.’ ‘Where did she drown herself?’ ‘In the river. Just below the mill it runs pretty fast. There’s a footpath and a bridge across. They think she threw herself off that. Well, well, it doesn’t bear thinking about.’ And with a portentous rustle, Colonel Bantry opened his newspaper and proceeded to distract his mind from painful matters by an absorption in the newest iniquities of the government. Sir Henry was only mildly interested by the village tragedy. After breakfast, he established himself on a comfortable chair on the lawn, tilted his hat over his eyes and contemplated life from a peaceful angle. It was about half past eleven when a neat parlourmaid tripped across the lawn. ‘If you please, sir, Miss Marple has called, and would like to see you.’ ‘Miss Marple?’ Sir Henry sat up and straightened his hat. The name surprised him. He remembered Miss Marple very well – her gentle quiet old-maidish ways, her amazing penetration. He remembered a dozen unsolved and hypothetical cases – and how in each case this typical ‘old maid of the village’ had leaped unerringly to the right solution of the mystery. Sir Henry had a very deep respect for Miss Marple. He wondered what had brought her to see him. Miss Marple was sitting in the drawing-room – very upright as always, a gaily coloured marketing basket of foreign extraction beside her. Her cheeks were rather pink and she seemed flustered. ‘Sir Henry – I am so glad. So fortunate to find you. I just happened to hear that you were staying down here … I do hope you will forgive me …’ ‘This is a great pleasure,’ said Sir Henry, taking her hand. ‘I’m afraid Mrs Bantry’s out.’ ‘Yes,’ said Miss Marple. ‘I saw her talking to Footit, the butcher, as I passed. Henry Footit was run over yesterday – that was his dog. One of those smooth-haired fox terriers, rather stout and quarrelsome, that butchers always seem to have.’ ‘Yes,’ said Sir Henry helpfully. ‘I was glad to get here when she wasn’t at home,’ continued Miss Marple. ‘Because it was you I wanted to see. About this sad affair.’ ‘Henry Footit?’ asked Sir Henry, slightly bewildered. Miss Marple threw him a reproachful glance. ‘No, no. Rose Emmott, of course. You’ve heard?’ Sir Henry nodded. ‘Bantry was telling me. Very sad.’ He was a little puzzled. He could not conceive why Miss Marple should want to see him about Rose Emmott. Miss Marple sat down again. Sir Henry also sat. When the old lady spoke her manner had changed. It was grave, and had a certain dignity. ‘You may remember, Sir Henry, that on one or two occasions we played what was really a pleasant kind of game. Propounding mysteries and giving solutions. You were kind enough to say that I – that I did not do too badly.’ ‘You beat us all,’ said Sir Henry warmly. ‘You displayed an absolute genius for getting to the truth. And you always instanced, I remember, some village parallel which had supplied you with the clue.’ He smiled as he spoke, but Miss Marple did not smile. She remained very grave. ‘What you said has emboldened me to come to you now. I feel that if I say something to you – at least you will not laugh at me.’ He realized suddenly that she was in deadly earnest. ‘Certainly, I will not laugh,’ he said gently. ‘Sir Henry – this girl – Rose Emmott. She did not drown herself – she was murdered … And I know who murdered her.’ Sir Henry was silent with sheer astonishment for quite three seconds. Miss Marple’s voice had been perfectly quiet and unexcited. She might have been making the most ordinary statement in the world for all the emotion she showed. ‘This is a very serious statement to make, Miss Marple,’ said Sir Henry when he had recovered his breath. She nodded her head gently several times. ‘I know – I know – that is why I have come to you.’ ‘But, my dear lady, I am not the person to come to. I am merely a private individual nowadays. If you have knowledge of the kind you claim, you must go to the police.’ ‘I don’t think I can do that,’ said Miss Marple. ‘But why not?’ ‘Because, you see, I haven’t got any – what you call knowledge.’ ‘You mean it’s only a guess on your part?’ ‘You can call it that, if you like, but it’s not really that at all. I know. I’m in a position to know; but if I gave my reasons for knowing to Inspector Drewitt – well, he’d simply laugh. And really, I don’t know that I’d blame him. It’s very difficult to understand what you might call specialized knowledge.’ ‘Such as?’ suggested Sir Henry. Miss Marple smiled a little. ‘If I were to tell you that I know because of a man called Peasegood leaving turnips instead of carrots when he came round with a cart and sold vegetables to my niece several years ago –’ She stopped eloquently. ‘A very appropriate name for the trade,’ murmured Sir Henry. ‘You mean that you are simply judging from the facts in a parallel case.’ Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/agata-kristi/death-by-drowning-a-miss-marple-short-story/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.
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