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The Clergyman’s Daughter/Red House: An Agatha Christie Short Story

The Clergyman’s Daughter/Red House: An Agatha Christie Short Story
The Clergyman’s Daughter/Red House: An Agatha Christie Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.After inheriting a haunted house too expensive to maintain Monica Dean is facing financial ruin. She comes to Tommy and Tuppence in the hope to save herself by solving the mystery of the poltergeist and the persistent man who wants to buy the house… The Clergyman’s Daughter & The Red House A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright (#ulink_f26db0da-02f4-5317-9772-25729c153846) Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) First published 2008 Copyright © 2008 Agatha Christie Ltd. Cover design © HarperCollinsPublishers 2013 Agatha Christie asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental 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 on-screen. 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. 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. Ebook Edition © SEPTEMBER 2013 ISBN: 9780007526802 Version: 2017-04-13 Contents Cover (#uc2493da3-0e12-5452-ab44-30e40cde066e) Title Page (#u9c29206a-1435-5cee-bb8f-cbd205364614) Copyright (#ulink_2ad3c115-085e-5441-bf3a-cdfc276eb0de) The Clergyman’s Daughter & The Red House (#ulink_378f34ca-cc2a-5298-9659-895d83cbf3ec) Related Products (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) The Clergyman’s Daughter (#ulink_daa47a0d-9413-560e-be27-994bf93210f7) ‘The Clergyman’s Daughter’, combining the later book chapter ‘The Red House’, was first published as ‘The First Wish’ in Grand Magazine in December 1923, before all the other stories in The Sketch. Roger Sherringham was created by Anthony Berkeley (1893–1971). ‘I wish,’ said Tuppence, roaming moodily round the office, ‘that we could befriend a clergyman’s daughter.’ ‘Why?’ asked Tommy. ‘You may have forgotten the fact, but I was once a clergyman’s daughter myself. I remember what it was like. Hence this altruistic urge – this spirit of thoughtful consideration for others – this –’ ‘You are getting ready to be Roger Sheringham, I see,’ said Tommy. ‘If you will allow me to make a criticism, you talk quite as much as he does, but not nearly so well.’ ‘On the contrary,’ said Tuppence. ‘There is a feminine subtlety about my conversation, a je ne sais quoi that no gross male could ever attain to. I have, moreover, powers unknown to my prototype – do I mean prototype? Words are such uncertain things, they so often sound well, but mean the opposite of what one thinks they do.’ ‘Go on,’ said Tommy kindly. ‘I was. I was only pausing to take breath. Touching these powers, it is my wish today to assist a clergyman’s daughter. You will see, Tommy, the first person to enlist the aid of Blunt’s Brilliant Detectives will be a clergyman’s daughter.’ ‘I’ll bet you it isn’t,’ said Tommy. ‘Done,’ said Tuppence. ‘Hist! To your typewriters, Oh! Israel. One comes.’ Mr Blunt’s office was humming with industry as Albert opened the door and announced: ‘Miss Monica Deane.’ A slender, brown-haired girl, rather shabbily dressed, entered and stood hesitating. Tommy came forward. ‘Good-morning, Miss Deane. Won’t you sit down and tell us what we can do for you? By the way, let me introduce my confidential secretary, Miss Sheringham.’ ‘I am delighted to make your acquaintance, Miss Deane,’ said Tuppence. ‘Your father was in the Church, I think.’ ‘Yes, he was. But how did you know that?’ ‘Oh! we have our methods,’ said Tuppence. ‘You mustn’t mind me rattling on. Mr Blunt likes to hear me talk. He always says it gives him ideas.’ The girl stared at her. She was a slender creature, not beautiful, but possessing a wistful prettiness. She had a quantity of soft mouse-coloured hair, and her eyes were dark blue and very lovely, though the dark shadows round them spoke of trouble and anxiety. ‘Will you tell me your story, Miss Deane?’ said Tommy. The girl turned to him gratefully. ‘It’s such a long rambling story,’ said the girl. ‘My name is Monica Deane. My father was the rector of Little Hampsley in Suffolk. He died three years ago, and my mother and I were left very badly off. I went out as a governess, but my mother became a confirmed invalid, and I had to come home to look after her. We were desperately poor, but one day we received a lawyer’s letter telling us that an aunt of my father’s had died and had left everything to me. I had often heard of this aunt, who had quarrelled with my father many years ago, and I knew that she was very well off, so it really seemed that our troubles were at an end. But matters did not turn out quite as well as we had hoped. I inherited the house she had lived in, but after paying one or two small legacies, there was no money left. I suppose she must have lost it during the war, or perhaps she had been living on her capital. Still, we had the house, and almost at once we had a chance of selling it at quite an advantageous price. But, foolishly perhaps, I refused the offer. We were in tiny, but expensive lodgings, and I thought it would be much nicer to live in the Red House, where my mother could have comfortable rooms and take in paying guests to cover our expenses. ‘I adhered to this plan, notwithstanding a further tempting offer from the gentleman who wanted to buy. We moved in, and I advertised for paying guests. For a time, all went well, we had several answers to our advertisement; my aunt’s old servant remained on with us, and she and I between us did the work of the house. And then these unaccountable things began to happen.’ ‘What things?’ ‘The queerest things. The whole place seemed bewitched. Pictures fell down, crockery flew across the room and broke; one morning we came down to find all the furniture moved round. At first we thought someone was playing a practical joke, but we had to give up that explanation. Sometimes when we were all sitting down to dinner, a terrific crash would be heard overhead. We would go up and find no one there, but a piece of furniture thrown violently to the ground.’ ‘A poltergeist,’ cried Tuppence, much interested. ‘Yes, that’s what Dr O’Neill said – though I don’t know what it means.’ ‘It’s a sort of evil spirit that plays tricks,’ explained Tuppence, who in reality knew very little about the subject, and was not even sure that she had got the word poltergeist right. ‘Well, at any rate, the effect was disastrous. Our visitors were frightened to death, and left as soon as possible. We got new ones, and they too left hurriedly. I was in despair, and, to crown all, our own tiny income ceased suddenly – the Company in which it was invested failed.’ ‘You poor dear,’ said Tuppence sympathetically. ‘What a time you have had. Did you want Mr Blunt to investigate this “haunting” business?’ Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/agata-kristi/the-clergyman-s-daughter-red-house-an-agatha-christie-short-s/?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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