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The Man in the Mist: An Agatha Christie Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.The rather disgruntled pair is sequestered in the Grand Adlington Hotel having made a pig’s ear out of their latest case. But, whilst sipping mournful cocktails, with Tommy oddly dressed as a Parson, they are gleefully accosted by their old acquaintance Mr. Bulger who has London’s most beautiful stage actress, Gilda Glen, in tow. Feather brained and a little confused, Gilda takes Tommy for a real clergyman and scrawls out a desperate note to meet him away from the hotel. Whilst Tommy and Tuppence mull over the note, in storms a man, an old flame of Gilda’s claiming he wants to ring someone’s neck. When the duo turn up at the meeting place all hell breaks loose after a high pitch scream is heard. The Man in the Mist A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) Copyright © 2011 Agatha Christie Ltd. 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. EPub Edition © 2011 ISBN: 9780007452064 Version: 2017-04-18 Contents Cover (#ua1eb756f-fab8-5c4b-bbec-9e5edca76ad7) Title Page (#u6909a049-3df8-53b3-b97e-8508becdc7fc) Copyright The Man in the Mist Related Products (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) The Man in the Mist ‘The Man in the Mist’ was first published in The Sketch, 3 December 1924. Father Brown was created by G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936). Tommy was not pleased with life. Blunt’s Brilliant Detectives had met with a reverse, distressing to their pride if not to their pockets. Called in professionally to elucidate the mystery of a stolen pearl necklace at Adlington Hall, Adlington, Blunt’s Brilliant Detectives had failed to make good. Whilst Tommy, hard on the track of a gambling Countess, was tracking her in the disguise of a Roman Catholic priest, and Tuppence was ‘getting off’ with the nephew of the house on the golf links, the local Inspector of Police had unemotionally arrested the second footman who proved to be a thief well known at headquarters, and who admitted his guilt without making any bones about it. Tommy and Tuppence, therefore, had withdrawn with what dignity they could muster, and were at the present moment solacing themselves with cocktails at the Grand Adlington Hotel. Tommy still wore his clerical disguise. ‘Hardly a Father Brown touch, that,’ he remarked gloomily. ‘And yet I’ve got just the right kind of umbrella.’ ‘It wasn’t a Father Brown problem,’ said Tuppence. ‘One needs a certain atmosphere from the start. One must be doing something quite ordinary, and then bizarre things begin to happen. That’s the idea.’ ‘Unfortunately,’ said Tommy, ‘we have to return to town. Perhaps something bizarre will happen on the way to the station.’ He raised the glass he was holding to his lips, but the liquid in it was suddenly spilled, as a heavy hand smacked him on the shoulder, and a voice to match the hand boomed out words of greeting. ‘Upon my soul, it is! Old Tommy! And Mrs Tommy too. Where did you blow in from? Haven’t seen or heard anything of you for years.’ ‘Why, it’s Bulger!’ said Tommy, setting down what was left of the cocktail, and turning to look at the intruder, a big square-shouldered man of thirty years of age, with a round red beaming face, and dressed in golfing kit. ‘Good old Bulger!’ ‘But I say, old chap,’ said Bulger (whose real name, by the way, was Marvyn Estcourt), ‘I never knew you’d taken orders. Fancy you a blinking parson.’ Tuppence burst out laughing, and Tommy looked embarrassed. And then they suddenly became conscious of a fourth person. A tall, slender creature, with very golden hair and very round blue eyes, almost impossibly beautiful, with an effect of really expensive black topped by wonderful ermines, and very large pearl earrings. She was smiling. And her smile said many things. It asserted, for instance, that she knew perfectly well that she herself was the thing best worth looking at, certainly in England, and possibly in the whole world. She was not vain about it in any way, but she just knew, with certainty and confidence, that it was so. Both Tommy and Tuppence recognised her immediately. They had seen her three times in The Secret of the Heart, and an equal number of times in that other great success, Pillars of Fire, and in innumerable other plays. There was, perhaps, no other actress in England who had so firm a hold on the British public, as Miss Gilda Glen. She was reported to be the most beautiful woman in England. It was also rumoured that she was the stupidest. ‘Old friends of mine, Miss Glen,’ said Estcourt, with a tinge of apology in his voice for having presumed, even for a moment, to forget such a radiant creature. ‘Tommy and Mrs Tommy, let me introduce you to Miss Gilda Glen.’ The ring of pride in his voice was unmistakable. By merely being seen in his company, Miss Glen had conferred great glory upon him. The actress was staring with frank interest at Tommy. ‘Are you really a priest?’ she asked. ‘A Roman Catholic priest, I mean? Because I thought they didn’t have wives.’ Estcourt went off in a boom of laughter again. ‘That’s good,’ he exploded. ‘You sly dog, Tommy. Glad he hasn’t renounced you, Mrs Tommy, with all the rest of the pomps and vanities.’ Gilda Glen took not the faintest notice of him. She continued to stare at Tommy with puzzled eyes. ‘Are you a priest?’ she demanded. ‘Very few of us are what we seem to be,’ said Tommy gently. ‘My profession is not unlike that of a priest. I don’t give absolution – but I listen to confessions – I –’ ‘Don’t you listen to him,’ interrupted Estcourt. ‘He’s pulling your leg.’ ‘If you’re not a clergyman, I don’t see why you’re dressed up like one,’ she puzzled. ‘That is, unless –’ ‘Not a criminal flying from justice,’ said Tommy. ‘The other thing.’ ‘Oh!’ she frowned, and looked at him with beautiful bewildered eyes. ‘I wonder if she’ll ever get that,’ thought Tommy to himself. ‘Not unless I put it in words of one syllable for her, I should say.’ Aloud he said: ‘Know anything about the trains back to town, Bulger? We’ve got to be pushing for home. How far is it to the station?’ ‘Ten minutes’ walk. But no hurry. Next train up is the 6.35 and it’s only about twenty to six now. You’ve just missed one.’ ‘Which way is it to the station from here?’ ‘Sharp to the left when you turn out of the hotel. Then – let me see – down Morgan’s Avenue would be the best way, wouldn’t it?’ ‘Morgan’s Avenue?’ Miss Glen started violently, and stared at him with startled eyes. ‘I know what you’re thinking of,’ said Estcourt, laughing. ‘The Ghost. Morgan’s Avenue is bounded by the cemetery on one side, and tradition has it that a policeman who met his death by violence gets up and walks on his old beat, up and down Morgan’s Avenue. A spook policeman! Can you beat it? But lots of people swear to having seen him.’ ‘A policeman?’ said Miss Glen. She shivered a little. ‘But there aren’t really any ghosts, are there? I mean – there aren’t such things?’ She got up, folding her wrap tighter round her. ‘Goodbye,’ she said vaguely. She had ignored Tuppence completely throughout, and now she did not even glance in her direction. But, over her shoulder, she threw one puzzled questioning glance at Tommy. Just as she got to the door, she encountered a tall man with grey hair and a puffy face, who uttered an exclamation of surprise. His hand on her arm, he led her through the doorway, talking in an animated fashion. Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/agata-kristi/the-man-in-the-mist-an-agatha-christie-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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