The Shadow on the Glass: An Agatha Christie Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.When invited to Mr and Mrs Unkerton’s party in Greenway’s House, Mr Satterthwaite learns of a haunted window, which no matter how many times it is replaced always contains the image of a cavalier in a plumed hat. When gunshots are heard, Satterthwaite finds that two of the guests have been shot dead, which is shortly followed by a sighting of the cavalier in the newly-replaced window pane. Can Mr Quin shed light on the mystery? THE SHADOW ON THE GLASS A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright This short story 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. Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) ‘The Shadow on the Glass’ was first published in Grand Magazine, October 1923. This ePub edition published April 2012. Copyright © 2012 Agatha Christie Ltd. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library 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 © 2012 ISBN: 9780007486724 Version: 2017-04-19 Contents Cover (#uf2a50800-1FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Title Page (#uf2a50800-2FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Copyright The Shadow on the Glass About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) The Shadow on the Glass ‘The Shadow on the Glass’ was first published in Grand Magazine, October 1923. ‘Listen to this,’ said Lady Cynthia Drage. She read aloud from the journal she held in her hand. ‘Mr and Mrs Unkerton are entertaining a party at Greenways House this week. Amongst the guests are Lady Cynthia Drage, Mr and Mrs Richard Scott, Major Porter, D.S.O., Mrs Staverton, Captain Allenson and Mr Satterthwaite.’ ‘It’s as well,’ remarked Lady Cynthia, casting away the paper, ‘to know what we’re in for. But they have made a mess of things!’ Her companion, that same Mr Satterthwaite whose name figured at the end of the list of guests, looked at her interrogatively. It had been said that if Mr Satterthwaite were found at the houses of those rich who had newly arrived, it was a sign either that the cooking was unusually good, or that a drama of human life was to be enacted there. Mr Satterthwaite was abnormally interested in the comedies and tragedies of his fellow men. Lady Cynthia, who was a middle-aged woman, with a hard face and a liberal allowance of make-up, tapped him smartly with the newest thing in parasols which lay rakishly across her knee. ‘Don’t pretend you don’t understand me. You do perfectly. What’s more I believe you’re here on purpose to see the fur fly!’ Mr Satterthwaite protested vigorously. He didn’t know what she was talking about. ‘I’m talking about Richard Scott. Do you pretend you’ve never heard of him?’ ‘No, of course not. He’s the Big Game man, isn’t he?’ ‘That’s it – “Great big bears and tigers, etc.” as the song says. Of course, he’s a great lion himself just now – the Unkertons would naturally be mad to get hold of him – and the bride! A charming child – oh! quite a charming child – but so naïve, only twenty, you know, and he must be at least forty-five.’ ‘Mrs Scott seems to be very charming,’ said Mr Satterthwaite sedately. ‘Yes, poor child.’ ‘Why poor child?’ Lady Cynthia cast him a look of reproach, and went on approaching the point at issue in her own manner. ‘Porter’s all right – a dull dog, though – another of these African hunters, all sunburnt and silent. Second fiddle to Richard Scott and always has been – life-long friends and all that sort of thing. When I come to think of it, I believe they were together on that trip –’ ‘Which trip?’ ‘The trip. The Mrs Staverton trip. You’ll be saying next you’ve never heard of Mrs Staverton.’ ‘I have heard of Mrs Staverton,’ said Mr Satterthwaite, almost with unwillingness. And he and Lady Cynthia exchanged glances. ‘It’s so exactly like the Unkertons,’ wailed the latter, ‘they are absolutely hopeless – socially, I mean. The idea of asking those two together! Of course they’d heard that Mrs Staverton was a sportswoman and a traveller and all that, and about her book. People like the Unkertons don’t even begin to realize what pitfalls there are! I’ve been running them, myself, for the last year, and what I’ve gone through nobody knows. One has to be constantly at their elbow. “Don’t do that! You can’t do this!” Thank goodness, I’m through with it now. Not that we’ve quarrelled – oh! no, I never quarrel, but somebody else can take on the job. As I’ve always said, I can put up with vulgarity, but I can’t stand meanness!’ After this somewhat cryptic utterance, Lady Cynthia was silent for a moment, ruminating on the Unkertons’ meanness as displayed to herself. ‘If I’d still been running the show for them,’ she went on presently, ‘I should have said quite firmly and plainly: “You can’t ask Mrs Staverton with the Richard Scotts. She and he were once –”’ She stopped eloquently. ‘But were they once?’ asked Mr Satterthwaite. ‘My dear man! It’s well known. That trip into the Interior! I’m surprised the woman had the face to accept the invitation.’ ‘Perhaps she didn’t know the others were coming?’ suggested Mr Satterthwaite. ‘Perhaps she did. That’s far more likely.’ ‘You think –?’ ‘She’s what I call a dangerous woman – the sort of woman who’d stick at nothing. I wouldn’t be in Richard Scott’s shoes this week-end.’ ‘And his wife knows nothing, you think?’ ‘I’m certain of it. But I suppose some kind friend will enlighten her sooner or later. Here’s Jimmy Allenson. Such a nice boy. He saved my life in Egypt last winter – I was so bored, you know. Hullo, Jimmy, come here at once.’ Captain Allenson obeyed, dropping down on the turf beside her. He was a handsome young fellow of thirty, with white teeth and an infectious smile. ‘I’m glad somebody wants me,’ he observed. ‘The Scotts are doing the turtle dove stunt, two required, not three, Porter’s devouring the Field, and I’ve been in mortal danger of being entertained by my hostess.’ He laughed. Lady Cynthia laughed with him. Mr Satterthwaite, who was in some ways a little old-fashioned, so much so that he seldom made fun of his host and hostess until after he had left their house, remained grave. ‘Poor Jimmy,’ said Lady Cynthia. ‘Mine not to reason why, mine but to swiftly fly. I had a narrow escape of being told the family ghost story.’ ‘An Unkerton ghost,’ said Lady Cynthia. ‘How screaming.’ ‘Not an Unkerton ghost,’ said Mr Satterthwaite. ‘A Greenways ghost. They bought it with the house.’ ‘Of course,’ said Lady Cynthia. ‘I remember now. But it doesn’t clank chains, does it? It’s only something to do with a window.’ Jimmy Allenson looked up quickly. ‘A window?’ But for the moment Mr Satterthwaite did not answer. He was looking over Jimmy’s head at three figures approaching from the direction of the house – a slim girl between two men. There was a superficial resemblance between the men, both were tall and dark with bronzed faces and quick eyes, but looked at more closely the resemblance vanished. Richard Scott, hunter and explorer, was a man of extraordinarily vivid personality. He had a manner that radiated magnetism. John Porter, his friend and fellow hunter, was a man of squarer build with an impassive, rather wooden face, and very thoughtful grey eyes. He was a quiet man, content always to play second fiddle to his friend. And between these two walked Moira Scott who, until three months ago, had been Moira O’Connell. A slender figure, big wistful brown eyes, and golden red hair that stood out round her small face like a saint’s halo. ‘That child mustn’t be hurt,’ said Mr Satterthwaite to himself. ‘It would be abominable that a child like that should be hurt.’ Lady Cynthia greeted the newcomers with a wave of the latest thing in parasols. ‘Sit down, and don’t interrupt,’ she said. ‘Mr Satterthwaite is telling us a ghost story.’ ‘I love ghost stories,’ said Moira Scott. She dropped down on the grass. ‘The ghost of Greenways House?’ asked Richard Scott. ‘Yes. You know about it?’ Scott nodded. ‘I used to stay here in the old days,’ he explained. ‘Before the Elliots had to sell up. The Watching Cavalier, that’s it, isn’t it?’ ‘The Watching Cavalier,’ said his wife softly. ‘I like that. It sounds interesting. Please go on.’ But Mr Satterthwaite seemed somewhat loath to do so. He assured her that it was not really interesting at all. ‘Now you’ve done it, Satterthwaite,’ said Richard Scott sardonically. ‘That hint of reluctance clinches it.’ In response to popular clamour, Mr Satterthwaite was forced to speak. ‘It’s really very uninteresting,’ he said apologetically. ‘I believe the original story centres round a Cavalier ancestor of the Elliot family. His wife had a Roundhead lover. The husband was killed by the lover in an upstairs room, and the guilty pair fled, but as they fled, they looked back at the house, and saw the face of the dead husband at the window, watching them. That is the legend, but the ghost story is only concerned with a pane of glass in the window of that particular room on which is an irregular stain, almost imperceptible from near at hand, but which from far away certainly gives the effect of a man’s face looking out.’ ‘Which window is it?’ asked Mrs Scott, looking up at the house. ‘You can’t see it from here,’ said Mr Satterthwaite. ‘It is round the other side but was boarded up from the inside some years ago – forty years ago, I think, to be accurate.’ ‘What did they do that for? I thought you said the ghost didn’t walk.’ ‘It doesn’t,’ Mr Satterthwaite assured her. ‘I suppose – well, I suppose there grew to be a superstitious feeling about it, that’s all.’ Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/agatha-christie/the-shadow-on-the-glass-an-agatha-christie-short-story/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. 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