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Ebook "A Caribbean Mystery"
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Tác giả: Agatha Christie
Thể loại: Trinh Thám
Biên tập: Yen
Language: English
Số chương: 37
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Cập nhật: 2015-01-24 12:31:11 +0700
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Chapter 13 - EXIT VICTORIA JOHNSON
he evening was drawing to a close.
The steel band was at last relaxing its efforts. Tim stood by the dining room looking over the terrace. He extinguished a few lights on tables that had been vacated.
A voice spoke behind him. “Tim, can I speak to you a moment?”
Tim Kendal started.
“Hallo, Evelyn, is there anything I can do for you?”
Evelyn looked round.
“Come to this table here, and let's sit down a minute.”
She led the way to a table at the extreme end of the terrace. There were no other people near them.
“Tim, you must forgive me talking to you, but I'm worried about Molly.”
His face changed at once.
“What about Molly?” he said stiffly.
“I don't think she's awfully well. She seems upset.”
“Things do seem to upset her rather easily just lately.”
“She ought to see a doctor, I think.”
“Yes, I know, but she doesn't want to. She'd hate it.”
“Why?”
“Eh? What d'you mean?”
“I said why? Why should she hate seeing a doctor?”
“Well,” said Tim rather vaguely, “People do sometimes, you know. It's-well, it sort of makes them feel frightened about themselves.”
“You're worried about her yourself, aren't you, Tim?”
“Yes. Yes, I am rather.”
“Isn't there anyone of her family who could come out here to be with her?”
“No. That'd make things far worse.”
“What is the trouble-with her family, I mean?”
“Oh, just one of those things. I suppose she's just highly strung and-she didn't get on with them-particularly her mother. She never has. They're-they're rather an odd family in some ways and she cut loose from them. Good thing she did, I think.”
Evelyn said hesitantly: “She seems to have had blackouts, from what she told me, and to be frightened of people. Almost like persecution mania.”
“Don't say that,” said Tim angrily. “Persecution mania! People always say that about people. Just because she-well-maybe she's a bit nervy. Coming out here to the West Indies. All the dark faces. You know, people are rather queer, sometimes, about the West Indies and coloured people.”
“Surely not girls like Molly?”
“Oh, how does one know the things people are frightened of? There are people who can't be in the room with cats. And other people who faint if a caterpillar drops on them.”
“I hate suggesting it-but don't you think perhaps she ought to see a-well, a psychiatrist?”
“No!” said Tim explosively. “I won't have people like that monkeying about with her. I don't believe in them. They make people worse. If her mother had left psychiatrists alone...”
“So there was trouble of that kind in her family, was there? I mean a history of-” she chose the word carefully “-instability.”
“I don't want to talk about it. I took her away from it all and she was all right, quite all right. She has just got into a nervous state... But these things aren't hereditary. Everybody knows that nowadays. It's an exploded idea. Molly's perfectly sane. It's just that-oh! I believe it was that wretched old Palgrave dying that started it all off.”
“I see,” said Evelyn thoughtfully. “But there was nothing really to worry anyone in Major Palgrave's death, was there?”
“No of course there wasn't. But it's a kind of shock when somebody dies suddenly.”
He looked so desperate and defeated that Evelyn's heart smote her. She put her hand on his arm.
“Well, I hope you know what you're doing, Tim, but if I could help in any way-I mean if I could go with Molly to New York-I could fly with her there or Miami or somewhere where she could get really first-class medical advice.”
“It's very good of you, Evelyn, but Molly's all right. She's getting over it, anyway.”
Evelyn shook her head in doubt. She turned away slowly and looked along the line of the terrace. Most people had gone by now to their bungalows. Evelyn was walking towards her table to see if she'd left anything behind there, when she heard Tim give an exclamation. She looked up sharply. He was staring towards the steps at the end of the terrace and she followed his gaze. Then she too caught her breath.
Molly was coming up the steps from the beach. She was breathing with deep, sobbing breaths, her body swayed to and fro as she came, in a curious directionless run. Tim cried, “Molly! What's the matter?”
He ran towards her and Evelyn followed him. Molly was at the top of the steps now and she stood there, both hands behind her back. She said in sobbing breaths: “I found her... She's there in the bushes... There in the bushes... And look at my hands-look at my hands-” She held them out and Evelyn caught her breath as she saw the queer dark stains.
They looked dark in the subdued lighting but she knew well enough that their real colour was red.
''What's happened, Molly?" cried Tim.
“Down there,” said Molly. She swayed on her feet. “In the bushes...”
Tim hesitated, looked at Evelyn, then shoved Molly a little towards Evelyn and ran down the steps. Evelyn put her arm round the girl.
“Come. Sit down, Molly. Here. You'd better have something to drink.”
Molly collapsed in a chair and leaned forward on the table, her forehead on her crossed arms. Evelyn did not question her any more. She thought it better to leave her time to recover.
“It'll be all right, you know,” said Evelyn gently. “It'll be all right.”
“I don't know,” said Molly. “I don't know what happened. I don't know anything. I can't remember. I-” She raised her head suddenly. “What's the matter with me? What's the matter with me?”
“It's all right, child. It's all right.”
Tim was coming slowly up the steps. His face was ghastly. Evelyn looked up at him, raising her eyebrows in a query.
“It's one of our girls,” he said. “What's-her-name-Victoria. Somebody's put a knife in her.”
A Caribbean Mystery A Caribbean Mystery - Agatha Christie A Caribbean Mystery