A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint.... What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.

Henry David Thoreau

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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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iss Marple woke suddenly and sat up in bed. Her heart was beating. She switched on the light and looked at the little clock by her bedside. Two A.M.. Two A.M. and outside activity of some kind was going on. She got up, put on her dressing gown and slippers, and a woollen scarf round her head and went out to reconnoitre. There were people moving about with torches.
Among them she saw Canon Prescott and went to him.
“What's happening?”
“Oh, Miss Marple? It's Mrs. Kendal. Her husband woke up, found she'd slipped out of bed and gone out. We're looking for her.”
He hurried on. Miss Marple walked more slowly after him. Where had Molly gone? Why? Had she planned this deliberately, planned to slip away as soon as the guard on her was relaxed, and while her husband was deep in sleep? Miss Marple thought it was probable. But why? What was the reason? Was there, as Esther Walters had so strongly hinted, some other man? If so, who could that man be? Or was there some more sinister reason?
Miss Marple walked on, looking around her, peering under bushes. Then suddenly she heard a faint call: “Here... This way...”
The cry had come from some little distance beyond the hotel grounds. It must be, thought Miss Marple near the creek of water that ran down to the sea. She went in that direction as briskly as she could.
There were not really so many searchers as it had seemed to her at first. Most people must still be asleep in their bungalows.
She saw a place on the creek bank where there were people standing. Someone pushed past her, almost knocking her down, running in that direction. It was Tim Kendal. A minute or two later she heard his voice cry out: “Molly! My God, Molly!”
It was a minute or two before Miss Marple was able to join the little group.
It consisted of one of the Cuban waiters, Evelyn Hillingdon, and two of the native girls. They had parted to let Tim through.
Miss Marple arrived as he was bending over to look.
“Molly...” He slowly dropped on to his knees. Miss Marple saw the girl's body clearly, lying there in the creek, her face below the level of the water, her golden hair spread over the pale green embroidered shawl that covered her shoulders. With the leaves and rushes of the creek, it seemed almost like a scene from Hamlet with Molly as the dead Ophelia...
As Tim stretched out a hand to touch her, the quiet, common-sense Miss Marple took charge and spoke sharply and authoritatively.
'Don't move her, Mr. Kendal,“ she said. ”She mustn't be moved."
Tim turned a dazed face up to her.
“But- I must-it's Molly. I must...”
Evelyn Hillingdon touched his shoulder.
“She's dead, Tim. I didn't move her, but I did feel her pulse.”
“Dead?” said Tim unbelievingly.
“Dead? You mean she's-drowned herself?”
“I'm afraid so. It looks like it.”
“But why?” A great cry burst from the young man. “Why? She was so happy this evening. Talking about what we'd do tomorrow. Why should this terrible death wish come over her again? Why should she steal away as she did-rush out into the night, come down here and drown herself? What despair did she have-what misery-why couldn't she tell me anything?”
“I don't know, my dear,” said Evelyn gently. “I don't know.”
Miss Marple said, “Somebody had better get Dr. Graham. And someone will have to telephone the police.”
“The police?” Tim uttered a bitter laugh. “What good will they be?”
“The police have to be notified in a case of suicide,” said Miss Marple.
Tim rose slowly to his feet.
“I'll get Graham,” he said heavily. “Perhaps-even now-he could-do something.”
He stumbled away in the direction of the hotel.
Evelyn Hillingdon and Miss Marple stood side by side looking down at the dead girl.
Evelyn shook her head. “It's too late. She's quite cold. She must have been dead at least an hour, perhaps more. What a tragedy it all is. Those two always seemed so happy. I suppose she was always unbalanced.”
“No,” said Miss Marple. “I don't think she was unbalanced.”
Evelyn looked at her curiously. “What do you mean?”
The moon had been behind a cloud, but now it came out into the open. It shone with a luminous silvery brightness on Molly's outspread hair...
Miss Marple gave a sudden ejaculation.
She bent down, peering, then stretched out her hand and touched the golden head. She spoke to Evelyn Hillingdon, and her voice sounded quite different.
“I think,” she said, “that we had better make sure.”
Evelyn Hillingdon stared at her in astonishment.
“But you yourself told Tim we mustn't touch anything?”
“I know. But the moon wasn't out. I hadn't seen-” Her finger pointed. Then, very gently, she touched the blonde hair and parted it so that the roots were exposed...
Evelyn gave a sharp ejaculation. “Lucky! And then after a moment she repeated: ”Not Molly... Lucky."
Miss Marple nodded. “Their hair was of much the same colour-but hers, of course, was dark at the roots because it was dyed.”
“But she's wearing Molly's shawl!”
“She admired it. I heard her say she was going to get one like it. Evidently she did.”
“So that's why we were-deceived...” Evelyn broke off as she met Miss Marple's eyes watching her.
“Someone,” said Miss Marple, “will have to tell her husband.”
There was a moment's pause, then Evelyn said: “All right. I'll do it.”
She turned and walked away through the palm trees.
Miss Marple remained for a moment motionless, then she turned her head very slightly, and said: “Yes, Colonel Hillingdon?”
Edward Hillingdon came from the trees behind her to stand by her side. “You knew I was there?”
“You cast a shadow,” said Miss Marple.
They stood a moment in silence.
He said, more as though he were speaking to himself: “So, in the end, she played her luck too far...”
“You are, I think, glad she is dead?”
“And that shocks you? Well, I will not deny it. I am glad she is dead.”
“Death is often a solution to problems.”
Edward Hillingdon turned his head slowly. Miss Marple met his eyes calmly and steadfastly.
“If you think-” he took a sharp step towards her.
There was a sudden menace in his tone.
Miss Marple said quietly: “Your wife will be back with Mr. Dyson in a moment. Or Mr. Kendal will be here with Dr. Graham.”
Edward Hillingdon relaxed. He turned back to look down at the dead woman. Miss Marple slipped away quietly. Presently her pace quickened. Just before reaching her own bungalow, she paused. It was here that she had sat that day talking to Major Palgrave. It was here that he had fumbled in his wallet looking for the snapshot of a murderer...
She remembered how he had looked up, and how his face had gone purple and red... “So ugly,” as Seсora de Caspearo had said. “He has the Evil Eye.”
The Evil Eye... Eye... Eye...
A Caribbean Mystery A Caribbean Mystery - Agatha Christie A Caribbean Mystery