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“Send someone here quick. There’s been a murder!”
Travers turned to Wharton. “I ask you, George, as a man of the world—do schoolmasters and mistresses have souls full of glamour and passion and intrigue? Are they torn by the same emotions that rend people like us?”
“Murder is easy. It’s child’s play to commit murder and get away with it.”
Murder on Mondays! Greatest prophecy of the century! T.P. Luffham was murdered!
“It’s terrible. It’s a body . . . the head cut off . . . and the hands.”
Travers looked down at the thing that sprawled. The head gave a last movement, and there was a faint sound like a tired moan. The time was eight minutes to eight.
“You needn’t look impatient, sir. He’ll be finished with you long before dinner.ˮ
‘I judge him to have been dead just about twenty-four hours. Suicide, almost certainly.’
Palmer saw him out, and gave that little deprecatory cough.
“If you’ll pardon me, sir, is it another murder?”
“Looks like it,” Travers told him from the door.
“George Wharton said he hoped I’d have a nice murder for you.”
“Have you heard the news, sir?” the waiter said.
“I’m afraid I haven’t. What is it?”
“Plumley’s dead, sir. Henry Plumley. We just got the news over the ’phone. Suicide they say it was. Anything else you want, sir?”
I am going to commit a murder. I offer no apology for the curtness of the statement.
“And that’s not all. Somers is dead too … He poisoned himself … in the lounge!”
Somebody at that very moment might be watching from behind the hedge! Melodramatic perhaps—but the fact remained that one murder had been committed and a second seemed more than likely.
However thorough your search was, I’m convinced the murderer, or the burglar—call him what you will—is still in the house.
“If you don’t think I’m taking a liberty in saying so, my opinion is that he was knocked down first and hanged after!”
Travers looked down at the face. On the collar was a red patch and a long streak. Across the throat was a gash.
“It was some sort of sudden death?”
Travers made a face. “It certainly was sudden. I’ll say it’s ten to one it was murder.”
“Let us know when you’re dead!”
Old Hunt slithered in the most amazing way and then fell to the floor. He lay between the seats, face upwards.
‘If Robert had a mission, it was to emphasise that life was meant to be fun; he was one of the few men I knew who strode through life instead of circumnavigating it. He died without ever growing old.’ Michael Parkinson
‘She had all the charm of an electric carving knife’ Dirk Bogarde
‘She was a darling girl’ Sybil Thorndike
‘Hollywood is a chain gang and we lose the will to escape; the links of our chain are forged not of cruelties but of luxuries: we are pelted with orchids and roses; we are overpaid and underworked.’
I have an uneasy feeling that history is catching up with old Persia all too fast. While Persia’s past still lies in plain sight, where an American family could live in it, I’m eager to tell our story. If for no other reason than for myself, to keep the memory of it as fresh as those new roses, as real as those tan mud walls.