The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne


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Page 1

VI. OUTSIDE OR INSIDE?

VII. PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN

VIII. "DO YOU FOLLOW ME, WATSON?"

IX. POSSIBILITIES OF A CROQUET SET

X. MR. GILLINGHAM TALKS NONSENSE

XI. THE REVEREND THEODORE USSHER

XII. A SHADOW ON THE WALL

XIII. THE OPEN WINDOW

XIV. MR. BEVERLEY QUALIFIES FOR THE STAGE

XV. MRS. NORBURY CONFIDES IN DEAR MR. GILLINGHAM

XVI. GETTING READY FOR THE NIGHT

XVII. MR. BEVERLEY TAKES THE WATER

XVIII. GUESS-WORK

XIX. THE INQUEST

XX. MR. BEVERLEY IS TACTFUL

XXI. CAYLEY'S APOLOGY

XXII. MR. BEVERLEY MOVES ON



CHAPTER I

Mrs. Stevens is Frightened


In the drowsy heat of the summer afternoon the Red House was
taking its siesta. There was a lazy murmur of bees in the
flower-borders, a gentle cooing of pigeons in the tops of the
elms. From distant lawns came the whir of a mowing-machine, that
most restful of all country sounds; making ease the sweeter in
that it is taken while others are working.

It was the hour when even those whose business it is to attend to
the wants of others have a moment or two for themselves. In the
housekeeper's room Audrey Stevens, the pretty parlour-maid,
re-trimmed her best hat, and talked idly to her aunt, the
cook-housekeeper of Mr. Mark Ablett's bachelor home.

"For Joe?" said Mrs. Stevens placidly, her eye on the hat.
Audrey nodded. She took a pin from her mouth, found a place in
the hat for it, and said, "He likes a bit of pink."

"I don't say I mind a bit of pink myself," said her aunt. "Joe
Turner isn't the only one."

"It isn't everybody's colour," said Audrey, holding the hat out
at arm's length, and regarding it thoughtfully. "Stylish, isn't
it?"

"Oh, it'll suit you all right, and it would have suited me at
your age. A bit too dressy for me now, though wearing better
than some other people, I daresay. I was never the one to
pretend to be what I wasn't. If I'm fifty-five, I'm fifty-five
--that's what I say."

"Fifty-eight, isn't it, auntie?"

"I was just giving that as an example," said Mrs. Stevens with
great dignity.

Audrey threaded a needle, held her hand out and looked at her
nails critically for a moment, and then began to sew.

"Funny thing that about Mr. Mark's brother. Fancy not seeing
your brother for fifteen years." She gave a self-conscious laugh
and went on, "Wonder what I should do if I didn't see Joe for
fifteen years."

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sun 18th Aug 2019, 19:32