By the pricking of my thumbs – Agatha Christie 1/211 | Next page |

By the pricking of my thumbs – Agatha Christie

By the pricking of my thumbs

Something wicked this way comes.

(Macbeth)

Book I – SUNNY RIDGE

Chapter 1

AUNT ADA

Mr and Mrs Beresford were sitting at the breakfast table. They were an ordinary couple. Hundreds of elderly couples just like them were having breakfast all over England at that particular moment. It was an ordinary sort of day too, the kind of day that you get five days out of seven. It looked as though it might rain but wasn’t quite sure of it.

Mr Beresford had once had red hair. There were traces of the red still, but most of it had gone that sandy-cum-grey colour that redheaded people so often arrive at in middle life.

Mrs Beresford had once had black hair, a vigorous curling mop of it. Now the black was adulterated with streaks of grey laid on, apparently at random. It made a rather pleasant effect. Mrs Beresford had once thought of dyeing her hair, but in the end she had decided that she liked herself better as nature had made her. She had decided instead to try a new shade of lipstick so as to cheer herself up.

An elderly couple having breakfast together. A pleasant couple, but nothing remarkable about them. So an onlooker would have said. If the onlooker had been young he or she would have added, ‘Oh yes, quite pleasant, but deadly dull, of course, like all old people.’

However, Mr and Mrs Beresford had not yet arrived at the time of life when they thought of themselves as old. And they had no idea that they and many others were automatically pronounced deadly dull solely on that account. Only by the young of course, but then, they would have thought indulgently, young people knew nothing about life. Poor dears, they were always worrying about examinations, or their sex life, or buying some extraordinary clothes, or doing extraordinary things to their hair to make them more noticeable. Mr and Mrs Beresford from their own point of view were just past the prime of life. They liked themselves and liked each other and day succeeded day in a quiet but enjoyable fashion.

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