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Murder at the vicarage – Agatha Christie


The Murder at the Vicarage

by

Agatha Christie

(1930)

Chapter I

It is difficult to know quite where to begin this story, but I have fixed my choice on a certain Wednesday at luncheon at the Vicarage. The conversation, though in the main irrelevant to the matter in hand, yet contained one or two suggestive incidents which influenced later developments.

I had just finished carving some boiled beef (remarkably tough by the way) and on resuming my seat I remarked, in a spirit most unbecoming to my cloth, that any one who murdered Colonel Protheroe would be doing the world at large a service.

My young nephew, Dennis, said instantly:

“That’ll be remembered against you when the old boy is found bathed in blood. Mary will give evidence, won’t you, Mary? And describe how you brandished the carving knife in a vindictive manner.”

Mary, who is in service at the Vicarage as a stepping-stone to better things and higher wages, merely said in a loud, businesslike voice, “Greens,” and thrust a cracked dish at him in a truculent manner.

My wife said in a sympathetic voice: “Has he been very trying?”

I did not reply at once, for Mary, setting the greens on the table with a bang, proceeded to thrust a dish of singularly moist and unpleasant dumplings under my nose. I said, “No, thank you,” and she deposited the dish with a clatter on the table and left the room.

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