The Mysterious Mr. Quin – Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie – The Mysterious Mr. Quin
THE COMING OF MR. QUIN
IT was New Year’s Eve.
The elder members of the house party at Royston were assembled in the big hall.
Mr. Satterthwaite was glad that the young people had gone to bed. He was not fond of young people in herds. He thought them uninteresting and crude. They lacked subtlety and as life went he had become increasingly fond of subtleties
Mr. Satterthwaite was sixty-two– a little bent, dried-up man with a peering face oddly elflike, and an intense and inordinate interest in other people’s lives. All his life, so to speak, he had sat in the front row of the stalls watching various dramas of human nature unfold before him. His role had always been that of the onlooker. Only now, with old age holding him in its clutch, he found himself increasingly critical of the drama submitted to him. He demanded now something a little out of the common.
There was no doubt that he had a flair for these things. He knew instinctively when the elements of drama were at hand. Like a war horse, he sniffed the scent. Since his arrival at Royston this afternoon, that strange inner sense of his had stirred and bid him be ready. Something interesting was happening or going to happen.
The house party was not a large one. There was Tom Evesham their genial good-humoured host and his serious political wife who had been before her marriage Lady Laura Keene. There was Sir Richard Conway, soldier, traveler and sportsman, there were six or seven young people whose names Mr. Satterthwaite had not grasped and there were the Portals.
It was the Portals who interested Mr. Satterthwaite.
He had never met Alex. Portal before, but he knew all about him. Had known his father and his grandfather. Alex Portal ran pretty true to type. He was a man of close on forty, fair-haired, and blue-eyed like all the Portals, fond of sport, good at games, devoid of imagination. Nothing unusual about Alex Portal. The usual good sound English stock.
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