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The Secret of Chimneys – Agatha Christie

Chapter 1


‘Gentleman Joe!’

‘Why, if it isn’t old Jimmy McGrath.’

Castle’s Select Tour, represented by seven depressed-looking females and three perspiring males, looked on with considerable interest. Evidently their Mr Cade had met an old friend. They all admired Mr Cade so much, his tall lean figure, his sun-tanned face, the light-hearted manner with which he settled disputes and cajoled them all into good temper. This friend of his now – surely rather a peculiar-looking man. About the same height as Mr Cade, but thick-set and not nearly so good-looking. The sort of man one read about in books, who probably kept a saloon. Interesting though. After all, that was what one came abroad for – to see all these peculiar things one read about in books. Up to now they had been rather bored with Bulawayo. The sun was unbearably hot, the hotel was uncomfortable, there seemed to be nowhere particular to go until the moment should arrive to motor to the Matoppos. Very fortunately, Mr Cade had suggested picture postcards. There was an excellent supply of picture postcards.

Anthony Cade and his friend had stepped a little apart.

‘What the hell are you doing with this pack of females?’ demanded McGrath. ‘Starting a harem?’

‘Not with this little lot,’ grinned Anthony. ‘Have you taken a good look at them?’

‘I have that. Thought maybe you were losing your eye-sight -‘

‘My eyesight’s as good as ever it was. No, this is a Castle’s Select Tour. I’m Castle – the local Castle, I mean.’

‘What the hell made you take on a job like that?’

‘A regrettable necessity for cash. I can assure you it doesn’t suit my temperament.’

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