The Sittaford Mystery – Agatha Christie
THE SITTAFORD MYSTERY
Major Burnaby drew on his gum boots, buttoned his overcoat collar round his neck, took from a shelf near the door a hurricane lantern, and cautiously opened the front door of his little bungalow and peered out. The scene that met his eyes was typical of the English countryside as depicted on Xmas cards and in old-fashioned melodramas. Everywhere was snow, deep drifts of it – no mere powdering an inch or two thick. Snow had fallen all over England for the last four days, and up here on the fringe of Dartmoor it had attained a depth of several feet. All over England householders were groaning over burst pipes, and to have a plumber friend (or even a plumber’s mate) was the most coveted of all distinctions.
Up here, in the tiny village of Sittaford, at all times remote from the world, and now almost completely cut off, the rigors of winter were a very real problem.
Major Burnaby, however, was a hardy soul. He snorted twice, grunted once, and marched resolutely out into the snow.
His destination was not far away. A few paces along a winding lane, then in at a gate, and so up a drive partially swept clear of snow to a house of some considerable size built of granite.
The door was opened by a neatly clad parlormaid. The Major was divested of his British Warm, his gum boots and his aged scarf.
A door was flung open and he passed through it into a room which
conveyed all the illusion of a transformation scene.
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