Weekend with Death

Weekend with Death by Patricia Wentworth

Book: Weekend with Death by Patricia Wentworth Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Wentworth
other side of it. She could see him in profile, the line of brow, cheek and chin. Suppose he could hear what was being said—suppose he had heard. The face should have been a sensitive one—it had a frozen look. She had seen him frown, but she had never seen him smile. Did two—or had it been three—years of prison blunt you so much that you didn’t care, or did they drive thought and feeling inwards to rage and fester there?
    Wilson came back to the point from which he had started.
    â€œHe was, I believe, at quite a well known public school. His father, I think, was in the army. A natural reaction from militarism, which I would be the last to condemn, may have been the beginning of his downfall. I myself, as you are doubtless aware, have been a lifelong pacifist—I was a conscientious objector during the last war.…” He continued to talk.
    It was about half an hour later that the car showed the first signs of trouble. After a mile or two of lumpy running, Wickham pulled up by the side of the road and opened the bonnet. Presently he came round to the window and announced that he would like to get the car to a garage.
    â€œThere’ll be one at Hedgeley.”
    â€œDear me—how very unfortunate! And how far is it to Hedgeley?”
    â€œA couple of miles.”
    â€œIs there an hotel there?”
    â€œOf sorts,” said Wickham laconically.
    â€œI said we ought to have come by train,” said Joanna. “And it is going to snow—I feel quite sure that it is going to snow.”
    They were detained at Hedgeley long enough to reduce I Miss Cattermole to a state of nervous depression, and her brother to the limit of his self-control. The hotel was of the cheap commercial kind. The food was definitely bad. The fire in the coffee-room smoked and kept on going out. There was nothing to read. When Sarah suggested going out to get a paper, there seemed to be a number of reasons why she should not do so. The nearest paper shop was half a mile down the street. The car might be ready at any moment. The morning papers would be sold out and the evening papers not yet in. And finally, “I must really ask you not to leave my sister—she is in a sadly nervous state.”
    Sarah, whose inclination had been of the slightest, gave way, and was rewarded by a mild half promise that Wilson would look out for a paper-boy.
    If he looked, it was in vain. No paper was forthcoming. Sarah, who was divided between boredom, curiosity, and a quite strong reluctance to read any more about Emily Case, began to wonder why there had been no papers at breakfast. As a rule there were three, but this morning none except yesterday’s Times . She wondered whether Morgan had taken them. She wondered whether they contained too faithful a description of Sarah Marlowe.
    The day grew steadily colder. At intervals of half an hour Wilson crossed the street to the garage and came back with discouraging reports.
    â€œThey can’t find out what is wrong”… “Wick-ham says it may be the coil” … “No, my dear, they cannot say how long they will be. We must just possess our souls in patience.” …
    It was not until five o’clock that Wickham came across to say that the car was in running order. It was quite dark as they took the road, running on through the town and out upon a tree-bordered highway.
    Presently they turned right-handed, and then turned again. Two right-hand turns take you back in the direction from which you have come, and a third brings you to the road you have just left. Prolonged boredom makes you either very dull or very observant. It had the latter effect upon Sarah. She said in a tone of surprise,
    â€œWhy, we are back on the Hedgeley road!”
    â€œWe might be on any road in this dreadful darkness,” said Joanna in her most complaining voice. “I am sure I cannot think how Wickham manages to drive with those wretched

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