rived. His days were full. He had little leisure. And so, on this August morning, he was glad that he was leaving London and going to be for some days on an island off the Devon coast. Not that it was exactly a holiday. The letter he had received had been rather vague in its terms, but there was nothing vague about the accompanying cheque. A whacking fee 12 . These Owens must be rolling in money. Some little difficulty, it seemed, a husband who was worried about his wife’s health and wanted a report on it without her being alarmed. She wouldn’t hear of seeing a doctor. Her nerves—Nerves! The doctor’s eyebrows went up. These women and their nerves! Well, it was good for business after all. Half the women who consulted him had nothing the matter with them but boredom, but they wouldn’t thank you for telling them so! And one could usually find something.
Suddenly, in spite of the heat in the carriage she shivered and wished she wasn’t going to the sea. A picture rose clearly before her mind. Cyril’s head, bobbing up and down, swimming to the rock… Up and down—up and down… And herself, swimming in easy practised strokes after him— cleaving her way through the water but knowing, only too surely, that she wouldn’t be in time… The sea—its deep warm blue—mornings spent lying out on the sands—Hugo—Hugo who had said he loved her… She must not think of Hugo… She opened her eyes and frowned across at the man opposite her. A tall man with a brown face, light eyes set rather close together and an arrogant, almost cruel mouth. She thought to herself: I bet he’s been to some interesting parts of the world and seen some interesting things…
Vera Claythorne, tired by a recent strenuous term at school, thought to herself, ‘Being a games mistress in a third-class school isn’t much of a catch… If only I could get a job at some decent school.’ And then, with a cold feeling round her heart, she thought: ‘But I’m lucky to have even this. After all, people don’t like a Coroner’s Inquest 2 , even if the Coroner did acquit me of all blame!’ He had even complimented her on her presence of mind and courage, she remembered. For an inquest it couldn’t have gone better. And Mrs Hamilton had been kindness itself to her—only Hugo— but she wouldn’t think of Hugo!
Агата Кристи – великолепный учитель английского языка! Пока не дочитаешь роман не успокоишься. Вроде и знаешь сюжет, сколько раз уже в русском варианте читан-перечитан, а когда берешь предложенный Литресом вариант, словно с другой стороны смотришь на все происходящее. Нелегкое чтение, но оно того стОит.
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