A taste of murder new
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For students who study English at intermediate level. Build your vocabulary while enjoying your reading!

For students who study English at intermediate level. Build your vocabulary while enjoying your reading!

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  • 1. 1 I arrive at The Grange laremont Private Nursing Agency. This is Angela speaking. Can I help you? Angela? Its Anne ... Anne Harrison. Have you got theinformation about that new job? Oh, hello Anne. Wait a minute . . . Yes, here it is! Weneed a private nurse for Mrs Kitty Blakemore. Kitty Blakemore? The famous writer? Yes, said Angela. Thats right. But, listen Anne, thereisnt really much wrong with her. Her heart is a littleweak, but shes not really ill. Shes just a hypochondriac. Oh, I see . . . one of those. Whats the address? The Grange, Kingsfield, Sussex, said Angela. Shewants you to be there tomorrow morning. Good luck!Early next morning, I drove to Kingsfield, a pretty littlevillage near the sea. The Grange was just outside thevillage, at the end of a private road. It was a large greyhouse. I rang the bell and waited. No one answered, so I rangit again. At last, the door opened and a young blonde girlappeared. She wore a dark blue dress and a white apron.She stood there and stared at me. 1
  • 2. but she didnt. Instead, she sat down on my bed. Why do you want to work in this place? she asked. Its just a job, I replied. Mrs Blakemores terrible, said Charlotte. Shes not really sick. She just wants to lie in bed all day and give us orders. I dont know why her husband likes her. Hes famous too, you know. He writes wonderful music. Have you ever heard of him? No? Well, hes lucky. Hes away at the moment. Hes working in Wales. Poor us! We have to stay here with her! Yes? she said. Charlotte was talking and I was brushing my hair and Im Nurse Harrison, I said. The nursing agency sent looking at her in the mirror. She took something out ofme. her apron pocket and examined it. Suddenly, there was Oh, yes. Come in. a knock at the door and she jumped off the bed. She I followed her into the hall. A tall woman, about forty quickly put the thing back in her pocket. Stella Vixonyears old, was coming down the stairs. came in. Nurse Harrison? she asked. We shook hands. Im Are you still here, Charlotte? she said. Hurry up andStella Vixon, the housekeeper. go downstairs. Oh . . . and . . . Mrs Blakemore has lost She was quite beautiful, but also a little strange and one of her rings. Its not in her jewel box. Do you knowfrightening. She was very controlled and there was anything about it?something mysterious about her eyes. What do you mean? Im not a thief! cried Charlotte I hope youll be happy here, she said. Charlotte will angrily. I didnt take it!show you to your room now. Then she smiled at me All right, said Miss Vixon. Calm down. I only said,strangely and walked away. "Do you know anything about it?" Now hurry up and go I followed Charlotte up the stairs and down a long and do your work.corridor. She pushed open a door at the end. Then she turned to me. Heres your room, she said. If youre ready, Nurse Harrison, well go and see I put down my suitcase. I waited for her to go away Mrs Blakemore now. 2 3
  • 3. Now, Mrs Blakemore, I said. A nice walk in the 2 Mrs Blakemore garden will make you feel a lot better. I followed Miss Vixon down the corridor. We went to Oh, dont be silly, she said. Im much too weak. another part of the house. She knocked on a heavy At that moment, Miss Vixon opened the door andwhite door and we walked into Mrs Blakemores said, Doctor Spencer is here.bedroom. The curtains were half closed and the room A short, fat man with glasses came in.was quite dark. A woman about fifty-five years old wassitting up in bed. Is that the new nurse? she asked in a sharp voice. I was surprised because she really did look very whiteand sick. Some bottles of medicine and bottles of pillswere on the table beside the bed. The bed itself wascovered with books, letters and half-eaten chocolates. Yes. This is Nurse Harrison, said the housekeeper. Good, said Mrs Blakemore. Now you - get out andleave us alone. I was astonished. But Miss Vixon said nothing. Shejust smiled politely and left the room. Mrs Blakemore stared at me. And hows my patient today? he asked. You look intelligent, Nurse, she said. These Ive got a very nasty taste in my mouth, Doctor, sheothers . . . theyre all useless. Im not getting better, you complained. My legs hurt and I feel sick.know. Im getting worse. A look of fear came into her Ah! he said. But youve got a nice new nurse! Whateyes. Do you know ... sometimes I think that someone a lucky woman you are!is poisoning me. Listen, Doctor, said Mrs Blakemore. Im not getting Nonsense! I said. You just need some nice fresh air! better. I was sick last night. I pulled back the curtains and opened the window. Oh, dear, said Doctor Spencer. Youve been eatingSunlight poured into the room. I took her temperature. too many chocolates! He smiled at her and then at me.It was perfectly normal. Im really sick, you fool! said Mrs Blakemore angrily. 4 5
  • 4. My dear lady, said Doctor Spencer, gently. Please laughed weakly. Hes a useless doctor.dont worry. You worry too much. Why dont you get a new one? I asked. He looked at me. Ill just give her a little injection. It This isnt London, you know, she said. This is thewill calm her down. country. Theres only one other doctor near here and he I nodded. lives ten miles away. Hes useless, too. The world is full She has some strange ideas, he said. Shes a writer, of useless people. She closed her eyes. Anyway, Imyou see. leaving all my money to my nephew. The injection worked. Soon she was lying there But what about your husband?quietly. Then Doctor Spencer noticed the chocolates. Edward? Her face looked almost kind for a moment. Look! What did I say? More chocolates ... Dear ... Edward doesnt want my money. He has plenty of hisdear ... own. Even this house is his. Anyway, he doesnt really Yes, my nephew always brings me chocolates, said care about money. He only thinks about music.Mrs Blakemore. She put another chocolate in her mouth and ate it. Your nephew? My nephew . . . our vicar . . . The Reverend John Outside, in the corridor, I met Charlotte. She wasPalmer, she explained in a tired voice. carrying Mrs Blakemores lunch. She took it into the Oh. So hes your nephew, is he? Thats interesting, bedroom and then she showed me the way to thesaid the doctor. I didnt know that. kitchen. Here we all ate in silence until Bernard, the Ive told you hundreds of times, said Mrs Blakemore. cook, suddenly put down his knife and fork.Tour memory isnt very good, is it? Or perhaps you just What do you think of her, then? he asked me.want to annoy me. Mrs Blakemore? Oh, she seems all right, I replied. He laughed a little nervously and he left the room. All right? he said. Shes rude, selfish and mean. Do Useless man! she said. Then she smiled at me you know, shes got lots of money ... loads of it. But shestrangely. Ive got a little joke for Doctor Spencer. always makes us use the last little bit of everything. Have you? I said. The last bit of milk, the last bit of bread. Yes. Ive told him that Im going to leave him a lot of Well, perhaps she doesnt like to waste anything, Imoney in my will. When I die. But its not true. No, Im said.not going to leave him anything. Mrs Blakemore There was silence again. 6 7
  • 5. Mrs Blakemore thinks that someone is poisoningher, I said. Bernard laughed. Really? he said. Im sure that wewould all like to poison her, if we could. I would do it ifI could think of a good way. Miss Vixons face went white. Bernard! Well, its true, isnt it? he said. You dont like hereither, do you? Miss Vixon didnt answer. Bernard went to get theice-cream from the fridge. He walked with somedifficulty. I saw that he had something wrong with his leftleg. 3 A nasty taste Suddenly Charlotte said to me, Thats a nice ring youhave. Its a diamond, isnt it? Yes, I said. (At last the conversation had changed!) A fter lunch, I visited my patient. She was asleep. The plate was by the bed. She hadnt eaten very much. Mmm . . . I thought. She doesnt need all theseIm getting married next year. My boyfriends names bottles of medicine and pills. She just needs someDavid and hes a sailor. Hes going to be away at sea for vitamin tonic. I decided to walk into the village and buythe next six months. some for her. Oh, Id like to get married too, Charlotte said. I want It was a beautiful afternoon and the village lookedto marry a rich man. Then I can have a big house like very pretty. As I passed the church, I remembered thatthis and a maid. She laughed. Who knows . . . perhaps the vicar was Mrs Blakemores nephew. So I went insideif Mrs Blakemore dies, Mr Blakemore will marry me! to have a look. It was a lovely old building, but it was inHes a bit old . . . but hes famous and he is rich! a terrible condition. Some of the coloured glass in the If thats a joke, Charlotte, its not very funny, said windows was broken and there were holes in the roof.Miss Vixon. Bernard laughed again. There was only one shop in Kingsfield. The woman who Yes, Charlotte. Keep your mouth shut. Mr Blakemore owned it was busy. She was talking to a thin man in awould never want to marry a silly little girl like you. black suit. 8 9
  • 6. Oh dear, Vicar, she said. Its going to cost a lot of I opened the box of chocolates and gave it to Mrsmoney to mend that roof. Blakemore. Then I left the room. Dont worry, Mrs Owen, he said. Well get the money. Outside the door, I met Charlotte. She was carrying Then she noticed me . . . a stranger. Her smile Mrs Blakemores dinner.disappeared. Yes? she said. Whats she having tonight? I asked. The vicar turned round. I could see his face now. It Scrambled eggs, said Charlotte. Were havingwas a proud face, with a thin mouth and dull eyes. So, scrambled eggs, too.this was Mrs Blakemores nephew! I went down to the kitchen. Bernard and Miss Vixon Hello! I said brightly. A bottle of tonic please! were talking. When they saw me, they stopped. I sat That evening, I saw Reverend Palmer again. I had just down. The silence was worse than at lunchtime.helped Mrs Blakemore to go to her bathroom. Shewanted to wash and brush her teeth. When he came in, Mrs Blakemore only ate half of her scrambled eggs.I was helping her to get back into bed. He was holding If you dont eat your food, you wont get better, I said.another box of chocolates. I hate to waste things, but this tastes terrible, she Ah, John, its you! Come and sit down, she said. Look! complained. Take it away. I want a glass of hot milk.Ive got a nice new nurse. Shes going to make me better. I went back to the kitchen and I told Bernard. He looked at me but I dont think he remembered me. Oh, she always says my food tastes terrible, he said. Smile, John, smile, his aunt said. Youre always so She wants a glass of hot milk, I told him.serious. Does she? he said. Well, Im not making it for her. Thats because I am very worried about the church, Ill make it, said Miss Vixon. Dont worry, Nurse.Aunt Kitty, he said. We need thousands of pounds to Go and watch television. Ill take it up to her.mend the roof. I watched television until nine thirty. Then I went Oh, stop it, said Mrs Blakemore. Youre always upstairs.talking about the church. Its so boring! Come on, Nurse, I must brush my teeth again, said Mrs Blakemore.open the chocolates. My nephew needs something to Ive got a very nasty taste in my mouth.make him smile. I helped her to get out of bed. But he stood up. No, not for me, thank you, Aunt. I You really are very weak, I said. Tomorrow you mustmust go now. Im very busy. eat all your food. 10 11
  • 7. Oh, dont talk to me about food! I stood beside her in the bathroom. I thought she 4 A suspicious deathmight fall. The toothpaste was nearly finished, but shemanaged to get out every last bit. She brushed her teethseveral times. I smiled. I remembered what Bernard B ut the following morning, there was an urgent knock on my door. It was Stella Vixon. Nurse! Nurse! she cried. Something terrible hashad said about her. happened! Mrs Blakemores dead! Thats better, she said. Get me some more toothpaste I stared at her. Dead?tomorrow, Nurse. Here. She gave me the empty tube. Yes. I must go, she said. I must go and telephoneThis is the kind I like. They dont sell it in the village. Mr Blakemore at once. Oh! What am I going to say?Youll have to drive to Hastings. My husband usually Telephone Doctor Spencer, too, I said. Then I rangets it for me. down the corridor. I put the tube in my apron pocket. Then I put my arm Mrs Blakemore was lying with her eyes open. Thearound her, because she was so weak. She couldnt light beside her bed was still on and the curtains-werebreathe very well. Perhaps she wasnt a hypochondriac. closed. The empty milk glass was on the floor. I lifted herPerhaps she really was ill. I felt a bit worried and I arm, but it was already cold. A strange, sweet smelldecided to telephone Doctor Spencer the next day. came from her mouth. Charlotte appeared with the breakfast. Take that away, I said. Im going to call the police. The police? she whispered. Why? I think that Mrs Blakemore has been murdered. I phoned the police and a moment later Doctor Spencer arrived. Oh dear, he said. I cant understand it. Her heart was a little weak, but it was nothing serious. I just cant understand it. I didnt think that she would die. No, Doctor, neither did I, I said coldly. But perhaps her heart wasnt the problem. Can you smell that strange smell? Perhaps she has been poisoned. 13
  • 8. Poisoned? His hands shook. Youre not serious! The policewoman Yes, I am, I said. She thought that she was being picked up the emptypoisoned. But I didnt believe her. She said that her legs chocolate box.hurt and that she felt sick. I didnt do anything. But now Who gave herI remember. Poison can make people feel like that. these chocolates? Doctor Spencer looked at Mrs Blakemore, then at me. Her nephew, saidThen he looked at the door. Did he want to escape? At Doctor Spencer. Butlast, he said quietly, Perhaps we should telephone the you neednt worry.police. Hes our vicar. Dont worry, I said. Ive already done that. Anyone can be a murderer, said theWhen the police arrived, Miss Vixon brought them in. Inspector calmly.The Inspector was wearing a dark suit; the policewoman Well take that away,was in uniform. Constable. Well take Inspector Braddock and Police Constable Hemmings, those bottles ofshe announced. medicine and that Ah! The police! Good! said Doctor Spencer, nervously. bottle of tonic, too.He was still looking at the door. Theres an empty Has anyone touched anything or moved anything glass on the floorfrom the room? asked Inspector Braddock. here, sir, PC Hemmings said. No, said Miss Vixon. OK, said the Inspector. Pick it up. Then he turned and looked at me. Are you the nurse The policewoman put the things into a large plastic bag.who telephoned us? What did Mrs Blakemore eat last night? the Inspector Yes, I said. Im from the nursing agency. I only asked.arrived here yesterday. Mrs Blakemore thought Scrambled eggs, I said. But she only ate about half.that someone was poisoning her. But I didnt believe Bernard threw the last bit away.her. You see, the agency told me that she was a Whos Bernard?hypochondriac. Everyone said that she wasnt really ill. The cook. 14 15
  • 9. I see, said the Inspector. Who else works here? I went to the kitchen, because I wanted a sandwich. Only Charlotte, said Miss Vixon. The maid. Bernard was pouring away a bottle of milk. Inspector Braddock looked out of the window. Bernard! I said. What are you doing? The Inspector Perhaps Mrs Blakemore was poisoned, he said. We doesnt want us to throw anything away.dont know yet. We must wait for the results of the He turned round. Are you suggesting that I poisonedautopsy. Ah! Theres the ambulance. Theyve come to her? What about you? Its strange, isnt it? You arrivetake the body away. Now then ... is there a Mr Blakemore? here and the next day Mrs Blakemore is murdered. Yes, said Miss Vixon. Hes been working in Wales for Dont be silly, I said. I dont have a motive.a few weeks. Ive just called him. Hell be here this Suddenly, Stella Vixon rushed in. Nurse Harrison!evening. Quick! Can you come and see Mr Blakemore? Then well come back later, said the Inspector. But When I reached his study, he was walking up and down.first, Id like to speak to Bernard and Charlotte. Wheres Sit down, Mr Blakemore, I said. Here, let me pour athe kitchen? drink for you. I went to my room and stayed there all day. I felt I want to be with her. He was crying quietly. Whyterrible. I blamed myself. But I blamed Doctor Spencer cant I be with her?and the nursing agency, too. Why had none of us done Im sorry, I said. They took your wifes body away.anything to help her? She had been sick. She had been He put his hands over his face.really sick. And now she was dead. Then Charlotte appeared at the door. Its the police, she whispered. Theyre here again.5 Who is the murderer? t about six oclock I went downstairs. Mr BlakemoreA had just arrived. Charlotte was taking his suitcase.He was a good-looking man of about fifty, with whitehair. His face was tired and worried. Come into my study, he said to Miss Vixon. And tellme all about it. 16
  • 10. They only spoke to Mr Blakemore that night. But thenext day they returned and questioned everybody. Then 6 They all have a secretthe following day, a lawyer came to read the will. DoctorSpencer and Reverend Palmer arrived to hear it withthe others. I was not invited, so I spent the morning in T hat afternoon, the Inspector announced: We now have the results of the autopsy. Mrs Blakemore was poisoned. She was probably given small amounts ofmy bedroom. Nothing was certain yet. But I felt sure she arsenic for some time, to make her weak. Then anotherhad been murdered. There were three questions: who? poison, cyanide, finally killed her.how? why? I made a list and tried to work it out. He looked around at us all. Everyone seemed nervous and uncomfortable. Now then ... he continued. What was the motive for this murder? Well, moneys usually a good motive. And ... in her will, Mrs Blakemore left all her money to her nephew. Several million pounds. Nothing to anyone else. Nothing to her husband. This seems a bit strange. The Reverend John Palmer looked down at his hands, embarrassed. Theres nothing strange about it, said Mr Blakemore quietly. Kitty always said that she was going to leave everything to her nephew. She had no children, you see. And she was very fond of her sister. So, when her sister died, she decided to look after her sisters son. Anyway, she didnt need to leave me any money. I have plenty. And this house is all mine. I see, said the Inspector. Well, Vicar. Now youve got plenty of money too, havent you? You can mend that church roof now, cant you? The Reverend Palmers face went red, but he said nothing. 19
  • 11. The Inspector continued. PC Hemmings, please read We shall see, said the Inspector. Sit down againthose lines about Doctor Spencer in the will. please, sir. Now . . . Mrs Blakemore was not an easy The policewoman stood up and read from the will. person to live with. Am I right? She was often very rudeDoctor Spencer is expecting a reward. But it was only and unkind. Is this correct?a little joke. I am sure that he will understand. Well, said Mr Blakemore. She could be difficult So, Doctor, said the Inspector. Mrs Blakemore said sometimes. She was an intelligent woman and she didntthat she would leave you some money, did she? like fools. Well, yes . . . The doctor was cleaning his glasses But sir, said the Inspector. You are an intelligentnervously. A little reward, a little thank you for my help. man . . . but you do not seem to be rude and unkind. Oh, how terrible! cried Charlotte. What a cruel joke! Thats because hes a nicer person than she was, said If you expected some money, said the Inspector, then Charlotte hotly.perhaps you too had a motive for murder, Doctor. I see. The Inspector looked closely at her. You didnt Oh, really! Doctor Spencer stood up. I wont listen to like Mrs Blakemore, did you?any more of this. Im a doctor, not a murderer! No, I didnt, said Charlotte angrily. Perhaps she didnt like you either. But she gave you a job here, didnt she? You were dismissed from your last job, because you stole things. You left without any references. And yet Mrs Blakemore accepted you here. How do you know all that? cried Charlotte. Weve been asking a lot of questions, said the Inspector. Then he turned to Bernard. Tell us something about yourself, Bernard. What do you want to know? How long have you known Mrs Blakemore? Ive worked here for four years, he answered. Ah, yes, but you first met her a long time ago, said the Inspector. Ive been talking to your mother. She said she used to be Mrs Blakemores maid, years ago, in London. 21
  • 12. Bernard said nothing. He touched his bad leg and poisoned. We found arsenic and cyanide in her stomach.looked unhappy. But how did they get there? Perhaps something was You remember, dont you Bernard? You were the thrown away before we arrived.maids child. A poor little boy with a damaged leg. Your I remembered that Bernard had thrown away somemother worked for the rich lady in the big house. milk. Was he guilty? I even began to feel guilty myself. Stella Vixon was looking at Bernard. She seemed Inspector Braddock wrote some notes on a piece ofsorry for him. paper. I looked around at everyone. The Reverend The Inspector continued. You needed an operation Palmer sat very straight in his seat, his lips tightlyon your leg, didnt you? But it was too expensive. And closed. Bernard looked angry. Doctor Spencer wasMrs Blakemore wouldnt help you, would she? wiping his face and glasses again. Charlotte looked Bernard suddenly spoke. She was so mean! he cried frightened. Stella Vixons face was embarrassed. Sheangrily. My mother asked her for some money. But she was looking down at her hands, like someone in pain. Irefused. Then she dismissed my mother, for no reason. looked quickly across the room and noticed something. Yes, I know, said the Inspector calmly. Then years For a second, only a second or two, Mr Blakemore liftedlater, you came to work for Mrs Blakemore yourself. his head and looked at her. There was somethingYou wanted to kill her, didnt you? mysterious in his eyes. Bernard laughed. I certainly hated her, he said. Butat first I didnt know that it was the same woman. Believeme, Inspector, I was surprised to see her again. I stayedbecause I like the country. There are other reasons,too. He looked over at Charlotte with a smile, but shelooked away from him angrily. Im sorry, Inspector, but I didnt kill Mrs Blakemore.It wasnt me. We shall see, said Inspector Braddock. Now . . . Ihave a little problem. We have examined the things fromMrs Blakemores bedroom, but we cant find anyevidence of poison. Its very strange. She was certainly 22
  • 13. OK. Thats all for today, said Inspector Braddock. different from the others. She was the only one with aWell come back tomorrow. kind heart. She had never said anything nasty about I was worried, but I didnt know why. I had forgotten Mrs Blakemore. Someone in the house might be thesomething. But what? murderer. But it wasnt Stella Vixon, I felt sure. Stella Vixon was very quiet during dinner. Why had Please, she said. You must go now.Mr Blakemore looked at her in that strange way? But will you be all right? I was worried. She seemed so frightened. Yes, go, she said. Im sorry. Its my problem. 7 Two unhappy women Well, try to get some sleep, I said. Ill see you in the morning.L ater, at about ten oclock, I left my bedroom and went down the corridor to the bathroom. On myway back, I heard something. Someone was crying. The Yes. Thank you, Nurse. Goodnight. I was worried about her. Perhaps Charlotte could help. I went along the corridor to her room and knocked.noise came from Miss Vixons room, so I knocked on Charlotte? Can I come in?her door. There was no reply. So I knocked again. At last she Its me. Nurse Harrison, I said. Is anything wrong? opened the door. The handle turned and the door opened a little. What is it? she said sleepily. Can I come in? I said. I need to talk to you. She looked terribly unhappy and her eyes were red. Im half asleep, she complained. But she let me in. Whats the matter? I asked. She got back into bed. I sat down beside her. I cant tell you, she whispered. Ive just seen Miss Vixon. Shes been crying. And Sit down here on the bed, I suggested. Youre she seems very frightened. Do you know why?normally so calm and controlled. What is it? No. Its not my business. She can do what she likes. She looked at me for a moment. Then she hid her I dont care.face in her hands. You dont like her, do you? Why? I didnt want her to die, she whispered. She wasnt She did not reply. Instead she looked bored. Shealways a very nice woman. But murder! Thats terrible! began to play with something on one of her fingers. It I put my arm around her. Yes, Stella Vixon was was a diamond ring. 24 25
  • 14. What? Who did you see? Mr Blakemore, of course! I tried to understand. Charlotte . . . you went into the study. And you saw Mr Blakemore. And he was trying to kiss his wife? Is that right? No, silly! she cried. Miss Vixon! I stared at her in astonishment. She started to cry. Later, he gave me this little ring. He said, "Be a good girl. It can be our little secret, cant it?" I was so shocked that I couldnt say anything. I remembered the strange look that Mr Blakemore had Thats pretty, I said. Where did you get it from? given Miss Vixon. And the look of embarrassment on Its mine, she said quickly. Then she hid the ring her face.with her other hand. Someone gave it to me. I dont know why he wanted her, said Charlotte. He Is it one of Mrs Blakemores rings? wanted her to marry him. But she told him not to be Her face went red. I didnt take it! He gave it to me! silly. He was already married. Who gave it to you? She looked at me sadly and dried her blue eyes. Then She would not answer. I remembered something. Mr Blakemore had cried, "I Listen, Charlotte, I said. I tried to be gentle. Did Mr want to be with her. Why cant I be with her?" Now IBlakemore give you that ring? understood. He hadnt been talking about his wife that She started to cry quietly, angrily. Then suddenly she night. He had been talking about Stella Vixon.said, I saw them. He tried to kiss her. Youve been a bit silly yourself, Charlotte, I said. Mr Who? Blakemore is much too old for you. One day youll meet I went into the study with some wood for the fire. It the right man, Im sure. Now go to sleep. You can tell allwas in February. I saw them. this to the police tomorrow morning. Charlottes eyes became darker. The police! she whispered. Why? Why did he want her? she said to herself. She It may help them.sounded jealous. Will I have to give back the ring? 26 27
  • 15. I dont know, Charlotte. Anyway, there are more Stella! he called, in a low voice. Its me ... Edward.important things than your ring. I must speak to you. You cant refuse me. Not now. I left her. Outside, I began to shake with fear. Did Mr He tried to open the door. But it was locked. At last,Blakemore murder his wife? No! It was impossible! He he stopped, and went away down the corridor. I openedhadnt been in the house. And yet . . . perhaps there Charlottes door.was something I had forgotten. What was it? Charlotte! Quick! Get out of bed. Lock your door. And dont open it again to anyone tonight. Not to anyone! I hurried back to my room and locked my own door 8 A perfect murder too. I was still shaking. It was him. He had done it. Yes, Mr Blakemore hadS uddenly, I heard footsteps. I hid myself in the shadows against the wall. I saw the shape of a manat the end of the corridor. He started to come towards murdered his wife! And yet ... it was impossible. He had been away in Wales. So he couldnt have done it. Or could he? I got into bed and lay down. Perhaps he hadme. At Stella Vixons door, he stopped and knocked put the poison into something before he went away.quietly. She didnt answer, so he knocked again, louder. There was something . . . something I had forgottenHe began to walk away. Then he came back. about. What was it?
  • 16. I closed my eyes, but I couldnt go to sleep. My head I turned the top and took it off. Yes . . . I could smell thatwas full of pictures . . . pictures and voices. I saw Mr strange, sweet smell again.Blakemores face and he said, Im all alone, Stella. You But how did he put the poison into the toothpaste?cant refuse me now. Then I saw Miss Vixons face. Her Injections, probably. Yes, injections of arsenic deep intoeyes were red and she whispered, I didnt want her to the tube, through the opening. And what about thedie. She looked at me and said, Its terrible. Someone cyanide at the bottom? It was a long tube - too long forhas murdered Mrs Blakemore! I sat up and put the most needles. I examined the tube very carefully. I waslight on again. looking for marks on the outside. Yes, there were two Midnight. It was going to be a long night. Suddenly, a very small holes in the metal, near the end.picture of Mrs Blakemore came into my head. It was the I put the tube back in my apron pocket. It was safeevening of her death. She was weak and thin. I was there. Now I had to wait for the morning. And the police.helping her into the bathroom. She wanted to brush I washed my hands carefully and climbed back intoher teeth. She had a nasty taste in her mouth. Then bed. I tried to go to sleep. But that was impossible.what? Oh yes ... she finished the toothpaste. I had to get Every time I closed my eyes, I could see Mrs Blakemoreher some more. It was an unusual type. Her husband... in her bathroom. She was trying to get out every lasther husband usually bought it for her in Hastings! bit . . . every last bit of the toothpaste. And I could hear I opened my eyes. I got out of bed and found my Bernards voice: Do you know, shes so mean that sheuniform. I put my hand into the apron pocket. Then I always uses up the last little bit of everything!touched something hard and cold. It was the emptytoothpaste tube. Of course! Of course! So - it had nearly been the perfect murder. MrBlakemore had made sure that he was away ... far awayin Wales. So no one would ever suspect him. He hadput the poison into the toothpaste. No one would everthink of that. His wife would use it every day until itwas finished. And the empty tube? It would be thrownaway. So there would never be any evidence. It was a large tube . . . enough for several weeks. 30