The Mirror Crack'd: from Side to Side

The Mirror Crack'd: from Side to Side by Agatha Christie Read Free Book Online

Book: The Mirror Crack'd: from Side to Side by Agatha Christie Read Free Book Online
Authors: Agatha Christie
something,” she murmured. “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Bantry. I don’t really think that this will take longer than a minute or two.”
    â€œAtmosphere,” said Ella Zielinsky, as Marina went out and closed the door. “Do you think the house has got atmosphere?”
    â€œI can’t say I ever thought of it that way,” said Mrs. Bantry. “It was just a house. Rather inconvenient in some ways and very nice and cosy in other ways.”
    â€œThat’s what I should have thought,” said Ella Zielinsky. She cast a quick direct look at Mrs. Bantry. “Talking of atmosphere, when did the murder take place here?”
    â€œNo murder ever took place here,” said Mrs. Bantry.
    â€œOh come now. The stories I’ve heard. There are always stories, Mrs. Bantry. On the hearthrug, right there, wasn’t it?” said Miss Zielinsky nodding towards the fireplace.
    â€œYes,” said Mrs. Bantry. “That was the place.”
    â€œSo there was a murder?”
    Mrs. Bantry shook her head. “The murder didn’t take place here. The girl who had been killed was brought here and planted in this room. She’d nothing to do with us.”
    Miss Zielinsky looked interested.
    â€œPossibly you had a bit of difficulty making people believe that?” she remarked.
    â€œYou’re quite right there,” said Mrs. Bantry.
    â€œWhen did you find it?”
    â€œThe housemaid came in in the morning,” said Mrs. Bantry, “with early morning tea. We had housemaids then, you know.”
    â€œI know,” said Miss Zielinksy, “wearing print dresses that rustled.”
    â€œI’m not sure about the print dress,” said Mrs. Bantry, “it may have been overalls by then. At any rate, she burst in and said there was a body in the library. I said ‘nonsense,’ then I woke up my husband and we came down to see.”
    â€œAnd there it was,” said Miss Zielinsky. “My, the way things happen.” She turned her head sharply towards the door and then back again. “Don’t talk about it to Miss Gregg, if you don’t mind,” she said. “It’s not good for her, that sort of thing.”
    â€œOf course. I won’t say a word,” said Mrs. Bantry. “I never do talk about it, as a matter of fact. It all happened so long ago. But won’t she—Miss Gregg I mean—won’t she hear it anyway?”
    â€œShe doesn’t come very much in contact with reality,” said Ella Zielinsky. “Film stars can lead a fairly insulated life, you know. In fact very often one has to take care that they do. Things upset them. Things upset her . She’s been seriously ill the last year or two, you know. She only started making a comeback a year ago.”
    â€œShe seems to like the house,” said Mrs. Bantry, “and to feel she will be happy here.”
    â€œI expect it’ll last a year or two,” said Ella Zielinsky.
    â€œNot longer than that?”
    â€œWell, I rather doubt it. Marina is one of those people, you know, who are always thinking they’ve found their heart’s desire. But life isn’t as easy as that, is it?”
    â€œNo,” said Mrs. Bantry forcefully, “it isn’t.”
    â€œIt’ll mean a lot to him if she’s happy here,” said Miss Zielinsky.She ate two more sandwiches in an absorbed, rather gobbling fashion in the manner of one who crams food into themselves as though they had an important train to catch. “He’s a genius, you know,” she went on. “Have you seen any of the pictures he’s directed?”
    Mrs. Bantry felt slightly embarrassed. She was of the type of woman who when she went to the cinema went entirely for the picture. The long lists of casts, directors, producers, photography and the rest of it passed her by. Very frequently, indeed, she did not even notice the names of the stars. She was not,

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