The Mirror Crack'd: from Side to Side

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

Book: The Mirror Crack'd: from Side to Side by Agatha Christie Read Free Book Online
Authors: Agatha Christie
however, anxious to call attention to this failing on her part.
    â€œI get mixed-up,” she said.
    â€œOf course he’s got a lot to contend with,” said Ella Zielinsky. “He’s got her as well as everything else and she’s not easy. You’ve got to keep her happy, you see; and it’s not really easy, I suppose, to keep people happy. Unless—that is—they—they are—” she hesitated.
    â€œUnless they’re the happy kind,” suggested Mrs. Bantry. “Some people,” she added thoughtfully, “enjoy being miserable.”
    â€œOh, Marina isn’t like that,” said Ella Zielinsky, shaking her head. “It’s more that her ups and downs are so violent. You know—far too happy one moment, far too pleased with everything and delighted with everything and how wonderful she feels. Then of course some little thing happens and down she goes to the opposite extreme.”
    â€œI suppose that’s temperament,” said Mrs. Bantry vaguely.
    â€œThat’s right,” said Ella Zielinsky. “Temperament. They’ve all got it, more or less, but Marina Gregg has got it more than most people. Don’t we know it! The stories I could tell you!” She ate the last sandwich. “Thank God I’m only the social secretary.”

Five
    T he throwing open of the grounds of Gossington Hall for the benefit of the St. John Ambulance Association was attended by a quite unprecedented number of people. Shilling admission fees mounted up in a highly satisfactory fashion. For one thing, the weather was good, a clear sunny day. But the preponderant attraction was undoubtedly the enormous local curiosity to know exactly what these “film people” had done to Gossington Hall. The most extravagant assumptions were entertained. The swimming pool in particular caused immense satisfaction. Most people’s ideas of Hollywood stars were of sunbathing by a pool in exotic surroundings and in exotic company. That the climate of Hollywood might be more suited to swimming pools than that of St. Mary Mead failed to be considered. After all, England always has one fine hot week in the summer and there is always one day that the Sunday papers publish articles on How to Keep Cool, How to Have Cool Suppers and How to Make Cool Drinks. The pool was almost exactly what everyone had imagined it might be. It was large, its waters were blue, it had a kindof exotic pavilion for changing and was surrounded with a highly artificial plantation of hedges and shrubs. The reactions of the multitude were exactly as might have been expected and hovered over a wide range of remarks.
    â€œO-oh, isn’t it lovely!”
    â€œTwo penn’orth of splash here, all right!”
    â€œReminds me of that holiday camp I went to.”
    â€œWicked luxury I call it. It oughtn’t to be allowed.”
    â€œLook at all that fancy marble. It must have cost the earth!”
    â€œDon’t see why these people think they can come over here and spend all the money they like.”
    â€œPerhaps this’ll be on the telly sometime. That’ll be fun.”
    Even Mr. Sampson, the oldest man in St. Mary Mead, boasting proudly of being ninety-six though his relations insisted firmly that he was only eighty-six, had staggered along supporting his rheumatic legs with a stick, to see this excitement. He gave it his highest praise: “Ah, there’ll be a lot of wickedness here, I don’t doubt. Naked men and women drinking and smoking what they call in the papers them reefers. There’ll be all that, I expect. Ah yes,” said Mr. Sampson with enormous pleasure, “there’ll be a lot of wickedness.”
    It was felt that the final seal of approval had been set on the afternoon’s entertainment. For an extra shilling people were allowed to go into the house, and study the new music room, the drawing room, the completely unrecognizable dining

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