The Sins of the Wolf

The Sins of the Wolf by Anne Perry Read Free Book Online

Book: The Sins of the Wolf by Anne Perry Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anne Perry
Tags: Fiction:Mystery:Crime
And with a wave he went out of the room and closed the door.
    “Where is he going?” Alastair said irritably. He looked around the table. “Oonagh?”
    “I’ve no idea,” Oonagh said.
    “A woman, I imagine,” Quinlan suggested with a shadow of a smile. “It is to be expected.”
    “Well why don’t we know about her?” Alastair asked. “If he is courting her, we should know who she is!” He glared at his brother-in-law. “Do you know, Quin?”
    Quinlan’s eyes widened in surprise.
    “No. Certainly not! It is merely an educated guess. Maybe I am wrong. Perhaps he is gambling, or going to a theater?”
    “It’s late for a theater,” Baird said quickly.
    “He said he was late!” Quinlan said.
    “He didn’t. He said he would be late if he waited for us to finish,” Baird contradicted him.
    “It is only ten minutes before eight,” Oonagh put in. “Perhaps it is a theater close by.”
    “Alone?” Alastair said doubtfully.
    “He may be meeting people there. Really, does it matter so much?” Eilish asked. “If he is courting someone, he’d have told us—if he is having any success.”
    “I want to know who it is before there is any ‘success’!” Alastair glared at her. “By that time it would be too late!”
    “Stop making yourself angry over something that has not happened yet,” Mary said briskly. “Now—McTeer, bring in the dessert and let us have a pleasant end to the meal, before you take Miss Latterly and me to the station. It is a fine night, and we shall have an agreeable journey. Hector, my dear, would you be good enough to pass me the cream. I am sure I should like cream on it, whatever it is.”
    With a smile Hector obliged, and the rest of the meal was spent in inconsequential chatter, until it was eventually time to rise, bid farewell, and gather coats, baggage, and make their way out to the waiting carriage.

2
    “C
OME ON
, Mother.” Alastair took Mary by the arm and guided her through the throng towards the London train, huge and gleaming beside its platform, the brass-knobbed doors open, the carriages with polished sides seeming to tower over them as they approached it. The engine let out another billow of steam. “Don’t worry, we’ve half an hour yet,” Alastair said quickly. “Where’s Oonagh?”
    “Gone to see if it is leaving on time, I think,” Deirdra replied, moving a little closer to him as a porter with five cases on a trolley pushed past her.
    “Evenin’, miss.” He made a gesture to tip his cap. “Evenin’, sir, ma’am.”
    “Evening,” they replied absently. They expected the courtesy, and yet it was an intrusion into their party. Hector stood with his coat collar turned up, as if he felt the cold, his eyes on Mary’s face, even though she was half turned away from him. Eilish was walking towards the open carriage door, full of curiosity. Baird stood guarding Mary’s three cases, and Quinlan was shifting from foot to foot, as if impatient to have the matter over with.
    Oonagh returned, stood undecided for an instant, looking at Alastair, then at her mother, then, as if reaching some resolve, she took Mary’s arm and together they moved along the platform until they reached the carriage where Mary had a reservation. Hester followed a couple of yards behind. Mary was going to be absent only a week, but even so this was not a time when a stranger, and an employee,should allow her presence to be felt. Her duties had not yet begun.
    Inside, the coach was utterly different from the second-class carriage in which Hester had ridden up. It was not a large open space with hard upright seats, but a series of separate compartments, each with two single upholstered seats facing each other, either of which would quite comfortably have allowed three people to sit side by side, or, wonderful thought, one person to curl up and tuck her feet under her skirts and go to sleep in something like comfort. It would be quite private enough to feel safe from

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