Murder at the Vicarage
It is difficult to know quite where to begin this story, but I have
fixed my choice one a certain Wednesday at luncheon at the Vicarage. The
thought in the main irrelevant to the matter in hand, yet contained on e or
incidents which influenced later developments.
I had just finished carving some boiled beef (remarkably tough by the
way), and on resuming my seat I remarked, in a spirit most unbecoming to
my cloth, that
anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe would be doing the world at
large a service.
My young nephew, Dennis, said instantly, ¡°That¡¯ll be remembered
against you when the old boy is found bathed in blood. Mary will give
you, Mary? And describe how you brandished the carving knife in a
Mary, who is in service at the vicarage as a stepping stone to better
things and higher wages, merely said, in a loud, businesslike voice,
thrust a cracked dish at him in a truculent manner.
My wife said in a sympathetic voice, ¡°Has he been very trying?¡±
I did not reply at once, for Mary, setting the greens on the table with
a bang, proceeded to thrust a dish of singularly moist and unpleasant
dumplings under my
nose. I said, ¡°No, thank you,¡± and she deposited the dish with a clatter
on the table
and left the room.
¡°It is a pity that I am such a shocking housekeeper,¡± said my wife
with a tinge of genuine regret in her voice.
I was inclined to agree with her. My wife¡¯s name is Griselda ¨C a
highly suitable name for a parson¡¯s wife. But there the suitability ends.
She is not in
the least meek.
I have always been of the opinion that a clergyman should be unmarried.
Why I should have urged Griselda to marry me at the end of twenty-four
acquaintance is a mystery to me. Marriage, I have always held, is a serious
affair, to be