This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: wanted all those fal-lals for so like a man - but - now I've forgotten what it was I was going to
say! Oh, yes, not a penny we could call our own, you know. Flora resented it - yes, I must say she
resented it - very strongly. Though devoted to her uncle, of course.
But any girl would have resented it. Yes, I must say Roger had very strange ideas about money. He
wouldn't even buy new face towels, though I told him the old ones were in boles. And then,' proceeded
Mrs Ackroyd, with a sudden leap highly characteristic of her conversation, 'to leave all that money - a
thousand pounds, fancy, a thousand pounds!
- to that woman.' 'What woman?' 'That Russell woman. Something very queer about her, and so I've
always said. But Roger wouldn't hear a word against her. Said she was a woman of great force of
character, and that he admired and respected her. He was always going on about her rectitude and
independence and moral worth. / think there's something fishy about her. She was certainly doing her
best to marry Roger. But I soon put a stop to that. She always hated me. Naturally. / saw through her.' I
began to wonder if there was any chance of stemming Mrs Ackroyd's eloquence, and getting away.
Mr Hammond provided the necessary diversion by coming up to say goodbye. I seized my chance and
rose also. 'About the inquest,' I said. 'Where would you prefer it to be held? Here, or at the Three Boars?' Mrs
Ackroyd stared at me with a dropped jaw.
'The inquest?' she asked, the picture of consternation.
'But surely there won't have to be an inquest?' Mr Hammond gave a dry little cough and murmured,
'Inevitable. Under the circumstances,' in two short little barks.
'But surely Dr Sheppard can arrange ' 'There are limits to my powers of arrangement,' I said drily.
'If his death was an accident ' 'He was murdered, Mrs Ackroyd,' I said brutally.
She gave a little cry.
'No theory of accident will hold water for a minute.' Mrs Ackroyd looked at me in distress. I had no
patience with what I thought was her silly fear of unpleasantness.
'If there's an inquest, I - I shan't have to answer questions and all that, shall I?' she asked.
'I don't know what will be necessary,' I answered. 'I imagine Mr Raymond will take the brunt of it off
you. He knows all the circumstances, and can give formal evidence of identification.' The lawyer assented
with a little bow.
'I really don't think there is anything to dread, Mrs Ackroyd,' he said. 'You will be spared all the
Now, as to the question of money, have you all you need for the present? I mean,' he added, as she
looked at him inquiringly, 'ready money. Cash, you know.
If not, I can arrange to let you have whatever you require.' 'That ought to be all right,' said Raymond,
who was standing by. 'Mr Ackroyd cashed a cheque for a hundred pounds yesterday.' 'A hundred
pounds?' 'Yes. For wages and other expenses due today. At the moment it is still intact.' 'Where is this
money? In his desk?' 'No, he always kept his cash in his bedroom. In an old collar box, to be accurate.
View Full Document