三幕悲剧 08
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2023-09-12 05:56 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
As they walked along the street, Sir Charles said:
“Any ideas, Satterthwaite?”
“What about you?” asked Mr. Satterthwaite. He liked to reserve judgment1 until the last possible moment.
Not so Sir Charles. He spoke2 emphatically:
“They’re wrong, Satterthwaite. They’re all wrong. They’ve got the butler on the brain. The butler’s done a bunk3 - ergo, the butler’s the murderer. It doesn’t fit. No, it doesn’t fit. You can’t leave that other death out of account - the one down at my place.”
“You’re still of the opinion that the two are connected?”
Mr. Satterthwaite asked the question, though he had already answered it in the affirmative in his own mind.
“Man, they must be connected. Everything points to it ... We’ve got to find the common factor - someone who was present on both occasions - ”
“Yes,” said Mr. Satterthwaite. “And that’s not going to be as simple a matter as one might think, on the face of it. We’ve got too many common factors. Do you realise, Cartwright, that practically every person who was present at the dinner at your house was present here?”
Sir Charles nodded.
“Of course I’ve realised that - but do you realise what deduction4 one can draw from it?”
“I don’t quite follow you, Cartwright.”
“Dash it all, man, do you suppose that’s coincidence? No, it was
meant. Why are all the people who were at the first death present at the second? Accident? Not on your life. It was plan - design - Tollie’s plan.”
“Oh!” said Mr. Satterthwaite. “Yes, it’s possible ... ”
“It’s certain. You didn’t know Tollie as well as I did, Satterthwaite. He was a man who kept his own counsel, and a very patient man. In all the years I’ve known him I’ve never known Tollie give utterance5 to a rash opinion or judgment.”
“Look at it this way: Babbington’s murdered - yes, murdered -I’m not going to hedge, or mince6 terms - murdered one evening in my house. Tollie ridicules7 me gently for my suspicions in the matter, but all the time he’s got suspicions of his own. He doesn’t talk about them - that’s not his way. But quietly, in his own mind, he’s building up a case. I don’t know what he had to build upon. It can’t, I think, be a case against any one particular person. He believed that one of those people was responsible for the crime, and he made a plan, a test of some kind to find out which person it was.”
“What about the other guests, the Edens and the Campbell’s?”
“Camouflage. It made the whole thing less obvious.”
“What do you think the plan was?”
Sir Charles shrugged8 his shoulders - an exaggerated foreign gesture. He was Aristide Duval, that master mind of the Secret Service. His left foot limped as he walked.
“How can we know? I am not a magician. I cannot guess. But there was a plan ... It went wrong, because the murderer was just one degree cleverer than Tollie thought ... He struck first ... ”
“Or she. Poison is as much a woman’s weapon as a man’s - more so.”
Mr. Satterthwaite was silent. Sir Charles said:
“Come now, don’t you agree? Or are you on the side of public opinion? ‘The butler’s the man. He done it.’”
“What’s your explanation of the butler?”
“I haven’t thought about him. In my view he doesn’t matter ... I could suggest an explanation.”
“Such as?”
“Well, say that the police are right so far - Ellis is a professional criminal, working in, shall we say, with a gang of burglars. Ellis obtains this post with false credentials9. Then Tollie is murdered. What is Ellis’s position? A man is killed, and in the house is a man whose finger-prints are at Scotland Yard, and who is known to the police. Naturally he gets the wind up and bolts.”
“By the secret passage?”
“Secret passage be damned. He dodged10 out of the house while one of the fat-headed constables11 who were watching the house was taking forty winks12.”
“It certainly seems more probable.”
“Well, Satterthwaite, what’s your view?”
“Mine?” said Mr. Satterthwaite. “Oh, it’s the same as yours. It has been all along. The butler seems to me a very clumsy red herring. I believe that Sir. Bartholomew and poor old Babbington were killed by the same person.”
“One of the house-party?”
“One of the house-party.”
There was silence for a minute or two, and then Mr. Satterthwaite asked casually13:
“Which of them do you think it was?”
“My God, Satterthwaite, how can I tell?”
“You can’t tell, of course,” said Mr. Satterthwaite mildly. “I just thought you might have some idea - you know, nothing scientific or reasoned. Just an ordinary guess.”
“Well, I haven’t ... ” he thought for a minute and then burst out: “You know, Satterthwaite, the moment you begin to think it seems impossible that any of them did it.”
“I suppose your theory is right,” mused14 Mr. Satterthwaite. “As to the assembling of the suspects, I mean. We’ve got to take it into account that there were certain definite exclusions15. Yourself and myself and Mrs. Babbington, for instance. Young Manders, too, he was out of it.”
“Yes, his arrival on the scene was an accident. He wasn’t asked or expected. That lets him out of the circle of suspects.”
“The dramatist woman, too - Anthony Astor.”
“No, no, she was there. Miss Muriel Wills of Tooting.”
“So she was - I’d forgotten the woman’s name was Wills.”
He frowned. Mr. Satterthwaite was fairly good at reading people’s thoughts. He estimated with fair accuracy what was passing through the actor’s mind. When the other spoke, Mr. Satterthwaite mentally patted himself on that back.
“You know, Satterthwaite, you’re right. I don’t think it was definitely suspected people that he asked - because, after all, Lady Mary and Egg were there ... No, he wanted to stage some reproduction of the first business, perhaps ... He suspected someone, but he wanted other eyewitnesses16 there to confirm matters. Something of that kind ... ”
“Something of the kind,” agreed Mr. Satterthwaite. “One can only generalise at this stage. Very well, the Lytton Gores17 are out of it, you and I and Mrs. Babbington and Oliver Manders are out of it. Who is left? Angela Sutcliffe?”
“Angie? My dear fellow. She’s been a friend of Tollie’s for years.”
“Then it boils down to the Dacres ... In fact, Cartwright, you suspect the Dacres. You might just as well have said so when I asked you.”
Sir Charles looked at him. Mr. Satterthwaite had a mildly triumphant18 air.
“I suppose,” said Cartwright slowly, “that I do. At least, I don’t suspect them ... They just seem rather more possible than anyone else. I don’t know them very well, for one thing. But for the life of me, I can’t see why Freddie Dacres, who spends his life on the race course, or Cynthia, who spends her time designing fabulously19 expensive clothes for women, should have any desire to remove a dear, insignificant20 old clergyman ... ”
He shook his head, then his face brightened.
“There’s the Wills woman. I forgot her again. What is there about her that continually makes you forget her? She’s the most damnably nondescript creature I’ve ever seen.”
Mr. Satterthwaite smiled.
“I rather fancy she might embody21 Burns’s famous line - ‘A chiel’s amang ye takin’ notes.’ I rather fancy that Miss Wills spend her time taking notes. There are sharp eyes behind that pair of glasses. I think you’ll find that anything worth noticing in this affair has been noticed by Miss Wills.”
“Do you?” said Sir Charles doubtfully.
“The next thing to do,” said Mr. Satterthwaite, “is to have some lunch. After that, we’ll go out to the Abbey and see what we can discover on the spot.”
“You seem to be taking very kindly22 to this, Satterthwaite,” said Sir Charles, with a twinkle of amusement.
“The investigation23 of crime is not new to me,” said Mr. Satterthwaite. “Once when my car broke down and I was staying at a lonely inn - ”
He got no further.
“I remember,” said Sir Charles, in his high, clear carrying actor’s voice, “when I was touring in 1921 ... ”
Sir Charles won.


1 judgment e3xxC     
  • The chairman flatters himself on his judgment of people.主席自认为他审视人比别人高明。
  • He's a man of excellent judgment.他眼力过人。
2 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
3 bunk zWyzS     
  • He left his bunk and went up on deck again.他离开自己的铺位再次走到甲板上。
  • Most economists think his theories are sheer bunk.大多数经济学家认为他的理论纯属胡说。
4 deduction 0xJx7     
  • No deduction in pay is made for absence due to illness.因病请假不扣工资。
  • His deduction led him to the correct conclusion.他的推断使他得出正确的结论。
5 utterance dKczL     
  • This utterance of his was greeted with bursts of uproarious laughter.他的讲话引起阵阵哄然大笑。
  • My voice cleaves to my throat,and sob chokes my utterance.我的噪子哽咽,泣不成声。
6 mince E1lyp     
  • Would you like me to mince the meat for you?你要我替你把肉切碎吗?
  • Don't mince matters,but speak plainly.不要含糊其词,有话就直说吧。
7 ridicules c2514de4b94e254758b70aaf0e36ed54     
n.嘲笑( ridicule的名词复数 );奚落;嘲弄;戏弄v.嘲笑,嘲弄,奚落( ridicule的第三人称单数 )
8 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 credentials credentials     
  • He has long credentials of diplomatic service.他的外交工作资历很深。
  • Both candidates for the job have excellent credentials.此项工作的两个求职者都非常符合资格。
10 dodged ae7efa6756c9d8f3b24f8e00db5e28ee     
v.闪躲( dodge的过去式和过去分词 );回避
  • He dodged cleverly when she threw her sabot at him. 她用木底鞋砸向他时,他机敏地闪开了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He dodged the book that I threw at him. 他躲开了我扔向他的书。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 constables 34fd726ea7175d409b9b80e3cf9fd666     
n.警察( constable的名词复数 )
  • The constables made a desultory attempt to keep them away from the barn. 警察漫不经心地拦着不让他们靠近谷仓。 来自辞典例句
  • There were also constables appointed to keep the peace. 城里也有被派来维持治安的基层警员。 来自互联网
12 winks 1dd82fc4464d9ba6c78757a872e12679     
v.使眼色( wink的第三人称单数 );递眼色(表示友好或高兴等);(指光)闪烁;闪亮
  • I'll feel much better when I've had forty winks. 我打个盹就会感到好得多。
  • The planes were little silver winks way out to the west. 飞机在西边老远的地方,看上去只是些很小的银色光点。 来自辞典例句
13 casually UwBzvw     
  • She remarked casually that she was changing her job.她当时漫不经心地说要换工作。
  • I casually mentioned that I might be interested in working abroad.我不经意地提到我可能会对出国工作感兴趣。
14 mused 0affe9d5c3a243690cca6d4248d41a85     
v.沉思,冥想( muse的过去式和过去分词 );沉思自语说(某事)
  • \"I wonder if I shall ever see them again, \"he mused. “我不知道是否还可以再见到他们,”他沉思自问。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • \"Where are we going from here?\" mused one of Rutherford's guests. 卢瑟福的一位客人忍不住说道:‘我们这是在干什么?” 来自英汉非文学 - 科学史
15 exclusions c6fc0a7508c1a1fe9e233e81d31133b8     
n.不包括的项目:如接受服务项目是由投保以前已患有的疾病或伤害引致的,保险公司有权拒绝支付。;拒绝( exclusion的名词复数 );排除;被排斥在外的人(或事物);排外主义
  • This is a trifle compared with the important exclusions. 比之其它重要的排除,这只是一件小事。 来自辞典例句
  • For detailed exclusions, please refer to each policy's terms and conditions. 具体的免赔责任请详见条款。 来自互联网
16 eyewitnesses 6217fe51ef2c875c4e639599af425dc6     
目击者( eyewitness的名词复数 )
  • The examination of all the eyewitnesses took a week. 对所有证人的质询用了一周的时间。
  • Several eyewitnesses testified that they saw the officers hit Miller in the face. 几位目击证人证明他们看见那几个警官打了米勒的脸。
17 gores 92755583198755a2cc9433e31a3d1695     
n.(动物)用角撞伤,用牙刺破( gore的名词复数 )v.(动物)用角撞伤,用牙刺破( gore的第三人称单数 )
  • This bull gores people. 这牛爱顶人。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Prometheus periodically gores the F ring drawing out streamers of material from the ring. 普罗米修斯周期性的F环触的彩带,从材料的戒指。 来自互联网
18 triumphant JpQys     
  • The army made a triumphant entry into the enemy's capital.部队胜利地进入了敌方首都。
  • There was a positively triumphant note in her voice.她的声音里带有一种极为得意的语气。
19 fabulously 4161877a232b49d1803e1bea05514fd7     
  • The couple are said to be fabulously wealthy. 据说这对夫妇家财万贯。
  • I should say this shirt matches your trousers fabulously. 我得说这衬衫同你的裤子非常相配。
20 insignificant k6Mx1     
  • In winter the effect was found to be insignificant.在冬季,这种作用是不明显的。
  • This problem was insignificant compared to others she faced.这一问题与她面临的其他问题比较起来算不得什么。
21 embody 4pUxx     
  • The latest locomotives embody many new features. 这些最新的机车具有许多新的特色。
  • Hemingway's characters plainly embody his own values and view of life.海明威笔下的角色明确反映出他自己的价值观与人生观。
22 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
23 investigation MRKzq     
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
上一篇:三幕悲剧 07 下一篇:三幕悲剧 09