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Agatha Webb von Green, Anna Katharine (eBook)

  • Verlag: Jovian Press
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Agatha Webb

In this elegant drama, Anna Katharine Green, one of the greatest mystery writers of all time, weaves a narrative with her usual consummate skill, and portrays her characters with exceptional sympathy. On the New England seacoast, not far from Boston, lies a staid, picturesque village called Sutherlandtown. In these tranquil surroundings, Agatha Webb and her servant are found murdered. The task of unraveling the mystery begins at once, and suspicion points to a number of persons. Agatha herself had a tragic and troubled past. She suffered the loss of six of her children who died in infancy; some of the people of the village suspected her of complicity in these deaths, while others looked upon her as a victim. Adding to the complexity of the situation, a wealthy local man is being blackmailed by someone who believes that he is guilty of Agatha's murder. The solution of the puzzle is uncovered in an intensely dramatic court scene. In addition to the attraction of the mystery, there is a great love story. One of the detectives in the case, Caleb Sweetwater, was first introduced in a minor role in A Strange Disappearance (1880). Here, the details of his interesting life story are revealed, considerably fleshing out and developing his character. We learn that he was raised in Sutherland-town, maturing into a talented violinist, but constrained to supporting his mother with limited means. He relinquishes his musical career in order to become a detective. In this role he stands out as a trustworthy and conscientious young man, who volunteers his services to a patron in return for past consideration. Sweetwater becomes the hero by ultimately solving the crime in Agatha Webb. He appears again in several other Green novels as Gryce's assistant in the New York Police Department. Anna Katharine Green (November 11, 1846 - April 11, 1935) was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories. Green has been called 'the mother of the detective novel'.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 356
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781537815336
    Verlag: Jovian Press
    Größe: 573 kBytes
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Agatha Webb

I

..................
A CRY ON THE HILL

The dance was over. From the great house on the hill the guests had all departed and only the musicians remained. As they filed out through the ample doorway, on their way home, the first faint streak of early dawn became visible in the east. One of them, a lank, plain-featured young man of ungainly aspect but penetrating eye, called the attention of the others to it.

"Look!" said he; "there is the daylight! This has been a gay night for

Sutherlandtown."

"Too gay," muttered another, starting aside as the slight figure of a young man coming from the house behind them rushed hastily by. "Why, who's that?"

As they one and all had recognised the person thus alluded to, no one answered till he had dashed out of the gate and disappeared in the woods on the other side of the road. Then they all spoke at once.

"It's Mr. Frederick!"

"He seems in a desperate hurry."

"He trod on my toes."

"Did you hear the words he was muttering as he went by?"

As only the last question was calculated to rouse any interest, it alone received attention.

"No; what were they? I heard him say something, but I failed to catch the words."

"He wasn't talking to you, or to me either, for that matter; but I have ears that can hear an eye wink. He said: 'Thank God, this night of horror is over!' Think of that! After such a dance and such a spread, he calls the night horrible and thanks God that it is over. I thought he was the very man to enjoy this kind of thing."

"So did I."

"And so did I."

The five musicians exchanged looks, then huddled in a group at the gate.

"He has quarrelled with his sweetheart," suggested one.

"I'm not surprised at that," declared another. "I never thought it would be a match."

"Shame if it were!" muttered the ungainly youth who had spoken first.

As the subject of this comment was the son of the gentleman whose house they were just leaving, they necessarily spoke low; but their tones were rife with curiosity, and it was evident that the topic deeply interested them. One of the five who had not previously spoken now put in a word:

"I saw him when he first led out Miss Page to dance, and I saw him again when he stood up opposite her in the last quadrille, and I tell you, boys, there was a mighty deal of difference in the way he conducted himself toward her in the beginning of the evening and the last. You wouldn't have thought him the same man. Reckless young fellows like him are not to be caught by dimples only. They want cash."

"Or family, at least; and she hasn't either. But what a pretty girl she is! Many a fellow as rich as he and as well connected would be satisfied with her good looks alone."

"Good looks!" High scorn was observable in this exclamation, which was made by the young man whom I have before characterised as ungainly. "I refuse to acknowledge that she has any good looks. On the contrary, I consider her plain."

"Oh! Oh!" burst in protest from more than one mouth. "And why does she have every fellow in the room dangling after her, then?" asked the player on the flageolet.

"She hasn't a regular feature."

"What difference does that make when it isn't her features you notice, but herself?"

"I don't like her."

A laugh followed this.

"That won't trouble her, Sweetwater. Sutherland does, if you don't, and that's much more to the point. And he'll marry her yet; he can't help it. Why, she'd witch the devil into leading her to the altar if she took a notion to have him for her bridegroom."

"There would be consistency in that," muttered the fellow just addressed. "But Mr. Frederick-"

"Hush! There's some one on the doorstep. Why, it's she!"

They all glanced back. The graceful figure of a young girl dressed in white was to be seen leaning toward them fr

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