Tuesday, August 3, 2010

THE IDOL HOUSE OF ASTARTE 29 - Agatha Christie - short stories

of him, they could not hope to support the charge against her. So the thing has been and remains a mystery." There was a silence. "There doesn't seem anything to say," said Joyce Lem-pti&re at length. "It is all so horrible--and uncanny. Have you no explanation yourself, Dr. Pender?" The old man nodded. "Yes," he said. "I have an explana-tion--a kind of explanation, that is. Rather a curious one--but to my mind it still leaves certain factors unaccounted for." "I have been to seances," said Joyce, "and you may say what you like, very queer things can happen. I suppose one can explain it by some kind of hypnotism. The girl really turned herself into a Priestess of Astarte, and I suppose somehow or other she must have stabbed him. Perhaps she threw the dagger that Miss Mannering saw in her hand." "Or it might have been a javelin," suggested Raymond West. "After all, moonlight is not very strong. She might have had a kind of spear in her hand and stabbed him at a distance, and then I suppose mass hypnotism comes into account. I mean, you were all prepared to see him stricken down by supernatural means and so you saw it like that." "I have seen many wonderful things done with weapons and knives at music halls," said Sir Henry. "I suppose it is possible that a man could have been concealed in the belt of trees, and that he might from there have thrown a knife or a dagger with sufficient accuracy--agreeing, of course, that he was a professional. I admit that that seems rather far-fetched, but it seems the only really feasible theory. You remember that the other man was distinctly under the impression that there was someone in the grove of trees watching him. As to Miss Mannering saying that Miss Ashley had a dagger in her hand and the others saying she hadn't, that doesn't surprise me. If you had had my experience you would know that five


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