Read Part 1 of the story here.
Read Part 2 of the story here.
“Oh Anthony, you naughty boy” shouted the old woman standing in front of me. “I’m so very sorry Mr—”
“Roberts”, I answered back.
“….Mr Roberts, you see he thought you were a burglar. We were taken by surprise when we heard a noise coming from the workshop. I hope the water doesn’t ruin your shirt. His father gave him the water pistol for his eleventh birthday yesterday and he’s taken to firing water at everything. Can we help you? Perhaps you were looking for my nephew? Has he been repairing your car?”
“No, no, not at all” I said, “I was actually looking for Miss Marple, do you know her? No, wait a minute, you’re her aren’t…”. There was another loud bang and a scream which came from the garden.
“Lucy, will you be quiet, I’ve told you to stop popping those balloons” shouted the old woman.
Beside her Anthony raised his water pistol and aimed it at me. I raised my arms.
“I’m sorry dear, what did you say?” asked the old woman as she faced me again.
“Miss Marple” I said, my arms still raised waiting to have another cold blast of water hit me.
“No dear I’m not Miss Marple, I only wish I was, so many people get me mixed up with her. Why, if I’d had a pound for every time somebody asked me if I were Miss Marple I’d be a very rich woman living next door to Harrods by now. It’s my favourite shop you know……..”
Getting bored with hearing the old woman rambling on, Anthony made a quick exit and disappeared back into the garden.
“Now, how can I help you dear if it’s not a car or anything else my nephew has repaired for you? Would you perhaps like a cup of tea or a glass of lemonade to get over the shock of Anthony shooting you?” She paused, looked at me and, before I knew it, we were both sat in a large garden around a large metal garden table with a sun umbrella protecting us from the warm, late afternoon sun. It was only partly covering me, the old woman having taken the only chair in full shade.
While Anthony and Lucy chased each other around the garden popping balloons and occasionally getting wet from the water pistols they both had, I told my story of the events of the night before while she listened to me and drank tea and ate cucumber sandwiches. She cut into a large homemade Victoria Sandwich cake, the jam and butter icing oozing out of its sides and, by the time I’d finished my story, I’d eaten the large slice she had offered me.
“Oh my dear, this all sounds very tragic and nothing like what goes on here in the village.”
She picked up the large knife which she had used to cut the cake and held it in her hand, while deep in thought. All of a sudden I started to feel tired and my vision seemed to become slightly blurred. I rubbed my eyes and then closed them tightly before opening and closing them several times hoping the blurriness would correct itself. I then started to wonder why the old woman had not offered any of the cake to Anthony or Lucy, or eaten any herself, and a sudden horrible thought came into my mind. Had she poisoned me?
The last thing I remembered before passing out was seeing the old woman coming towards me, the knife still firmly in her hand.
The final part of ‘Murder At The Vicarage – Whodunit?’, will be published tomorrow.
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