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nouvelle litt. angl.

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Date d'inscription : 20/10/2011


MessageSujet: nouvelle litt. angl. Jeu 15 Déc - 12:28

PORTRAIT OF A DETECTIVE


Winter was here and each day seemed colder than the last. The cell had no fireplace and the only window was too high to allow her a view and too small to let the sun rays come in. A young woman was alone in the empty room, and everything was silent. Then, suddenly, the door opened and an officer came in, looked at her with a surprised face and blushed. She laughed a little bit and quickly he asked her:

« -Are you Katherine Blackwood? »

With a cynical smile on her lips, she answered very slowly, lazily:

« - Do you see somebody else here? »

Again the man blushed and Katherine was still looking at him, in the eyes, without batting an eyelid. She knew what she looked like. Certainly dirty in her muddy darkblue clothes, with her torn corset and her seedy petticoat. Her long wavy brown hair was wet. In her amber eyes, an mocking glimmer was shining. Her skin was pure and white as ivory, pearly, with a little touch of rose on her cheeks. Her attitude, and all her movements betrayed a lively mind, a passionate fire seemed to constantly burn in her body. But there was something in this woman which was disarming and unpleasant. She was like a kitten becoming a lion. Bored, Katherine said:

« - What do you want from me? As you can see.... I'm in a... delicate position.
- I don't need you Miss but my boss resorts you for an investigation. If you accept the job he's offered you, you'll be free to go out of here.
»

It's not possible, I'm dreaming, she told herself, I can go far away from here if I accept a last investigation...

Katherine take a deep breath and she stood up. The door of the cell was opened and she will be free in the corridor. She smiled when she walked out of the room in which she had spent horrible nights, in the cold, in the darkness. She was excited and strangely afraid. The man conduced her into an unknown par of the castle and he opened a big old door. She entered alone, proudly she looked up, apparently indefferent to the beauty of the room, full of old objects. In a dark side of the room there was a magnificient old silver armour. Arrived at the end of the room, behind big windows, there was a desk. She stopped. A men was sitting there. He looked at her and smiled. Katherine recognized him. He was the man who had kidnapped her because he needed her.

« -Hello miss Blackwood » he said with a sickly sweet voice.
« -Hello lord Athelstan » she answered with a fake smile, a dark glimmer in her look. She sat down on a big chair opposite him.
« -Well I sum up. First you kidnapped me. Second, I have to work FOR you and I'll be free to go... Why? What do you want from me?
- I'm sorry Miss Blackwood but I need you for an investigation.
- You know I STOPPED my activity.
- Yes of course... That's why I kidnapped you.
- I suppose it's useless to protest then. Please. Say what you want.
- You will understand that I am in a delicate position.
- Yes, so I am.
» Katherine cut him sort. He ignored her and after a dight sigh, he continued:
« Three days ago, my gardener found my governess. 
- Oh, I hope she's fine, now let me go home!
- She was murdered.
- Indeed, that's a realy bad blow for you reputation.
- ... my gardener, I repeat, found my governess's body in the lake of my park.
- Well she drowned herself
- She was murdered. »
he repeated.
« - How do you know that? Did you kill her?»

He smiled suddenly stood up his chairs and approached. She capitulated.

« - Explain what happened.
- My gardener found my governess's body in the lake BUT she known swim well.
- How do you know that?
- When I was young, she taugh me how to swim.
- Then you think it's a murder, why?
- She had problems.
- What sort of problems?
- I don't know.
Do you have an idea who killed her?
That's for you to find out.»


Katherine smiled and asked him:

« - I need to speak with your gardener mylord. To know exactly what happened and when he discovered the body of your governess. But before you have to tell me about her. All the things you know.
- Well, Miss Bingham was unasouming and efficient? She used to work for a duchess. That's all the thing I know. She was just a domestic.
- She was a person, not a slave. Where can I find your gardener?
- Certainly at the butlery Miss Blackwood. Where all the other people of my house are. »


She walked away and opened the door, suddenly she felt better. Lord Athelstan was realy a horrible man. She went quickly to the butlery. When she arrived, the people looked at her, curious, but they remembered that she was a detective, there to find a guilty. Maybe one of them. She sat on an empty chair and said with a firm voice:

« -I suppose you know who I am and why I'm here. I need to know who was, if she had any problems, I want to discover who killed her and why. Maybe it's one of you. Your neighbour, your daughter.. your wife... »

They exchanged looks, suspicious and a fat red-haired woman came near her:

« -I'm Molly White, the cook. I worked here since twenty years and Miss Bingham come back here two years ago. She's a stranger, she was, I mean. We didn't know her well.
- Do you know why she take a job here?
- I think I know Miss
, said a young boy, I'm Tom, the valet. I have heard strange things, rumors...
- Please, continue, I'm interested.
- Well... Some people said that the old duchess is not dead because she was old but because she was murdered. Miss Bingham was alone with her.
- How do you know that?
- I don't Miss. That's rumors. It's not the truth. I hope.
- Was the old duchess rich?
- Of course she was!
said the cook, Miss Bingham said she always had diamonds around the neck and a lot of rings!
- Thank you. Do you know where the gardener is?
- James? Maybe in the greenhouse. »


She went out the room abd before she arrived in the greenhouse she felt the smel of all the flowers. The air was hot and humid, contrary to outside, where it was cold and dry. Immediatly she saw a man.

« -You are Jamesn aren't you?
- Yeah Miss Blackwood, and I know why you are here but this is useless. Nobody killed her.
- Why do you say that?
- You know I found the body, but there was no mark of protection. Nothing strange. It's not a murder. It's just a crazy and stupid little accident.
- How do you know it was an accident?
- I don't. I supposed. But I've got an idea Miss. Lord Athelstan is not innocent in this history.
- Really?
- The duchess was his goodmother. And when she died, she was with the woman who taught a lot of things to our lord... »


○ ○ ○


A fiew day later, after a thorough investigation, Katherine knew that this day was different, when she woke up one morning in the big bed surrounded by magnificient velvet curtains. In the old chimney, a fire was burning quietly. When the detective stood up and walket near the window, she saw the landscape covered with a white thick layer. It was snow and the sky was grey, full of grey clouds. Her forced stay there had ended the day before. Katherine had sent a letter to the lieutenant of police, who was living in a little village near the castle when he was not in London. She put on quickly a dress and got out of the room. The corridor was dark and empty. Silently she walked the strairs. In the hall, the butler was waiting for her. When he saw her he said:

« -The master is waiting for you. »

He was certainly in the library, he was in that room all the time. She came in and stood near him.

« - You found the murderer, my employees told me.
- It's right, Your Grace, and I'm waiting for lieutenant Moore. He will come here.
- Realy? Why that? Just tell me who his the murderer and I'll arrest him, or her.
- I'm sorry mylord. I respect the rules.
»

He looked at her, furious, stood up, and paced up and down. Katherinewas also looking at him, curious. She understood his behaviour. She smiled a little bit and took her gun, concelead under her dress and pointed it at him.

« -Stay where you are please? she ordered. Lord Athelstan didn't seem surprised. Since the beginning, he knew.
- You kidnapped me to resolve a murder, why?
- My friends said you were a good detective. And I was curious.
- Just because you were curious? Did you kill her just because you wanted to know how I work?
- I killed my lovely governess because she was a thorn in my foot.
- What do you mean?
- You're curious Miss Blackwood. I know why you stopped your activities. Because you have failed.
»

He began to laugh, and his laugh was unbearable.

« -Was she a pretty little girl? I suppose, like all the girls. That's your only weakness. Are you haunted by the souvenir of her bloody body? The only affair you didn't resolve. Yes Katherine, you're weak, weak and cowardly. »

Suddenly, he pounced on her. She screamed and fired off him. He was stoppped and he looked at her, surprised. Then he fell down, dead. The door opened and she hear the voice of lieutenant Moore.

« -What the hell happened here?! »

But Katherine couldn't answer. She looked the gun between her hand and the bloody body of Lord Athelstan. She remembered, three years ago, in an old farm, the bloody corpse of this little girl, tortured, she had brown hair and a skin white as snow. Who was she? Mystery. Who killed her? Mystery. After this dark affair, Katherine Blackwood had decided to stop her job to think about her life, to go far away from this society.

« -I didn't want to kill him. I swear. Self-defence. » she told the lieutenant who had come near her, reassuring. She wanted to go away, far from there, from this country. She hated all the people. She closed her eyes and blanked out, a question in her soul. Why did Athelstan kill his governess? An other mystery...
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