Surfeit of Lampreys: Inspector Roderick Alleyn #10 (Inspectr Roderick Alleyn)
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The killingly aristocratic Lamprey family exemplifies charm, wit, and a chronic lack of funds. Their only source of hope is the wealthy but unpleasant Lord Wutherwood, and the Lampreys may perhaps be forgiven for doing a little jig when his Lordship is killed and the resulting inheritance saves their bacon. Inspector Roderick Alleyn wouldn’t dream of judging the Lampreys’ joy. But he would like to figure out whether they murdered their benefactor.
we’re rather mad and it’s no good pretending we’re not. And we’re all good at charades, you can’t deny it.” Roberta remembered the charades in New Zealand, particularly one that presented the Garden of Eden. Lord Charles, with his glass in his eye, and an umbrella over his head to suggest the heat of the day, had enacted Adam. Henry was the serpent and the twins angels. Frid had entered into the spirit of the part of Eve and had worn almost nothing but a brassiere and a brown-paper fig-leaf.
skeleton staff is kept there,” said Tinkerton. “Of course,” she added. “Do you know why this visit was undertaken?” “His lordship received a telegram yesterday.” “From Lord Charles Lamprey?” “I believe so.” “Have you any idea why Lord Charles wanted to see his brother?” Tinkerton’s expression of disapproval became still deeper. Alleyn thought he saw a glint of complacency behind it. Perhaps, after all, Miss Tinkerton was not altogether proof against the delights of gossip. “Her ladyship,”
purged by Nanny. They looked coldly at the rest of their family, walked to the sofa and collapsed on it. “Well,” said Colin after a long silence, “I see no reason why we should announce in anything but plain English the fact that the gaff is blown, the cat out of the bag, and the balloon burst.” “What do you mean!” cried Charlot. “You didn’t—” “No, Mama, we didn’t tell him because he already knew,” said Stephen. “I was the l-liftman. I did it with my little button.” “I told you so,” Frid
aid. “We had an example of that,” Alleyn agreed, “in the present stand made by the twins.” Roberta caught her breath and looked at him. His eyes, with their turned-down corners, seemed to express only sympathetic amusement, as though he invited her to laugh a little with him at the twins. “But they have always been like that,” cried Roberta. “Even at Deepacres when Colin took the big car…” and she was off again, all her anecdotes of the Lampreys tending to show their devotion to each other.
other. The deceased came away almost at once. As he got to the door he said, speaking very quiet and venomous according to Blackmore: ‘That’s final. If there’s any more whining for help I’ll take legal measures to rid myself of the lot of you.’ Now, sir,” said Fox, looking over the top of his spectacles, “Blackmore was playing round behind the soda-water machine which is close to the wall. She says she heard his present lordship say, very distinctly: ‘I wish that there was some measure, legal or