[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hZnUP_GG-0[/embedyt]Mrs. Diggory Frances Algernon III corrected a small smudge in her lipstick with the tip of her pinky finger. “I hope you don’t mind, dear, but I’ve taken the liberty of inviting my friend Clara for the weekend.”
Diggory threw his head against the tall back of the velvet chair and groaned, then shook out his newspaper and sulked into the pages. “Didn’t I ask you not to, Millie? Didn’t I? After the last time?”
“Did you?” Mrs. Algernon blinked her long eyelashes in ignorant surprise. “I have no recollection of such a thing. Why should you object to Clara? She’s quiet and sweet and ever so clever.”
“This is Clara Masterfeld, correct? The amateur detective?”
“The same. And so what if she has an unusual hobby. We were schoolmates, Clara and I. She was up to it back then too, always finding stolen pens and catching people who were cheating on tests.”
“Pencils are all very well,” Diggory turned a page of the newspaper. “But now the quiet, sweet, and clever thing is into murders.”
“Really, Diggory! The way you say it, one might think that you thought she was the one murdering people.”
“Maybe she is,” Diggory said. “Maybe she hires people to murder people, and then she pretends to solve the mystery, just so she can get to be a famous amateur detective.”
“I can’t believe you! All those people she’s helped, how can you possibly think of such a thing?”
“Well, why not. Think about it, Millie. Every time she goes on a trip, someone gets bumped off, and she has to work out who-done-it. What happened when she went on a cruise to Spain? Someone got murdered. That train tour of Egypt? Someone got murdered. It was all in the papers, Clara Masterfeld has done it again, huzzah, and all. Getting highly suspicious, don’t you think?”
“Ridiculous! Now you’re just teasing me.”
“Mark my words,” Diggory said, folding down the paper so he could more easily get at the crossword puzzle. “If she’s here for the weekend, someone around here is going to kick the bucket, and there’s going to be foul play involved, and she’s going to be too busy scampering around after clues to sit and chat with you, darling.”
Mrs. Algernon pouted into the mirror and fussed with one of her ringlets.
There was a light tap at the door. “Mr. Algernon, sir?” the butler said.
“Yes, what is it?”
“There’s a message from the vicar. He won’t be round for tea. Poor Mrs. Mayberry has passed on rather suddenly, and he’s assisting with the arrangements.”
“Oh, how dreadful!” Mrs. Algernon cried. Then she rounded on her husband. “Now don’t give me that look! Clara isn’t even here yet!”
Mr. Algernon sunk his face down behind his newspaper so that all she could see were his raised eyebrows.