The Mysterious Affair at Styles
3. The Night of the Tragedy
To make this part of my story clear, I append the following plan of the first floor of
Styles. The servants' rooms are reached through the door B. They have no
communication with the right wing, where the Inglethorps' rooms were situated.
It seemed to be the middle of the night when I was awakened by Lawrence
Cavendish. He had a candle in his hand, and the agitation of his face told me at
once that something was seriously wrong.
"What's the matter?" I asked, sitting up in bed, and trying to collect my scattered
"We are afraid my mother is very ill. She seems to be having some kind of fit.
Unfortunately she has locked herself in."
"I'll come at once."
I sprang out of bed; and, pulling on a dressing-gown, followed Lawrence along
the passage and the gallery to the right wing of the house.
John Cavendish joined us, and one or two of the servants were standing round in
a state of awe-stricken excitement. Lawrence turned to his brother.
"What do you think we had better do?"
Never, I thought, had his indecision of character been more apparent.
John rattled the handle of Mrs. Inglethorp's door violently, but with no effect. It
was obviously locked or bolted on the inside. The whole household was aroused
by now. The most alarming sounds were audible from the interior of the room.
Clearly something must be done.
"Try going through Mr. Inglethorp's room, sir," cried Dorcas. "Oh, the poor