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Агата Кристи
The Affair at the Bungalow: A Miss Marple Short Story

‘I can picture the scene,’ said Sir Henry.

Jane Helier frowned.

‘Let me see – how had I better go on?’

‘Supposing you tell us what it was all about, dear,’ said Miss Marple, so mildly that no one could suspect her of irony. ‘I mean what the young man’s mistake was, and about the burglary.’

‘Oh, yes,’ said Jane. ‘Well, you see, this young man – Leslie Faulkener, his name was – had written a play. He’d written several plays, as a matter of fact, though none of them had ever been taken. And he had sent this particular play to me to read. I didn’t know about it, because of course I have hundreds of plays sent to me and I read very few of them myself – only the ones I know something about. Anyway, there it was, and it seems that Mr Faulkener got a letter from me – only it turned out not to be really from me – you understand –’

She paused anxiously, and they assured her that they understood.

‘Saying that I’d read the play, and liked it very much and would he come down and talk it over with me. And it gave the address – The Bungalow, Riverbury. So Mr Faulkener was frightfully pleased and he came down and arrived at this place – The Bungalow. A parlourmaid opened the door, and he asked for Miss Helier, and she said Miss Helier was in and expecting him and showed him into the drawing-room, and there a woman came to him. And he accepted her as me as a matter of course – which seems queer because after all he had seen me act and my photographs are very well known, aren’t they?’

‘Over the length and breadth of England,’ said Mrs Bantry promptly. ‘But there’s often a lot of difference between a photograph and its original, my dear Jane. And there’s a great deal of difference between behind the footlights and off the stage. It’s not every actress who stands the test as well as you do, remember.’

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