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The House Of Silk

The House Of Silk

Titel: The House Of Silk
Autoren: Anthony Horowitz
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very flicker of an eyebrow. The idea impressed me greatly at the time but I seem to recall that you were somewhat scornful—’
    ‘And doubtless I will pay for it now,’ I concurred. ‘But are you seriously telling me, Holmes, that you could deduce the sickness of a child you have never met, simply from my behaviour over a plate of scones?’
    ‘That and rather more,’ Holmes replied. ‘I can tell that you have just returned from Holborn Viaduct. That you left your house in a hurry, but even so missed the train. Perhaps the fact that you are currently without a servant girl is to blame.’
    ‘No, Holmes!’ I cried. ‘I will not have it!’
    ‘I am wrong?’
    ‘No. You are correct on every count. But how is it possible …?’
    ‘It is a simple matter of observation and deduction, the one informing the other. Were I to explain it to you, it would all seem painfully childish.’
    ‘And yet I must insist that you do just that.’
    ‘Well, since you have been so good as to pay me this visit, I suppose I must oblige,’ returned Holmes with a yawn. ‘Let us begin with the circumstance that brings you here. If my memory serves, we are approaching the second anniversary of your marriage, are we not?’
    ‘Indeed so, Holmes. It is the day after tomorrow.’
    ‘An unusual time then, for you to separate from your wife. As you yourself said just now, the fact that you have chosen to stay with me, and for a prolonged period of time, would suggest that there was a compelling reason for her to part company with you. And what might that be? As I recall, Miss Mary Morston – as she once was – came to England from India and had no friends or family here. She was taken on as a governess, looking after the son of one Mrs Cecil Forrester, in Camberwell, which is of course where you met her. Mrs Forrester was very good to her, particularly in her time of need, and I would imagine that the two of them have remained close.’
    ‘That is indeed the case.’
    ‘And so, if anyone were likely to call your wife away from home, it might well be her. I wonder then what reason might lie behind such a summons, and in this cold weather the sickness of a child springs instantly to mind. It would, I am sure, be very comforting for the afflicted lad to have his old governess back.’
    ‘His name is Richard and he is nine years old,’ I concurred. ‘But how can you be so confident that it is influenza and not something altogether more serious?’
    ‘Were it more serious, you would surely have insisted upon attending yourself.’
    ‘Your reasoning has so far been utterly straightforward in every respect,’ I said. ‘But it does not explain how you knew that my thoughts had turned towards them at that precise moment.’
    ‘You will forgive me if I say that you are to me as an open book, my dear Watson, and that with every movement, you turn another page. As you sat there sipping your tea, I noticed your eye drift towards the newspaper on the table right beside you. You glanced at the headline and then reached out and turned it face down. Why? It was perhaps the report on the train crash at Norton Fitzwarren a few weeks ago that disturbed you. The first findings of the investigation into the deaths of ten passengers were published today and it was, of course, the last thing you would wish to read just after leaving your wife at a station.’
    ‘That did indeed remind me of her journey,’ I agreed. ‘But the sickness of the child?’
    ‘From the newspaper, your attention turned to the patch of carpet beside the desk and I distinctly saw you smile to yourself. It was there, of course, that you once kept your medicine bag and it was surely that association that reminded you of the reason for your wife’s visit.’
    ‘This is all guesswork, Holmes,’ I insisted. ‘You say Holborn Viaduct, for example. It could have been any station in London.
    ‘You know that I deplore guesswork. It is sometimes necessary to connect points of evidence with the use of imagination, but that is not at all the same thing. Mrs Forrester lives in Camberwell. The London Chatham and Dover Railway has regular departures from Holborn Viaduct. I would have considered that the logical starting point, even if you had not obliged me by leaving your own suitcase by the door. From where I am sitting, I can clearly see a label from the Holborn Viaduct Left Luggage Office attached to the handle.’
    ‘And the rest of it?
    ‘The fact that you have lost
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