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Конкурс переводов - Тур 89 (июль 2010 г.)
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Young Mr. Oakes was not enjoying himself. For the first time in his life he was beginning to be conscious of the possession of nerves. He had gone into this investigation with the self-confident alertness which characterised all his actions. He believed in himself thoroughly.

This mood had lasted for some hours. Then doubts had begun to creep in.

He was baffled. And every moment which he spent in the Excelsior Boarding House made it clearer to him that that infernal old woman with the pale eyes thought him an incompetent fool. It was this more than anything which had brought to Elliott Oakes’ notice the fact that he had nerves. Those nerves were being sorely troubled by the quiet scorn of Mrs. Pickett’s gaze.

Elliott Oakes’ first act after his brief interview with the proprietress had been to examine the room where the tragedy had taken place. The body had gone, but, with that exception, nothing had been moved.

Oakes belonged to the magnifying-glass school of detection. The first thing he did on entering the room was to make a careful examination of the floor, the walls, the furniture, and the window-sill. He would have hotly denied the assertion that he did this because it looked well, but he would have been hard put to it to advance any other reason.

If he discovered anything, his discoveries were entirely negative, and served only to deepen the mystery of the case. As Mr. Snyder had said, there was no chimney, and nobody could have entered through the locked door.

There remained the window. It was small, and apprehensiveness, possibly on the score of burglars, had caused the proprietress to make it doubly secure with an iron bar. No human being could have squeezed his way through it.

It was late that night that he wrote and dispatched to headquarters the report which had amused Mr. Snyder.


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