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.Why is the drowning at our hotel relevant to Moira’s murder?”“The drowning at Loch Lochy may not be relevant at all.What happened afterwards?”Flora folded her arms into her chest.“It was ruled an accident.Eventually the press went away.Brad never wrote or called.I was heartbroken about the whole thing.I think he blamed me for Amy’s death.He didna know she was supposed to be in my care.I could actually blame him.If he hadna stopped on the beach, I would have been paying attention to her.”“Do you plan to stay on at your parents’ hotel?”“I wish I could leave.I was about to go off to university when the accident happened.But I was too depressed afterwards.I decided to wait a year.And, well, I’m still here—as you can see.”“I don’t suppose you can tell me more aboot the shadow you saw on the stairs last night?”Flora shifted in her chair.“I’ve already told you.”“Was the person going up or down the stairs?”“Down—no, up.I told you, I canna remember.”“Can you recall what sort of knife? Was it a kitchen knife or perhaps a hunting knife like Donnie keeps in a sheath on his belt—?”“No! And now that I think aboot it, I dinna think it can have been a knife.It wasna sharp, but it was long.”“A hunting rifle?”Flora gazed right into his eyes.“I think so.And just so you know, Donnie doesn’t have a rifle.Dad won’t let him keep one.”“There’s only one person here who owns a gun, as far as I know,” Rex told her, wondering what was keeping Cuthbert.He needed to ask Mr.Farquharson how long he had been talking to Moira at the bathroom door and what had been said.Helen had crept up on him as he was listening at the foot of the stairs and he hadn’t heard the rest of the conversation.“One more question,” he told Flora.“Are you sure it was half past twelve when you saw this person?”“Aye, I believe so.Can I go now?”Rex nodded and thanked her.“Could you ask Mrs.Farquharson to step in?”Rex made a note in his pad and underlined it.He was sure the girl was lying.Estelle popped in as soon as Flora opened the door.“I was waiting in line,” she told Rex, striding into the dining room.“Is this the hot seat?” she asked, pulling out the chair Flora had vacated.“Sit anywhere you like.”Estelle plunked herself down on the Queen Anne chair and propped her arms on the table, regarding him expectantly.“Shoot.”“Well, ehm, let me see.” Rex perused the notes in his pad.“I can’t recall if you said you had reason to go downstairs after you went to bed last night.”“I think I may.I usually have to get up at least once in the night, especially if I’ve had a lot of alcohol to drink.I have what is commonly known as an overactive bladder.”“I had that problem myself awhile back.It turned out to be an enlarged prostate.So, you think you may have gone downstairs at some point.”“Yes, pretty certain I did, actually.”“But you have no idea when?”“Afraid not.”“Presumably you tried the upstairs bathroom first?”Estelle nodded.“Must have found it occupied.”“Were you wearing your dressing gown?”“I’m sure I was, dear man! Though I did have my nightie on underneath.”“Were you carrying anything?”Estelle leaned forward across the table.“What on earth are you suggesting? That I was the shadow Flora saw on the stairs?”“It fits your description, if you were wearing your curlers.She thought you might have been holding a rifle.”“Didn’t she say a knife? And, anyway, wasn’t the rifle in the room with the leaky radiator? Cuthbert said you retrieved it from the cupboard this morning.”“That’s where I put it yesterday afternoon, out of harm’s way.”“You didn’t hide it very well.Usually Bertie can’t find anything.”“It wasn’t my intention to hide it, exactly.I just did not want your husband using it on my land.I happen to believe in the sacredness of life.”“Nonsense,” Estelle said affably.“I’m sure you eat beef and pork and all the rest of it.Don’t think for a minute they’re slaughtered in a more humane way.”“In any case,” Rex resumed.“That room wasn’t supposed to be used.Then Moira turned up and everybody ended up staying because of the rainstorm, and I had to put Mr.and Mrs.Allerdice in there [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]