Where’s Emily - Carolyn Wells - ebook

Where’s Emily ebook

Carolyn Wells

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Fleming Stone №23. On the eve of her marriage to Rodney Sayre, Emily Duane disappears. She had left her Hillside Park home to visit the hospital but never arrived there. Foul play is feared when Jim Pennington reports his wife Pauline, Emily’s best friend, also missing. Pennington says he left his wife at the ravine a short distance from Emily’s home. When he returned she had vanished. Polly’s body is found in the ravine, but Where’s Emily? A wonderful mystery abound with twists and turns on every corner. Carolyn Wells inspires and entertains with her classical mystery masterpiece, „Where’s Emily”, guaranteed to feed the mystery monster that craves suspense!

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Liczba stron: 345

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Contents

CHAPTER I. PERSONALITY

CHAPTER II. A KISS FOR LUCK

CHAPTER III. THE REHEARSAL

CHAPTER IV. WHERE’S EMILY?

CHAPTER V. AS TO THE HINDU

CHAPTER VI. TRAGEDY

CHAPTER VII. THE SABLE FUR

CHAPTER VIII. WHAT THE POLICE THOUGHT

CHAPTER IX. THE INQUEST

CHAPTER X. ALL THE CARDS ON THE TABLE

CHAPTER XI. THE FUNERAL

CHAPTER XII. A WEDDING PARTY

CHAPTER XIII. REQUEST FOR RANSOM

CHAPTER XIV. FLEMING STONE

CHAPTER XV. MISS MARSDEN’S STORY

CHAPTER XVI. MISS WOLCOTT’S BOOKS

CHAPTER XVII. EMILY!

CHAPTER XVIII. THE WHOLE STORY

CHAPTER I. PERSONALITY

“Where’s Emily?”

“Dunno, Aunt Judy. Shall I go a-hunting?”

“No, no, Rod. Betty–Nell–doesn’t anybody know where Emily is?”

“Did anybody ever know!”

“You see,” Aunt Judy whispered discreetly, “the minister’s here.”

“Oh, that! Well, tell him Emily’s gone walking with the Swami. That’ll give him one crowded hour of glorious life–”

“Leave all to me; I’ll take care of the cloth. What’s a best man for?”

Burton Lamb stepped to Aunt Judy’s side, and murmuring “lead me to him” left the room with her.

In a small reception room they found the Reverend Mr. Garner seated in a truly ecclesiastical attitude on the edge of a chair.

He was of an austere and ascetic type, and his fundamental beliefs were written plainly in his square, set jaw, and his snapping black eyes.

Aunt Judy had snapping black eyes, too, but of quite a different snap.

Lamb went through his part of the introduction with his usual nonchalant grace, and sat down sideways on a chair to see what he could do about it.

“Yes, Emily is not here for the moment,” he said, “and I’m wondering if I won’t do, instead. If it’s anything about the plans, you know–the arrangements–of course, as best man, I have it all at my finger ends–I mean at my wit’s end. You’ll be at the rehearsal this evening?”

“Yes–at six or so, is it not? But it is the service I have in mind, not the–er–social side of it. Emily is of the–the ultramodern set who have little care for the dignity or gravity of the sacrament.”

“Oh, I know what he’s getting at,” Aunt Judy exclaimed. “You are bothered because she means to omit the word “obey.’ I know–it worried me ‘most to death at first, too. But she explained it to me–”

“Pardon me, it admits of no explanation, Mrs. Bell.”

“Yes, I thought so too, at first. But I’ve come round to Emily’s way of thinking and–”

“But her way of thinking cannot change the prayer book–”

“Now, look here, Mr. Garner,” Lamb began, in his pleasantly decisive way, “isn’t it a bit late for a discussion of this matter? The wedding is on Saturday, and to-day is Thursday. No amount of argument or debate on your part would change Emily’s mind in the least degree. Therefore, you will have to submit to her decision or refuse to perform the ceremony. In that case–pardon my plain speaking, but you see I am the best man, and it is my duty to attend to everything I possibly can that will save the bride and groom from any bit of worry or bother. So, again pardon my straightforwardness: if you do not wish to fall in with the ideas of Emily and Mr. Sayre, then I must be about the business of finding somebody who does.”

“I am told, too,” the irate dominie went on, “that Emily does not intend to take the name of Sayre, but will continue to be known as Emily Duane.”

“That is a matter entirely outside your jurisdiction, sir.” Even mild-mannered Burton Lamb was beginning to lose his patience. “That is the legal side of this affair, not the religious part of it.”

“Now, Mr. Garner,” Aunt Judy put in, and her black eyes snapped into his own, “I am older than you are, I was brought up as strait-laced and hide-bound as you were, but owing to the trend of the times and the ways of the world, and the dominance of the younger generation, I see clearly that the only thing to do is to let them have their way, which they will do, anyhow.”

The white, bobbed hair shook its pretty soft curls at him, the nearly double chin set itself in soft ridges, and Aunt Judy smoothed down her short skirt over her not invisible silk-clad knees, with an obvious submission to the trend of the times and the ways of the world.

The Reverend Garner looked at her.

“You naturally side with your niece,” he said coldly, “but I am told that Mr. Rodney Sayre is not at all in accordance with his bride’s views, and that he would much prefer the orthodox and time-honored ways.”

“That, too,” and Lamb spoke now with real asperity, “is outside your province, Mr. Garner. At a wedding, it is the bride who gives orders, who has her own way in every particular. I am glad Emily is not here to listen to you, for it would only rouse her anger and lead to unpleasantness. As I am, then, practically master of ceremonies, I ask you to decide now, at once, whether or not you will meet Miss Duane’s wishes in every particular. If not, there is no real reason why you should attend the rehearsal this evening. I daresay the–that is, Mr. Lal Singh–”

“Oh, hush!” exclaimed Aunt Judy, scandalized herself, now, “he is a Hindu!”

“Oh, I know, I know,” put in Mr. Garner. “He’s that Swami, or whatever he calls himself, who is attracting a lot of foolish fashionable women to his lectures, and who–”

“We really haven’t time now to discuss theosophy,” Lamb gently insisted. “Do you or do you not want to officiate at the wedding, Mr. Garner?”

“I wish I might see Miss Duane herself for a moment–”

“Well, you can’t, and it wouldn’t do you a bit of good,” declared Aunt Judy. “Oh, pshaw, Mr. Garner, don’t stir up trouble at this late date. Just do as our darling bride wants you to, or else say you won’t, and we can easily get another minister–and not a heathen, either.”

The Reverend Garner, being after all–or, perhaps, before all–human concluded he didn’t care to lose the pleasant fee which this same efficient best man would probably hand him, so he made the best of the situation, and took his leave, agreeing to do as Mrs. Bell had advised.

“Where’s Emily?” asked Aunt Judy, as she and Lamb returned to the lounge. “What’s the girl doing?”

“She was here,” Nell Harding informed, “but she flew off again. Went to take another look at her necklace, she said. We’re talking about personality. I say Emily has more of it than any one I ever knew.”

“Silly word,” put in Pete Gibby. “Doesn’t mean a thing. Everybody has personality of one sort or another–”

“It doesn’t mean that, dearie,” Betty Bailey kindly educated him. “It means, why, it means–”

“Go on–what does it mean?”

“Oh, just that you stand out, you know. You’re like a solitaire diamond and the others are like a cluster.”

“Not bad, Betty,” Sayre agreed. “Yes, Emily is like that–she–”

“Never mind, Signor Benedick, we have a dim idea of your opinion of Emily.”

“Have I personality?” asked Nell Harding, who was to be one of the bridesmaids.

“You bet you have!” said Lamb, who was madly in love with her.

“Have I?” cried Betty Bailey.

“Not a bit,” Pete Gibby told her. “You’re strictly impersonal. Aunt Judy here has more than all the rest of us put together.”

Mrs. Bell smiled absently, accustomed to their foolishness.

Though nominally in charge of the house and of her niece, she actually had no hand in managing either.

When Emily’s parents had both been killed in a motor accident, Mrs. Bell, as the only available relative, had come to Knollwood as a matter of course.

And as a matter of course, she was still there, but the direction of the establishment was entirely at the will or whim of imperious, efficient Emily, personification of personality and able exponent of the younger generation.

Not that Emily was a flapper. She was twenty-two, well educated, well mannered and a thorough-bred.

But impulsive and high-tempered, she needed a restraining hand now and then and there was none to stretch out to her.

She was sole heir to her father’s enormous fortune, which was judiciously attended to for her by able trustees.

She did whatever she chose and she had whatever she wanted.

In fact she lacked nothing but parental love and guidance, and this, some said, was lucky for the parents.

Not that Emily was wild or eccentric.

But she had little sense of moderation and once bent on a thing would achieve it at any cost.

And she had the elusive charm ambiguously termed personality.

With it, she could make almost any one bend to her will or grant her request.

It made her a favorite and a belle. She had hosts of friends and no enemies, unless some envious or jealous young people were to be counted.

Her home, the great and beautiful house her father had built up among the Ramapo Hills, was filled with everything that conduced to comfort or happiness, and Emily and Aunt Judy lived in the utmost peace and harmony.

School, travel, friends, social success, had all come to the girl in turn, and now she was about to marry Rodney Sayre and a house party was gathered for the wedding festivities.

Although at the time of her arrival in Emily’s home, Aunt Judy had been an old-fashioned, even provincial sort, her niece had changed all that.

She had ordained that Mrs. Bell should do at all times and in all things exactly as Emily dictated and not otherwise, that strict adherence to this plan of campaign would make for happiness and contentment, while any dereliction from such a path would lead straight to chaos and misery.

So clearly was this set forth and so emphatic was the insistence upon it that Mrs. Bell saw at once she must acquiesce or depart.

In her wisdom she chose the former course, continued in that course, and all went very well indeed.

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