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Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy L. Sayers {Excerpt}

Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy L. Sayers {Excerpt}

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
A trove of short stories featuring two of the Jazz Age’s most famous sleuths

In the annals of mystery writing, Lord Peter Wimsey and Montague Egg are among the most memorable detectives. Lord Peter—noble by birth, brilliant by nature—is a fly in the ointment of criminals across Britain, turning up whenever the police ask him to lend his quick wit and keen eye to an investigation. Montague Egg is a free-spirited figure, a traveling wine salesman with an unfortunate habit of stumbling over murder scenes. Both are inimitably charming, and neither has ever failed to catch his man.

In this collection of stories, the two detectives confront cat killers, American zombies, and—most horrible of all—a poisoned bottle of fine old port. Several decades after their first publication, mystery maven Dorothy L. Sayers’s chilling puzzles remain as engaging as ever.
A trove of short stories featuring two of the Jazz Age’s most famous sleuths

In the annals of mystery writing, Lord Peter Wimsey and Montague Egg are among the most memorable detectives. Lord Peter—noble by birth, brilliant by nature—is a fly in the ointment of criminals across Britain, turning up whenever the police ask him to lend his quick wit and keen eye to an investigation. Montague Egg is a free-spirited figure, a traveling wine salesman with an unfortunate habit of stumbling over murder scenes. Both are inimitably charming, and neither has ever failed to catch his man.

In this collection of stories, the two detectives confront cat killers, American zombies, and—most horrible of all—a poisoned bottle of fine old port. Several decades after their first publication, mystery maven Dorothy L. Sayers’s chilling puzzles remain as engaging as ever.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Jun 06, 2013
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09/29/2013

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!
 
Dorothy L. Sayers HANGMAN’S HOLIDAY
 
!
THE INCREDIBLEELOPEMENT OF LORD PETER WIMSEY
“THAT HOUSE, SEÑOR?” SAID
the landlord of the little
 posada.
“That is thehouse of the American physician, whose wife, may the blessed saints preserve us, is bewitched.” He crossed himself, and so did his wife anddaughter.“Bewitched, is she?” said Langley sympathetically. He was a professor of ethnology, and this was not his first visit to the Pyrenees. Hehad, however, never before penetrated to any place quite so remote as thistiny hamlet, clinging, like a rock-plant, high up the scarred graniteshoulders of the mountain. He scented material here for his book onBasque folk-lore. With tact, he might persuade the old man to tell hisstory.“And in what manner,” he asked, “is the lady be-spelled?”“Who knows?” replied the landlord, shrugging his shoulders. “‘Theman that asked questions on Friday was buried on Saturday.’ Will your honour consent to take his supper?”Langley took the hint. To press the question would be to encounter obstinate silence. Later, when they knew him better, perhaps— His dinner was served to him at the family table—the oily, pepper-flavoured stew to which he was so well accustomed, and the harsh redwine of the country. His hosts chattered to him freely enough in thatstrange Basque language which has no fellow in the world, and is said by
 
Dorothy L. Sayers HANGMAN’S HOLIDAY
 
!
some to be the very speech of our first fathers in Paradise. They spoke of the bad winter, and young Esteban Arramandy, so strong and swift at the pelota, who had been lamed by a falling rock and now halted on twosticks; of three valuable goats carried off by a bear; of the torrential rainsthat, after a dry summer, had scoured the bare ribs of the mountains. It wasraining now, and the wind was howling unpleasantly. This did not troubleLangley; he knew and loved this haunted and impenetrable country at alltimes and seasons. Sitting in that rude peasant inn, he thought of the oak- panelled hall of his Cambridge college and smiled, and his eyes gleamedhappily behind his scholarly pince-nez. He was a young man, in spite of his professorship and the string of letters after his name. To his universitycolleagues it seemed strange that this man, so trim, so prim, so early old,should spend his vacations eating garlic, and scrambling on mule-back along precipitous mountain-tracks. You would never think it, they said, tolook at him.There was a knock at the door.“That is Martha,” said the wife.She drew back the latch, letting in a rush of wind and rain whichmade the candle gutter. A small, aged woman was blown in out of thenight, her grey hair straggling in wisps from beneath her shawl.“Come in, Martha, and rest yourself. It is a bad night. The parcel isready—oh, yes. Dominique brought it from the town this morning. Youmust take a cup of wine or milk before you go back.”The old woman thanked her and sat down, panting.“And how goes all at the house? The doctor is well?”“He is well.”“And
 she?”
 The daughter put the question in a whisper, and the landlord shook his head at her with a frown.

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