The Circular Staircase (Chapter 7, page 1 of 8)


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Chapter 7

I was panic-stricken. As I ran along the corridor I was confident that
the mysterious intruder and probable murderer had been found, and that
he lay dead or dying at the foot of the chute. I got down the
staircase somehow, and through the kitchen to the basement stairs. Mr.
Jamieson had been before me, and the door stood open. Liddy was
standing in the middle of the kitchen, holding a frying-pan by the
handle as a weapon.

"Don't go down there," she yelled, when she saw me moving toward the
basement stairs. "Don't you do it, Miss Rachel. That Jamieson's down
there now. There's only trouble comes of hunting ghosts; they lead you
into bottomless pits and things like that. Oh, Miss Rachel, don't--" as
I tried to get past her.

She was interrupted by Mr. Jamieson's reappearance. He ran up the
stairs two at a time, and his face was flushed and furious.

"The whole place is locked," he said angrily. "Where's the laundry key
kept?"

"It's kept in the door," Liddy snapped. "That whole end of the cellar
is kept locked, so nobody can get at the clothes, and then the key's
left in the door? so that unless a thief was as blind as--as some
detectives, he could walk right in."

"Liddy," I said sharply, "come down with us and turn on all the lights."

She offered her resignation, as usual, on the spot, but I took her by
the arm, and she came along finally. She switched on all the lights
and pointed to a door just ahead.

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