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 The Lock Of Hair

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The Murder At Haughton

by Mary C. Vaughan


“I thought you would have rung your bell before this time, ma’am. I guess your fire is e’ema,pst out,” said Hetty Sims, otherwise known as Aunt Hetty, bustling into the parlor, at twilight, or what she chose to call “early candle-lighting”.  “Aint ye cold, Mis’ Sorley? There’s nothing but a few coals left.”

The figure, sitting there in the angle of the fire-place, answered not, but that fact did not daunt Aunt Hetty.

“I should have been in before,” she continued, “but s’posed ye had company. ‘Twas the minister, warn’t it? I had my ands in the bread when he knocked, or I should have gone to the door.

Still no answer.

“I guess she’s asleep,” commented Aunt Hetty, audibly;  “an’ if she is, I’d better hold my tongue and not wake her. It does old folks a deal of good to sleep!”

Just at that moment the fire blazed up brightly, and Aunt Hetty turned round from her task of blowing it with her apron, to look at her beloved mistress. There was something awful in the rigid stiffness of her position. Her head had fallen forward upon her breast, one hand hung by her side, the other grasped the arm of the chair. Her features were shaded by the position in which she sat.

The fire was burning now, and as Aunt Hetty rose she put her hand upon the rug to lift herself by its aid. It splashed into a pool of something warm, wet, sticky that was oozing out upon the hearth.

“I guess the minister set his umbrella down here,” she said, and then she glanced at her hand. All the palm was covered by a dark, awful smear, and from her extended fingers dripped the clammy mass.

“Oh!” shrieked Aunt Hetty. “Law! Oh, gracious! Mis’ Sorelli! I do believe it’s blood!”

She went… Read More