The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Chapter one

Dr Sheppard At The Breakfast Table

Mrs Ferrars died on the night of the 16th September — a Thursday. I was sent for at eight o’clock on Friday morning and a few minutes after nine I reached home again.

‘Is that you, James?’ my sister Caroline called. ‘Come and get your breakfast!’

I walked into the dining-room.

‘You’ve had an early call.’

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘King’s Paddock. Mrs Ferrars.’

‘I know. Annie told me.’

Annie is our maid.

‘Well?’ my sister demanded.

‘A sad business. She must have died in her sleep.’

‘I know,’ said my sister again.

‘I didn’t know myself until I got there! If Annie knows…’

‘It was the milkman who told me. The Ferrars’ cook told him. What did she die of?’

‘She died of an overdose of veronal. She’s been taking it for sleeplessness. She must have taken too much.’

‘No,’ said Caroline. ‘She took it on purpose! I told you she poisoned her husband. And ever since she’s been haunted by what she did.’

I told Caroline that her whole idea was nonsense.

‘Nonsense?’ said Caroline. ‘I’m sure she’s left a letter confessing everything.’

‘She didn’t leave a letter,’ I said sharply.

‘Oh!’ said Caroline. ‘So you did inquire about that, did you?’

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