Yellow Room

Free Yellow Room by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Book: Yellow Room by Mary Roberts Rinehart Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary Roberts Rinehart
bad enough. Does Mother know?”
    “Not yet. Of course when the papers get it—Have they any idea who it is?”
    “Not yet.”
    “Her clothes ought to tell them something.”
    “They haven’t found her clothes. Look here, Elinor. I called you up to tell you something. Marcia Dalton says she saw your car here last Friday night, or Saturday morning. She’s just told me.”
    There was a brief pause. Then Elinor laughed.
    “Marcia’s seeing things,” she said. “Tell her I have a perfect alibi, and that I don’t go around murdering people in the middle of the night.”
    “You did go to New York?”
    “I hope the telephone operators along the line are enjoying this,” Elinor said coldly. “For their benefit I’ll tell you that I left my car in Providence on Friday, took a train to New York, stayed in our apartment that night, shopped all day Saturday, had dinner with my husband that evening and went to the theater afterwards.”
    “You stayed in your apartment?”
    “Why not? The club was jammed. So was every hotel. What’s the matter with you anyhow? Do I have to have an alibi?”
    Carol felt foolish as Elinor rang off with her customary abruptness. Of course Marcia had been mistaken. What possible connection could Elinor in New York have with a murder on the Maine coast? Or, granting there was one, would she possibly have risked everything she prized so highly on such an excursion? Yet there remained the puzzling question of why the dead girl had come to Crestview, and why Lucy—if she knew about it—had let her stay.
    Elinor could have made it. She could have come by car, arriving that night, gone back to Providence the same way, left her car there, and taken an early morning train to New York. Only why? Had the girl been Howard’s mistress? His money laid him open to that sort of thing. But even then she could see Elinor’s sheer disdain of a dirty business. She might leave him, demanding an enormous settlement, or she might choose to stay on and ignore the situation. But to connect her with a crime of passion was impossible.
    Carol was still in the library when Jerry Dane tapped at the terrace door. She admitted him, and he looked down at her gravely.
    “I’m afraid I was rude to you today,” he said. “My leg was hurting damnably, and—well, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”
    “It’s all right,” she told him. “I don’t blame you for calling me one of the cumberers of the earth. I just can’t help it, that’s all. I have to look after my mother.”
    “Don’t make me more abject than I am. I came to tell you I couldn’t see Mrs. Norton. Did you?”
    “No.” She recited her day while he listened, about being compelled to look at the body and the things on Floyd’s desk, and the fact that by the time her car was ready she could not go to the hospital. He had taken out a pipe and filled it, and as she talked she watched him. He was hard, she thought, the sort of man who in a war killed without scruple. But he was honest too. Honest and dependable, and she had to talk to someone or go mad.
    “There’s something else I ought to tell you,” she said. “It happened here this afternoon, and it has bothered me a lot. There’s no truth in it, of course, but it could cause trouble. Marcia Dalton claims to have seen my sister’s car here the night Lucy was hurt and this girl was murdered.”
    “Have you called your sister?”
    “Of course. She has an alibi. She was in New York that night. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?”
    “Naturally.” His face remained impassive. “Is there anything else? Might as well clear the slate, you know.”
    “Well,” she said, her voice doubtful. “I suppose I should have told the police before this, but I couldn’t see Lucy, and the place has been full of people this afternoon.” She looked at him apologetically. “I don’t even like telling you, but I suppose I must.”
    “I see,” he said patiently. “Just what is all this

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