The Mystery of Miss Tree and Mr E: Stories from the Road

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They would have drag parties and we children were always included. Nan was a Buddhist.

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There was always Greek music playing. We slept on the wooden benches. She had a huge impact. She spent a year in Jersey — where he founded his zoo in — in the late s. She was a much loved provider of tea, biscuits, a well-stocked games cabinet and books. She was also a skilled arbiter of family disagreements.

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He is enjoying his tour of Europe. He speaks of the Countess: he praises the woman herself and the exotic life she has led. Satterthwaite is more dubious of the tales she tells of her adventures in diplomatic intrigues. Soon afterwards the Countess joins them. After Rudge has gone, Satterthwaite receives the impression that he is being warned off by the Countess. She means to have Rudge and she perceives Satterthwaite as an impediment to her plans. He is puzzled as to why she pursues the young American when she appears to have everything that she desires, with her fine clothes and exquisite jewels.

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Satterthwaite is delighted to receive his old friend, Harley Quin. Satterthwaite tells Quin of the relationships he is observing; the Countess, for reasons best known to her, is coming between Franklin Rudge and Elizabeth Martin. The following night at the casino the Countess wears a simple white gown and no jewelry, and a younger woman is rumoured to be the lover of the king of Bosnia.

The Countess wagers all she has at the roulette table. As Satterthwaite bets on 5, she bets on 6. The ball lands on 5 but the croupier passes the winnings to the Countess. Satterthwaite accepts the croupier's decision. Each guest is to bring the first person he sees to the supper party.

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Satterthwaite arrives with Elizabeth. Rudge arrives with the Countess while Quin brings the casino's croupier Pierre Vaucher. Vaucher tells the story of a jeweller who worked in Paris many years ago who, despite being engaged, fell for a half-starved girl and married her. His family disowned him, and over the next two years he realised what a mistake he had made, as the woman made his life a misery and left him.

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She reappeared two years later, dressed in rich clothes and fabulous jewels, and he asked if she was coming back to him. She left again and the man sank further into drunkenness, eventually saved by the discipline of the army during the First World War. The man eventually became a croupier at a casino and saw her, in a reduced state — as her jewels were paste replicas to his trained eye, and she was again on the edge of destitution.

He passed another man's winnings to her. At this point in the story, the Countess jumps up and cries, "Why? She offers to light his cigarette, using a spill to do so. She leaves and Vaucher realises that the spill is the fifty thousand franc note, her winnings and all she has in the world.

Too proud to accept charity, she burnt it in front of his eyes. Vaucher follows her. Rudge realizes he does not understand the Countess and turns his attentions back to Elizabeth.

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The Mystery of Miss Tree and Mr E: Stories from the Road - Kindle edition by Dan Jack, Silvia Trujillo, Eric Groetzinger. Download it once and read it on your. The narrative impact of "Stories from the Road" combined with the poetry found in "Poems & Essays: A companion book". "The Mystery of Miss Tree and Mr E".

Quin and Satterthwaite are satisfied. Mr Satterthwaite is on holiday on a Spanish island. He often goes to the garden of a villa called La Paz, which stands on a high cliff overlooking the sea. He loves the garden but the villa, which is shuttered and seems empty, intrigues him. After exchanging pleasantries with the gardener, Satterthwaite makes his way to the cliff edge and soon hears approaching footsteps.

It is a young man in his eyes, a man of forty. The man says he expected to be alone. He tells Satterthwaite that he came here the previous night and found someone there seemingly in fancy dress, in "a kind of Harlequin rig". Satterthwaite is surprised at this mention of his old friend and tells his new acquaintance that Mr Quin's appearances usually presage revelations and discoveries.

The younger man comments that his appearance seemed very sudden, as if he came from the sea. Anthony Cosden introduces himself and tells Satterthwaite of his life; he has been told that he has six months to live. He visited the island about twenty years before, and makes clear he wants to die here by leaping off the cliff. Satterthwaite asks, "You will not do it tonight, to spare me suspicion of pushing you?

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Or so he claimed. The Beat. And he realized, with surprise, that he now loved something more. Napoleon no longer had Rosa Lee, his wife and editor, to turn his hard-to-read bloviating nonsense into easy-to-read bloviating nonsense. The words had been going through her head all day, appearing and disappearing. Her father is a selfish but gentle man and does not approve of matrimony. Hill delivered some rousing speeches in Missouri, including one where he advocated for the use of nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union.

Satterthwaite makes the case for living, but Cosden is resolute. Cosden leaves and Satterthwaite approaches the villa. Pulling open one of the closed shutters, he sees a troubled woman in traditional Spanish dress looking at him. He stammers an apology which makes the woman realise that he is English, and she calls him back.

She, too, is English, and she invites him into the house for tea as she wishes to talk to someone. She unburdens herself to Satterthwaite, telling him that she has lived here for the last twenty-three years, for all but the first year as a widow. She married an Englishman when she was eighteen and they moved into the villa. The marriage proved to be a dreadful mistake as her husband gloried in making her miserable, and their baby was stillborn.

Some girls staying in the local hotel dared him to swim in the dangerous sea at the base of the cliff. He drowned and his body was battered against the rocks as his wife watched. Soon afterwards, she had a brief affair with a young Englishman who was visiting the island, the result of which was a son. He is now grown up and happy. He is serious about a girl whose parents want to know his antecedents, and she has never told him he is illegitimate.

To save him pain and scandal, she is planning to commit suicide to hide the truth from him forever. Again, Satterthwaite finds himself persuading someone to live. He asks her to take no action for twenty-four hours, but to leave the shutter he opened unlatched and to wait there tonight. He returns to the hotel, finds Cosden, and refers obliquely to the shutter on the villa that he opened.

Cosden understands his meaning and leaves. The next day Satterthwaite returns to La Paz and finds the Englishwoman there, her appearance transformed with happiness. She and Cosden, reunited after twenty years, are to be married that day by the Consul, and she will introduce her son to his father. She refuses to believe that Cosden will die. She will make sure he lives. Satterthwaite walks to the cliff top and is not surprised to find Quin there. Quin tells him that the man who drowned in the sea twenty years ago truly loved his wife — almost to the point of madness — and the desire to make amends for past transgressions can sometimes be so strong that a messenger can be found.

As Satterthwaite leaves, Quin walks back towards the cliff edge, disappearing from view.

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She is "beautiful, unscrupulous, completely callous, interested solely in herself. Lady Stranleigh asks Satterthwaite to check on her daughter, Margery, as he is returning to England. Lately she reports hearing voices in the night at Abbot's Mede in Wiltshire. Margery is seeking psychic researchers and Satterthwaite knows how to handle them.

On the train home, Satterthwaite meets Mr Quin. Quin tells him that he will be at the "Bells and Motley" inn where Satterthwaite can call on him. Give back what you have stolen. The long time servant Clayton sleeps in the next room now, but she has not heard the voices when Margery does. The night before he arrived, Margery dreamt that a spike was entering her throat and the voice murmured, "You have stolen what is mine. This is death!

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