The next day Phyllis Hall visited some friends, Elizabeth Ventor [see what I mean about the names?] and Dolly Osborne. They were sympathetic about poor Miss Rowen's cousin - and Miss Rowen herself. They wonder'ed how the mystery was done. Phyllis had known Dolly for years but this was the first time she'd met her "friend" Elizabeth. Elizabeth seemed rather stuck up and smarmy, and was not too sympathetic about poor Agatha Rowen's death [note: I had just said they both were sympathetic. How quickly I forgot.] "Oh. How sad," she'd said. And: "I suppose the diamonds were a wonder - the old dame had probably never even seen a £100 note!" "Neither have I!" said Dolly, quite feircly. "So there, you spiteful cat!" "Well, really!" spluttered Elizabeth, storming out.
"Oh, I'm sorry Phyllis," said Dolly apolageticly. "It was just my dashed temper! No harm ment!" "Elizabeth..." said Phyllis Hall slowly. "She looks...she looks a bit like Agatha Rowen!" "Not surprisingly," said Dolly dryly. "She's her neice - of sorts. Her half sister's daughter. I don't know what her real surname is - she just told me she'd changed it!" "Suspicious!" murmured Miss Hall.
"Oh! Oh, nothing, Dolly. I say, I must go now. Goodbye!"
"Good bye, Phyllis!"
As Phyllis Hall's taxi went smoothly away, the passenger didn't know that her suspicion on Elizabeth was better founded than she thought!
The next day, Phyllis received a telegram.
Come quickly stop Elizabeth gone stop Am ill stop Dolly As soon as possible, Phyllis went over to Dolly's house, where Elizabeth was staying.
"How are you?" asked Phyllis anxiously. "What's wrong? Where's Elizabeth?"
"Gone to hospital!" moaned Dolly. "I think it's food poisening..."
"That's nonsensical!" said Phyllis. "What did you eat before you got sick?"
"Eggs...fresh..." said Dolly weakly. Just then a doctor came in. "Tests show food poisening," he said. "Oh!" said Miss Hall. Then the doctor was heard to pick up a telephone [?]. He came in a moment later, with a grave face. "We tried our best but it was no use..."
"What do you mean?" came Dolly's weak cry. "I mean," said the doctor," that Miss Ventor is dead!"
"Oh!" gasped Dolly.
Then she fainted.
Phyllis Hall felt very sorry for the poor girl, but still wondered how were Dolly and her poor companion poisened? Not with fresh eggs, anyway...
"On purpouse?" Miss Hall gasped aloud.
"Eh?" said the doctor, tending to Dolly.
"Nothing," said Phyllis quietly. Who would poisen them? Phyllis didn't know.
And little did she know a dreadful deception was going on - and Elizabeth Ventor wasn't really dead....
To Be Continued!