Novels Intermediate

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie

Was it a misstep that sent a handsome stranger plummeting to his death from a cliff? Or something more sinister? Fun-loving adventurers Bobby Jones and Frances Derwent’s suspicions are certainly roused–espeically since the man’s dying words were so peculiar: Why didn’t they ask Evans? Bobby and Frances would love to know. Unfortunately, asking the wrong people has sent the amateur sleuths running for their lives–on a wild and deadly pursuit to discover who Evans is, what it was he wasn’t asked, and why the mysterious inquiry has put their own lives in mortal danger…

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Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie

Bobby Jones swung his golf club and hit his ball very hard. Did the ball fly straight and upwards? No, it did not. It raced along the ground and into the sand in the bunker! Bobby, the fourth son of the vicar of Marchbolt, a small seaside town in Wales, swore. He was a pleasant-looking young man of about twenty-eight and his eyes had the honest brown friendliness of a dog’s eyes.

‘I get worse every day,’ he said to himself sadly.

Bobby then hit his ball really hard twice. The third time he successfully hit the ball out of the sand and it now lay a short distance from the hole he had been aiming at. His friend, Dr Thomas, a middle-aged man with a cheerful face, had reached it with two good shots.

‘Well done,’ said Bobby.

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie

They went on to the next hole. The doctor went first – a nice straight shot. Bobby sighed, shut his eyes, raised his head, lowered his right shoulder – everything he should not have done – and hit a beautiful shot down the middle of the course. His sad expression changed into one of great happiness.

‘I know now what I’ve been doing wrong,’ said Bobby – quite untruthfully.

Full of confidence, he again did everything he should not have done, and this time there was no miracle. The ball went to the right instead of to the front!

‘If that had been straight…!’ said Dr Thomas with obvious relief.

‘If,’ said Bobby bitterly. ‘Hello, I thought I heard a shout! I hope the ball didn’t hit anyone.’

He looked to the right. But looking into the setting sun it was hard to see anything clearly and there was a mist rising from the sea. The edge of the cliff was a few hundred yards away.

‘The footpath runs along there,’ said Bobby, ‘and I do think I heard a cry. Did you?’

The doctor had heard nothing but they walked towards the cliff edge.

Far below the sea sparkled in the sun.

‘Doctor!’ Bobby exclaimed. ‘What do you make of that?’ Twelve yards below was a pile of what looked like clothes. ‘By Jove! Somebody has fallen over the cliff.’

There was a difficult path down and the two men made their way carefully to the dark pile. It was a man of about forty and he was still breathing, though unconscious. The doctor knelt to examine him. Then he looked up at Bobby and shook his head…

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