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The Sea Mystery: An Inspector French Detective Story

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
The Burry Inlet, on the south coast of Wales, looks its best from the sea. At least so thought Mr. Morgan as he sat in the sternsheets of his boat, a fishing-line between his fingers, while his son, Evan, pulled lazily over the still water. In truth, the prospect on this pleasant autumn evening would have pleased a man less biased by pride of fatherland than Mr. Morgan. The Inlet at full tide forms a wide sheet of water, penetrating in an easterly direction some ten miles into the land, with the county of Carmarthen to the north and the Gower Peninsula to the south. The shores are flat, but rounded hills rise inland which merge to form an undulating horizon of high ground. Here and there along the coast are sand-dunes, whose grays and yellows show up in contrast to the greens of the grasslands and the woods beyond. To the southeast, over by Salthouse Point and Penclawdd, Mr. Morgan could see every detail of house and sand-dune, tree and meadow, lit up with a shining radiance, but the northwest hills behind Burry Port were black and solid against the setting sun. Immediately north lay Llanelly, with its dingy colored buildings, its numberless chimneys, and the masts and funnels of the steamers in its harbor. It was a perfect evening in late September, the close of a perfect day. Not a cloud appeared in the sky and scarcely a ripple stirred the surface of the sea. The air was warm and balmy, and all nature seemed drowsing in languorous content. Save for the muffled noise of the Llanelly mills, borne over the water, and the slow, rhythmic creak of the oars, no sound disturbed the sleepy quiet. Mr. Morgan was a small, clean-shaven man in a worn and baggy Norfolk suit which was the bane of Mrs. Morgan’s existence, but in which the soul of her lord and master delighted as an emblem of freedom from the servitude of the office. He leaned back in the sternsheets, gazing out dreamily on the broad sweep of the Inlet and the lengthening shadows ashore. At times his eyes and thoughts turned to his son, Evan, the fourteen-year-old boy who was rowing. A good boy, thought Mr. Morgan, and big for his age. Though he had been at school for nearly three years, he was still his father’s best pal. As Mr. Morgan thought of the relations between some of his friends and their sons, he felt a wave of profound thankfulness sweep over him.