The Mysterious Affair At Styles

  • CHAPTER I. I GO TO STYLES

  • Arthur Hastings

    The intense interest aroused in the public by what was known at the time as “The Styles Case” has now somewhat subsided.

    Profile Picture of Arthur Hastings in The Mysterious Affair At Styles
  • Nevertheless, in view of the world-wide notoriety which attended it, I have been asked, both by my friend Poirot and the family themselves, to write an account of the whole story.

  • This, we trust, will effectually silence the sensational rumours which still persist.

  • I will therefore briefly set down the circumstances which led to my being connected with the affair.

  • I had been invalided home from the Front; and, after spending some months in a rather depressing Convalescent Home, was given a month’s sick leave.

  • Having no near relations or friends, I was trying to make up my mind what to do, when I ran across John Cavendish. I had seen very little of him for some years.

  • Indeed, I had never known him particularly well.

  • He was a good fifteen years my senior, for one thing, though he hardly looked his forty-five years. As a boy, though, I had often stayed at Styles, his mother’s place in Essex.

  • We had a good yarn about old times, and it ended in his inviting me down to Styles to spend my leave there.

  • Profile Picture of John Cavendish in The Mysterious Affair At Styles

    John Cavendish

    “The mater will be delighted to see you again—after all those years,”

  • Arthur Hastings

    he added.

    Profile Picture of Arthur Hastings in The Mysterious Affair At Styles
  • Profile Picture of Me in The Mysterious Affair At Styles

    Me

    “Your mother keeps well?” 

  • Arthur Hastings

    I asked.

    Profile Picture of Arthur Hastings in The Mysterious Affair At Styles
  • Profile Picture of John Cavendish in The Mysterious Affair At Styles

    John Cavendish

    “Oh, yes. I suppose you know that she has married again?”

  • Arthur Hastings

    I am afraid I showed my surprise rather plainly.

    Profile Picture of Arthur Hastings in The Mysterious Affair At Styles
  • Mrs. Cavendish, who had married John’s father when he was a widower with two sons, had been a handsome woman of middle-age as I remembered her. She certainly could not be a day less than seventy now.

  • I recalled her as an energetic, autocratic personality, somewhat inclined to charitable and social notoriety, with a fondness for opening bazaars and playing the Lady Bountiful. <br> She was a most generous woman, and possessed a considerable fortune of her own.

  • Their country-place, Styles Court, had been purchased by Mr. Cavendish early in their married life.

  • He had been completely under his wife’s ascendancy, so much so that, on dying, he left the place to her for her lifetime, as well as the larger part of his income; an arrangement that was distinctly unfair to his two sons.