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Чье тело?

Книга для чтения на английском языке
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Дороти Ли Сэйерс — английская писательница, наиболее известная благодаря детективным романам, филолог, драматург и переводчик. Сэйерс участвовала в основании британского Детективного клуба и была одной из первых женщин, получивших ученую степень в Оксфорде. «Чьё тело?» — первый детективный роман автора, в котором появляется главный герой ее одиннадцати детективов и множества рассказов, аристократ и сыщик-любитель, лорд Питер Уимзи. Роман принес писательнице успех, и в двадцатые годы за ним последовали «Тучи свидетелей», «Неестественная смерть», «Неприятность в Беллона-клубе». В книге представлен полный неадаптированный текст произведения на языке оригинала.
Сэйерс, Д. Л. Чье тело? : книга для чтения на английском языке : художественная литература / Д. Л. Сэйерс. - Санкт-Петербург : КАРО, 2020. - 224 с. - (Detective Story). - ISBN 978-5-9925-1493-3. - Текст : электронный. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/1864350 (дата обращения: 29.05.2024). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
Фрагмент текстового слоя документа размещен для индексирующих роботов. Для полноценной работы с документом, пожалуйста, перейдите в ридер.
Dorothy Leigh SAYERS

WHOSE BODY?

DETECTIVE STORY

УДК 821.111
ББК 81.2 Англ-93 
 
С97

ISBN 978-5-9925-1493-3

Сэйерс, Дороти Ли.

С97       Чье тело? : Книга для чтения на английском 

языке / Д. Л. Сэйерс. — Санкт-Петербург : КАРО, 
2020. — 224 с. — (Detective Story).

ISBN 978-5-9925-1493-3.

Дороти Ли Сэйерс — английская писательница, наи
более известная благодаря детективным романам, филолог, драматург и переводчик. Сэйерс участвовала в основании британского Детективного клуба и была одной из 
первых женщин, получивших ученую степень в Оксфорде.

«Чьё тело?» — первый детективный роман автора, в 

котором появляется главный герой ее одиннадцати детективов и множества рассказов, аристократ и сыщиклюбитель, лорд Питер Уимзи. Роман принес писательнице успех, и в двадцатые годы за ним последовали «Тучи 
свидетелей», «Неестественная смерть», «Неприятность в 
Беллона-клубе».

В книге представлен полный неадаптированный текст 

произведения на языке оригинала.

УДК 821.111

ББК 81.2 Англ-93 

© Каро, 2020
Все права защищены

To M. J.

Dear Jim:
This book is your fault. If it had not 

been for your brutal insistence, Lord Peter would never have staggered through 
to the end of this enquiry. Pray consider 
that he thanks you with his accustomed 
suavity.

Yours ever,

D. L. S.

CHAPTER I

“Oh, damn!” said Lord Peter Wimsey at Piccadilly Cir
cus. “Hi, driver!”

The taxi man, irritated at receiving this appeal while 

negotiating the intricacies of turning into Lower Regent 
Street across the route of a 19 ’bus, a 38-B and a bicycle, 
bent an unwilling ear.

“I’ve left the catalogue behind,” said Lord Peter depre
catingly. “Uncommonly careless of me. D’you mind puttin’ 
back to where we came from?”

“To the Savile Club, sir?”
“No—110 Piccadilly—just beyond—thank you.”
“Thought you was in a hurry,” said the man, overcome 

with a sense of injury.

“I’m afraid it’s an awkward place to turn in,” said Lord 

Peter, answering the thought rather than the words. His 
long, amiable face looked as if it had generated spontaneously from his top hat, as white maggots breed from 
Gorgonzola.

The taxi, under the severe eye of a policeman, revolved 

by slow jerks, with a noise like the grinding of teeth.

The block of new, perfect and expensive flats in 

which Lord Peter dwelt upon the second floor, stood 
directly opposite the Green Park, in a spot for many 

years occupied by the skeleton of a frustrate commercial enterprise. As Lord Peter let himself in he heard 
his man’s voice in the library, uplifted in that throttled 
stridency peculiar to well-trained persons using the 
telephone.

“I believe that’s his lordship just coming in again—if 

your Grace would kindly hold the line a moment.”

“What is it, Bunter?”
“Her Grace has just called up from Denver, my lord.  

I was just saying your lordship had gone to the sale when 
I heard your lordship’s latchkey.”

“Thanks,” said Lord Peter; “and you might find me my 

catalogue, would you? I think I must have left it in my 
bedroom, or on the desk.”

He sat down to the telephone with an air of leisurely 

courtesy, as though it were an acquaintance dropped in 
for a chat.

“Hullo, Mother—that you?”
“Oh, there you are, dear,” replied the voice of the Dow
ager Duchess. “I was afraid I’d just missed you.”

“Well, you had, as a matter of fact. I’d just started off 

to Brocklebury’s sale to pick up a book or two, but I had 
to come back for the catalogue. What’s up?”

“Such a quaint thing,” said the Duchess. “I thought I’d 

tell you. You know little Mr. Thipps?”

“Thipps?” said Lord Peter. “Thipps? Oh, yes, the lit
tle architect man who’s doing the church roof. Yes. What 
about him?”

“Mrs. Throgmorton’s just been in, in quite a state of 

mind.”

“Sorry, Mother, I can’t hear. Mrs. Who?”
“Throgmorton—Throgmorton—the vicar’s wife.” 
“Oh, Throgmorton, yes?”
“Mr. Thipps rang them up this morning. It was his day 

to come down, you know.”

“Yes?”
“He rang them up to say he couldn’t. He was so upset, 

poor little man. He’d found a dead body in his bath.”

“Sorry, Mother, I can’t hear; found what, where?”
“A dead body, dear, in his bath.”
“What?—no, no, we haven’t finished. Please don’t cut 

us off. Hullo! Hullo! Is that you, Mother? Hullo!—Mother!—Oh, yes—sorry, the girl was trying to cut us off. What 
sort of body?”

“A dead man, dear, with nothing on but a pair of pince
nez. Mrs. Throgmorton positively blushed when she was 
telling me. I’m afraid people do get a little narrow-minded 
in country vicarages.”

“Well, it sounds a bit unusual. Was it anybody he 

knew?”

“No, dear, I don’t think so, but, of course, he couldn’t 

give her many details. She said he sounded quite distracted. He’s such a respectable little man—and having the 
police in the house and so on, really worried him.”

“Poor little Thipps! Uncommonly awkward for him. 

Let’s see, he lives in Battersea, doesn’t he?”

“Yes, dear; 59, Queen Caroline Mansions; opposite the 

Park. That big block just round the corner from the Hospital. I thought perhaps you’d like to run round and see him 

and ask if there’s anything we can do. I always thought 
him a nice little man.” 

“Oh, quite,” said Lord Peter, grinning at the tele
phone. The Duchess was always of the greatest assistance to his hobby of criminal investigation, though she 
never alluded to it, and maintained a polite fiction of its 
non-existence.

“What time did it happen, Mother?”
“I think he found it early this morning, but, of 

course, he didn’t think of telling the Throgmortons just 
at first. She came up to me just before lunch—so tiresome, I had to ask her to stay. Fortunately, I was alone. 
I don’t mind being bored myself, but I hate having my 
guests bored.”

“Poor old Mother! Well, thanks awfully for tellin’ me. 

I think I’ll send Bunter to the sale and toddle round to 
Battersea now an’ try and console the poor little beast. 
So-long.”

“Good-bye, dear.”
“Bunter!”
“Yes, my lord.”
“Her Grace tells me that a respectable Battersea ar
chitect has discovered a dead man in his bath.”

“Indeed, my lord? That’s very gratifying.”
“Very, Bunter. Your choice of words is unerring. I wish 

Eton and Balliol had done as much for me. Have you found 
the catalogue?”

“Here it is, my lord.”
“Thanks. I am going to Battersea at once. I want you 

to attend the sale for me. Don’t lose time—I don’t want 

to miss the Folio Dante1 nor the de Voragine—here you 
are—see? ‘Golden Legend’—Wynkyn de Worde, 1493—
got that?—and, I say, make a special effort for the Caxton 
folio of the ‘Four Sons of Aymon’—it’s the 1489 folio and 
unique. Look! I’ve marked the lots I want, and put my outside offer against each. Do your best for me. I shall be back 
to dinner.”

“Very good, my lord.”
“Take my cab and tell him to hurry. He may for you; 

he doesn’t like me very much. Can I,” said Lord Peter, 
looking at himself in the eighteenth-century mirror 
over the mantelpiece, “can I have the heart to fluster 
the flustered Thipps further—that’s very difficult to 
say quickly—by appearing in a top-hat and frock-coat? 
I think not. Ten to one he will overlook my trousers and 
mistake me for the undertaker. A grey suit, I fancy, neat 
but not gaudy, with a hat to tone, suits my other self better. Exit the amateur of first editions; new motive introduced by solo bassoon; enter Sherlock Holmes, disguised 
as a walking gentleman. There goes Bunter. Invaluable 
fellow—never offers to do his job when you’ve told him 
to do somethin’ else. Hope he doesn’t miss the ‘Four Sons 
of Aymon.’ Still, there is another copy of that—in the Vat
1 This is the first Florence edition, 1481, by Niccolo di Lorenzo. 
Lord Peter’s collection of printed Dantes is worth inspection. It includes, besides the famous Aldine 8vo. of 1502, the Naples folio of 
1477—“edizione rarissima,” according to Colomb. This copy has 
no history, and Mr. Parker’s private belief is that its present owner conveyed it away by stealth from somewhere or other. Lord Peter’s own account is that he “picked it up in a little place in the hills,” 
when making a walking-tour through Italy. — Author’s note.

ican.1 It might become available, you never know —if 
the Church of Rome went to pot or Switzerland invaded 
Italy—whereas a strange corpse doesn’t turn up in a suburban bathroom more than once in a lifetime—at least, 
I should think not—at any rate, the number of times it’s 
happened, with a pince-nez, might be counted on the 
fingers of one hand, I imagine. Dear me! it’s a dreadful 
mistake to ride two hobbies at once.”

He had drifted across the passage into his bedroom, 

and was changing with a rapidity one might not have expected from a man of his mannerisms. He selected a darkgreen tie to match his socks and tied it accurately without 
hesitation or the slightest compression of his lips; substituted a pair of brown shoes for his black ones, slipped 
a monocle into a breast pocket, and took up a beautiful 
Malacca walking-stick with a heavy silver knob.

“That’s all, I think,” he murmured to himself. “Stay—

I may as well have you—you may come in useful—one 
never knows.” He added a flat silver matchbox to his 
equipment, glanced at his watch, and seeing that it was 
already a quarter to three, ran briskly downstairs, and, 
hailing a taxi, was carried to Battersea Park.

Mr. Alfred Thipps was a small, nervous man, whose 

flaxen hair was beginning to abandon the unequal struggle with destiny. One might say that his only really marked 
feature was a large bruise over the left eyebrow, which 
gave him a faintly dissipated air incongruous with the 

1 Lord Peter’s wits were wool-gathering. The book is in the possession of Earl Spencer. The Brocklebury copy is incomplete, the last 
five signatures being altogether missing, but is unique in possessing the colophon. — Author’s note.

rest of his appearance. Almost in the same breath with 
his first greeting, he made a self-conscious apology for 
it, murmuring something about having run against the 
dining-room door in the dark. He was touched almost to 
tears by Lord Peter’s thoughtfulness and condescension 
in calling.

“I’m sure it’s most kind of your lordship,” he repeated 

for the dozenth time, rapidly blinking his weak little eyelids. “I appreciate it very deeply, very deeply, indeed, and 
so would Mother, only she’s so deaf, I don’t like to trouble 
you with making her understand. It’s been very hard all 
day,” he added, “with the policemen in the house and all 
this commotion. It’s what Mother and me have never been 
used to, always living very retired, and it’s most distressing to a man of regular habits, my lord, and reely, I’m almost thankful Mother doesn’t understand, for I’m sure it 
would worry her terribly if she was to know about it. She 
was upset at first, but she’s made up some idea of her own 
about it now, and I’m sure it’s all for the best.”

The old lady who sat knitting by the fire nodded grim
ly in response to a look from her son.

“I always said as you ought to complain about that 

bath, Alfred,” she said suddenly, in the high, piping voice 
peculiar to the deaf, “and it’s to be ’oped the landlord’ll 
see about it now; not but what I think you might have 
managed without having the police in, but there! you always were one to make a fuss about a little thing, from 
chicken-pox up.”

“There now,” said Mr. Thipps apologetically, “you see 

how it is. Not but what it’s just as well she’s settled on that, 
because she understands we’ve locked up the bathroom 

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