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The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart

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THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE
By
MARY ROBERTS RINEHART

THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE



CHAPTER I

I TAKE A COUNTRY HOUSE:

This is the story of how a middle-aged spinster lost her mind,
deserted her domestic gods in the city, took a furnished house
for the summer out of town, and found herself involved in one of
those mysterious crimes that keep our newspapers and detective
agencies happy and prosperous.  For twenty years I had been
perfectly comfortable; for twenty years I had had the window-
boxes filled in the spring, the carpets lifted, the awnings put
up and the furniture covered with brown linen; for as many
summers I had said good-by to my friends, and, after watching
their perspiring hegira, had settled down to a delicious quiet in
town, where the mail comes three times a day, and the water
supply does not depend on a tank on the roof.

And then--the madness seized me.  When I look back over the
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