For the twentieth time Miss Meredith asked herself why her nephew had fallen in love with this unknown girl, Violet, from London, who loathed the country. From Miss Heredith's point of view, a girl who smoked and talked slang lacked any sense of the dignity of the high position to which she had been called. She was in every way unfitted to become mother of the next male Heredith -- if, indeed, she consented to bear an heir at all. It was Miss Heredith's constant regret that Phil had not married some nice girl of the county, in his own station of life, instead of a London girl. And now she was unwilling to wear the ancestral pearls, and was leaving them in her jewel box there in her room . . . Such thoughts were immediately dashed from her mind, however -- and she nearly tumbled, descending the staircase in her hurry. Vincent, at the table with the other guests, had risen at the sound of her hurrying feet.
"Oh, Vincent, I was just coming for you -- something terrible must have happened " Miss Meredith began, in a broken, sobbing voice. "I was going upstairs to my room -- when I heard the scream, and then the shot. They must have come from Violet's room"