The Knightsbridge Mystery
by Charles Reade
International Short Stories edited by William Patten
The Knightsbridge Mystery by Charles Reade (1814-1884)
Published: P F Collier and Son, New York 1910
The Project Gutenberg eBook Release Date: June 16, 2010 [eBook #32846].
In Charles the Second’s day the ‘Swan’ was denounced by the dramatists as a house where unfaithful wives and mistresses met their gallants.
But in the next century, when John Clarke was the Freeholder, no special imputation of that sort rested on it: it was a country inn with large stables, horsed the Brentford coach, and entertained man and beast on journeys long or short.
It had also permanent visitors, especially in summer; for it was near London, and yet a rural retreat; meadows on each side, Hyde Park at back, Knightsbridge Green in front.
Amongst the permanent lodgers was Mr Gardiner, a substantial man; and Captain Cowen, a retired officer of moderate means, had lately taken two rooms for himself and his son.
Mr Gardiner often joined the company in the public room, but the Cowens kept to themselves up-stairs.
This was soon noticed and resented, in that age of few books and free converse. Some said, “Oh, we are not good enough for him!”, others inquired what a half-pay captain had to give himself airs about…
Attorney, Clerk of Arraign, Lord’s Butler – Mark Timmis
Judge – Ken Hope
Sheriff – Michael Burman
Barbara Lamb Chambermaid – Wendy Barlow
Bradbury Bow Street Runner – Terry Offiler
Captain Cowen – Bill Worrall
Colonel Barrington – David Ellison
Dame Gust Landlady of the Swan – Liz Heaney
Landlady 13 Farringdon Street – Anne Hope
Daughter of Landlady of 13 Farringdon Street – Lorraine Evetts
Daniel Cox – Charles Barlow
Mr.Gardiner – Mark Timmis