An anonymous Letter  

Edward   adored  his  wife,   and   there  was  nobody   better than  she,  as he  thought. Nina  knew it,  she  also  loved  him dearly.  Edward  worshipped  her and  he  knew  about   her love to him. Still he  could  not  keep  himself  from  adultery. He  suspected  Nina may  know   about  his  love   affairs, but they never  spoke  about it.  Edward   was   generous  to  Nina she  had   everything  she  wanted   including   Edward  himself, but he could not  stop  his  love  affairs  with  other    women.  He would   come  home  in  time,  as Nina was  always   nervous waiting for  him.   So all  the  problems   were   solved   during  his work  time. It  was   easy   because  he  himself   was  the  boss of his  business. Nina saw   Edward off,  kissed  and  waved him  goodbye.  She  loved   her  husband,  but her  great problem  was  terrible they   had   no children. After  she  saw  him  off, she usually  worked   about  the house ,went  shopping,  called  on  her  friends and  had  always  been home  by the  time  Edward   returned   from  his  office. When she  came  to the  doors  of  her  home  that  day,  she saw  a  sheet  of   paper,  pinned  to  the  door.  She  wanted to  throw  it  off,  but  suddenly  she  wondered    what  it  might be.  Having  entered  the   house  she  put  on  her  eye-glasses as  she  had  been  short-sighted   since  childhood  and   began reading.  It   was  an anonymous  letter  somebody  whom  she did  not  know,  but  may  be  she knew  who it  was,  informed  her  about  Edward`s   adultery.“Oh, my,  there is nothing  new  for  me,  I have  known  him perfectly ,”-she  thought. She  went on reading    carelessly.“Your   husband  changes  his mistresses  very  often  and  now his  mistress is…”  Suddenly  Nina  felt  strong  pain  in  her  head   and   fell  unconscious. Some  time  later   she recovered  herself,  but   she  could   not make  out  what  had  happened. With  great  difficulty   she  took out  her  mobile  telephone and  rang  her  husband,  but  his  telephone  was  switched off. Then  she  rang  up  his  parents  and asked  her  mother-in-law to come  to  her.  Very  soon   Teresa  came,  she  was  excited. 
“Nina,  dear,   what  has  happened?! 
“Somebody  pushed  me down and  I fell  unconscious.”
“It  might be  a  burglar.  Look, is  everything  in  order?”
“Yes,  sure, some  old  vases  and  a  picture  are missing,  but they were  not  so  precious.”
“I think ,  they  were  precious  for  the  burglars,  you  must inform  the  police.”
Teresa  went to the telephone. 
“Well, is  it worth informing  police? You have  not  lost really  precious  things.”
“Yes,  you  are  right,  but  still  I have  lost  something   valuable.”
“Well, then  you  better  ring  up  the  police  station. And  what is  it,   you say?”  
“I have   received   an   anonymous  letter,  informing  me  about Edward`s   mistress,   I  could  not  read  her name because somebody   struck   me  on my head.”
“Oh,  my,  Nina  terrible,  Edward  is  having a  mistress,  how can he?”
Nina  felt   that  Teresa  was  shocked by  Edward`s   behaviour.
“If   it  is  nothing  new  for  me,  but still  we  love  each  other.”
“Nina, how can  you?   You  yourself  defend him  and  forgive  his adultery,  impossible!”
“You know  I think  where to  hide,  because  somebody  did not want  me  to  know her name  and  tried  to  kill me.”
Teresa  looked  terrified.
“I will stay with  you  till  Edward  comes,  I  will not  leave  you alone, my  poor  darling.  I cannot   even think  about  such  terrible things.”
Nina  asked  Teresa  to  make a cup  of  tea  and  lay  on the  sofa.
“Yes, I will  look  after  you, you just try  to relax.”
While  Teresa  was  making tea, Nina  fell  asleep.   Teresa  sat  down   on the  sofa.  She  thought  of  Nina`s   shock.  
Suddenly  Teresa  heard  the  sound  of the  car. 
“It  may  be  Edward,” –She  thought,  but  her  husband  appeared on  the threshold.  He was nervous and  came  to  learn  what had  happened.   Teresa  told  him  about  the accident   with  Nina, but  said nothing  about  Edward`s   mistress.
“It must  have been  a burglar. I have already  informed  the  police, the  detective  will be  here in a moment.”
Some  time  later   Edward    came, he was agitated.
“What has  happened?  I  rang you up  and the servant  said that you  are  here. Why?”
Teresa  told  him  what has  happened, but she did not  mention the  anonymous letter. Edward  was  shocked,  having  heard  that
His  wife  was  struck  and  really  he  himself  was  half  conscious.
They went  to  another  room  not  to disturb  Nina.
The detective  came, they told  him everything, but he asked  to wake up  Nina. He  asked  Nina  to tell  him everything, but Nina did not  mention  the anonymous  letter as Teresa  had  winked her to be   silent  about  it.  Nina felt  that it  was a shame   for Teresa. The  detective  left  his  card  and left.
“He is  a pleasant  man, this  detective,  what`s  his name?  Oh, detective  Shean,  I have  heard   about   him.  Rather  a clever  man and  an experienced  detective,”-Teresa said.  Some  time later  Edward`s  parents  drove  home. 
“ Darling,  how  are you now?”
“Oh,  I was  a little  out”. Nina could not help  sobbing.
Edward could not  understand  why  she  was  crying   so bitterly.
“ Try  to  relax,  dear,  let`s  go to bed, it  is so late.”
Nina went  wash  her face  and  hands.  She could not   sleep,  she knew   Edward  had  been  lying to  her, she loved him  and  she  was sure in  his  love, but still  somebody   wanted  to kill her. And  her  mother-in-law, she  was defending  Edward,  she might have  known  about his  adultery, just  showing  her  surprise  to Nina. Suddenly Nina felt  some change  in herself.  She could  not  yet  understand,  but something  had  really  changed.  She  decided to speak to  her  husband  frank, and it  was for the  first time. The morning  came, but  looking  at  her  husband   during  breakfast, she still  decided  not  to begin  the conversation. When  her  husband  went to work,  Nina tried  to find  the anonymous  letter, but in  vain. Nina decided  to wait  a little, her husband  loved  her, she knew it,  she  wanted to be  sure. She was  going  to leave  the house, but  suddenly she  heard  a  knock.  She  wondered –“  Who  it  might  be”.
“I have  a piece of  information  for you, it will  not  take  too long”.
“Oh, It`s  you  come in, detective Sean”. 
“I had  a conversation with  your  neighbours  and  they  told   me they  had  seen  a man  running  out of  your  house.”
Nina widely  opened  her  eyes.
“Oh, it was  a  burglar,  how it  could  be?”  
“He is middle-sized,  a little stout  and lame, he had  a dark overcoat on  and a black hat  and he had  a parcel  in his  hand.
He  looked  like  a burglar.”
“What  do you think,  detective,  will he come again?”
“He may.”
“Oh,  that`s   terrible”.
“When  I  get  some  more  information I will  contact  you.
“Goodbye.”
Nina closed  the door, checked the  locks,  she  wanted  to read  the  book,  but she could not  stop  thinking  about  her  husband and his behaviour.   The telephone   rang, but  Nina did  not want  to answer.  It  rang  and rang   and  at  last she  took  up the  receiver.  
“It  may be my  mother-in –law.”  She was right.  Teresa  said  that her  mother had fallen ill and  she was  to go to her.
“Don`t  leave  my  husband  alone, I will  contact  you  every  day,”
-she added. 
“I hope, nobody  will  disturb  me,”-Nina  wanted  to think  over her plan. 
Teresa  rang every  day,  her mother was unwell and she would not  be back soon. Nina found out that  her  husband  really had mistresses  and now his  mistress was   much  older  than he. 
Nina was shocked. But  she decided not  to tell him  a   word as he was a good and careful husband, she loved him and did  not want  to divorce  him.  In the  evening  her father-in-law rang, he complained  of  being  unwell  and  ask  her  to  come. Nina waited  for her  husband  to  come  and  after  supper  she said  she would  visit  his father.
“You  come and take me home,  if  I am  late  darling.”
“Well, honey I will  be waiting  for your  call.”
When Nina came to Edward`s  father, he was  better, he had got  nervous  at work, and his  heart  would  usually  bring  him problems.  Nina  cooked  supper, prepared the  necessary medicine and  rang up  home.  The  telephone  was  silent.  She  said  to her father-in –law  that  Edward  would  wait  for her   by the gates of  their  house.  She  looked  calm,  but  in reality she  was  nervous.
“Why  Edward  did not  answer the phone?”  
Coming  to the  house, Nina was surprised to  see the  dark windows. She thought sarcastically, “so  tired he  became  that fell asleep!”
She entered the house, switched on the light  and called  Edward.
She heard  the  television sound  from the sitting-room.
“Oh, really, he got asleep  watching  TV.”
“Edward, do you hear me?”
Edward  was sitting in the  armchair. Nina came up to him, she  did not understand  what  had happened  from  the  first  sight.
Edward  sat still  looking  at the TV   with open  eyes.  Nina wanted   to leave  the room, but  she switched on the  light and  saw a knife in his  back.
Nina  stood  spellbound. She could  not move and  call the  police.
At  last, trembling she rang up  the  police  and  asked  them  to come.  She  was  afraid  to be  alone in this  empty  house and  asked  the  policeman  to stay  with  her.  The  next   day  detective Sean  came again.  She  told  him  everything she saw  when she came  home.  It  seemed to her  the  detective   knew  who the murderer had  been.
“Can  it  be  that  burglar, detective?”
“I cannot  tell  you  anything  by  now,  your  house  will be guarded by  the police.”
Nina  did not  inform  her father-in –law  about Edward`s death, neither she  informed  Edward`s  mother. She  wanted  detective  to advise  her how to  act. Detective  Sean  agreed to keep it  in secret  with  Edward`s  father,  but  it was necessary to contact  his mother.
“I will  do it tonight,   but,  oh, it`s  so difficult  to tell  her  such a  thing.” Teresa was silent for a long time and then she burst out  crying. The  very day she came back to town and came  to him.
They could  not talk, they  could not keep crying  for a long  time.
Then Teresa asked Nina  to tell  her  what  had  happened.
Nina  told her  everything except  the  fact  of Edward’s  having a mistress.  It was  no use of  talking  of this  fact  now.
Teresa  agreed  with  Nina to keep Edward`s death  in secret with his father.  Some days later the detective came again.
Nina was alone  at home.
“I have a new information  for you.”
Nina was listening attentively.
“Your  husband was poisoned.”
“How it could be? I saw a knife in  his back.”
“He was poisoned before.”
“And  why the knife?  Are you sure, detective?”
“Yes, I am sure, but by now I can`t explain it.”
Sean had already known why the murderer acted in this way.
“Nina, I want to see you, may I come to your place?”
“Yes, detective, I  am in and my mother-in-law is  coming to me  now. Do you want to ask me  something else?”
“No, I want to inform you about  the murderer.”
The mobile telephone fell out of Nina`s hand and broke to pieces.  Her  mother-in-law and detective Sean came at the same  time.
“Glad to see you here, how are you and your husband, he is better now, isn`t he?”
“Yes, thank you, we are all right.”
“Would you say what you know, detective, please, tell me everything.” 
“Your husband had mistresses and you knew  about it.”
“Yes, I knew, Teresa also knew about his behaviour, still I loved  him.”
“Yes, I know, you loved  him and did not  want  to divorce with him.”
“Yes, really, I did not want to  change anything  in our lives.”
“And you even  did not complain of his behaviour to  your mother-in-law, you never complained, oh, you are  a strong woman. You decided to poison him and the situation with his father`s  illness was a convenient moment  for you. You rang home, but you were sure nobody would answer  you.
But the knife in his back –this was a puzzle. You complained nobody, but you did not  know your real  mother-in-law.”
“I don`t understand you, detective.”
“Teresa is Edward`s  step-mother, they had kept the secret well. Teresa was  afraid that her secret life would be known to her husband.  Only Edward could  say to him  that Teresa  had  no mother and  she did not go anywhere. She was watching you with your every step. When you were at Edward`s  father`s she sneaked to your house  and killed  Edward who  had been already killed  by you.  Teresa was that “burglar”, but  she had no chance that  day. Is this true, Teresa?”
But  she did not look at Nina she glanced at the door. 
“You need not trouble,  Teresa.  No escape  for you. The police have surrounded the house.”
Nina seized  Teresa  tightly by her hand.
“Why, why did you do it?”
“Well, don`t you understand?!”
It was Teresa, she was his last  mistress.

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