Afoot In England, By W.H. Hudson

 -   The
gruesome story is as follows.

Once upon a time there lived a poor widow woman in Coombe,
with two - Page 100
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The Gruesome Story Is As Follows.

Once upon a time there lived a poor widow woman in Coombe, with two sons, aged fourteen and sixteen, who worked at a farm in the village.

She had a lover, a middle-aged man, living at Woodhay, a carrier who used to go on two or three days each week with his cart to deliver parcels at Coombe. But he was a married man, and as he could not marry the widow while his wife remained alive, it came into his dull Berkshire brain that the only way out of the difficulty was to murder her, and to this course the widow probably consented. Accordingly, one day, he invited or persuaded her to accompany him on his journey to the remote village, and on the way he got her out of the cart and led her into a close thicket to show her something he had discovered there. What he wished to show her (according to one version of the story) was a populous hornets' nest, and having got her there he suddenly flung her against it and made off, leaving the cloud of infuriated hornets to sting her to death. That night he slept at Coombe, or stayed till a very late hour at the widow's cottage and told her what he had done. In telling her he had spoken in his ordinary voice, but by and by it occurred to him that the two boys, who were sleeping close by in the living-room, might have been awake and listening.

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