A surrounding multitude of white feathers and a purious wound in one leg suggested that before, Nancy' P,oitham was drowned by misadventure - she had been attacked by the swans whidh nested so numerously around the tidal mere where her bo4y was found- But what the local publican's handsome wife was doing in this lonely spot pn.the Kentish marshes, and in the small hours of the morning, was not so easily explained. Many theories were expounded by the regulars of the "Swan With Two Necks"; and all of them were eagerly absorbed by Lucy Cluff, an unusually sagacious teenager exiled from her native Finsbury Park to look after the dead woman's infant son.
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