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The Charming Face

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In the picturesque British town of Shaka St. Mary, sunlight filters through the clouds and spills onto the ancient cobblestone roads, reflecting a captivating golden glow. However, this serene town is about to face an unexpected storm. One day, a remarkably handsome face suddenly appears in the town - that of Leslie Syl. His arrival is like a stone thrown into a lake, disrupting the town's original tranquility. Syl is enigmatic, elegant, but always carries an elusive sense of detachment. His presence intrigues and unnerves the townspeople, each wondering about his origins and intentions. As time passes, Syl's existence gradually permeates every corner of the town. His interactions with the residents change their lives, either deeply or subtly. Some find new love because of him, some rediscover old dreams, and others are left deeply confused. Just when everyone thinks Syl will become a permanent part of the town, he suddenly disappears. The news spreads like wildfire through the town, causing a great commotion. The residents buzz with speculation and rumors. Even the experienced Detective Grant is left baffled by the case. He leads his team in extensive investigations but seems to miss the truth at every turn. This disappearance not only challenges Detective Grant's wisdom but also affects every townsperson's heart. They begin to reexamine their lives and values, wondering what this mysterious man has brought them. As the investigation deepens, secrets hidden deep within the town gradually surface...

Chapter 1

Grant's feet stopped in front of the steps of the house. He heard a burst of noise coming from inside the house through the door. A long series of loud laughter and screams overwhelmed his ears, sounding like a forest fire or a flood. Before his stumbling steps continued to step on the steps, he thought to himself, This is a worthy and famously successful party.

He didn't come to the party. This famous literary party was not the place where he should have appeared. He came to pick up Miss Marta Harold to have dinner today. But it sounds very unusual. After all, as a police officer, even if Grant is a well-known detective, it is quite eye-catching to have the honor of having dinner with the most famous actress in the local area, Miss Marta Harold. Of course, Grant is not a man without self-knowledge. He knows quite well that there are several reasons why he can stand here today and enjoy the envy of others: first, he is Miss Harold's most ready-made bodyguard. Second, he can afford to pay for a high-end restaurant like "La Hongte.". Third, with Miss Harold's daunting status and beauty, she can't find a more suitable person to escort her than him. So when Grant, a pure detective, appeared in her life after Miss Harold's jewelry was stolen, she found that she couldn't do without his protection. Of course, Grant is also very willing to stay with her. For Marta, Grant is a good flower protector; for Grant, Marta's special status has also opened an excellent "window" for him; after all, for an experienced veteran detective, he knows quite well that the more "windows" there are, the more favorable the work will be.

Therefore, it is taken for granted that Marta is the rare source of "an eye line" for him to break into the literary circle.

Grant finally stepped on the steps and opened the door of the party scene, and the deafening noise rushed out. The party scene was full of people. He stood on one side and looked through the crowded people in front of him towards the Georgian-style private room on one side.

He wondered whether he should go straight inside and pick up Miss Marta to leave.

Inside the house, the guests who talked and drank were so crowded that they could not move. At this time, a dazed young man standing by the door caught Grant's eye. He held his hat in his hand and looked like he had just come in.

"What's the problem?" Grant took a look at the young man and said,.

"I forgot to bring my loudspeaker," replied the young man.

He speaks in a slow and gentle tone that remains unaffected by the surrounding noise.This unique tone makes his words clear even without shouting. Grant looked at him with great appreciation. He is very handsome and has very beautiful blonde hair. He must be an Englishman or a Norwegian.

No, it should be an American. Grant remembered that when he said the word "forget" just now, he had a special American accent.

This is an early spring evening. The windows are covered with a deep blue color, and every household begins to light up. Through the smoke inside the house, Grant saw Marta in the next room. She seemed to be listening very impatiently to the playwright, Tulis, talking boastfully about his glorious history. Those old topics didn't know how many times he had said that. Tulis is the kind of person who will talk endlessly as soon as he gets a chance. Finally, Marta's impatience has almost made her face sink. Grant thought that if this situation continued, Marta's sinking face might never be lifted back up again. Grant decided to stay where he was until Marta saw him; both of them were tall enough to see each other across the crowd.

In line with a detective's professional habit, he unconsciously searched through the crowd in front of him with his searching eyes.

However, there seems to be no special discovery. This is just his usual habitual action. At the party scene, people from Roth and Cromarty Publishing House were celebrating the publication of Miss Lavinia Fitch's 21st book around her. Such a scene is full of famous publishing houses, rich wine and food, and distinguished guests—that is, well-known people who have good taste. All this is due to Lavinia. However, everyone knows that they are not here to celebrate Lavinia's book, "Morris Lover," or the publishing house. Even Marta, the most beautiful lady at the party, only stood out here because she was Lavinia's neighbor. Marta's fashionable black-and-white look and her expression made her stand out among these people.

The handsome appearance of the young man beside him is quite noticeable at this party. He wondered what he had done. Actor? Probably not, because an actor won't isolate himself from the crowd like this.

He recalled that just now, he used a detached look to look at the scene and said "loudspeaker" with a kind of indifference. Grant thought that maybe it was just a wasteful appearance by the stock trader. Or maybe it's just the soft lighting at the scene. Once seen in daylight, his beautiful blonde hair and upright nose might not be so outstanding. "Can you tell me," the young man asked Grant in a still-flat tone, "which one is Miss Lavinia Fitch?"

Lavinia is the little lady with red hair standing in the middle of the window. She wears a very fashionable hat, but she doesn't match it at all, so her hat looks like it just fell from upstairs and happened to fall on her head when she walked on the street just now. In short, that hat looks very abrupt on her nest-like hair. She didn't have makeup and dressed casually as usual.

Grant pointed out Lavinia's position to the young man.

"New here?" Grant asked him cordially by borrowing a commonly used question in Western movies. Based on his polite statement, "Miss Fitch," he was almost sure that this guy was an American.

"I came to find Miss Fitch's nephew. I didn't find him according to the address book, so I hope I can find him here. Maybe you know him. Excuse me, what's your name?"

"My name is Grant!"

"Mr. Grant!"

"I met him several times before, and I recognized him, but he seems not to be here now. I think you are looking for Walter Whitemore, right?" "Yes, Whitemore! I don't know him. I am looking for him because we have a good friend in common. I think he should be here. Are you sure he is not here? Maybe there are too many people, and you didn't see him?" "I'm sure because he is as tall as me, but even if he is not here, he will not run far away in eight or nine minutes." I think you better meet Miss Fitch first, but we have to make up our minds to go through this heavy wall of people first." "Okay, I will follow you." When they were almost shoulder to shoulder and elbow to elbow, struggling in the crowd and having difficulty moving forward or backward, he joked with Grant, who was embarrassed: "Mr. Grant, it's really hard for you!" Grant suddenly felt very embarrassed and immediately turned around awkwardly to push away the crowd. He continued to struggle with the crowd's direction with great difficulty. After thousands of hardships, they finally came to Lavinia's face."Miss Fitch," said Grant, pointing to a young man behind him who wanted to see you. He was looking for your nephew." "Oh yes," said Grant," a young man wants to see you.". He is looking for your nephew."As they struggled through the crowd toward Lavinia," Grant introduced, "Miss Fitch," there is a young man who wants to meet you. "He has been looking for your nephew."

"Looking for Walter?" Lavinia stopped moving and looked up with a curious expression.

"Allow me to introduce myself, Miss Feechy. My name is Sill, and I've just arrived here from America for a vacation. I came specifically to find Walter because we are both good friends of Cooney Weegin."Are you"Cooney? friends with Cooney? Oh, that's great! Walter will be so happy! I can't believe it; to meet you here today is just...I mean, it's unbelievable. Walter will be so pleased when he knows. What's your full name, Sill?"

"Leslie Sill! I couldn't find Walter's name in the address book here."

"Oh, Walter doesn't live here; this is just a temporary place for him to stay.

He lives in Shaka St. Mary's Town, just like the rest of us. Do you know? He has a farm there, and he's the radio announcer there. It's my farm, and he manages and broadcasts for me. This afternoon is his broadcasting time, which is why he couldn't be here today. But it doesn't matter; you can just come with us later and spend the weekend there." "But Walter doesn't even know."

"Do you have any plans for this weekend?"

"No, I don't have any plans; it's just."

"Then that settles it. Walter will be coming home directly from the studio later, and you can just come with Elizabeth and me in our car and give Walter a surprise." "But what if he already has plans?"

"Elizabeth! Elizabeth, dear, where are you? By the way, Mr. Sill, where are you staying now?"

"I'm staying at Wisemore."

"Oh, that's very convenient. Elizabeth! Elizabeth! Dear, come here; I want to introduce you. This is Mr. Leslie Sill. He just came here from America for a vacation, and he's looking for Walter. They are both friends of Cooney. Isn't it Friday today? We were going to go back to Shaka Town anyway to spend a nice and quiet weekend, right? So it would be great if you could come with us. So Elizabeth, dear, why don't you take him back to his place now, help him pack his luggage, and then bring him back here? By then, I think the party will be over, and we can all drive back to Shaka Town together and surprise Walter."

Grant noticed that the young man's face lit up with pleasure when he saw Elizabeth, and he couldn't help but wonder. Elizabeth had a plain and small face, indeed, with charming blue eyes. She was the kind of woman a man would want to live with. Yes, she was a good woman, but not the kind of woman a young man would notice at first sight. Sill was so happy to see her, perhaps because he had heard that she was engaged and naturally assumed that she was Walter's fiancée! At this moment, he noticed that Marta was motioning for him to leave, so Grant didn't bother to continue guessing about their family affairs. He had to hurry to the door to meet up with Marta, as she was even more difficult to deal with than they were. So he took three steps at a time, but Marta still beat him to the door.

"Who is that handsome young man?" she asked as she walked towards the steps leading to the door, looking back at Grant.

"He's looking for Walter Whitmore. He says they are friends of Cooney Weegin."

"I thought so!" Marta said sourly. She was mocking Grant, not the young man.

"It's just a professional habit," Grant said sheepishly.

"Well, who is Cooney Weegin?"

"Cooney was a famous photographer in America who was killed while covering an explosion in the Balkans a year or two ago."

"I knew you would know!"

Grant almost blurted out, "Probably only actresses like you in the whole world don't know about this." But he liked her, so he had to continue, "According to what I know, he's going to spend the weekend with them in Shaka Town."

"You mean the handsome boy? Oh, I hope Lavinia knows what she's doing."

"What's the problem with bringing him back with them?"

"I don't know, but I think they're taking a risk by bringing someone home to disrupt their peace."


"You see, they've finally had some quiet recently after all the troubles they've been through. Walter has just survived the incident with Margaret Mary Ann and is planning to settle down and marry Elizabeth. The family is preparing to live together peacefully in their old home. And now she brings home this mysterious boy to ruin their tranquility."

"Ruin?" Grant repeated the word thoughtfully, falling back into his curiosity about Sill. Being attractive was not a crime, and a detective would not judge a person based on their appearance alone.

"I guarantee that Emma will notice it. I think she'll probably kick him out first thing Monday morning after breakfast. Her beloved daughter is planning to marry Walter, and she won't tolerate any mishaps at this point.

She'll do everything in her power to prevent any accidents from happening," Marta said.

"But I don't think Elizabeth Galloway is that much prettier than the rest of us. What is Mrs. Galloway so nervous about?"

"You don't understand. That boy is the kind of handsome guy who would catch my attention even from 20 yards away in 30 seconds. It's a fact that cannot be ignored. And I never really thought that Elizabeth "loved Walter, that dumb guy. I think she married him to comfort him for his broken heart."

"How badly was he hurt?"

"Pretty bad; I'd say he was pretty badly hurt."

"Have you ever performed with Margaret Mary Ann?"

"Yeah, a couple of times! We were in a play together called 'Walking in the Dark."

"The taxi is here."

"The taxi! What did you think of her?"

"Margaret? She's just plain crazy."

"How crazy?"

"Do you mean what's wrong with her? She's the kind of woman who would do anything to get what she wants!"

"That's not called crazy; that's a potential criminal personality!"

"I think you know what I mean, dear. Whatever she is, I can confirm that she's crazy, and even if it were Walter, I wouldn't want him to end up marrying her."

"Why do you dislike this universally recognized sunny British boy so much?"

"Dear, I hate the way he thinks about things. When he thinks about everything on top of the Aegean hillside with thyme love, he still hears the sound of bullets whizzing past his ears. It's just awful. He always forces us to listen to the sound of bullets. I always suspect that it's the sound of a whip cracking."

"Marta, you're exaggerating."

"I'm not exaggerating, dear, not at all. We all know it very well! When we get hit, he cares about being safely tucked away in his office, 50 feet underground. And then, when the situation gets critical again, he pops out of his cozy little office once more and sits on top of the thyme hill with a microphone, making bullet sounds with a whip."

"I might have to come bail you out one day soon."

"For murder?"

"No, for malicious libel."

"Why would you bail me out? I think it would be quite nice if you were subpoenaed to appear in court."

Grant thought there was no point in arguing with Marta's ignorance.

"But I guess it might be murder." Marta mused thoughtfully in her famous stage whisper, "I might still be standing between thyme and bullets while he can have a 99-year lease on spring cornfields and woodpeckers or whatever else there is. He's a public menace! " "Then why do you listen to his broadcasts?" "Well, it's a kind of terrible attraction, you know? You start to think that this must be the worst possible limit already, and there couldn't be anything worse than this. So you start looking forward to next week and the week after that to see if it can get even worse each time," Marta said in her famous stage whisper that was audible even in whispers at close range.

Chapter 2

"What a nice day!" Elizabeth said as they stepped out onto the sidewalk. "It's such a beautiful, sunny day!" She took a deep breath of the fresh air and continued, "The car is parked over there in the corner of the square.

It's a two-seater. It's a bit out of style for a car like this, but it's still quite durable. As the car merged into the evening traffic, she explained to him, "When Aunt Lavinia earned her first sum of money, she bought herself a mink scarf. She always had a thing for mink scarves. The second thing she wanted was a two-seater car, and the publication of her second book made that wish come true. But she never wore her mink scarf because she hated having something wrapped around her all day. As for the two-seater, it came in handy, and we're still using it."

"What happened to the mink scarf?"

"She traded it for a set of Queen Anne chairs and a wool blanket."



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