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Archibald Cronin. Beyond This Place. Summary

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mzi93
Words 980
Pages 4
“Beyond this place” is a novel written by Scottish author Archibald Cronin. The book was written in 1953. This detective story is about a brave man called Paul Marthy. He wanted to get his father out of prison because he was jailed unfairly and was imprisoned for 15 years.
Paul was a young man. He was getting a teacher’s education. He was a good student and a wonderful sportsman. He lived with his mother, Mrs Burgess, in Belfast. She was quite unsociable and reserved. The first five years of his life Paul had spent in the North of England. He had very good relations with his father, Rees; they loved to spend time together. Later his family moved to Wortley. When they lived there, his father died because of a railway accident. Soon after that he and his mother, Hannah, moved to Belfast.
When Paul was about 20 years old, he learned that his father didn’t die. He was accused of murder and taken to prison. As he was told, Rees killed Mona Spurling, a beautiful young woman who worked as a shop girl. The murder took place in Eldon, a district near Wortley. The police had 3 witnesses who had seen the murderer. They were Edward Collins, a driver of a laundry van, Louisa Burt, an Edward’s cousin who also worked in a laundry, and Albert Prusty, a neighbour of Miss Spurling. The murderer left 3 clues against himself. The 1st one was a picture postcard. The 2nd was a half burnt note. The last one was a money bag made of human skin which was lying near her body. The motive of murder was also clear – the killed woman was expecting a baby and the man who had murdered her was the child’s father.
Paul decided to visit his father. Unfortunately, when he came there, he had been told that there are no visiting days.
The man didn’t want to go home, so he went to Wortley to visit Mr Prusty. He was the only witness whose evidence was in Rees’ favour.
Prusty said that he didn’t recognize Paul’s father as a murderer. Another thing Prusty told Paul was that the murderer had a green bicycle. The strangest thing was that Marthy never had one. He also said that the money bag belonged neither to Mona, nor to Rees. This fact troubled Inspector Swann. So that man went to Mr Gillet, a well-known lawyer, to talk about the case. Paul decided to find out what they had to say. He found Swann in a hospital. Swann said that there were a few facts about the case which seemed strange to him. For example, the wounds to Mona were so terrible that only a powerful man could have done that, and Rees was not very strong. Again, Edward and Louisa at first gave the wrong description of Rees, and later they changed their evidence. Swann also said that Collins went to New Zealand, but Burt was still in the city and worked for a rich family called Oswalds. So Paul made up his mind to become her friend in hope she would give him some useful information.
By the way, Paul went to George Birley, the Member of Parliament for Wortley. He believed that Birley would help him. He tried to do so, but the Secretary of State refused to re-open the case.
After seeing Louisa for a couple of times she told him a few interesting things. For example, the fact that the murderer rode off on a green bike was true. She knew that the murderer was a man who was a member of the Grasshoppers’ cycling club. He also studied anatomy and had a strange kind of money bag made of human skin.
Paul also found out that Mona was never interested in married man. Rees, on the contrary, wasn’t single. Moreover, Mona was in her fourth month of pregnancy and Paul’s father had known her for 7 weeks.
Later Paul received a note from a stranger which said to find Charles Castle. As Paul found out, Castle was an ex-prisoner. Charles advised Paul to go after Sprott, the Public Prosecutor, and shoot him. Paul agreed at once, but when he came to Sprott’s house he couldn’t kill the Prosecutor.
Meanwhile, Paul could hardly make both ends meet. He didn’t have enough money for food and had meals at the Silver King Canteen, where food was given for free. The owner of that canteen was Enoch Oswald. By the way, Mr Oswald was the owner of the house, where the murder had happened. So Paul decided to learn more about this man and went to the library. He read that Oswald had been a medical student and a member of Grasshoppers’ Club. So Paul understood that he was the murderer.
By the way things happened Paul made the acquaintance of Mr Dunn, a journalist. Rees’ son told him his story and the journalist wrote an article about it, which was published in the largest Wortley newspaper.
In a few days after publishing the article a telegram arrived at the newspaper building. It said that Rees Marthy would be released in a week. Paul felt excited.
Finally the day had come for which Paul had worked and suffered for all those months. He had taken rooms at the hotel because his mother would arrive too. When Paul met his father, Rees wasn’t friendly at all. He was rude, insensible and callous. Paul couldn’t believe how his father had changed. When Mrs Burgess came Rees asked Hannah to leave because he didn’t forgive her. So she did it.
At the end of this story Enoch Oswald had hanged himself. Paul decided to stay with his father. He was also going to rent a small house with a garden in which Mathry would work.…...

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