The sky was streaked with pink and yellow as Agnes rose the next morning. She yawned and looked in the mirror beside her bed. Her hair had formed the shape of a birds-nest and she groaned at her unsightly appearance.
Agnes changed into her maid uniform quickly, washed her face, and left her room. Her maid duties went from six in the morning to nine at night. The pay was not it's best, and if it wasn't for the fact she was completely obsessed with Doctor Joyce, she would've left long ago. Agnes adjusted her apron as she walked to the master bedroom. She knocked quietly and whispered loudly,
"Doctor, I'm bringing breakfast up now, rise and shine!"
Then she rushed off to the kitchen downstairs. She tied her hair up, and fixed some breakfast for the doctor. It wasn't hard. He had the same thing every morning. Two eggs, three rashers of bacon, a grilled tomato and a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice. Apparently, he hated coffee, whereas Agnes lived on it. Once ready, she brought the breakfast up to the doctor. His door was opened and he lay in his bed, reading a newspaper.
"Ah, Agnes!", he said, as she lay the tray on his bedside table. "How are you feeling? Any more voices?"
Agnes shook her head. It was the truth. But she still didn't sleep very well.
"I shall be seeing a professional as you advised, Doctor, today."
"Oh, good, good", he replied, eyeing her.
Feeling rather uncomfortable in the room, Agnes left.
'Just tell him you like his company...tell him you want to sleep with him!...No, tell him you find him the most horrid man you've ever met, he likes hard-to-get!...', the thoughts rushed around her head as she ran back downstairs.
Picking up the phone in the lounge-room, she dialled the number of the mental health adviser.
The waiting room was miserable and cold, and Agnes had half the mind to go outside to be in the sun. Finally, Doctor Lewis was ready to see her. Agnes sat down, and told him the same that she'd told Doctor Joyce.
"Doctor Joyce said it would be a good idea to see you, Sir", she added.
"Indeed, it was. But something puzzles me , Madame. These voices, male or female?"
"Female, Sir. Is anything the matter?"
Lewis sighed, his rotund belly moving up and down.
"Madame, I must tell you something. This isn't the first case of a maid in Joyce's household hearing those voices..."
Agnes froze. What did he mean, not the first case?
As if he read her mind, Doctor Lewis went on,
"I am getting quite suspicious of Doctor Joyce, if I may say so myself. The last maid, a charming lass quite like yourself, name was Meredith Ponting, well, she came to me one day, saying she had heard these voices, telling her to open a door, and she was quite distraught about it. Then, one day, when I was going to prescribe her some medication, I heard that she had committed suicide. Jumped out of a window in Joyce's mansion."
Lewis recognised Agnes's look of shock.
"Bet he didn't mention that in the job advertisement, eh?"
Agnes shook her head. A feeling of utter sickness took over her. Was that what was going to happen to her? And why hadn't Joyce said anything to her?
"If you will, Miss Mayfair, I would like to ask for your help in an investigation I am going to take", added Doctor Lewis.
"You have my complete attention, Sir", replied Agnes.
"I think that Joyce murdered that Ponting girl. Either pushed her out that window, or forced her to jump. I want you to find that door, find that room the voices are telling you top open. I believe it is the key to finding out the real mystery behing the circumstances at the mansion."
"M-m-murdered? Well, what if he tries to murder me?!"
Lewis waved a fat, pink hand.
"I'll be on your guard. Miss Mayfair, not only am I a doctor, I am also a police officer, working undercover for the London police department."
He pulled out a badge from his pocket and flashed it to her.
"Madame, we need to know why this is happening at the mansion, and what Joyce has got to do with it. Will you help?"
Her stomach felt empty, her hands were cold and clammy, and her skin burned. Agnes couldn't believe that Joyce would murder anyone. Annoy, but not murder. But somehow, she trusted Lewis. The investigation would keep her safe after all.
"Count me in", Ages replied, putting on a brave smile.