Textual notes for Death on Romney Marsh

In Death on Romney Marsh (following our policy in previous publications of Leo Bruce novels), we have, for the sake of consistency between texts, altered some spellings and punctuation:  “realise”, “recognise” and “apologise” (and their permutations) are severally changed to “realize”, “recognize” and “apologize” (and their permutations); “goodbye” is amended to “good-bye”; “’phone” is used for the shortened form of “telephone” instead of “phone”; the verb “show” has been modified to “shew”; “will” is capitalised when referring to a last will and testament; and hyphens are removed from “to-day” and “to-morrow” but not from “week-end”; furthermore, these additional changes occur:
a comma was inserted after “sinister” in “drive up to his house, which you say is ‘sinister’ calmly face this Captain Cuchran” (Chapter One, p. 8);
a comma was added after bells in “it was, as she said, beyond the sound of church bells and the nearest village was three miles away” (Ch. One, p. 9);
for consistency with other texts, “specialise” (Ch. One, p. 13) was altered to “specialize”;
“if”, in “wondered if it was audible” (Ch. One, p. 15), in “wondered if this was the sort of competition” (Ch. Twelve, p. 134), and in “asked one of the nurses if a young man called Churcher had asked to see him” (Ch. 15, p. 174), was altered to “whether”;
each instance of a subjunctive “was” (outside of dialogue, of course)—in “if it was audible” (Chapter One, p. 15), in “if he was to reach the front door” (Ch. One, p. 15), in “if anyone was watching him” (Ch. One, p. 16), in “if he was to complete his mission (Ch. Two, p. 18), in “if she was not in the last breath” (Ch. Two, p. 22), in “Whether Cuchran was surprised” (Ch. Seven, p. 77), in “If anyone was complex” (Ch. Nine, p. 99), in “not quite certain whether it was a young man” (Ch. Eleven, p. 124), in “if this was the sort of competition” (Ch. Twelve, p. 134), in “if anyone was up there” (Ch. Thirteen, p. 146), and in “if he was to be attacked” and also in “If there was an attempt to close it” (Ch. Fifteen, p. 168)—was altered to “were”;
“jove” (Ch. Two, p. 19 and Ch. Twelve, p. 129) was capitalised;
a comma was inserted after walls in “from the walls and furniture” (Ch. Two, p. 20);
“chottha peg” (Ch. Two, p. 21) was altered to “chhota peg” and italicised;
a full stop replaced the eroteme in “Carolus wondered why?” (Ch. Two, p. 23) and also in “What I don’t understand, my dear Aunt Vicky, is how you get your information?” (Ch. Five, p. 55);
a comma was inserted after “said” in the parenthetical “ ‘if’, as Aunt Vicky said ‘she is his wife’ ” (Ch. Two, p. 23);
after Aunt Vicky picked up her piece of embroidery and was absorbed in it for a while she appears to answer a missing question by saying “No” and adding “I never really thought of it and he engaged a governess for the girls” (Ch. Three, p. 30), so an appropriate question from Carolus—of one line which a typesetter might easily miss and with similar words to help explain the lapse—, “Was there ever a thought of marriage, a mother for the girls?”, was inserted;
commas were inserted before and after “as I told you” in “These things run in families and as I told you that both his grandfather and father had each fathered a son and no other children” (Ch. Three, p. 31), and “that” was deleted therefrom;
a comma was inserted after “Carolus” in “oh, hell, Carolus he was a cad” (Ch. Four, p. 41);
for consistency’s sake “£10,000” (Ch. Four, p. 44) was altered to “ten thousand pounds” and “£100,000” (Ch. Four, p. 46) was altered to “one hundred thousand pounds”;
a superfluous closing quotation mark (because Aunt Vicky’s speech continues in the next paragraph), after “they stayed at Shirley Cross” (Ch. Four, p. 46), was deleted;
a comma was inserted after “Then” in “Then according to Cuchran, he left Jenny” (Ch. Four, p. 49);
a seemingly erroneous “us” was corrected to “them” in “We restored peace between us” (Ch. Six, p. 69);
a comma was added before the clause “with more agility than one would have thought” to match the one thereafter (Ch. Eight, p. 84);
a comma was added after the clause “depicting ‘Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales’ ” to match the one therebefore (Ch. Eight, p. 86);
“and” was inserted between “furnished” and “there” in “The rooms below these were larger and better furnished there were two bathrooms on the floor” (Ch. Eight, p. 86);
the unaccented preposition in “Poulet a L’estragon” (Ch. Nine, p. 105) was given its grave accent;
a comma was added after “presumably” in “His search, presumably was ended” (Ch. Ten, p. 109);
for consistency’s sake “O.K.” (Ch. Eleven, p. 117) was altered to “Okay”;
for consistency with the previous mention of the road sign, the words “To Bindley 3 miles” (Ch. Eleven, p. 123) were enclosed within quotation marks;
the stop was removed from “Messrs.” (Ch. Twelve, p. 127);
“decided” in “you will allow me, my dear sir, to decided what would or would not be a breach” (Ch. Twelve, p. 129) was corrected to “decide”;
for consistency’s sake, “café” in “Merry Widow café” (Ch. Fourteen, p. 156) was capitalised;
“number Three Passover Cottages” (Ch. Fourteen, p. 156) was, for consistency’s sake, very slightly altered to “Number Three, Passover Cottages”;
for consistency’s sake “vicar” (Ch. Fourteen, p. 160) was capitalised;
“day” in “V.E. day” (Ch. Seventeen, p. 183) was capitalised;
a comma was inserted after “when” in “It was ten minutes later when Matron being back in her place, Carolus resumed” (Ch. Seventeen, p.188);
the Latin phrase “vice versa” (Ch. Seventeen, p.192) was italicised;
“olympian” (Ch. Seventeen, p.192) was capitalised.
Page references are to the first (and, deplorably, the only) edition of Death on Romney Marsh by Leo Bruce, published by W. H. Allen (London, 1968).
Thanks to Alfred, by the way, for doing most of the transcribing for all chapters of Death on Romney Marsh.