‘Gentlemen, this building is a piece of history. Two hundred years ago, it belonged to a very rich banker. He got rich on the inflation which killed many businesses at that time. I don’t want to go into the details now. Suffice it to say that people didn’t like the man. They didn’t like him at all.

Despite the fact that many people didn’t like him, they always came to his parties. And he liked to throw parties all the time.

‘It was a bit of a paradox. Although nobody liked the man, his house was always full of people. Really. This house was packed with the local rich all the time. But that’s not what it is famous for.

‘There was a peace treaty signed in this house and it has been valid until this day,’ said the guide to the visitors of the old manor house. He took a sip from his little bottle of mineral water before he went on.

manor house - jan vrabec - sparrow's english reader -level 3 english for students of English
a manor house / blog: L-3: Murder in the Manor House

‘But the real reason why this house is so famous is the terrible murder which took place two hundred years ago.’

Everybody was listening to the guide.

‘During one of those parties, when many people got drunk, something strange happened. The banker disappeared. One minute he was there and then he was not. Nobody saw him leave. Nobody knew when he had left. But after some time, everybody started asking about the host. Some began looking for him around the rooms.

‘They couldn’t find the man and so most of the guests went home. When the rest of the drunk guests were leaving early in the morning, the banker was still missing.

‘Some of the servants called the police and a real search began. They went through all the rooms in the house, they checked the nearby park and woods, they looked into the stables and barns. They couldn’t find the banker anywhere.

‘The police were leaving the manor house when some servants noticed that one of them, Tom Baker, was missing, too. After some questions the servants agreed that they hadn’t seen him since the previous evening.

‘When the policemen asked about his job, the servants explained to them that Tom Baker had worked at the house for four or five years. Most of the time he helped in the in kitchen and worked down in the cellar where the barrels of wine were stored.

‘The policemen got off their horses, went back to the house and asked about the way to the cellar. The servants led them down through the kitchen to one of the wooden doors in the back. There they stopped…’

Suffice (it) to say (that) – (stačí povedať, že) – used to suggest that although you could say more, what you do say will be enough to explain what you mean

Despite the fact that – (napriek tomu, že..) – used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it

throw a party – (usporiadať oslavu) – to have/give a party

peace treaty /piːs ˈtriːti/ – (mierová dohoda) – a formal peace agreement between two or more countries

valid /ˈvælɪd/ – (platný) – that is legally or officially acceptable

murder /ˈmɜːdə(r)/ – (vražda) – the crime of killing somebody deliberately

take place – (udiať sa, konať sa) – to happen, especially after previously being arranged or planned

manor house /ˈmænə(r)/ – a large country house surrounded by land that belongs to it