“As regards the drowning, I was thinking of the young men. They may have staged an ‘accident’ in which, contrary to their plans, Miss Denning was drowned. Having rescued her too late and realized the terrible result of their so-called rag, they put her body back in the canoe. Very foolish, I admit; but these young men are foolish. It has happened before now that persons who have committed manslaughter get into a panic, and in their clumsy attempts to cover up their tracks, land themselves in danger of being put on trial for murder. But rest assured that we shall get to the truth before long. Now can you tell me, Miss Cordell, if Miss Denning could swim?”
I'm really slow in making any progress, but it might actually be in the book's favour, because I'm weirdly enjoying the process of reading this slowly and without an audio narration.
(The audiobook is narrated by Patience Tomlinson and her narrations do not agree with me at all. So, not being read by Patience Tomlinson is already a huge mark in the book's favour.)
However, am I missing something? What "young men" is he talking about? No young men at all have made an appearance in this story so far?
Why would a police inspector automatically blame a group of people who were not at the scene of the crime/discovery, and have never interviewed, or implicated, or even identified?
If by "young men" we are to understand the male students in Oxford, this increases the pool of suspects (again without any reason for suspicion in the first place) to most of the city's population at the time.
This is really, really stupid.